Blogs on Student Engagement

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

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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Karen LeaApril 3, 2013

How many of you would go see a movie or read a book that was all mixed up? Let's face it, we all like a good beginning, middle and end in movies and books. So why not in our lessons?

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Terry HeickApril 3, 2013

Teachers mean well. By teachers, I mean you.

You mean well.

After all, you're here, aren't you -- looking for resources to become a better teacher or administrator? And you're in education to begin with -- that's a selfless and Sisyphean pursuit in itself. You want what's best for the future of mankind, so you decided to teach. Went to college, learned about Vygotsky and Piaget, and here you are on Edutopia, finding out what makes learners tick.

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Ainissa RamirezApril 2, 2013

There is lots of talk about the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) pipeline and all of its leaks. My personal mission is to fill the STEM pipeline with so many children that it bursts. To do this, STEM must be taught in an inspiring way. To keep children engaged, we need to bring passion for learning back into the classroom.

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Rebecca AlberApril 2, 2013

Children are more than one test, once a year, in one sitting. It seems as if many schools and districts have lapsed into a deep state of amnesia of Maslow's hierarchy of needs -- a possible lingering hangover from NCLB. So here's a radical assertion: When assessing and teaching children, the time has more than come for education to embrace the whole child. This approach calls for schools and educators to curtail the deficit model and replace it with the abundance model.

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Matt DavisApril 1, 2013

'Tis National Poetry Month! In April, classrooms around the country will dive into the expressive art of poetry. Shakespeare, Frost, Yeats, the list goes on and on.

There are many great ways to bring poetry into the classroom, and whether it's reading, writing or performing prose, poetry can be a great way to engage students. To help you bring poetry into your classrooms, we've compiled a list of some of the best open resources.

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Maurice EliasMarch 28, 2013

Whether or not your school provides explicit or implicit opportunities to address Passover, Easter, and other spring religious observances, our teens need us to use this time of year to have important conversations about aspirations.

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Ben JohnsonMarch 25, 2013

In Texas, there are 180 days of instruction, taking away 30 days for state testing so that leave 150 days for instruction. Let's say that a teacher gives a curriculum-based test once every two weeks and the district benchmark test three times a year. That is 21 less days of instruction or 129 days. Now, schools typically have three days of teacher in-service. Five special assemblies, two holiday parties, two half days, four emergency drills and three sick days takes away 15 more days bringing it to 111 days.

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