Student Engagement

Student Engagement

  • Great Ideas for When Children are Done Early

    Great Ideas for When Children are Done Early

    Children need time to do independent work, but they won’t all need to same amount of time to complete it. Experienced teachers know that it’s important to have planned activities for when children are finished with their work AND to teach them the procedures to use when they are done.
    Here is an example of procedures:

    Double-check your work. Read More

  • Pay Attention! How to Help Children Focus in the Classroom

    Pay Attention! How to Help Children Focus in the Classroom

    My student teachers have just submitted behavioral support plans for children with challenging behavior in their classrooms. One of the things I noticed was the prevalence of children who are having trouble paying attention to instruction. Read More

  • Are You Losing Effectiveness with Too Many Whole Group Activities?

    Are You Losing Effectiveness with Too Many Whole Group Activities?

              Yolanda was trying to listen to Mrs. Green as she went over the math lesson. The other 21 first graders were at the desks, sitting in groups of four or five. Yolanda had her back toward the board so she turned in her chair to try to see what Mrs. Green was writing. Then she looked down at the workbook on her desk. Read More

  • Use Group Meetings to Problem-Solve

    Use Group Meetings to Problem-Solve

    Do you problems that might best be solved by involving the whole class? Perhaps children are saying unkind things, using materials inappropriately, tattling, or rejecting certain children? Consider bringing the issues to a class meeting. Children at all ages are more likely to understand and adhere to rules, procedures and decisions that they have had a part in creating. Read More

  • Do You Make These 5 Common Mistakes During Group Time?

    Do You Make These 5 Common Mistakes During Group Time?

    Are you struggling to keep the children engaged, especially during whole group activities? You might be making some of the following mistakes: 

    Don’t talk over the children. Be sure you use your quiet signal to get all the children’s attention before your start. Read More

  • Get Children to Pay Attention and Achieve More – by Using Physical Activity

    Get Children to Pay Attention and Achieve More – by Using Physical Activity

           The children in most of the primary grade classes I observe spend hours –yes, hours– at their desks doing seatwork, or sitting on the carpet for teacher-directed lessons. I have often thought that most adults could not sit for this long and still be able to concentrate. Read More

  • Ooh, Ooh, Call on Me! 5 Alternatives to Hand Raising

    Ooh, Ooh, Call on Me! 5 Alternatives to Hand Raising

    Do you need some ideas to jazz up your teaching and get the children more engaged after the long winter doldrums have set in? Here are 5 effective ways to make your group times more interesting and engaging?
    #1. Turn and Talk
    This strategy works very well for language arts lessons. Read More

  • The Physical Environment: Group Time

    The Physical Environment: Group Time

              I just finished teaching a graduate course in which the students each visited six different early childhood classrooms. When they gave reports to the class about what was interesting and what they learned from each of the classrooms, the physical environment was the most frequently mentioned – in both positive and negative ways. Read More

  • Paying Attention at Group Time/Circle Time

    Paying Attention at Group Time/Circle Time

                A common challenge for new teachers is trying to keep a whole group of young children engaged during circle time or other group times on the carpet. This is challenging because young children have a high need to move around and they are just learning how to control their bodies and their attention. Read More