Wednesday, March 26, 2014

5 Keys to Keeping Elementary School Kids Engaged: What 15 Years in the Classroom Has Taught Me



Yesterday morning, I was unexpectedly approached by Rebecca at The Bloggers' Lounge about the possibility of me participating in their competition in conjunction with World Class Teachers to write a blog post on my top 5 tips for keeping kids engaged in the classroom. I was so excited about being asked to participate and eagerly accepted her invitation. I pondered the theme of this competition off and on all yesterday as well as picked my 18 year old son's brain about what his favorite teachers did to motivate and engage him. The following is the outcome of that pondering and prodding investigating.



1. occupy, attract, or involve (someone's interest or attention).
    "He plowed on, trying to outline his plans and engage Sutton's
synonyms:  capture, catch, arrest, grab, snag, draw, gain, win, hold, grip, captivate, engross, absorb ask, exactly how does a teacher
the interest or attention of a child?
Sounds like a TALL order.
And at times, might seem like performing magic...but when you really think about it,
that's exactly what it is. 
So, here are five key (and actually fairly easy) strategies for filling that order and making magic happen. 
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you do.
Your excitement and eagerness will be contagious. It will have a spiraling positive effect on your students. Even if they don't understand why you're so happy about a lesson, task or assignment, they'll wonder why and think they should be too.
Be real.
Establishing a sense of trust is essential. If students sense you are disingenuous, they will mistrust you and not put stock in what you're trying to accomplish or get them to.
You want them to "go all in". To do that, they must believe in and trust you.
Have high expectations for your students and believe they all can attain them.
Be the first to tell them what they're good at and what they get right.
Warner Bros / Via
Allow your students choice.
Empower your students with decisions. This will further emphasize your trust and faith in them. In turn, they will want to please you with smart choices and good work.
Make learning fun and intriguing
(or "not boring" as my son, Weston, said).
 Allow your class(es) to explore, be hands on, converse within groups or with partners, do projects, use technology........all the things you would like doing if you were in their position. Never be afraid to get downright goofy.
Disney / Via
Well...for what it's worth, this is my 2 cents worth on how to keep the kiddos in an elementary school classroom motivated, engaged, and therefore
*Thanks for dropping by! 
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  1. This is a fantastic post!

    Bravo to you for having been a teacher... this seems like fantastic advice, I just had to share to Twitter. ;) I'm so grateful to my daughter's grade school teachers, they truly go above and beyond.

    Really nice blog you have here! I actually found you because you had stopped by my site during #UBP14 - nice to meet you! :)

  2. Tami...thanks so much for visiting as well as for your sweet comments! I was so excited that you stopped by and thought enough of this post to share. Sorry that I'm just now responding, but I too have been under the weather with terrible seasonal allergies and upper respiratory infection (Yuck!) all while still working. I've added your button to my sidebar and will be a regular reader. I'm fairly new to this blogging endeavor and do not have a solid blogging support system, so I may seek your advice from time to time if you wouldn't mind. Again, thanks for dropping by.


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