Byron's Babbles

Students Achieving Engagement

Posted in Education, Education Reform by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on January 16, 2012

Back on December 9, 2011 my post was about action research we are doing at my school on student engagement. I wrote about the four themes that our students developed about what great teachers needed to do to keep them engaged in the learning process. To read the post click here. Here are the themes from the student responses as to how students are best engaged: 1. Students learn best from Passionate and Energetic teachers; 2. Students learn best from teachers that are Prepared and Creative; Students learn best when the material is Relevant to them; and 4. Students learn best when they best when they believe the teacher genuinely Cares about them.

This past week we took two student LAB times (time each day I spend with the same group of students) to discuss the students’ role in being engaged learners. The discussion revolved around the answers the students gave to the question: What can students do to improve engagement?

Here are the themes and every related comment made by the students:

Proper Sleep

Come to class well rested, Decent amount of sleep, Get more sleep, Get enough sleep, Get more sleep at home not in class, Get more sleep, Sleep more – go to bed earlier, Get enough sleep, Get a good night’s sleep, Go to bed earlier, Get enough sleep, Get enough sleep, Get more sleep, Proper rest, Get plenty of sleep, More Sleep, More Sleep, Get proper amounts of sleep, More sleep (not in class), Get more sleep, Get more sleep – try to have a specific time by which to go to bed, Get more sleep by putting away electronic devices, managing time better, going to bed earlier, and cutting off sugar and caffeine at an earlier time, Get Enough Sleep (at “home”), Get more sleep, Get enough sleep, Get more sleep at home, Get sleep, Reasonable bedtime

Eat Breakfast

Eat a nutritious breakfast, Eat breakfast, Breakfast in the morning, Eat Breakfast, Eat a good breakfast, Eat breakfast – set up night before, eat the right foods, and bring a healthy snack, Eat healthy, especially breakfast, Eat breakfast, Eat breakfast, Eat a good breakfast, Eat breakfast, Eat breakfast, Breakfast, Eat breakfast, Follow proper diet (nutrition/meals), Eat breakfast, Eat Breakfast, Eat correct meals, Eat breakfast, Eat breakfast

Positive Attitude and Motivation

Positive outlook, and motivation and guidance, Be a more positive student, Have a positive attitude, Self motivation, Be self-motivated to reach your future goals, More self-motivation, Positive outlook, Motivate yourself, Have a more positive attitude, Students need to work towards having a positive attitude every day they come to school, Positive attitude, Be positive – care about yourself – care about your classmates – care about your education – maintain a positive outlook, Get motivated, Positive Attitude, Have a positive attitude towards classmates, teachers, and schoolwork, More Positive Attitude (This one was brought up the most), Have a positive outlook each day, Self Motivation, Motivate others by encouraging them, Care about your grades, Care about grades, Keep Motivated, Change your attitude about school: don’t be a “Debbie owner” and cooperate, Students should be setting clear-cut, obtainable goals

Respect

Students need to care and respect others students and teachers, Meet teachers halfway/show respect, Be less disruptive, Don’t join in on bullying or picking on others, Don’t derail lectures during class – cooperate more, Have respect/Less drama, Students need to have an equal amount of respect for themselves and their peers, Respect, Respect Students and Teachers/Don’t judge others, Students can be more cooperative (not disruptive, kind, courteous, respectful), Be more respectful to both fellow classmates as well as teachers, Teamwork – help classmates if they need help, Be willing to help others, Get to know your classmates (it helps your comfort level in classes.)

Responsibility and Work Ethic

Do not procrastinate, Be responsible, Don’t procrastinate, Don’t procrastinate, Use time wisely and apply yourself when in class, Be responsible for my actions – do assignments- get excited to learn – take notes – put homework in agenda book, Don’t procrastinate-Use student handbook – use class time wisely when teachers give homework time – set a schedule while doing homework (ex: after I do 10 problems THEN I can check Facebook) – make a too do list to check off, Take advantage of time/don’t procrastinate, Be responsible for actually doing the work, Students need to be proactive in class and avoid procrastination, Take responsibility, Stop procrastinating – set priorities, Don’t procrastinate, Don’t Procrastinate, Take more responsibility, Don’t procrastinate, Be responsible – be on time to class – be prepared – don’t procrastinate, Don’t procrastinate, Don’t procrastinate, Don’t Procrastinate, Don’t procrastinate, Don’t Procrastinate, Don’t Procrastinate, Be responsible for yourself: take notes – do assignments – pay attention in class

Commitment

Take notes, Do your homework completely, Be engaged in class activities; don’t work on homework for other classes, Be prepared for class (complete homework/reading, be well rested), Take good notes, Take Notes, Stay Focused and take “active” notes, Come to school prepared- supplies, Actually do homework at home not during other classes, Apply yourself/do your homework, Take good notes, Take good notes in class, Study to be prepared for homework, tests, and class discussions, Do the homework, Do the homework, Do The Work, Bring the necessary supplies (book, pencil, paper,etc), Take good notes, Do your homework, Do your homework, Learn how to take notes, Self-preparation,  Turn in all homework even if it is not completed – do all homework the night it is assigned and while it is fresh, Keep on top of my homework, Students can do homework/ come prepared for class, Make an effort – even if you don’t like it, suck it up and do it, Do Homework and use agendas to record assignments, Turning in homework – Studying for tests

Active Involvement

Ask questions in class and get help outside of class if necessary, Ask questions, Ask questions and participate in class and school activities, Asking questions – focus on listening and taking, notes, Ask questions, See more teachers and ask questions when needed-students should not be afraid to ask teachers questions – If they are shy or do not feel comfortable wait until after class or email their question to the teacher, Participate more in classroom activities, Ask questions, Ask for help, Apply Yourself More Often, Ask questions, Ask questions in class, Participate – ask questions – get help after school – take notes – don’t sleep in class, Be active participants in class (do homework/study, ask questions, focus, be prepared with supplies, use your class time wisely), Participate/ask questions in class, Pay attention – ask for help, Focus in Class, Students will be active participants in class by cooperating with teachers, avoiding procrastination and doing their work, asking questions, and taking notes, Students can participate in class/ ask questions, Pay attention in classes, Be more engaged in learning…ie.  Pay attention – Ask Questions – Be here, Ask more questions in class, Apply yourself to each subject to the best of your ability, Ask questions and support classmates when they ask questions, Participate by volunteering on a regular basis, Ask questions whether it be in class or outside of class if that is more comfortable. Don’t be scared to say something silly, Ask good questions when not understanding, Ask Questions

To complete this exercise the students wrote down three areas on an index card that they personally were going to commit to for improved engagement. We as teachers are committing to: 1. Students learn best from Passionate and Energetic teachers; 2. Students learn best from teachers that are Prepared and Creative; Students learn best when the material is Relevant to them; and 4. Students learn best when they best when they believe the teacher genuinely Cares about them. The students are also taking ownership by having identified their own areas of commitment.

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8 Responses

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  1. dpress211 said, on January 16, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Where are you on the practice of having students document and verbalize personal achievements on a regular basis?

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    • byronernest said, on January 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      First of all thank you for your question. I am a believer in having students document/verbalize goals and achievements. I also believe reflection on both successes and failures is also very important. These are all things that happen during the LAB time I discussed in the post. Thanks again.

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  2. Engaging Employees to Increase Engagement said, on January 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    […]  blog.  Over a couple of posts, he talks about their overall process.  I encourage you to read this post as a supplement to my thoughts that follow.  Here is their […]

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  3. KevinEikenberry (@KevinEikenberry) said, on January 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Byron – Great post. I used it, and referred to it in a post I wrote today called Engaging Employees to Increase Engagement – http://blog.kevineikenberry.com/devloping-others/empowerment/engaging-employees-to-increase-engagement/

    Keep up the great work!

    Kevin 🙂

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    • byronernest said, on January 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Kevin, thanks for the positive feedback (another important component of engagement). I just commented on your post. Great job of making a connection between business/industry and education. There is so much we can learn from each other.

      Positively,
      Byron

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  4. […] a followup to my post entitled Students Achieving Engagement (click here to read entire post) I would like to offer this visual of the Pillars of Student Engagement […]

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  5. […] I wrote about the four themes that our students developed about what great teachers needed to do to keep them engaged in the learning process. To read the post click here . Students Achieving Engagement « Byron's Babbles […]

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  6. […] jQuery("#errors*").hide(); window.location= data.themeInternalUrl; } }); } byronernest.wordpress.com (via @jdegier) – Today, 6:30 […]

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