Student Engagement 101: 3 Tips to Keep Your Students Engaged

10 October 2016 / Leave a Comment

You have made it past the first quarter...Your students have fallen into a routine, expectations have been established, and the students are working hard on a daily basis.   The first report card may have just gone home or is ready to be shared at fall conferences.  Students are setting goals for that next quarter.  School life for both students and teachers is in full swing and going well. Then BAM...our daily routines seem ordinary and less engaging.
Work levels decrease, student enthusiasm wanes, and all of those awesome routines take a back seat to dreams of the next weekend or break from school!  Don't let all of that amazing fall work go by the wayside.  Instead, keep your students inspired, motivated, and enthusiastic to learn throughout the course of the school year with these three fun student engagement tips for BIG KIDS!

I hope you have tried Go Noodle with your students, but if not, you are not that late to the party.  I love it for middle of the day brain breaks and it gets my students moving during indoor recess.  Go to the site, sign up for a free account, and get your students moving.  My students love the Kidz Bop and Blazer Fresh guys.  Head there now!  Your students will love the chance to learn some new dance moves and you will love that they get their energy out, so they can focus their attention on learning. Seriously, check it out!

I also love using reader's theater scripts to get my students up and out of their seats.  I love that they are reading fluently while showcasing their comprehension, they love to perform.  WIN-WIN!  Here is a freebie script you can use with your students tomorrow...

As novels are getting completed, don't have those students take another test, give them something that encourages creativity.  I love using chit chat cards because they give students a break from the normal comprehension work.  Students have nothing to write down or record (AND YOU HAVE NOTHING TO GRADE) because they are discussing their thoughts about characters, setting, plot, theme, etc.  Of course you can walk around and take notes on student conversation, but your students will LOVE not having to worry about writing in complete sentences or paragraphs because their main focus is speaking and listening.  Check out these print and go reading tools here:

Since we are 1:1, I also have my students create infographics using Google Draw and create mini-presentations about their reading through Google Presentations.  Stay tuned for a post on how we construct those in the coming months.

This week my students are beyond excited to begin their work reading to their preschool reading buddies.  Through the collaboration with the preschool teachers, we partner up our students and read with them for 15 minutes every Thursday.  Through this weekly meeting, my 4th graders feel proud to model positive behavior and fluent reading while the preschool students feel even more connected to school as they have a "BIG KID" to interact with on consistent basis.  Friendships form and our work together is even more special.

You can even work with your students to develop a clothing, coat, food, or blanket drive.  Local shelters, churches, women's centers, and food pantries could really use as much as they can get during the holidays.  Have your students vote on some sort of drive that they would like to pursue and encourage them to bring in whatever items they can contribute to the cause.  Most of these places are happy to pick up any of the items donated.  Your students will feel empowered that they are able to help others.

Help make this time of year exciting and even more engaging for your students with learning as a priority! Find ways to make the days seem less mundane and more imaginative than the one before. Keep me posted on all of the awesome ways that you work to engage your students to be their best during this year.


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