Question Detail

What are your most successful student engagement tools

Oct 5, 2013 1:24pm

We are a 7-13 school and as staff we are carrying out action research into effective teaching and learning. One of teh strands is we are looking at is methods to engage more students in their own learning, especially in ensuring that there is a greater depth in their thinking. We are investigating at a range of methods, from engaging lesson starters, to more collaborative group work. In the manner of Hattie we would like to see what methods have the greatest effect in the achievement of teh learning outcomes for a range of subjects.

  • Arts / English Language Arts / Foreign Language / Math / Physical Education / Science / Social Studies / Technology
  • 9-12
  • Collaboration / Engagement / English Language Learners / Planning


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    • Oct 9, 2013 12:39pm

      Thanks for the two ideas presented so far of Webb's: already using elements of Bloom's and am looking at greater use of rubrics so this suits both of those strands.

      I also like the Universal Design for Learning in a similar way because it also splits into 3 strands so will porbably map quite well with Webb's and Bloom's levels of thinking.

      The follow on though for engagement is that to get to those levels of thinking some classroom activities are better than others at moving students from the knowledge and remembering facts stage through to the applying of their knowledge and synthesizing new links across their learning, into evaluating their level of success.

      For instance a simple card sort can move from a memory of categories for the cards through to the creation of new cards and creating new groups that would not have been present in the first place. Too often as teachers we probably stop short and think that once they have sorted the cards into groups then the learning outcome has been achieved. Some activities would lead students into the realm of higher level thinking much more effectively than others.

      • Oct 11, 2013 8:59am

        Card sorts? Three strands? I am not so sure that anything like that is required, regardless of what those actually mean. My most successful student engagement tools are lesson plans that I created that relate to the core while also offering students flexibility, fun, interest, applicability to things outside the classroom, and personal fulfillment. They are the same plans I have been using for years, in all sets of classroom settings.

        • Oct 30, 2013 7:46pm

          Whole Brain Teaching. It's amazing. There's a whole website full of free resources, webinars, etc....

          • Jun 9, 2014 8:00pm

            Consider using Case Studies. These truly engage students and encourage inquiry and "putting the pieces together." They also work very well when students work collaboratively on cases and are required to justify and explain their conclusions. Good cases also leave room for argumentation and discussion.

            • Aug 27, 2014 8:42am

              Student engagement is hard for me in my sixth period class. People want to get out of their seats and mess with each other. I need help in this class. They don’t listen because they are very talkative and any video or everything that I have tried, they complain about or make fun of it. They are mostly athletes so they need high energy projects, but I’m nervous because they are so high energy that I’m not sure if they can handle group work. I am a 9-12 art teacher. In the beginning of the year, I asked who thought they were NOT artists and about 85 % raised their hands. I have been working with lines with them and showing them that they are artists. I’ve been trying to figure out things that will look really cool in the end with easy lines, so I think our next project will be an op pop art line cube project. I heard a few students say “Wow! I am an artist!” This is my first year teaching and so I’m definitely going to check out these links, if anyone can post anything else for student engagement- especially at this time in their lives where everything is “dumb” or “stupid” or “whatever”..