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Early Childhood

Engagement for ECSE Students

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Brittany Hamilton Brittany Hamilton 965 Points

Engagement is a huge issue in my classroom. If anything my students will hold engagement for maybe five minutes or less before they run off or is interested in something else. Myself and assistants have come together to figure out different methods of engaging our students. For instance, m&m chocolates, chips, and cereal are some methods we use to draw students to their stations. It works for the most part but I would like some advice on how to keep my classroom engaged. 

Hannah Salaiz Hannah Salaiz 1430 Points


Chloe's suggestions are wonderful! It is so important to use students's interests to guide instruction and slowly build their stamina. Students will maintain focus and engagement in an activity/lesson that explores topics they enjoy. I would also suggest that you provide choices for students and connect to the real world in addition to students' interests. 

Hannah Salaiz

Lorena Guerra Lorena Guerra 150 Points

Hi Brittany!

I really enjoyed reading your post on how you keep your students engaged during class time. I find it interesting on how you give your students snacks to help them stay participated on a certain activity.

Have you ever tried putting incentives for students so they can be actively participating? A couple below are some of my favorites growing up that teachers would do to me & I think they might help you.

  • give 'custom tickets' to the first 5 students who complete their work and have the tickets say 'free ice cream cone'
  • bring up pizza parties on Fridays
  • depending if your school mandates uniforms, maybe you can speak to your principal and bring up 'Jean Friday' so students can wear jeans
  • Have a mini debate on a certian subject in school
  • Play background music while students work
  • Introduce students to working in pairs


Some methods may work and some may not but try them out!

Goodluck to you



Chloe Zierke Chloe Zierke 735 Points

Hello Brittany, 

Engagement is hard to keep with young students. Through my time in preschool classrooms in the past, I understand how hard it is to keep young students engaged in activities for long periods of time. My best advice would be to constantly change what you have the students doing and slowly build up their stamina when it comes to attention. Based upon your estimate of their current time spent engaged, I would only plan activities that last five minutes or less. After these five minutes, I would recommend moving on to something different so they stay interested. A good way to keep this fast-paced environment moving without too much chaos would be to have hands-on centers. Students would rotate between centers every few minutes keeping them engaged in a variety of activities. As time goes on, you can increase time spent on one activity to increase stamina. This should be done in a slow process. 

Another way to keep students engaged is to play off their interests. If a student shows interest in a topic or has a question, investigate these ideas. If they are interested, they are more likely to stay engaged longer.

I hope these ideas help, 

Chloe Zierke



Bob Sweeney Bob Sweeney 10 Points

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