Blogs on Student Engagement

Student Engagement


Get advice from educators on how to build a positive climate for learning, improve student curiosity, and enhance classroom collaboration.

Heather Wolpert-GawronApril 29, 2013

William Shakespeare was the R-rated writer of his time. His plays were potentially more sexy than any E.L. James novel and oft-times more violent than any Quentin Tarantino film. The words of the Bard make up a universal language, one that can unite cultures with their themes and conflicts. And, more importantly to this blogger, William Shakespeare changed my life.

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Mark PhillipsApril 23, 2013

I love all types of music, from John Coltrane playing "My Favorite Things" to Bruce Springsteen shaking the rafters with "Promised Land" to Hilary Hahn's rapturous performance of a Bach Partita. And lately I've been thinking more about the place of music in schools -- all music, but especially classical music.

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Shawn CornallyApril 18, 2013

In light of last week's release of the Next Generation Science Standards1 (NGSS), I'm reminded of a quote from a veteran teacher in my building:

"Do they really think the reason kids aren't proficient is because we don't know what to teach?"

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Todd FinleyApril 16, 2013

To be subtle. To be true. To be original. To be on. • To sing without moving your lips. • To explore the conventions of a thousand genres and befriend a thousand tribes. • To set your love free. • To tweet and be RTed. • To convince someone to give you money. • To get better at doing hard things.

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Dr. Richard CurwinApril 15, 2013

If you have ever lived with another person and come home to find them in a bad mood, how long did it take you to figure it out? Hours? Minutes? Seconds? Most people say "seconds," and some can tell before they even enter the same room. That's how children feel when they enter your classroom. They can tell within a minute or so whether they will like it or not. Research says within the first five minutes, but I think it’s faster.

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Jonathan OlsenApril 10, 2013

At its core, the six-word memoir teaches us to be concise but also introspective. Try describing yourself in six words. Not easy, right? So, for English teachers, the six-word memoir is a great way to get students to focus on getting a point across in as few words as possible. Students have to choose words precisely since they can't waste any. The six-word memoir teaches all of us writers a critical skill: words are valuable and have meaning -- don't waste them.

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Ben JohnsonApril 8, 2013

How do you tell if someone has been reading a book critically? One way is they have dog-eared the pages, underlined key ideas, annotated the margins, highlighted quotable phrases, and filled the book with tabs on pages of interest.

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Elena AguilarApril 8, 2013

Let me start with this: We need poetry. We really do. Poetry promotes literacy, builds community, and fosters emotional resilience. It can cross boundaries that little else can. April is National Poetry Month. Bring some poetry into your hearts, homes, classrooms and schools. Here are five reasons why we need poetry in our schools.

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Matt DavisApril 5, 2013

Putting together this list, I could only think one thing. The Internet would have been a great tool when I was working on my science fair project way back when. There are so many great resources for students, parents, and teachers online, and maybe the project I did as a third grader -- measuring various climates effect on the growth of mold on apples -- might have been helped out a bit with some of these online resources.

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Matt DavisApril 3, 2013

April is the best month to celebrate jazz, a uniquely American art form. First, April is Jazz Appreciation Month. But the celebration doesn't stop there. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival runs from April 6 to May 5, and International Jazz Day is on April 30.

As the school year nears its close, jazz might be the perfect remedy to calm your restless students, and fortunately, there's some wonderful jazz teaching resources online. Here are a few of our favorites:

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