There are many terms in education that teachers interpret differently. Student engagement is absolutely one of those terms. Teachers all have different opinions on what student engagement looks like. Some teachers think that if students are all quietly working, then they are engaged. Others believe students need to be talking and having their hands on the content to be engaged.
Want to know my opinion? Student engagement occurs when 100% of the students are involved in the lesson. That’s right, 100%! Like when students use a placemat consensus to discuss questions about a text! All students need access to discussing, writing, listening, and process the information. If I’m asking questions in a call and response type way, only those select few students had the chance to become engaged in the content. What about the other 80% of students? Do they get a chance to engage? So how do we make that happen without going crazy planning extravagant lessons every day?
Check out these student engagement strategies that work and are easy and ready to implement into your classroom!
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Student Engagement Strategy: Sticky Note Challenge
We all love sticky notes! This student engagement strategy is everything I know teachers are looking for and it involves 100% of our students throughout the entire lesson. Here’s how it works:
The teacher creates a specific number of questions and gives each student a post it note for each question. Teacher writes each question, one at a time, on large poster paper and students write their answer to each question on their post it note. Students place their post its on each of the large papers. Then teacher places students into groups and gives each group one of the poster papers. The groups are to go through each of the notes on the poster and take off incorrect answers. All correct post it notes then go back to the original owners. The student(s) with the most post it notes back, win!
Student Engagement Strategy: Musical Chairs
Kids love to be kids no matter how old they get. Add music and movement into the day and you’ve got it made! Musical chairs is the perfect engagement strategy that allows for 100% of your students focusing and interacting with the content. Here’s how it works:
The teacher moves chairs to form a circle and places a question/problem on each chair. Students stand behind the chairs and rotate around during music. When the music stops, the students sit and answer the question on the paper and fold the paper back to hide their answer. This continues until there are about 5-6 answers on each paper. Then the final round, the students check the work on that seat. If all answers are correct, that student receives a prize!
Student Engagement Strategy: Interactive Gallery Walk
One of the best ways to let students be engaged is to let it happen naturally. Let them talk, discuss, ask questions and find and learn what they can from the content. Using interactive gallery walks do all of this for us! Here’s how they work:
The teacher places large poster papers around the room, each with a piece of content (math problems that are solved, short texts, questions that are already answered, etc.) Students are given a marker and asked to walk around the room, looking at all of the pieces in the gallery. Students are encouraged to write questions, comments, and thoughts about the things that they notice and observe from the walk, onto the poster paper.
Student engagement doesn’t have to be a huge fuss. I know we all don’t have time to transform our room into amazing scenes or create elaborate lessons that take hours to plan. We already have enough on our plates. Finding student engagement strategies like the ones above can truly make a huge impact on your day to day instruction! Want more strategies like this? I’ve compiled over 60 of the best engagement strategies and added them all to these ready to print mini cards! They are perfect to have in your lesson plan binder or right by your desk when planning your lessons!
I hope you were able to find some awesome student engagement strategies to run and try in your classroom! Want to pin this post to read later? Just use the image below!