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.

Rebecca AlberJuly 23, 2013

Summer is the time to look over those unit plans. As you reflect and rethink lessons, here's something to consider: How can you turn direct instruction into experiences where students instead discover?

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Marc AndersonJuly 18, 2013

I wanted to talk to someone. But who? It's moments like this, when you need someone the most, that your world seems smallest. -- Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Let's face it -- everyone has something to say some time or another. ESL learners are no different. As a teacher of either online English or classroom ESL instruction, it is important to make your students feel comfortable speaking. They may feel embarrassed about their inability to speak English fluently. Or perhaps they are just shy. As an instructor, you need to ask yourself how you are impacting the learning environment:

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Elena AguilarJuly 17, 2013

"Why?" he asks, over and over, as I attempt to narrate a series of historical events. I'm not prepared for these questions and I'm surprised, and a little disappointed in myself, that I was caught off guard.

But who has adequate answers to the "Why?" questions when you're trying to teach children about the horrors that have been perpetrated on innocent humans? Who is able to sufficiently explain war?

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Gregory WebsterJuly 5, 2013

When teaching a new unit, teachers know that their strategy can either "sizzle" and get the class excited, or "fizzle" and lose their attention. As a first-year teacher, I saw a good number of my lessons fizzle out. But one that really sizzled was my unit on poetry. When we started, my fourth grade students hated the idea of poetry. However, by the end of the unit, my neglected poetry section became the most popular part of my class library. This metamorphosis is all thanks to the careful use of selected authors and scaffolded instruction.

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Ben JohnsonJune 28, 2013

In a conversation on LinkedIn, one person asked, "What are the characteristics of an effective teacher?" I read quite a few excellent remarks that describe what such a teacher does to be effective. I couldn't help thinking about some of my best teachers.

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Matt DavisJune 27, 2013

Nothing says summer fun quite like the Fourth of July, especially for all those youngsters who’ve probably been counting the days. How is your family celebrating this year? A barbecue with friends? Homemade ice cream? How about a chemistry assignment? That’s right. Along with the parades, popsicles and firework displays are some engaging lessons for inquisitive minds.

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Todd FinleyJune 24, 2013

Whole class discussions are, after lecture, the second most frequently used teaching strategy, one mandated by the Common Core State Standards because of its many rewards: increased perspective-taking, understanding, empathy, and higher-order thinking, among others. These benefits, however, do not manifest without a skillful and knowledgeable facilitator.

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Ben JohnsonJune 17, 2013

Student debate has the capacity to both deeply engage the students in relevant learning, and to encourage students to be deep thinkers. Debate is more than simply arguing. It has structure and rules that are designed to keep both sides calm.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronJune 14, 2013

In my family, Father's Day was never about letting Dad sleep in and then getting him grill dinner later. After all, Dad tended to be an early riser, and our BBQ sat untouched for years until there were some son-in-laws in the picture. But while he may have not been much for a grill, my dad was, and is, a writer. For which I am grateful. Dad has given me much, not the least of which is a love of the written word and a passion for those who are brave enough to reflect and honest enough to learn from their reflections. In other words, my father is an educator.

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Barbara DianisJune 11, 2013

Summer is upon us once again, and parents are beginning to plan for their children's days without a school schedule. Dreams of days filled with family, friends, freedom and laughter are in students' heads as they say goodbye to another school year. However, a nonacademic summer can cause students at every grade level to digress two to three months in their academic skills. Half an hour to an hour set aside daily can help students close learning gaps and perform at higher levels during the upcoming school year. Summer is an ideal time for students of all ages to strengthen their academic skills while still having plenty of time left over for summer activities.

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