Are creative teaching methods helpful to students?

While some teachers still prefer to use the traditional method of lectures and notes in their classrooms, a lot of others have found creative approaches to learning in order to teach their students.
Every student has a different learning method that provides them the most success, and sometimes paper notes just isn’t it.
“I think it’s important to teach kids more creatively to not only be engaging or entertaining, but to also respect and celebrate the various learning styles of our students,” English teacher Sasha Duran-Russell said.
Some of these unique approaches can come in the form of fun games to review.
“I really like it when my teachers put games into the lessons because it makes the lesson more interesting,” senior Cassandra Quach said.
One very well-known game that teachers will frequently use in their classes is Kahoot.
While this trivia-style game helps students to review and learn new information, at the same time it’s a competitive and enjoyable game.
“Kahoot is my favorite game that we play to review for any quiz or test,” Quach said. “It can get a little competitive but that’s the fun of it.”
Another way that teachers will get creative with how they teach is by assigning students projects that require them to employ their creativity.
“In sophomore year we had a government project where we got to make a presidential campaign. It was pretty cool,” Quach said. “One person from each group was the presidential candidate and we made campaign videos to show the class.”
Many teachers will also create interactive lesson plans that are aimed to captivate students to boost their learning.
“When planning lessons and units with Mrs. Herman for IB Lit, or the English 11 team, we ask ourselves if we’re doing all that we can to be unique, entertaining, engaging, and purposeful,” Duran-Russell said. “We have standards and objectives to meet, which are our highest priority, but that doesn’t mean we should take the fun and joy out of learning.”
The English department at AHS does a great job of having interactive lessons.
“I liked when we had a competition where we played different games when we were reading Purple Hibiscus in English 10,” senior Tanya Jain said. “That unit was so fun and I loved how we got to try food from the book at the end of it”
Although having kids play games and eating international foods may sound counterintuitive as a learning technique, these unique teaching methods can be very effective to students.
“I honestly do think I learn better when teachers use creative ways to teach since it makes me use my brain more,” Quach said. “When I’m taking notes all I’m doing is listening and moving my hand.”
Many students struggle to keep focus in class, so switching things up can be helpful.
“If I’m interested in something my brain will focus more, which helps me to understand things better,” Jain said.
These unique learning methods also prove to be helpful to teachers.
“In my own experience as a student before I became a teacher, and even as a teacher when I do professional development activities,” Duran-Russell said. “If an instructor does more than just lecture, and asks us to do something differently or in a way we’re not used to, then I’m more engaged and remember the material much more clearly.”
Incorporating unconventional methods into their lessons requires teachers to do a lot more planning to carry it out, however, teachers will choose to put in the work in order to help their students flourish.