70 Ways to Keep Students EngagedBy Teachers.Net Community
Pedagogy of Engagement
Compiled by Debbie Ann from Teachers.Net chatboard posts
“Who is doing the thinking in your classroom?”
1. Employ random invitations to respond.
2. Be sure that kids know what WILL BE expected of them
after the lesson. “When we’re done, you’re going to be ….”
3. Interesting, appealing lessons with time for partner talk.
4. Use colored cubes in a baggie for each student. The
color coded cubes are held up to indicate response to the
5. Create a colored card system where ALL students show a
specific color to indicate an answer.
6. The teacher has a generic color key on the board where
the answers are indicated: use A,B,C,D and a document camera
to display question and answer choices.
7. Use student work as demo or model for work.
8. Ask the question first, allow a short think time, then
call the student’s name that you want to answer the question.
9. Tailor the question to the student.
10. Have students jot down two test questions about what you
11.Turn to your partner and give a summary of the last ten
minutes of our lesson.
12. As you read, write a one-sentence summary for each page.
13. Give me at least one example from your own experience
when this will apply.
14. Let’s stop here. Write a prediction of what you think
will happen next.
15. Compare this to yesterday’s lesson. How are they alike?
16. Why did this happen? Generate possibilities with your team.
17. Form a mental image of what you think that must have
looked like. Draw a picture of what you think it must have
18. Make a simple outline of what you just heard me say.
19. I’ll give you an outline of the major topics. You fill
it in as we go.
20. Work with another person and make a mind map of how
these ideas relate to one another.
21. Give me that definition back in different words.
22. Give me an example from your own life.
23. Debate this issue with your neighbor. One is against the
issue; the other is for it.
24. Read the summary of the chapter. Write 3 questions you
think might appear on a test of this unit.
25. Read the “Main Idea Focus” at the beginning of the
chapter. Turn each objective into a question.
26. Read the chapter questions at the end of this chapter.
List three main points that you predict you will learn after
reading the chapter.
27.Select one graphic from the chapter. Write a
three-sentence explanation describing what you learned from
28.Write down the key learning from today’s lesson and one
question you still have.
29. Write down one question you still have. See if your
neighbor can answer it.
30. Take 3 minutes and jot down everything you know about
31. Jot down one way the learning can help you in the future.
32. Write (or tell your neighbor) the rule for……..
33.Everyone at their desk solve the problem on scratch
paper. Be ready to tell if anyone at the board gets the
wrong answer….AND be ready to do it correctly!
34.Be ready to explain the relationship between these two
concepts. E.g. *Thomas Paine – colonies *Main idea – details
*Lead – textstructure *Expository – narrative *Addition –
35.Check your understanding. On a scale of 1-5 where do you
find yourself. I’ll be asking you to signal me and explain
why you marked yourself as you did. What do you need to
learn to be a “5”?
36.Here is the key idea of what I just said. Think about
what this means to you…I’ll give you about a minute .
37.If this question were on your test, how would you answer
it? Think about it…I’ll ask someone to share.
38. As we read this next page together, be ready to……(give
main idea, give a summary sentence, identify 2
characteristics about George Washington).
39. Use the new vocabulary word in a sentence about
yourself. Tell your partner.
40. Ask a question…to whole class…no names. Tell kids to
think about it first. This gets ALL kids thinking. Say “I
want everyone to think about it for a minute. Then I’ll call
on some people to respond.” The last sentence raises the
accountability. Then call on one or two to respond.
41. You can ask kids to raise their hand if they
agree…that assures they’ve listened to the
responses. Then always ask who disagrees. If you don’t, some
kids will not bother to listen knowing you will just think
he disagrees. If someone doesn’t raise hand, Ask…”John, I
don’t think I saw your hand…do you agree or disagree?” You
must hold accountable.
42. Overt involvement (writing, talking) holds kids more accountable and you can check their understanding.
43. Covert (thinking, visualizing) makes the request of all kids to be engaged. Not so much accountability so is safe—use when the learning is new. You don’t want wrong answers to get out and that will happen if you ask about a new learning. Also kids don’t want to embarrass themselves by not knowing the answer so if they just think about it it is very safe. If you want them to know whether or not what they were thinking is correct…say [continued on pg 2]