Submitted by Rebecca De Leon on Wed, 10/09/2019 - 12:30
<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >5 Ways to Cultivate Student Engagement</span>

5 Ways to Cultivate Student Engagement

Let's face it. There are a plethora of variables to consider during lesson planning. In a perfect world, each lesson would engage the entire classroom and encourage learning for ALL students. In reality, sometimes cultivating engagement feels like it takes some magical spell. Finding new ways to engage students can take each student's growth to the next level and create a positive learning environment in the classroom. In this post, we'll provide 5 ways to cultivate engagement, which you can use next time you are lesson planning.

Why is Student Engagement Important?

People remember experiences. Creating moments that are memorable for students can help them recall new learning. Unforgettable experiences are the reason the musical Hamilton sparked a burst of popular interest in early American history and how AncestryDNA or 23andme caused widespread curiosity about DNA genetics testing, helping people make "boring old biology" real in their own life! Engaging students in experiences will help them not only recall the information but see how it applies to their lives.

5 Ways to Cultivate Student Engagement

1. Create learning that is active and interactive for students at multiple levels of understanding and skills.

No classroom on this planet has 100% of students at the same skill level or learn the same way, so why create a lesson that is one size fits all. When lesson planning, develop activities that engage auditory learners just as much as visual and kinesthetic learners. Staying clear of handouts, passive, teacher-driven lessons, and including exercises where students use all 5 senses will increase their engagement.

2. Intrinsically motivate student learning.

Know your students! Know what internally motivates them and tap into it by allowing students to make it their own. Intrinsic motivation is not about how you motivate students but how your lesson and activities tap into a student's self, internal motivation.

3. Create experiences that require inquiry, curiosity, and exploration.

Think outside the box and the four walls of the classroom. Set up your lessons to build on their curiosity with cliffhangers or teasers about what is to come. It will not only get students excited for the next class but get their thinking juices flowing as they try to predict what's to come!

Learning sometimes occurs because someone insists that you recognize the excellence in yourself.4. Recognize student achievement and effort.

Sometimes the smallest recognition can engage students. A simple, "I like that idea!" and other forms of positive feedback can go a long way. The great educator, Rita Pierson, said, "Learning sometimes occurs because someone insists that you recognize the excellence in yourself."

5. Allow students to choose certain learning activities to demonstrate their learning proficiency.

Give students different options for projects with different materials, approaches, and other ways that they can authentically demonstrate their comprehension. Students are more likely to take ownership of their learning when they are allowed to pick how they get to present what they learned.

While these 5 ways to cultivate student engagement are no magic spell, considering them while planning your lessons can genuinely take your classroom to the next level. If you remember nothing else, create memorable experiences for your students! Let your activities draw them in and knock down the four walls that put your activities in a box.

Now, go out there and create memorable moments of learning!


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Student Engagement