Blogs on Student Engagement

Blogs on Student EngagementRSS

April Fool's Day has a long and illustrious history of pranks both large and small -- so much so, that sometimes real news stories published on April 1st get written off as fake. For teachers and students, it can be a chance to blow off some steam. There's no denying that sometimes it can go too far -- which probably makes more than a few educators glad when it falls on a weekend!

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Randy TaranMarch 29, 2012

This is part five of the seven-part series from the Project Happiness curriculum. It explores the many facets of happiness and provides practical techniques to generate greater happiness and a more meaningful life -- from the inside. By reclaiming the happiness you were born with, you can influence those around you to tap into the best within themselves, too. Each door can be done alone, or the Seven Doors journey can be done in sequence. You can use this exercise to explore your own relationship to happiness, and/or bring it to your students to help them build a stronger sense of their own happiness. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to post them in the comments section below.

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Jen AnsbachMarch 28, 2012

The students work, huddled in pairs, jotting down ideas in notebooks. The classroom buzzes with collaboration, punctuated by giggles and laughter. Students are excited to be writing as we start our annual celebration of Script Frenzy!

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Elena AguilarMarch 27, 2012

Think about a time when you were really engaged in something, the kind of engagement where you lose track of time and experience feelings of joy and satisfaction. You may have felt acutely focused, physically, mentally, and emotionally absorbed in a task. I've felt this most often while writing, reading, teaching, and coaching -- always signaled by the moment when I notice the clock and, feeling dazed, wonder where the hours have gone.

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Mark PullenMarch 26, 2012

As a third grade teacher who has been fortunate enough to work in a 1:1 classroom for the past three years, I believe that the upper elementary grades are the ideal time to integrate 1:1 technology into the classroom. Because students at that age level often spend extended parts of the school day with one homeroom teacher, integrating technology smoothly across multiple subjects is easier than it would be if students had different teachers for each individual class period.

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Kevin D. WashburnMarch 22, 2012

British archaeologist Mary Leakey described her own learning as being "compelled by curiosity." Curiosity is the name we give to the state of having unanswered questions. And unanswered questions, by their nature, help us maintain a learning mindset. When we realize that we do not know all there is to know about something in which we are interested, we thirst. We pursue. We act as though what we do not know is more important than what we do, as though what we do not possess is worth the chase to own it. How do we help students discover this drive?

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Mark PhillipsMarch 20, 2012

Some of you may remember the scene in The Dead Poets Society in which Robin Williams' Mr. Keating mocks the approach to poetry of Dr. J. Evans Pritchard. In a nutshell, Pritchard has a method for mathematically calculating the measure of a poem's greatness. "If the poem's score for perfection is plotted along the horizontal of a graph, and its importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness." Keating has students rip the pages out of their books, sardonically exclaiming, " . . . we're not laying pipe, we're talking about poetry . . . I like Byron, I give him a 42 . . . "

Some of you may remember the scene in The Dead Poets Society in which Robin Williams' Mr. Keating mocks the approach to poetry of Dr. J. Evans Pritchard. In a nutshell, Pritchard has a method for mathematically calculating the measure of a poem's greatness. "If the poem's score for perfection is plotted along the horizontal of a graph, and its importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness." Keating has students rip the pages out of their books, sardonically exclaiming, " . . . we're not laying pipe, we're talking about poetry . . . I like Byron, I give him a 42 . . . " Read More

Judy Willis MDMarch 14, 2012

This post is part of a series on executive function. Here I will cover the arts and the neuroscience of joyful learning.

Promising Starts

Children's brains need to acquire memory associations that link pleasure with learning. The creative arts can provide this link through associations with the pleasures of creative experiences enjoyed during early childhood.

This post is part of a series on executive function. Here I will cover the arts and the neuroscience of joyful learning.

Promising Starts

Children's brains need to acquire memory associations that link pleasure with learning. The creative arts can provide this link through associations with the pleasures of creative experiences enjoyed during early childhood. Read More

Rebecca AlberMarch 13, 2012

I made a good number of blunders my first year teaching that still make me cringe. I learned though. And it's fair to say, when it comes to managing a classroom, most of what we learn as new teachers is trial by fire. It's also smart to heed the advice of those who have walked -- and stumbled -- before you. If you are struggling with discipline, here are five tips that you can start using right away:

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Mary Beth HertzMarch 7, 2012

One area that I have not written much about on this blog is educational apps. This is mostly due to the fact that my school has one first generation iPad and two iPod Touches for the entire school. We also ban cell phones and other electronic devices, so these are not available for use in the classroom unless the teachers specifically plan for the kids to use them for a lesson or activity, hand them out to the kids and collect them at the end of the lesson. I won't pretend to be an expert on apps in the classroom, which is why I haven't covered their use here.

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