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Professional Learning

Engaging Students in Learning

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Alison Wright Alison Thalmann 16435 Points

Teachers recently shared with me a couple of questions that they would like help answering in order to better support students who display challenging behaviors in class. What resources are you using to engage students in the learning process? Are there strategies that you can share for students who have a history of being disengaged? How do we stop the cycle of learned helplessness? Have you found effective strategies to motivate students in your classrooms? Looking for resources and dialogue on how to improve learning for all students. Thank you for contributing your questions. Look forward to hearing from you!

Huda Adnan Huda Adnan 820 Points

I've personally found that STEMscopes is a great website to use! The 5E's are already there for you and it just takes a little bit of creativity to tweak it up to meet the needs of your students. I also think that BrainPOP does a great job of engaging students in the lesson. Making sure to do an activity that inspires questioning and thinking is also a great way to engage students.

Y-La Nguyen Y-La Nguyen 600 Points

From what I have observed and learned from my student teaching, students are engaged when there are hands on activities. The hands on activities let the students investigate ideas and it's more fun than giving worksheets. They retain the information better when they are involved in the learning process. Incorporating art into the lessons can also help engage the students. They like to draw and create things so including that in a lesson will also get them excited!

Alison Wright Alison Thalmann 16435 Points

[color=#454545][size=2][font=Helvetica]Students with “learned helplessness” lack confidence in their abilities. One resource that might be helpful shares how teachers can employ growth-mindset statements to promote optimism and academic engagement. [/font][/size][/color] [color=#e4af09][size=2][font=Helvetica][url=][/url][/font][/size][/color] [color=#454545][size=2][font=Helvetica]Intervention Central provides free resources to help struggling learners. You can check out their website for [b]Teacher Behavioral Strategies: A Menu[/b][/font][/size][/color] [color=#e4af09][size=2][font=Helvetica][url=][b][/b][/url][/font][/size][/color] [color=#454545][size=2][font=Helvetica]Science can help teach students important life skills. In the article, “Science Sampler: Getting into the habit of persistence,” the author, Megan Mohl, shares some methods and activities to help her students to persist...helping them to develop habits of mind - behaviors commonly exhibited by successful people when the solution to a problem is not immediately evident (Costa and Kallick 1992). Similar to inspiring students not to give up on a problem, teachers need to be inspired not to give up on students who display challenging behaviors. Often times, the challenging behaviors you see in the classroom are from students trying to communicate something more. [/font][/size][/color] [color=#454545][size=2][font=Helvetica]Every kid needs a champion[/font][/size][/color] [color=#454545][size=2][font=Helvetica][/font][/size][/color] [color=#454545][size=2][font=Helvetica]During this TED Talk, Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, provides some powerful messages on the importance of relationships for students and their learning. She shares, “James Comer says that no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship. George Washington Carver says all learning is understanding relationships…How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think, and who had a champion? Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them,who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be."[/font][/size][/color]

Alison Wright Alison Thalmann 16435 Points

I am hopeful that the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will not only help improve science education, but has the potential to transform education for all students. For some resources on NGSS, please check out the following web sites.

NGSS Videos

Web Seminars

Jennifer Hicks Jennifer Hicks 680 Points

Thank you for posting these two links.  There is such a wealth of information that can be found on them.  I especillay like the second like with the web seminars.  The topics that are listed under cross cutting, science and engineering concepts and disciplinary core ideas are great.  During this time of quarintine, I will be using some of these as my professional development.

Ron Drabkin Ron Drabkin 60 Points

We (at OpenEd, a subsidiary of ACT), recently added alignment to Next Generation Science Standards to many high quality videos including those from parts of the US Government such as NASA and Smithsonian. (The US Dept of Ed was kind enough to mention it in their press release here.)
They are available free on the, you can drill down to your specific NGSS standard should you like:

We are happy to receive feedback on them!

Alexis Rodriguez Alexis Rodriguez 1350 Points

I have found that giving these students a role in the lesson as a helper helps sometimes. The busier they are, the less time they have for disruptive behavior. Find out what his/her interests are and see if you can incorporate them into your lesson. I hope this helps!

Anne Hargis Anne Hargis 90 Points


This is a great question. There are many reasons as to ways students could be not engaged during class time and it is our job as teachers to make sure they get the best learning they can! One way to help the students engage in the learning process is MOVEMENT. Allowing the students to just simply walk around the room, dance to a song, or have chairs that allow them to wiggle will help them become more focused. I also would suggest having the utter most enthusiasm in the classroom when you are teaching a subject that might not be the most interesting to younger grades. Being able to implement music and creativity within each lesson will also help the students attention as well. A great way to start the day is with music or sharing a fun story they had from the night before, letting them know you care about them. Letting the students know you care about them just by simply asking about their day will guide them to become more engaged as well. Lastly, relate the subject/lesson to them. When teaching a STEM lesson relate it to the world around you, it will bring much interest.

Thank you, 

Anne Hargis

Pre service Teacher

Wartburg College 



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