Luckily, there are also a wide array of tools for teachers at their fingertips to help engage students. Outlined below are commendations and recommendations focusing on the second target area of H.E.A.T./H.E.A.R.T.: Engaging Students
Engaging Students Commendations
As always you want to start off on a positive note so identifying specific strategies that the teacher used is very useful and mention specific students that you noticed that were engaged. Be thinking about passive versus active engagement. Are students just being attentive and well behaved or are they actively engaged in the activity? Are there examples you can provide of students asking questions? Is there a focus type of activity? It is also helpful in a post-conference to ask the teacher to summarize the level of engagement of the students.
Engaging Students Recommendations
One of the simplest things to remind teachers is location, location, location. Where are they in the room? Are they standing in the front of the room continually delivering information to the whole class at once or are they moving around constantly, facilitating learning, asking questions and providing guidance to students? This provides a good measure of the level of engagement in the room. Additionally, a warm-up or focus activity usually at the start of the lesson is an effective strategy for engaging students. These activities are meant to capture the students' interest and attention for what is to come. A short video clip or image is a great way to launch a lesson. Some great examples of focus activities follow:
- Reflective Discovery: Tower of Hanoi and Marble Mania
- Current Events: Scholastic News or any news site
- Staged Scenarios: Edutopia Lesson
- Surveys/Questionnaires : Survey Monkey Create your own!
- Discrepant Events: Examples in Science
Elevating student engagement in the classroom will certainly attribute to student success in 2010!