This video shows a variety of strategies in action for challenging students to learn and do more than they think they can. Featured teachers encourage students to persist in the face of challenge, embrace learning struggles, explain their thinking, and push themselves and each other toward deeper learning. Educators also demonstrate the importance of building relationships, promoting active engagement, and supporting students in taking ownership of their learning.
This book chapter explains how teaching with essential questions can challenge students to think deeply about big ideas that are core to the disciplines and captivate their interest by making learning meaningful. This informative introduction assists teachers in crafting questions to guide inquiry and learning that help students make connections among ideas and understand the relevance, value, and depth of topics being studied.
The teacher featured in this video highlights the relevance of what he is teaching, connects ideas, and engages students actively in learning. He designs tasks that invite students to synthesize and apply their understanding in real-world contexts. He anticipates challenges, monitors student work to check for understanding, and identifies common mistakes, all of which inform his teaching.
This guide provides an excellent list of books to include in classroom libraries that celebrate a variety of cultures and portray them with complexity and accuracy. The guide also offers insightful recommendations for selecting books that depict various cultures authentically and respectfully, avoid stereotypes, and reflect a diversity of cultural experiences.
This brief article offers guidance to teachers interested in planning worthwhile student projects that culminate in high-quality work products and result in deep understanding. Specifically, it describes considerations for designing projects that engage students in producing work that shows complexity, craftsmanship, and authenticity.
This interactive collection of lesson plans and videos offers a variety of examples of how technology can help to engage students in learning that is active, collaborative, constructive, authentic, and goal-directed. These sample lessons are organized through a matrix, which describes ways in which technology can support student engagement, and teachers can navigate to relevant examples at appropriate grade levels.
This book chapter describes an approach to designing curriculum, instruction, and assessments in which teachers plan backwards from what they want students to understand and be able to do and engage students actively in meaningful learning experiences involving inquiry and application of skills and knowledge in authentic contexts. This overview highlights the value of student input, regular checks for understanding, and performance assessments guided by clear criteria for quality work.
This teacher's blog post offers a variety of examples of how he and his colleagues have incorporated student choice into the curriculum. They describe a range of projects, including parameters set by each teacher as well as opportunities for students to have a voice in what they learn and how they demonstrate their learning. Each one illustrates the power of choice to engage students actively in learning important skills and concepts and producing quality work.
This video and accompanying article describe and demonstrate how teachers design and facilitate learning experiences that capture students' interest and engage them in thinking deeply through projects and investigations that address complex, real-world problems. They offer tips for incorporating problem-based learning into teaching, such as inviting students to contribute their questions, ideas, and input and identifying community problems that provide authentic contexts for learning.
This teacher blog post articulates strategies for personalizing learning, building student ownership, and engaging students in meaningful work. The author argues that students produce higher quality work when they are able to make choices and incorporate their interests, and he offers several examples from his own classroom.
In this blog post, a teacher suggests strategies for engaging students by offering them opportunities to provide input and make choices about what they learn and how they communicate their learning. Recommendations include surveys to gauge student understanding as well as interest, invitations to choose topics of study and project options, and activities that help students make connections between what they are learning and the world outside of school.
The teacher featured in this video illustrates how he sparks and maintains interest and cultivates curiosity and inquiry through designing a project that engages students actively, creatively, and collaboratively in learning. He clarifies key concepts by highlighting their relevance and their connections to students' experiences. He invites students to deepen their understanding through teaching others and provides clear expectations and constructive feedback to help them produce quality work.
In this video, a teacher illustrates how she prepares students for participation in small-group discussions, helping them to document their ideas and supporting evidence in advance. She asks questions that highlight the relevance of important concepts, encourages students to ask and investigate their own questions, and requires them to explain their thinking. She engages students in clarifying expectations for small group discussions and in assessing how well they meet those expectations.
These maps offer many illustrative examples of learning tasks that address 21st century skills along with other curriculum standards, providing a variety of ideas for using technology to engage students in learning. The maps suggest a multitude of ways to incorporate digital tools and resources into instruction that help to build student ownership, cultivate inquiry, promote discussion and collaboration, connect ideas, deepen understanding, and engage students in producing high quality work.
This resource describes instructional practices and strategies that foster engaging and challenging learning experiences for all students. These practices include promoting discussion, collaboration, and higher order thinking, as well as clarifying expectations and highlighting relevance. Recommendations address the value of incorporating student perspectives and the importance of considering classroom diversity along a variety of dimensions when designing instruction.
This classroom activity, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, engages students in broadening and deepening their perspectives by inviting them to literally and figuratively take a stand on a debatable issue, explain their positions, and consider other viewpoints. The routine describes several steps to ensure smooth implementation, including establishing a student contract to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment.
In this video, several teachers describe and demonstrate how they personalize learning and facilitate active engagement in their classrooms. The video and accompanying article offer useful strategies for designing engaging projects that cultivate curiosity and inquiry, promote interaction, provide choice as well as helpful structure and guidance, and offer opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
This insightful article provides an excellent overview of key elements of intrinsic motivation and explains what teachers can do to cultivate student engagement and agency. It includes strategies for designing learning experiences that promote autonomy, relatedness, competence, and relevance, which empower students to take ownership of their learning within and beyond the classroom. The author shares examples from his own ELL classroom, including engaging uses of digital technology.
This article offers general suggestions for building positive relationships with and among students and specific strategies for putting them into practice in the classroom. The list includes recommendations related to clarifying expectations, getting to know students individually, and holding their attention during instruction. .
This article describes how to use the writing process to help students engage in meaningful writing tasks, deepen their thinking, persist in their efforts, and produce quality work. It explains the value of clarifying expectations and structuring opportunities for students to check their own work, engage in peer review, confer with teachers, and revise their work based on feedback. These strategies apply to writing tasks or creative projects across the curriculum at any level.
This well-organized guide to implementing principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) explains why it's important to personalize learning experiences and offers a variety of practical classroom strategies, examples, and resources. For example, providing choices and inviting input, highlighting relevance and value, and minimizing distractions can all contribute to captivating students' interest, sustaining their attention, and addressing their specific learning needs.
This article discusses strategies used by game designers for engaging learners that can be effectively applied in the design of classroom instruction. It distills what makes game-based learning fun and how to transfer those design principles to a variety of classroom learning experiences. For example, building in opportunities for choice, feedback, and creativity can help to engage students and challenge them to persist in their learning.
This blog post describes seven essentials of pacing to keep students engaged and events running smoothly in the classroom. These teaching tips include a variety of easy-to-implement strategies for keeping instruction moving at pace that maximizes learning time and keeps students focused and engaged.
This article provides examples of projects that engage students with their communities in meaningful ways.The students featured drive their own learning and are invested in creating quality products. The projects described demonstrate the benefits of designing student learning experiences that result in applications of skills and concepts to solve relevant, real-world problems and create products with value beyond school walls.
This video features a kindergarten learning expedition about birds that captivates students' interest, sparks their curiosity, links their inquiries directly to the world outside of school, and actively engages them in producing quality work that they share with the community. Students act as citizen scientists, researchers, and artists, and they are guided by clear expectations for success as they draft, revise, and ultimately present their work.
This video explains how Bloom's taxonomy can be used as a framework for considering how digital tools can support thinking at various levels, promote 21st century skills, and actively engage students in learning. The Common Sense Media website also includes digital citizenship curriculum materials as well as reviews of digital tools and media that include descriptions, suggested classroom applications, and insights about educational value.