Sunday, November 8, 2015

Teacher Wisdom: Student Engagement



I am linking up with some great teachers to share some teacher wisdom. Thank you to Sarah at More Than A Worksheet for this great series of posts. Check her out to see all of the Teacher Wisdom tips from this school year.

This month's topic is student engagement. This is the time of year that we need tips on this topic. To me the time between Halloween and Christmas is a whirl wind in the classroom. There is so much to pack into that time but everyone knows the holidays and breaks are just around the corner. With that anticipation student behavior and engagement are not at its best. I try to engage students in a variety of ways during this busy season.

Something Old:

In order to create good engagement you need to have engaging lessons. I work hard to create engaging lessons. Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers are good starting points to look for good and engaging lessons. I wrote a post at the end of last school year about great ideas to engage students.

Something New:

One fun way I have motivated students during November is with a Terrific Turkey award (I have done perfect pumpkin and super spider in October too.) The terrific turkey can be done a couple of ways and recognizes good behavior and motivates the students to have it!

One way to do Terrific Turkey is to give a small prize daily. You put a small prize in a gift bag and pass the bag around from student to student as they display good behavior. Whichever student has it at the end of the day gets the prize.  I have done it this way a few times but I started the next idea this year and I like it better.

The second way to do Terrific Turkey is to give students that are displaying good behavior a slip of paper.(I used orange for fall.) The students write their names on the paper. Then I draw the names of several students at the end of the month. These students get a small prize for their good behavior.

Something Borrowed:

My school celebrates Christmas. I know that a lot of schools can't. However the primary grades at my school celebrate with Elf on A Shelf. (I did this too when I was teaching 1st grade.) The elf "watches" for good behavior all day and then gives small presents at the end of the day if the class does a good job that day. The presents are all donated by parents. The students love their elf!

Something True:

I will say it again and again but Whole Brain Teaching changed my classroom. It is a great and engaging management system. The kids buy in and it leaves the teacher happy (that's rule number 5.) If you are looking at ways to improve your management and engagement you can search Whole Brain Teaching on YouTube to see it in action or stop by the FREE website to get more information.

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