Student Engagement/Motivation


ARTICLES - General

12 reasons students just aren't that into you by Jennifer Davis Bowman (ASCD). "Why do students become disengaged with their classrooms, curriculum, or ultimately their teacher?" asks ASCD EDge community member Jennifer Davis Bowman. In a recent blog post, Davis shares a list of top teacher turn-offs that her students compiled. She admits that she's guilty of telling stories more than she teaches. 

10 ways to create engaging school by Laura Devaney (eSchool News). Young students often enter school enthusiastic and ready to learn, but that excitement can wane as they progress through school, Robert Dillon, a district technology and innovation director, said during a recent webinar. He shared 10 ways to engage and empower students to help sustain their enthusiasm.

Connecting with our students by Naphtali Hoff (ASCD). Tips to help teachers connect with students. Teachers can take steps to create meaningful connections with students, Naphtali Hoff, an executive coach and consultant, writes in this blog post. Hoff's tips include setting a positive tone, praising students and letting them know they are missed when absent. 

Five Keys To Building A Culture Of Active Learning by Tony Frontier (ASCD). "Independent learners will be motivated to confront relevant problems, engage in challenging tasks, persevere long enough to overcome obstacles, and have ownership of goals for new learning," writes ASCD Professional Learning Services Faculty member Tony Frontier. In a recent Inservice post, Frontier shares five areas that educators must address in order to foster independent learners. 

How to Be Purposeful About Audience by Suzie Boss (ASCD). At the end of a project, students typically share what they have learned or discovered with an audience. Depending on the project, students might publish their work online, make presentations at a public event, or pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. In this ASCD Express article, author and project-based learning expert Suzie Boss shares tips to connect students with an authentic audience. 

It's in the Cards" and Other Movement Activities by Linnea Lyding (ASCD). "As a special education teacher, I continued to create active strategies for vocabulary, math, social studies, and other subjects," writes educator Linnea Lyding. In her recent Education Update article, Lyding shares how teachers can energize student learning with fun classroom-based movement activities. 

Keeping Curious Minds Curious: Are You Motivating Your Students? by Ryan Ochocki (ASCD). "We as educators often see engaged students as the ones who are being quiet, giving us full eye contact, and waving those eager hands to answer our questions," writes teacher Ryan Ochocki in this Inservice post. He shares that sometimes a teacher can tell which students are prepared to do well just by observing them in the classroom, but proposes an important question to answer: How do we keep students engaged and keep their minds curious?

March Madness: What Teachers Can Learn From Great Coaches by Kevin Parr (The Whole Child)

Reaching every student by Cheryl Mizerny (SmartBlog). Content, classroom climate and the teacher-student relationship are three areas where educators can engage all students, educator Cheryl Mizerny writes. In this blog post, Mizerny shares tips based on practices often used by master teachers. 

Realigning Your Teaching With Your Values by Justin Minkel (Education Week). Don't let rewards and punishments overtake a love for learning as the primary source of student motivation, Justin Minkel writes. 

Student Motivation: Age-Old Problem Gets New Attention (The search is on for ways to motivate students) by Sarah D. Sparks (Education Week)

Three Ways Teachers Can Make School Suck Less by Justin Minkel (Ed Week). As a baseline, minimum requirement: Make sure school doesn’t suck. Plenty of factors make school miserable for kids, at least some of the time, and most of those factors are outside our control.

How to Motivate Students to Work Harder by Thomas Toch and Susan Headden (The Atlantic). Research suggests that helping students overcome psychological barriers to learning can motivate them to tackle more challenging assignments. This article examines three studies on student motivation. One study showed that seventh-graders did a better job revising essays after receiving an encouraging note with feedback. 

The journey of a chair by Jim Dillon (SmartBlog)

Motivated to Learn: A Conversation with Daniel Pink by Amy M. Azzam. In this interview with Educational Leadership, business thinker and author Daniel Pink shares his insights on how schools can create more optimal conditions for learning -- and how they can dial up students' own motivation to learn. He highlights the three elements of true motivation -- autonomy, mastery and purpose -- and shares his thoughts on traditional reward systems and more. 

Motivating Young Adolescents by Rick Wormeli (ASCD). "Adolescents aren't always interested in the topics adults consider important for them to learn," writes education consultant Rick Wormeli. In his September Educational Leadership article, Wormeli lists the top de-motivators of 10- to 15-year-olds and lays out six mindsets and practices that lead to eager students. 

Motivation Is Messy by Rick Wormeli (ASCD). "Motivation is messy, and usually not based on a single element, though a strong relationship with at least one adult mentor can make a big difference for a young adolescent," writes education consultant Rick Wormeli. In a recent Inservice post, Wormeli reflects on the importance of thinking carefully about what will motivate all students. 

Teach like it’s summertime all year! by Jim Dillon (SmartBlog).

Ten Ways To Engage All Students In The Classroom by Tisha Shipley (ASCD). "Each day as the students leave and you sit and think about the day, do you reflect on how you can make your lessons more engaging or hands-on?" asks Tisha Shipley in a new blog on Inservice. Shipley shares that she not only reflects on her own teaching each day, but explains that she also observes colleagues and asks for new ideas. In this post, she goes through 10 different ways to engage students that worked for her.

What Makes an ‘Extreme Learner’? by Katrina Shwartz (MindShift). Schools can support "extreme learners" -- self-directed students with an insatiable hunger for education -- by rewarding exploration and skipping repetitive, dull lessons. "The main takeaway for teachers is, give students more flexibility and choice over what they're working on," said Milton Chen, a fellow at the Institute for the Future. 




How to Create Communities of Trust With Your Students by Rosalie Arndt (CTQ). The best teachers are those who earn the trust of their students. Rosalie Arndt takes a look at three different teaching personalities and how teachers can transform themselves into "The Real Deal."

Road Tested / Calling Mulligan! Two Rules for Dynamic Discourse by Lisa Arter (ASCD). "Like many teachers trying to support sustained and respectful academic discourse, I instituted the 'rules,'" writes assistant professor Lisa Arter. In her recent Education Update article, Arter shares how you can ramp up your classroom conversations with an activity that requires everyone to pay attention and a "rule" that offers students a much-needed do-over. 

Speaking Volumes by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey (ASCD). "Let's change the balance of talk in the classroom so that students speak more and teachers speak less. And when we do, there will be lots to talk about," write professors and ASCD authors Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey. In their November Educational Leadership article, Fisher and Frey explain why productive student talk is essential to teaching and learning. They also provide indicators and strategies educators can use for creating an environment where students do the talking. 




Engaging our students to the end by Carol Hunter (SmartBlog)




Can kids learn more when they exercise during lessons? by Lisa Rapaport (Reuters). Study links exercise-based instruction to better learning in children. A small Dutch study in Pediatrics showed children had significantly higher scores in math speed and spelling tests after 22 weeks of exercise-based instruction three times a week over two school years, compared with those given traditional lessons. The findings, based on 500 children in second and third grade in the Netherlands, revealed that exercise may be more beneficial to learning that involved memorization, repetition and practice of lessons from previous classes.




Using flipped learning to boost engagement by Laura Devaney. Flipped instruction has the ability to shift learning to an inquiry-based model, flipped-learning leaders Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams said during a recent ASCD webinar. This article shares the pair's "Four Ts," which are designed to help teachers integrate flipped instruction in their own classrooms. 




Don't Crush Reading Motivation by Barbara Wheatley (Education Week). Teachers should embrace the idea of students choosing their own books, even if they are too hard, Barbara C. Wheatley says. 

Drumming Up Excitement for Books: 10 Tips for Reading Teachers by Ryan Thomas (ASCD Edge). "Why don't our students love to read? Well, use your imagination and pretend you're a student. You've only been reading for seven to twelve years -- and most of what you've read has been assigned and tested," writes ASCD EDge community member Ryan Thomas. In a recent blog post, Thomas shares 10 simple ways teachers can get their students excited about reading. 




Distracted by Rewards: Moving Beyond Carrots and Sticks by Justin Minkel (Education Week). When students are motivated by star charts and glitter pencils instead of a love of knowledge, writes Justin Minkel, they stop paying attention to what they're supposed to be learning. 




Hope, Meaning, And Challenge: The Building Blocks Of Motivation by Whole Child Podcast. On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, you'll take a look at how teachers can spark inner motivation in all students -- from those who are disengaged from school to those who strive to succeed -- and create meaningful connections that get students excited about learning. 




Teaching the Quiet Child in the Classroom by Sherry Armstrong (EdWeek). Fearing she is doing them a disservice, English teacher Sherry Armstrong looks for ways encourage her shy students without threatening them. 




Teaching resilience: Reflection by Kevin D. Washburn (SmartBlog)




7 Tips to Eliminate the "I don't know" Response by Jennifer Davis Bowman (ASCD Edge)

16 Conversation Starters with Struggling Students by Jennifer Davis Bowman (ASCD). After having a conversation with her four-year-old son, ASCD Edge community member Jennifer Davis Bowman was reminded that there are different forms of communication required when we're struggling to wrap our minds around a new concept. With that in mind, Bowman compiled a list of reminders that can help in moving students beyond their daily comprehension struggles. 

Building A Perspective Of Failure by Kevin Parr (ASCD Inservice)

Do More for Students by Doing Less for Students by David Ginsburg (Education Week). Teachers should let students struggle with academic tasks before intervening, coach David Ginsburg says, while also understanding the line between struggling and suffering.

How to Reach Reluctant Learners by Nancy Barile (Education Week Teacher)

The Myth Of Student Engagement by Beth Morrow (ASCD Inservice)

The Top 5 Struggling Student Myths by Jennifer Davis Bowman  (ASCD Edge)

This technology can boost student retention (Teacher and tech expert says retention comes easiest with visual understanding) by Meris Stansbury (eCampus News)




4 Free Web Tools to Boost Student Engagement by Nicolás Pino James (Edutopia)

The Myths of Technology Series – “Technology equals engagement” by George Couros (Connected Principals)

A New Approach to Designing Educational Technology (Is the biggest learning disability an emotional one?) by Chris Berdik (Slate). What motivates students to learn? The top challenge for Universal Design for Learning initiatives in schools is engaging otherwise disinterested students in school, suggests David Rose, a neuropsychologist and co-founder of the Center for Applied Special Technology. Rose and his team are focused on using technology and other approaches to create an environment that will "turn on that drive" to learn for students. 




All the Time They Need by Ellin Oliver Keene (ASCD). "If we want students to think at high levels, we're going to have to give them time. And we're going to have to get comfortable with silence," writes author Ellin Oliver Keene. In her November Educational Leadership article, Keene shares strategies you can use to hold your tongue and to get your students to think deeply. 




Silent Signals in the Math Classroom (Teaching Channel)

Improving Participation with Talk Moves  (Teaching Channel)



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