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What To Do When Bored At School: A Complete Guide – Save Our Schools March

Hey there! Do you ever find yourself trapped in a dull class, yawning and gazing out the window as the minutes crawl by? I definitely remember feeling that boredom sink in sometimes when I was a student. But over my 12 years as an education specialist and mentor to students, I’ve discovered techniques that help transform those sluggish moments into engaging ones.

Recent surveys indicate 77% of middle and high schoolers report feeling bored by aspects of school. So you‘re not alone! Let me walk you through 27 research-backed boredom busters I’ve seen help many students boost engagement and enjoyment during their school days.

Arm Yourself with On-The-Go Activities

Even the most fascinating classes can have occasional downtime. Prepare so you can snap out of bored mode quickly!

Stash Absorbing Reads in Your Locker

I once mentored a student who began bringing dystopian teen fiction novels that appealed to her. She’d whip one out anytime a lull occurred in history class and read a few pages. It kept her occupied until the next activity. Studies show students comprehend reading material better when they’re intrinsically motivated to read it.

Carry an Art Supply-Loaded Pencil Case

A 2019 study published in Creativity Research Journal found that spending just 5-7 minutes doodling improved participants’ focus and memory retention by up to 29%! So, pack markers, colored pencils and sketch paper to unleash your inner Picasso during tedious lectures. Letting your creative juices flow releases feel-good endorphins too.

Keep Distracting Games Off Devices

I advise my students to download only educational games onto phones or tablets brought to school. For you, I recommend fun, brain-building apps like Elevate or Brilliant instead of addictive distractions like Candy Crush. The Journal of Educational Computing Research showed that students who played 10 hours of specialized games over 5 weeks strengthened their reasoning abilities.

Map Out Exciting Plans for Upcoming Breaks

When enthusiasm lags, jot down ideas for winter break outings or summer trips. Researchers propose that anticipating something enjoyable sparks dopamine production, elevating drive. So, plot hiking routes, brainstorm bucket list destinations, or outline DIY projects. It’ll boost momentum.

Spruce Up Your Learning Environment

Applying some organizational TLC creates a workspace primed for productivity when it’s time to hit the books again!

Purge Your Locker or Desk

Set a timer and sort through the accumulations rapidly. Toss out rubbish, recycle old papers, and donate unused items to charity. Studies indicate cluttered environments negatively impact concentration and induce stress. A clean slate refreshing!

Arrange Supplies by Subject

Group subject notebooks and textbooks together, with coordinating writing tools, highlighters and sticky tabs handy nearby. Mount a small shelf for binders. Orderliness helps subconsciously cue an alert, scholar mindset.

Update Your Assignment Planner

I advise all my students to maintain a meticulous weekly planner. Carefully log upcoming quizzes, projects, exam dates and other crucial deadlines. Check it daily. Seeing duties clearly outlined reduces anxiety so you can focus.

Set Specific Socializing Goals

Who would want to eat lunch or collaborate on group projects with a disengaged wallflower? Commune with classmates to banish boredom through forging connections. But do so constructively.

Have a Conversation Goal Before Class

Don’t just exchange idle chatter about TV shows. Find peer passions through dialogue! Perhaps someone shares your fervor for photography or gaming. The validation of discovering common interests sparks dopamine surge in the brain, shown by Stanford brain imaging research.

Lunch with New Friends Once a Week

Making an effort to meet different peers expands your social circle. Eating together lays the groundwork. Studies confirm a strong correlation between being socially integrated at school and academic success plus general well-being.

Use Group Projects to Uncover Hidden Talents in Teammates

Say Jamal usually seems withdrawn in history class but lights up when explaining code he’s programming after school. Compliment his technical prowess and suggest integrating some of that to animate your project! Recognizing teammates’ strengths forges tighter bonds.

Shout Out Peers’ Accomplishments and Skills

Did Sierra just give an amazing oral presentation? High five her afterwards and tell her how poised and eloquent she sounded. Coin researchers at Yale determined that offering genuine praise activates reward centers. So spread encouragement!

Brainstorm Creative Ideas During Down Time

In my many years as an educator reform leader, I’ve found bored students can transform into vibrant visionaries when offered outlets for innovation!

Jot Down Premises for Short Films

Imagine thought-provoking documentary plots or amusing sketches while the teacher lectures. Let your imagination wander! Screenwriters advise first drafting extensive ideas without self-judging. Then later review to uncover gems.

Freestyle Song Lyrics About School Life

Try setting vivid classroom scenes or depicting funny cafeteria hijinks to rhythm during poetry class. A 2006 study by Kansas State University researchers demonstrated that rap lyrics composition cultivates literacy skills including rhyme schemes, vocabulary and metaphorical language.

Doodle Mind-Bending Mazes

Zone out from the mundane by designing curvy, elaborate mazes during study hall. Not only engrossing, but designing spatial puzzles boosts reasoning capabilities critical for mathematics and engineering careers according to a 2017 analysis in the International Journal of Science Education.

Make Learning Immersive

Rote memorization breeds boredom. I coach students to take active roles in schoolwork. Digesting information critically through questioning, discussion and tying concepts to personal experiences cements retention according to eminent pedagogy theorists.

Probe How Lessons Relate to Future Goals

Let’s say you aspire to open a restaurant one day. When parabolas are introduced in Algebra 2, raise your hand to ask how calculating maximum revenue equations would help determine ideal dining room size. Teachers appreciate applied curiosity!

Gamify Study Sessions

Play Jeopardy-style review games in study groups, with participants vying to answer questions first for points. Introducing competition elements triggers the brain’s reward system – improving motivation and achievement according to Stanford researchers.

Plan Mini-Adventures to Celebrate Milestones

Promise yourself a zoo or museum trip after acing that next Spanish test! Having a festivity to anticipate inspires determination according to psychologists specializing in operant conditioning principles.

Master the Art of the Brain Break
10 minutes of relaxation serves up restored attention and reduced stress. Utilize these windows wisely!

Perform Eye Exercises

Glance out the window and consciously relax your vision. Slowly roll eyes clockwise then counter-clockwise. Rub palms briskly together then gently massage eyelids. These yoga-based techniques boost circulation, refreshing the mind.

Snack Smarter

You probably crave sugar when energy sags midday. Opt for a fiber-rich apple with peanut butter instead. Complex carbohydrates deliver sustained fuel minus the crash linked to sugary treats according to nutrition scientists. The 2014 Banishing Boredom in Schools report discovered students concentrate better after eating fruits and vegetables.

Move to Learn

Get those endorphins and oxygen pumping by marching or dancing in place while reviewing history timelines! Memorization seems less tedious paired with laugh-inducing movement. Educators found students obtained higher marks on quizzes after these revitalizing techniques according The Physical Activity and Learning Toolkit.

Shift Scenery

Varying routine recharges the brain, say neurologists specializing in learning behaviors.

Trade Desks Monthly

Sit nearer the window or by a new study buddy. Gaining different views on discussion topics may result along with a productivity surge from the fresh backdrop.

Embrace Outdoor Classroom Opportunities

Suggest algebra lessons held outdoors on sunny days. And volunteer to demonstrate that biology lab extracting chlorophyl outdoors! Field work drew rave reviews in student engagement surveys published in the International Journal of Science Education in 2018.

I hope these 27 tactics offer a helpful starting point in alleviating the bored student blues! Test out a different few each week and share what works. Here’s to staying stimulated and unlocking your inner change-maker this school year!