Category Archives: Student Engagement

Redefining Learning

Written by David Richards, Ph.D.

There is a learning renaissance happening in education.  Today, educators are witnessing a disruptive convergence of access to mobile devices, online content, demands for choice, and increased access to high-speed bandwidth. 

Our new reality includes the fact that teachers are everywhere, content is king, and students are increasingly expecting to learn in an anytime, anywhere model. To be clear, this isn’t about our schools being broken, this paradigm shift is more about redefining our learning which will result in a redesign of our schools.  Meaning – to design learner-centered classrooms, we need to begin our design thinking from the student lens.  This includes tackling tough issues like time, mastery, and student agency. Continue reading Redefining Learning

Which tech tools are worth your time and money?

Dear technology tool, you’ve changed. Frankly, you don’t do what you promised you would. My friends say I try someone with more features and a more attractive design. I’m sorry, but we’re done. Mrs. TeacherDo you find yourself perpetually breaking up with your educational technology tools or not even sure that they are worth the investment? Let me share a perspective that may help you determine which tools are worth your time, money and energy.

The Triple E Framework, developed out of University of Michigan by Dr. Liz Kolb, is a simple to use framework that may help you quickly identify what a technology tool can bring to your lessons. Dr. Kolb synthesized current technology and learning research into three E’s: Engage, Enhance and Extend. If I could sum up Dr. Kolb’s work into one statement, it would be this: Continue reading Which tech tools are worth your time and money?

Making Students Accountable for Their Learning

Do you ever run out of ideas to keep students engaged?  Have you ever wondered how to keep the students’ brains stimulated?  Do you want to create a safer classroom for your students?  Have you ever had trouble keeping students’ attention?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, “Structures for Active Engagement” is the professional learning you need.

Twenty four years ago, I took a very similar class.  My principal sent me to North Carolina to see what Kagan Cooperative Learning was all about.  The week that I spent there changed my entire teaching career, as well as, all of my students’ educational experiences in my classroom. Continue reading Making Students Accountable for Their Learning

MDE “Top 10 in 10 Roadshow” Visits GR in April

“We have a tremendous opportunity, working together as a state, to lift student achievement using these goals and strategies. This requires open minds and the will from all involved to make it work.” State Superintendent Brian Whiston

Michigan’s Education Vision is for “Every learner in Michigan’s public schools to have an inspiring, engaging, and caring learning environment that fosters creative and critical thinkers who believe in their ability to positively influence Michigan and the world beyond.” Continue reading MDE “Top 10 in 10 Roadshow” Visits GR in April

Mapp and Morrell Promote Early Literacy by Engaging Parents

Why is it important for educators, parents and business leaders to be involved in promoting early childhood literacy?  Do community members have a collective responsibility to support the reading and writing development of the children living in their neighborhoods?  How can families and area residents partner with schools to strengthen and support literacy initiatives?

Learn the answers to these questions and more during the Reading Now Network’s West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium, “Collective Responsibility: Engaging Families & Community,” on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The event will take place at the Bernhard Center on the Campus of Western Michigan University. Continue reading Mapp and Morrell Promote Early Literacy by Engaging Parents

Finding the Right Fit

Parents, Students Tout Benefits of Accelerated Math Pilot

Written by Janice Holst,  School News Network

How do you turn a would-be class clown into a productive student? How do you motivate a fifth-grader who just doesn’t fit in or refuses to keep up with classroom assignments?

Some area parents have turned to ATYP Junior — a Kent ISD pilot program that offers accelerated math for elementary students.

“Nolan’s experience thus far with ATYP has been nothing but positive,” said Mickey Larson, father of the Sparta fifth-grader. “The recognition that comes along with being part of such a select group has finally helped make him proud and appreciative of his intelligence. His newfound self-confidence leads him to see himself not merely as the ‘class clown’ – as he’s done in years past – but rather as the smart, witty kid that he is.” Continue reading Finding the Right Fit

MDE is Offering Free Minecraft Licenses for up to 300,000 Students

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is excited to announce a partnership with Microsoft EDU to provide 150,000 to 300,000 free student licenses for the Minecraft Education Edition (M:EE) for one year. This version of the popular open world game, Minecraft, is specifically designed for education, containing features that make Minecraft more accessible and effective in a classroom or after-school program setting. This program aligns to the MDE’s Top 10 in 10 Strategic Plan by enhancing access to effective technology tools that support deeper and personalized learning. The free licenses can be deployed in both Microsoft enabled districts, as well as Google classroom districts. Continue reading MDE is Offering Free Minecraft Licenses for up to 300,000 Students

The Power of Reflection

In considering the various “R’s in Education”, how important is the process of “reflection”?

The power inherent within your personal reflection of your educational practices should never be undervalued. But, does “reflection” fall into my 5 R’s of Effective Engagement? A component of this reflection strategy are the proverbial “Look In The Mirror” Moments.

For me, when I awake in the morning as I am preparing myself for work, I look in the mirror and ask myself, “Will you give your best today?” Without hesitation, my reflection always responds back with the affirmative, “Yes!” Continue reading The Power of Reflection

Kent ISD Provides Resources for Accelerated Learning

Ever heard of the Academically Talented Youth Program (ATYP) at Kent ISD?

In 1999, at the request of superintendents from multiple local districts, Kent ATYP began . Why? Because these districts had middle school students who were way beyond their peers in readiness to learn math, but no one district consistently had enough accelerated students to justify developing a program to support their needs for acceleration. Continue reading Kent ISD Provides Resources for Accelerated Learning

Improve Retention: Affective Domain- Bloom Taxonomy’s Secret Weapon

blog post written by: Carlos Esquivel

A dollar drops in the tin bucket as the young troubadour croons his rendition of “Rhinestone Cowboy,” with guitar and boots to match, but just as you put your twenty dollar bill back into your pocket, you hear the sound of two voices dramatically singing, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The young couple are also on the street downtown, busking as it’s called, and now they are pulling you into the experience. Whichever performer is bestowed your Facebook post or twitter accolade will be determined by the degree of phenomena that is given and received during the experience.

The same situation happens in classrooms every day as teachers compete for the embattled attention span of our students. Smartphones, sleep deprivation, hunger and many more competitors, are all vying for the precious and finite attention of our audience. We are the buskers and they have all the freedom to choose who will get the dollar in the bucket. So, the curtain rises (the bell rings) and the bright lights are on you. It’s time to create the experience using the affective domain. Continue reading Improve Retention: Affective Domain- Bloom Taxonomy’s Secret Weapon