When planning a lesson, it isn't enough to just know how the lesson will end. Sure, that's important! But, once you know that, you must begin it in a way that will allow you to keep students attention throughout the whole lesson. Like any other human, their likely to fall into distractions. Help them avoid these by beginning well!
Here's some ideas on how to begin lessons in a way that will lead students to be engaged throughout the rest of the lesson:
1. Show something trendy!
One hundred hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute. Use that power! You'll be able to find something on every grade and subject on Youtube. Set up the lesson with a fun video they enjoy, so that they are already engaging in a positive way with what you have to offer in the lesson.
2. Share some good news!
Take a moment before a lesson to share soem good news. Let your students share some, too. This will set up an atmosphere where students are more comfortable, so that they are ready to participate and to hear the ideas of others in a more heart felt way.
3. Combine other disciplines
I hated Math in school. Why? Because math was the most boring, repetitive subject of all. Could I have liked math? Probably, had I been given the change to see math in a more enjoyable way! Combine subjects to give your students this experience. Try measuring the angles of a painting or popular album cover rather than just measuring angles. Creating this web of subjects will help students learn more deeply in all subjects, not just your own.
4. Five minutes of writing (or doodling, or creating, or something...)
Students need to be writing and creating a lot in order to grow and learn. Ask a question, and have them give an answer in written or drawn form, depending on your discipline. Teach a ritual of enjoying writing, and they will begin to do it, too!