My last post in my Literacy Promise Conference series is from Dr. Eric Jensen's "Tools for Engagement" session. Dr. Jensen's session was AMAZING! I don't know if I can accurately describe how incredible it was. My husband was at the ASCD conference in Boston the weekend before my conference and went to some of Dr. Jensen's session and told me he was a must see at my conference. He is a very engaging presenter. He gets the audience involved and invested in the material.
One of the main take-aways that I got from his session was that how students feel will influence how they do in class. He gave us 7 tools that we could use right away in our classrooms. Dr. Jensen said that as teachers, we need to be intentional with the tools and strategies we use to engage our students in the classroom.
How do I get students to buy-in to what I am doing in class? Dr. Jensen suggested to do 3 things: (1) Use a Hook, (2) Wake up the body and mind, and (3) Make it Relevant. Students need to care about what we are doing. How often do our students come into class and ask what you are doing that day? Usually I get annoyed because it is on the board right behind me, but the students are really curious. That is your chance to hook them and get buy-in for the lesson that day.
One thing that he said that really stood out to me was having the students use quick writes DAILY. By doing this, students are able to put a voice to their thoughts and values. They are able to show what they are passionate about. Quick Writes serve as an outlet for students to feel more in control and release some of their stress. I don't do a lot of Quick Writes in my classroom, but I this is definitely one tool that I am going to be using right away. I am also including a FREEBIE for a quick write that you can use in your classroom! You can get it on my Free Stuff page.
7 Tools for Better Engagement
If you want more information on these 7 tools for engagement, you can visit Dr. Jensen's website.