Blogs on Student Engagement

Blogs on Student EngagementRSS
David CutlerJanuary 14, 2014

It's high time for more English and history teachers to set aside their literary purism, and to embrace superhero comics as effective and legitimate teaching and learning tools.

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Dr. Richard CurwinJanuary 13, 2014

A sense of wonder and the need to predict -- these are two of the qualities that enrich all of us. We wonder about big things (is there life on other planets?), smaller things (if I write to a friend that I've had a falling out with, will I get an answer?), and smaller yet (what will happen if I marinate my chicken in beer?). Not only is it fun to predict, but prediction is also a strong part of being safe (if the pot recently boiled, I should probably grab it by the insulated handle). The lure of prediction can be easily seen in fantasy football, which has almost replaced the actual games in energy and excitement for many fans.

These two qualities, wonder and prediction, can form the basis of making lessons motivating and full of learning.

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Joshua BlockJanuary 7, 2014

Learning is a messy process -- and authentic, project-based learning immerses us in unique parts of this mess. There are days when my check-ins with students reveal that many young people are lost or unclear about how to proceed with the early stages of a project.

"What topic are you going to focus on?" I ask Keith as I kneel down next him.

"I can’t decide. I’m stuck," he mumbles, leaning forward and staring straight into his computer screen as he talks.

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Matt LevinsonJanuary 2, 2014

As part of the Marin Speaker Series in San Rafael, California, legendary Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was asked what advice he would give a middle school math student. His answer: learn programming and get off the page in the textbook, don't let school hold you back, and learn at your own pace with tools like Khan Academy. In other words, break free from the linear path of math instruction that starts with pre-algebra and culminates with calculus, as The New York Times Editorial Board highlights in its piece "Who Says Math Has To Be Boring?"

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Beth HollandDecember 27, 2013

It's my fault. I'll admit it. During my eight years in the classroom, I ruined at least two amazing literary works by assigning horrifically dull reading projects. My only hope is that those middle school students, whose enthusiasm I quashed, found another way to become passionate about literature.

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Ben JohnsonDecember 23, 2013

The more I think about how we have been looking at education, I think we have it all wrong. Up until now, all of our emphasis has been on creating great teachers when we should have been emphasizing creating great students.

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I can't believe it's already the end of the year again and time for all the wrap-ups and best-ofs you can stomach. Among my favorites each year are Google's get-the-Kleenex Zeitgeist and YouTube's Rewind -- which is like the most meta-parody-mashup video you can imagine. I had a blast putting together the Best Education Parodies of 2012, so I thought I'd do it again for 2013. I hope this list gives you a few belly laughs, not too many obnoxious ear-worms, and a sprinkling of good ideas for fun student projects in the new year.

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Maurice EliasDecember 17, 2013

"Whether at the start of the school year, the re-start of school after the New Year, or at any time when we want to strengthen our students' engagement in school and learning, it is valuable to have tools at our disposal that help us effectively reach students."

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Nicholas ProvenzanoDecember 13, 2013

Students want to be engaged in class. They really do -- but sometimes other things get in the way of their natural instincts. A few changes to how a teacher runs a classroom can make a huge impact on how engaged students will be in that classroom. It's an issue that every teacher has to face, but it can be addressed in some very simple ways. Here are just a few of my strategies for dealing with low levels of student engagement. They've made a major difference in my classes over the years.

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Frances PeacockDecember 12, 2013

I'm going to close my grade book now. I'm taking it to the top of a snowy hill. I'll sit upon it and go sliding down the hill. It's the only good use for that book, now that December is here.

Christmas is coming, and my students can't think about schoolwork. They're too busy wiggling in their seats, tapping out Christmas carols with their toes, giving each other reindeer names, and Googling this year's "Santa's Bad List."

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