The desired behavior of all teachers is to have students who are engaged, motivated, and interested in the material they are being taught. For various reasons, students are not always able to stay engaged with what they are learning in the classroom. This can be for a variety of reasons including but not limited to lack of interest in what they are actually learning or boredom because the material is too easy. Here are some ways to improve the attention spans of students:

Causes For Shorter Attention Spans In Students

There are a variety of reasons why students might have short attention spans, however the most common is boredom. When students are bored or are not interested in what they are being taught, then they will not be able to focus on the task at hand. This lack of interest can cause them to become distracted, lose focus, and even become disruptive.

There are also other causes for shorter attention spans in students including issues with behavior, home life, etc… However, one possible reason for this is the fact that students are overexposed to technology and might need a break from screens. It can cause them to become easily distracted and unable to focus on the task at hand. If this is the case, then it would be beneficial for teachers to consider taking devices away or limiting their use during instruction time.

Teaching Strategies To Help Students Stay Engaged

There are several different teaching strategies that teachers can use to help students stay engaged. These include classroom management, learning styles, hands-on activities, and incorporating technology into the classroom.

Classroom Management

One way that teachers can keep their students engaged is by having good classroom management skills. The number one cause for students’ shortened attention spans is boredom. Classroom management strategies allow teachers to keep their students engaged and interested in what they are learning by keeping them under control. This allows the teacher to help direct the class back on track if there is a disruption.

Learning Styles

Teachers need to take different factors into consideration when determining which teaching strategy to use, including learning styles. Different learning styles need to be catered to in order for students to get the most out of their time in the classroom. For example, visual learners are more likely to get engaged when there are visuals that are available for them to use while learning. Every child learns differently, so it is important that each student has an opportunity to learn in their own unique style.

Hands-On Activities

Many teachers prefer hands-on activities over lecture-based teaching because it allows them to involve all of their students in the lesson. Many students find it more interesting to learn with hands-on activities because they feel engaged and are able to actively participate.


One teaching strategy that is becoming very popular is technology-based teaching strategies. There are several different ways that teachers can use tech for their classroom including interactive whiteboards, document cameras, smartboards, etc… These technologies allow students to engage in different types of activities that will keep them interested and engaged. Implementing at least one of these strategies into your classroom can help improve students’ attention spans, learning retention, and ability to focus during instruction time.

Methods To Increase Learning Retention

Once students are engaged, the next step is helping them to retain what they have learned. There are several different ways that teachers can increase learning retention by challenging their students. It is important for each student to feel challenged, but not overwhelmed or stressed out.

It has been proven that movement opportunities are very important because it allows students to not get stuck in one position for too long, ultimately increasing their attention spans. Another factor that is often forgotten about when trying to increase attention spans is reducing distractions in the classroom. Students can become easily distracted by other students who may be talking, moving around too much, or not paying attention. By reducing distractions in the classroom and teaching with examples, students are able to pay more attention and ultimately learn the material better.

Multiple Choice

One way that teachers can challenge their students without making them worry is by using multiple-choice questions. These types of questions allow for students to show their knowledge of the information at a level that is not too difficult nor too easy. It can also help teachers determine whether or not their students understood what they were learning, and give them an idea of where there might be areas in which they need more explanation or clarification.

Lecture Based Teaching vs. Hands-On Activities

When students are in school, it is expected that their attention spans will be divided between listening to the teacher and taking notes. There are several different activities that teachers can do during class time which split up this attention span more equally. One of these activities includes lecture-based teaching strategies versus hands-on activities in which students engage in the lesson so that they don’t have to listen to the teacher explain every detail. This allows students to focus more on taking notes and listening for important points.

Importance of Adapting Curriculum If Students Are Not Engaging During Class Time

If students are not engaging in your class time, then it is important that you adapt the material that you teach to accommodate their learning styles and attention spans. Adapting curriculum can be a tedious process, but once complete, it will allow for a better overall classroom environment and a more efficient way of teaching. There are several different factors that you should consider when making changes to your curriculum, but the most important factors include students’ learning styles and attention spans. It is also important to know if the students were simply tired from a long day or perhaps they weren’t feeling well. You may want to save certain lessons for another day due to these factors as well.

By implementing at least one of these strategies into the classroom, teachers can help increase their students’ attention spans and ability to retain information. This can ultimately lead to better learning outcomes for all students.


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