Engagement

Good day! I'm Chase. Engagement is a simple word, but it can be confusing to define. It's one of those words where you know what it is, but you just can't seem to explain it. Well I think I can help you with that.

Keep Them Moving

"Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention."

Movement is a powerful teaching tool, and when we as teachers thoughtfully incorporate physical elements into giving instructions, explanations or questions, we elevate the learning experience. When we ask our students to "Jump and Say", we not only let them memorize the pattern in an easier way, but we also distract them, and change their perception from studying something difficult, into enjoying a game with a friend.

According to Leone Dyson, The use of Total Physical Response (TPR) in the classroom in many ways tries to take advantage of this ready-made learning capacity that everyone already has. Think about it, how do parents teach a one year old child "Close, Open"? How do we teach kids when it's time to eat, or drink? You have used TPR in your life. It wasn't necessarily in class, but it was effective. So there's no reason why it wouldn't work with our students. It allows English Language Learners to engage with, practice, and develop knowledge and understanding without relying on on the four macro skills, speaking, listening, reading and writing. TPR makes good use of the student's visual and motor skills. This is why it works best for kids and beginners.

Having fun while learning is basically the concept in which engagement is based on. Movement isn’t a break from learning; movement is learning, and the opportunities for thoughtful exploration is only limited by your imagination and creativity.

Movement at its finest...

What have you observed from the video?

In which parts of the lesson can you ask your students to move?

  • Intro
  • Song
  • Lead
  • Presentation
  • Jump and Say
  • Do and Say
  • Guess and Say
  • What's Missing?
  • Shining Time
  • Wrap Up

Stick to What They Like

"A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights."

The first step is to know your students interests, and it's all down hill from there. As Rapp & Arndt note in Teaching Everyone, engagement increases any time students are empowered to make their own choices about how they learn materials. Once you have an idea on what your student is passionate about, use those interests as natural motivators to increase engagement. Whether a child is fixated on one thing or has a few areas of intense interest, there are many simple strategies you can use to work those fascinations into your lesson. The result? A happier, more motivated student.

Allow a child to integrate their most-loved characters and possessions into your classroom reading time. Use My Little Pony toys for girls, and an Iron man mask for boys. It would be even better if you can ask the student to grab his or her favorite toy.

Find creative ways to adapt standards-based content to the fun things your students are excited about. If your students fairy tales, then show them pictures of the different pets of Disney princesses.

Complete the summary.

Remember to give your students  to know exactly what they are interested in. Now, make sure to  this information to have consistent engagement with your student. This will ensure a .

What might be an effective strategy for you 6 year old female student?

  • Show a colorful fairy tale book when it is time to read.
  • Wearing a tiara and acting as a princess.
  • Standing up and dancing to rap music.
  • Using the reward system the student chose.
  • Relating the material to real life based on the student's previous stories.
  • Singing the Animal Song as much as 5 times.

It Starts with You

"A teacher affects eternity; he never can never tell where his influence stops."

We've all heard inspirational stories on how teachers affect the lives of people, from helping a student get through tough times, to lives being saved because a teacher paid attention. These are all wonderful stories, but we often forget that teachers affect even the smallest and simplest situations. Your lesson's atmosphere should start from you. If you want a positive, joyful and engaging lesson, then you yourself must feel positive, happy and engaged first.

It can never be the other way around. We are the ones capable of adjusting, that is why the responsibility falls onto us. Being engaging does not always mean being full of energy and having a high pitched voice all the time. It greatly depends on your attitude and emotion towards your lesson, which will natural affect your student and your lesson. 

Try to remember your favorite teacher or professor. Why was he/she your favorite?

Now, try to remember a teacher or professor that you disliked. Why did you dislike him/her?