List of Strategies to Keep Students Focused & on Task

Student participation helps them stay focused in class.
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Keeping students focused can be a daunting task. Many things contribute to inattention, ranging from an inadequate breakfast to a restless night's sleep. Regardless of the cause, teachers can use strategies that engage their students' focus and help them remain on task. Effective strategies use techniques that encourage students to rev up, participate and stay attentive throughout the school day.

1 Warm Up

Engage students in physical and Intellectual activities before teaching. Give them an ungraded pop quiz on material from the previous day. Alternatively, ask the class to write in a journal for five minutes before instruction begins. These techniques help students stay focus on the daily tasks. You can also ask them to perform exercises such as jumping jacks. Physical exercises help liven up students and help them stay committed to their tasks later.

2 Use Visual Aids

Provide visual aids, which will capture your students' imaginations, encouraging them to stay focused. For students who are visual learners, visual aids help them understand better, which also promotes focus. Encourage their input for the class' visual aids. This will help them learn better and feel like their participating in the learning experience. Effective visual aids are large, simple and relevant to what the students are learning.

3 Encourage Participation

Encourage students by asking questions about the class and assignments before and during task. A question asked by one student helps all of them learn and stay focused. Also ask questions that require the input from all of your students. On the website Edutopia, Tristan De Frondeville, head of PBL Associates, suggests that teachers actively engage students in learning by asking questions that require each student's answer.

4 Set Deadlines

Deadlines for classroom assignments give students a time goal. Keep a timer in the front of the classroom. Provide audible warnings throughout the period. Frequent warnings prompt students to stay on task. If the assignment is demanding, small one- or two-minute breaks can help the class refocus. Encourage students to stand and stretch during their breaks.

5 Remove Distractions

A distracted class is an unfocused class. Identify potential distractions before it begins. Little things such as the room temperature or a flickering light may decrease your students' productivity. Remove clocks from the classroom. If your students are focused on the end of class, they may not pay attention fully during the beginning or middle of it.

Elizabeth Streeter has been writing professionally since 2000. She specializes in subjects ranging from how to live a happier life to potentially harmful food and drug-related interactions. Streeter has written for "Family Circle," "Woman's Day," "Natural Health" and "Fitness." Streeter holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition science from Auburn University and is currently working towards a Master of Arts in psychology.