Blogs on Student Engagement

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.

Dr. Richard CurwinDecember 26, 2012

After a morning Discipline With Dignity training, the high school principal and I walked to the cafeteria to eat lunch. He said, "I love your session, but it's not practical." I responded with my view that it was practical because it works -- but it’s just not easy.

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Bill SmootDecember 21, 2012

When I explained the assignment, the classroom erupted in cries and groans. Students in my sophomore “The Individual and Society” course were to spend 48 hours, from 7:00 p.m. Friday to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, without electronic media. The course examines the relationship between the individual and society in three modes: politics, economics, and culture. This was an assignment during the third mode, and we were exploring how electronic media shape an individual’s relation to the larger culture.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronDecember 13, 2012

Edutopia is pleased to premiere the first blog in a new series designed to showcase compelling examples of how students are developing 21st century skills through a deeper-level of learning. Through this blog series, we hope to increase awareness and encourage replication of successful models.

Chris Anderson, curator of TED talks
Chris Anderson, TED curator. (Photo credit: Pierre Omidyar via Wikimedia Commons)


As many of my readers know, this year I have been dedicated to using the 21st Century four Cs. The four Cs are a rubric of sorts that help align lessons to more reality-based learning and assessing.

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Melanie ManuelDecember 5, 2012

Too often people assume that young people and their experiences should exist separate from the world of adults. Youth often internalize these unspoken beliefs and begin to view their own ideas and their own realities as "less than." We believe that one way to shift this dynamic is to make powerful, artistic and insightful student work visible to the public. During the past school year we worked with our students to design and install a public art project near our school in Center City Philadelphia that showcases youth identity and young people's social insights.

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Suzie BossNovember 29, 2012

Although most students will be watching Inauguration Day festivities from afar on January 21, they can get into the spirit of the day by putting pen to paper, or voice to video, and offering some second-term advice for their newly reelected president.

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Todd FinleyNovember 27, 2012

Edward Charles Francis Publius de Bono is a bona fide genius. The author, inventor, Rhodes scholar and Nobel prize-nominated economist graduated from college at age 15. In the field of education and business, he is famous for originating the term lateral thinking. In his spare time, he also wrote Six Thinking Hats and several other books on creativity. Of all his contributions to the field of education, there is one critical thinking method that I use in classes more than any other: the PMI, a brainstorming model built on the categories of plus, minus and interesting.

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Ainissa RamirezNovember 16, 2012

I was an unusual little girl. Since I was four, I wanted to be a scientist. I got the idea from a television show called 3-2-1 Contact.

From my experience, I learned that exposure to fun science is the best pathway to encourage children to learn. For this reason, I created a fun science show for kids at Yale called Science Saturdays. For the Saturdays of April and October, children converge on New Haven, Connecticut, where they are exposed to the Three D's: Donuts, Demonstrations, and Dynamic Lectures.

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Bob LenzNovember 15, 2012

In my post, How an Ocean's Journey Inspires One School, I highlighted the worldwide voyage of the Hokule'a, a replica of an ancient double-hulled voyaging canoe and encouraged teachers and students to follow the journey. I also promised periodic updates and resources. Here is the first update and link to resources for students and teachers across the world:

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Rebecca AlberNovember 8, 2012

Updated 10/2013

When we think about all the different ways we check for understanding in the classroom, a go-to strategy for many teachers has always been the exit slip or exit ticket. For this strategy, students write at the conclusion of learning, sometimes on a half-sheet of paper with sentence starters provided. It's then collected by the teacher. Why a favorite? Being that they come at the end of a lesson, unit, or segment of study, exit slips give teachers a snapshot of the overall student learning.

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Matt DavisOctober 30, 2012

The power of nature was felt throughout the Northeast last night, as devastating Hurricane Sandy hammered the East Coast. For students and teachers looking to help out, the Huffington Post published this list of ways you can lend a hand.

Now, as students ask about the cause and effect of the storm -- here are a couple of resources to help guide the classroom discussion. We'll start with a special hurricane episode of Sesame Street for younger students.

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