As winter is in full swing, we are at that point in the academic year when spring break is around the corner, and accountability testing is at our door step. With the implementation of new assessments across the county, schools and districts are still trying to work through the new requirements. From new technology to new testing windows, it is common for daily routines to be disrupted.
How can you support your teachers and staff with maintaining continuity in student engagement learning through scheduling disruptions?
Below are three simple reminders and multiple resources we found for you to support your teachers and staff with keeping students engagement through scheduling disruptions.
1. Engage Students Through Technology
Classroom Management in the Tech-Equipped Classroom, by Andrew Marcinek (2014)Successful technology integration includes always having a non-tech Plan B. Staying with what works instead of trend-hopping, and minimizing the elements beyond your control.
Cardboard Box Tools, by Beth Holland (2014)Three digital learning tools, much like an empty cardboard box full of open-ended possibilities, offer young minds the free play of imagination. Another great read from Holland, “The Backchannel: Giving Students a Voice in the Blended Mobile Classroom,” introduces the backchannel as a strategy for keeping students engaged.
4 Technologies to Help Students Find Their Voice in Your Classroom, by Terry Heick (2014). Heick suggests helping students find their voice in the classroom through technology. Whether using a medium they’re already comfortable with, or one you believe will make them more articulate.
Gamifying Student Engagement, by Matthew Farber (2013)Social studies teacher and ed tech adjunct Farber outlines the basics of gamification, and suggests how they can be used to engage students in a game-centric world. For more about game-based learning, be sure to check out Edutopia’s Game-Based Learning page.
Projects to Engage Middle School Readers, by Beth Holland (2013)Holland turns to apps that can engage middle school readers in a deeper understanding of narrative elements, character study and author intent.
2. Engage Students Through Projects
6 Rules to Break for Better, Deeper Learning Outcomes, by Monica Martinez (2014)Incorporate deeper learning as you empower students to seek knowledge from many sources, use tools relevant to their lives, and embrace the lessons of failure.
Personalized PBL: Student-Designed Learning, by Andrew Miller (2014)Project-based learning may be the best vehicle for personalized learning as teachers move beyond “course-based” approaches and open the way for student-designed curriculum.
Six Engaging End-of-Year Projects, by Rebecca Alber (2012)Alber suggests six projects to engage students the last few weeks of school.
For Engaging Projects, Connect Learning to Students’ Lives, by Suzie Boss (2012)In this post, Boss looks at different ways to implement meaningful and relevant projects in class to engage students. And if you need some inspiration, Boss offers some great ideas for student-centered coursework in “Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects.“
Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement, by Tristan de Frondeville (2009)De Frondeville expains how to use project-based learning and associated teaching strategies to improve your everyday classroom experience.
3. Engage Students Through Social and Emotional Learning
8 Play-Based Strategies to Engage Youth in Learning, by Susan Ragsdale (2014)Play is something that comes naturally to young people, so why not enhance their learning opportunities by engaging them to play with purpose?
Resources on Engaging Student Voices, by Ashley Cronin (2014)Explore resources related to recognizing and valuing student knowledge, input, and expertise and building student-centered learning environments in this Edutopia roundup.
Prioritizing Student Voices, by Joshua Block (2014)In order to find value in their learning, students need to find their voices. Teachers can encourage student participation by enabling rather than enforcing it. Also check out this other great post from Block, “Making School About Connection.“
Teaching Empathy: Turning a Lesson Plan into a Life Skill, by Joe Hirsch (2014)Hirsch, teacher leader and curriculum developer, describes the jigsaw method of cooperative learning and how it naturally builds empathy and increases student engagement as students rely on each other to share pieces of a bigger picture.
The Key of Connection, by Lori Desautels (2014)Desautels draws on the tradition of the birth song from Namibia’s Himba tribe for a heartfelt examination of how we can engage students by encouraging them to reflect on and share their core identities.
You’ve Got to Reach Before You Teach, by Maurice Elias (2013)Elias shares strategies and activities to help educators effectively reach students. For more SEL posts from Elias, check out “Engaged Teaching: “Do Now” Activities for Your Lessons,” which includes simple tips for implementing SEL, and “Engaging Students with Social and Emotional Learning,” an overview of ways to engage students in SEL.
Emotional Student Engagement: Should Teachers Care About Student Apathy? by Jim Moulton (2008)
How are you and your leadership team supporting your teachers to engage students through scheduling disruptions?
How are your teachers maintaining continuity in student learning during disruptions to the school day?
Greg is a former Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and has nearly twenty years of classroom, school-based and district-level leadership experience in five different public school systems. He has a passion for teaching and learning and a commitment to supporting school-level and system-level leaders with integrated and innovative resources. Not only is Greg an accomplished leader and speaker, he’s also an avid tinkerer in his workshop where he enjoys making projects around his historic home for his lovely wife and two Labrador retrievers. You can catch Greg’s insights right here each and every Thursday and contact him directly at: [email protected]