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.

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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Matt DavisOctober 25, 2012

The World Series kicked off last night in San Francisco, and during the next week, it might be on the your mind or the mind of some of your students. We know here at Edutopia, the series between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers has certainly made its way into some of our watercooler conversations.

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Paul GigliottiOctober 17, 2012

The election year is a great time for social studies education; presidential and congressional campaigns are such a large part of the news and daily conversations that they have sparked the curiosity of even the youngest students. A student response system combined with an interactive whiteboard can bring lessons to life by giving students a hands-on "voter" experience.

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José VilsonOctober 15, 2012

The last month has seen a plethora of discussions about the necessity for teaching math beyond what most jobs consider necessary. Much of it started from Andrew Hacker's now infamous article on whether math is necessary, to which a bunch of us replied with equal fervor (Dan Willingham's and Sherman Dorn's pieces are great rejoinders). What we all seem to agree on is that, indeed, the way we teach math matters. Lots. Having a positive environment for kids where they feel like they can actually do math without feeling like they're complete failures matters a lot.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronOctober 15, 2012

I'm a literature addict. And as a teacher, my mission is to spread this addiction to my own students. But I have a greater, more sinister, goal than that this year. I want to spread it to my entire school. And to do that, I have to allow literature to leak out of my classroom and into my school at large.

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Ben JohnsonOctober 9, 2012

Last week our school celebrated homecoming football week. All week long, students, teachers and community members participated in pep rallies, parades, and school decoration, while the football teams unceasingly practiced. The much-anticipated homecoming game was well attended, even in pouring rain. For the fans, their excitement was as palpable as their soggy shoes and wet clothing. The real exciting things, however, were occurring on the muddy field below. Both teams were engaged in a physical and mental contest, aided by their coaches, but carried out entirely by the athletes.

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Larry FerlazzoOctober 4, 2012
"A picture is worth a thousand words."
-- Unknown

Though the origin of this popular adage is unclear, one thing is clear: using photos with English-Language Learners (ELLs) can be enormously effective in helping them learn far more than a thousand words -- and how to use them.

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Rebecca AlberOctober 3, 2012

Do you have more students than ever this year? With serious education budget cuts in most states, we are seeing class size reduction programs as a thing of the past in many schools. Teachers semi-new to this profession may be experiencing class sizes above 30 for the first time. In a recent conversation with such a teacher, as we discussed her new situation, she resignedly said, “Well, there goes group work.”

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