Student-centered learning activities are an excellent way to put your students at the center of the learning process. From encouraging active learning and differentiation to boosting student voice and collaborative learning, these learning strategies bring a new pedagogical approach to teaching, along with numerous benefits to the students! Here are 21 fun and innovative activities that will help you make your lessons more student-centered!
Designing a playground is a fun activity for a project-based learning class. It involves some math and word problems, so consider having a veteran math teacher take charge. You can also introduce it as one of the student center activities that run simultaneously with your lesson plans.
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Virtual breakout rooms are a great solution to break the monotony of traditional lectures. You can conduct these online with large groups of students. Choose activities for each group that aren’t teacher dependent and require collaboration between the students.
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Visual thinking helps develop your student’s critical thinking skills, observation, analysis, and questioning. It’s a useful activity that special education teachers can also try in their classrooms.
Content-expert teachers can introduce problem-based learning into their classrooms. It will encourage students to think critically about community and global-level sustainability issues as well as explore possible solutions.
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Escape rooms offer a fun and playful break from traditional classrooms while also allowing you to incorporate active learning. You can incorporate a variety of subject areas to create clues and puzzles.
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Biology teachers can use lab dissection activities to help the students take on an active role in their science and anatomy lessons. Include a set of questionnaires along with each activity to help guide the students with their observations and inferences.
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7. Studying Plant Growth Factors
Encourage student learning by letting them explore plant life cycles via observation. Depending on which lesson you’re incorporating the activity into, you can focus on survival, growth, or reproductive cycles only.
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Change the model of content delivery by presenting some online safety facts. Then, let the students discuss and share their experiences along with sharing personal practices to ensure safety. You can later incorporate some teacher-centered instruction by giving the students tips on safe online practices.
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9. Self-Directed Learning Sessions
Design multiple stations to develop core skills and let individual students choose which subject they’d like to explore. Students can then recall and discuss their learning. This activity helps develop student choice and enables teachers to incorporate an active classroom strategy along with some effective teacher-centered approaches.
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10. Reciprocal Teaching
Reciprocal teaching is one of the best empowerment opportunities to build reading comprehension. It shakes up the classroom dynamics by letting students take on various roles of educators. Allow students to take the reigns of the activity and only provide helpful tips to support them when needed.
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A round-robin discussion offers a low-prep, easy way for students to explore a topic in a shorter class period. It provides ample opportunities for every student to engage in class discussions. Make sure to set a time limit and keep the instructions simple.
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Assigning your class the task of designing an experiment promotes scientific thinking while allowing them to explore diverse subject matters; ultimately encouraging content expertise! Not only do students learn what makes a faulty experiment, but they also become better at conducting sound experiments in the lab later on.
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13. Creating a Public Service Video
Improve your student’s basic understanding of important social, economic, and political topics with this student-centered classroom activity. Let them watch different public service announcements (PSAs) and discuss the content and its format. Then, divide them into groups and guide them through a video-making and editing process.
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Much like speed dating, these types of discussions are more effective than your 20-minute papers. You can try it when you have limited class time and want to engage everyone. Make sure you plan the rotating desks carefully during prep so that the activity progresses smoothly.
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15. Nature Trail
Nature trails are one of the best examples of student activities that you can incorporate into any grade level. To make it more student-centered, ask your students for feedback on their experience and how they’d build their next community trail.
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Use an exhibit and performance-based approach to a student-centered style of teaching. It’s a fun way for students to share their learning in creative ways. It enables you to assess their learning and allows students to present the skills they’ve acquired and think about how they can apply them in real life.
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17. Student-Led Conferences
Task your students with organizing a conference on learner-centered approaches. They will get the opportunity to set goals, self-evaluate, and reflect while developing their organization, leadership, and communication skills. You may create a format to add some structure to the conference and clarify the goals you expect them to achieve.
Another lesson in inquiry-based learning is teaching students how to spot fake news and encourage discussion on fake news. You can help the class by giving directions to their discussions with questions on fake news publishers, deceptive content, and how they would want to address it.
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19. Investigating the Local Environment
This active learning strategy encourages students to observe their surroundings and analyze the safety status of their local environment. You can develop fun, explorative activities that incorporate their core subject areas. You can also continue the activity in the classroom by discussing ways to support local ecosystems.
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Teachers can try introducing inquiry-based field trips to help students better connect with their environment and explain a wide array of science topics at once. A field trip also offers a great opportunity for experiential learning. It’s a fun activity that turns your students into active learning advocates.
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21. Peer Evaluation
Peer evaluation is a great way to teach your students social-emotional learning. You can instruct students on the basics of constructive criticism and guide them on the proper way to deliver feedback. Monitor these evaluations and have the students share their learnings.
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