Ever look out at your students and see glazed eyes and slouching bodies?
Of course you have. We all have.
That feeling it leaves in the pit of your stomach is just awful. It makes you feel like a terrible teacher.
At this point, you have two options:
-Push through your lessons and hope they magically become more interested
-Think of a creative way to excite and motivate your students
Because you’re reading this post, I take it that you’ve chosen the latter.
Well, I’m so excited to share with you a system I started with my class that has completely boosted student engagement!
In this post I’ll be sharing:
- Why student engagement is important
- How I’m boosting student engagement
- The philosophy behind it
- My results
- How can you modify this system for your class
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that I will earn a commission if you use my link to purchase products mentioned in this post (at no extra cost to you).
Why is student engagement important?
Student engagement helps students remember and understand more of what they’re learning.
How am I boosting student engagement?
I set up a system where my class can earn stars throughout the day.
I explained that I’m looking for 3 simple things during lessons:
- Learning bodies
- Eyes on the board
- Respond when I signal (or when prompted)
If I see the whole class doing those three things, they earn a star.
At the end of the day, we convert those stars into marbles for our class marble jar (more on that system in a later post).
Additionally, I also created a poster to help us keep track of our highest record of stars earned in a day.
Every morning, we review our highest record and make it our goal to beat it.
What’s the philosophy behind it?
Several things are happening that make this class management system work.
- Clear expectations are being set – we review the 3 things I’m looking for throughout the day.
- Clear consequences have been explained and are carried out – based on those expectations, they can either earn or lose a stars, it’s very clear cut.
- Consistency – I hold them to it and expect participation from everyone.
- Amp it up – I make each star a BIG deal. Sometimes I feel like a fitness trainer. You got this! That was awesome! I know you can do better!
- Reflection – we reflect at the end of lessons, at the end of the day, and again when we come back the next day.
- Set goals – by having our goal posted on the board, they have something to work towards.
You may have recognized most of these things from my other post called How to rock at classroom management -10 tips you can start using today.
Since starting this system last week, we’ve already beaten our highest record twice!
Although it can still get better, I have definitely seen a great increase in my overall student engagement.
I’ve used similar systems in the past. But I think the key change that has really boosted engagement is having a goal to beat our highest record.
How can you modify this system for your class?
There are many different ways you can change it. However, in establishing a classroom management system, it’s important to consider what will work for your students and what you can manage.
Here are some ideas that you could try that follow the same basic concept:
- Beat the teacher
- Marble jar (I’m using a marble jar in conjunction with this method)
- Class points
- If you have multiple periods, you could do a challenge between your classes
To recap, here are some things to remember as you work to boost student engagement:
- Set up a system that works for you and your students
- Set clear expectations and reward them immediately and consistently
- Amp it up! Be their overly enthusiastic fitness trainer!
- Set goals and reflect with your students
So what steps are you going to take to boost student engagement in your classroom? Leave a note in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!
Work smarter, not harder
Stay up to date with my latest blog posts by subscribing.
Words to Live By
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105