For students to learn, they have to be paying attention. When a student or group of students are ‘bored’ in class, minds wandering, looking out the windows, we are seeing the symptom, but what is the root cause? Assuming the material is appropriately challenging, then we might next consider the pace of delivery. If the lesson seems to be moving too slow, then we need to consider lesson pacing.
Here are some articles on what to consider in order to keep the pace snappy.
Chapter 6 of Jack Richards’ Reflective Teaching in Second Language Classrooms has some nice questions related to pace which educators can ask themselves and perhaps use as a starting point for an action research project on lesson pacing.
HERE is a great resource from Harvard Graduate School of Education for tertiary educators in considering pacing and general classroom management techniques.
One last tip on pacing is to time your lesson stages, especially when students are doing group or pair work. If you have a projector in the classroom, its super easy to quickly board up an online timer. If not, you can simply give warnings: “one minute left!”