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K-5 Intervention specialist

I also use backwards design

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I also use backwards design when planning my lessons. This was the strategy taught during my student teaching and it worked well for me. Currently, I am using UDL (Universal Design for Learning). It is a great way to engage all students and remove learning barriers allowing for students to use multiple means of representation.

kindergarten Teacher from Indy

I usually do not post to

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I usually do not post to blogs, but this one is highly interesting. We have been discussing student engagement each week. The six strategies that you noted to keep in mind will definitely promote student engagement. I really like the idea of having arts infused lesson. This not only makes the lesson interesting but it allow creativity and problem solving. Your blog reminded me to state the rationale of the lesson. Why should I know this? I always incorporate "I can statement" but sometimes forget to tell kids why they should know the material.
Thanks

Adult Basic Ed Teacher from DC

I really enjoyed your blog

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I really enjoyed your blog post. I teach Adult Basic Ed and the strategies that you shared I can also use. Adult learners come to the classroom with different experiences and more demands than traditional learners. But they still need to be engaged in learning.

3rd grade teacher

I really love your blog. It

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I really love your blog.
It really helps give me some great ideas to help keep my kids engaged. In an ideal world our students would come to school with plenty of sleep, well fed and motivated to learn. Unfortunately this is not our reality, so we need to come up with great ways to engage our kids.
Thank you for the great strategies!

HS humanities teacher at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia

@Nickie Thanks for your great

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@Nickie Thanks for your great questions. Reading your comment helps me to remember that another aspect of engagement seems to be variety. When different lessons and different units have a range of focus on and emphasis there are more opportunities to draw in learners.

While some students might find immediate inspiration in a lesson that incorporates artistic creation others might find deep engagement through the idea of creating a product for a wider audience. I think it's hard to do all of these things at once but easier to find ways to incorporate them at different times. Your template idea sounds great!

Engaging all learners is

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Engaging all learners is hard. The diversity of skills, backgrounds, and interests in my classroom makes it very challenging to engage every one of my students in every single learning activity. That leads me to wonder, is it even possible to accomplish this lofty goal.

Your blog instantly inspired me to create a new template that I will use when lesson planning. The reminders to tell students why they need to learn the content, allow for inquiry-based discovery, include opportunities for students to express their creativity and present their ideas, and include meaningful technology will help to increase the efficacy of my instruction.

Do you think it's possible to include each of these components in almost every lesson? If not, how often do you think is realistic?

2nd grade teacher from Buckeye, AZ

I think your blog post is a

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I think your blog post is a perfect reminder of the importance of engagement in the classroom. What a different world it would be if we allowed and encouraged inquiry-based learning in every classroom! I always notice that when my students are truly involved in a topic and challenged by it, the lesson flows and, like you with the fan, causes us to become "lost" in our work. I am glad that I encountered your blog. It has reminded me that I am not alone in my desire to create these types of learning tasks and it will serve as a reminder to continue this work in the future!

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