Student Engagement Unit 3 Activity 1

Chapter 5


1. What are your top five responsibilities in your role as a classroom teacher?
2. How do you balance the time required to meet academic demands with the time required to develop relations with your students?

3. How can you develop meaningful and beneficial student-teacher relations while still holding students accountable for their academic progress?

4. How do you develop relations with your students? Are these relations initiated by you or the students?

5. Which students do you have the most difficulty engaging? How would you describe your relations with these students?



1. Identify the teachers in your school, grade-level team, or department who have developed the most trust with students.


a. How is student engagement (behavioral, emotional, and cognitive) different in their classrooms?
b. What strategies have they used to develop trust?
c. Apply what you believe to be a trustbuilding strategy in your classroom. Observe how students respond.


2. What is your role as a teacher when students have not experienced positive teacher-student relations? How do you identify these students? How do you respond?


1. What characteristics would you add to Table 5.1 to characterize a caring and supportive teacher?

2.What characteristics in Table 5.1 would students use to characterize you as their teacher? Which aspects are less evident m your instruction?

3. What messages are you commumcating to students through your choice of content, classroom norms, and individual interactions with students?

4. What are additional ways you could demonstrate caring to your students?



1. What aspects of your personal experiences do you feel comfortable sharing with students in order to support their need for relatedness?

2. How can you connect your personal experiences to course content in ways that would help students relate their experiences to yours?

3. Which aspects of personal experiences do you feel uncomfortable sharing or believe are inappropriate to share? Should all shared experiences be related in school?



1. Do you believe that all students need to feel that they belong to every classroom?

2. Are there some students that you have difficulty connecting with? Why? What could you do to improve those relationships?

3. How do you know whether you have "connected" or not with all students in the ways that you intend?



1. Using table 5.3, describe what teachers might say or do that would send either autonomy-supportive or controlling messages to student.

2. Using table 5.3, how would you characterize your teaching style? Would you characterize yourself as more autonomy supportive or controlling or a hybrid of both? Reflect on your own beliefs about classroom management and how they shape your teaching style.

3. What are one or two changed you could make to your instruction to be more autonomy supportive? Implement these changes in the classroom. How do students react?



1. How would you characterize the level of structure in your classroom? Do students know what they need to do to be successful? If they do, how do they know this? If not, how could you make your expectations clearer to students?

2. Using Table 5.4, how would you characterize the types of praise you provide to students? What do you typically say? What changes could you make to praise more effectively in the classroom?



1. Have you found the the time and energy required to develop relationships with more challenging students was worth the effort?
a. When did this happen?
b. How did the student respond?
c. what did you learn?

2. Think about a student with whom you have had a difficulty relationship.
a. How do you feel about this student right now?
b. How did you react to signs of disengagement from this student?
c. What would you do differently?
d. How will you respond to future signs of difficult teacher-student relationships?


1. What obstacles have you experienced in developing relationships with students whose backgrounds are different from yours?

2. Using Table 5.8, evaluate the extent to which your curriculum and instruction is culturally responsive. In which areas is your instruction most responsive? Least responsive?

3. What changes could you make to better meet the needs of diverse groups of students?

4. Choose one area of culturally responsive instruction and incorporate it into your next lesson. Collect data on student interactions and responses. How did students respond?



Chapter 6


STOP AND REFLECT Identify highly engaged (e.g., Franco, Fiona) and disengaged (e.g., Rachel, Ryan) students in a class by making a list with the following headings:

Always highly engaged Often disengaged Neither


1. For each student in the "highly engaged" column, answer the foLLowing questions:

a. What is the student like when engaged?
b. Who are the student's friends,' How do you know? c. Is the student accepted by his or her peers? How do you know?

2. For each student in the "highly disengaged" column:

a. What is the student like when disengaged?
b. Who are the student's friends? How do you know? e. Is the student accepted by his or her peers? How do you know?


3. For each student in the "neither" column:


a. Do you know this student as well as the students m the other two columns? What could you do to get to know him or her better? b. Does he or she have friends in either the "highly engaged" or "often disengaged" columns?


Stop and Reflect

1. Identify three instructional strategies you use that positively impact the level of peer acceptance in the classroom.
2. Identify three instructional strategies you use that may negatively impact the level of peer acceptance and actually increase public rejection m the classroom.
3. Think about opportunities you provide for students to interact with their peers and then answer the following questions:

a. How often do you provide these opportunities? b. Why do you provide them? e. How do students respond?

4. Describe one way that you could increase opportunities for peer interactions. In what situations would you make this change?




1. Identify six ways peers socialize engagement in your classroom--three ways with their actions and three ways with their words.
2. Give at least three examples of when you have seen evidence of peer pressure in your classroom. When was it positive? When was it negative?

3. Return to the chart you created earlier classifying students as highly engaged or disengaged. Are your highly engaged students friends with each other? Do the disengaged students hang out together? Identify ways you could encourage these students to interact with each other in class.




1. Opportunity: How often do you do group work in the classroom? Which topics/lessons lend themselves best to group work? Which model do you use or adapt?
2. Social skills: What types of skills do your students need to learn and practice m order to work productively m groups (see Table 6.2)? How and when do you teach them these skills?
3. Tasks: How do you create tasks that require students be responsible for and dependent on each other?

4. Interdependence: How do you ensure that there is an equitable divIsion of labor for each group?
5. Accountability: Do you use rewards to encourage productive group work? Why or why not? If so, what types of rewards do you use?

6. Persistence: How much time do you allow your students to work through their own problems before intervening?
7. Which of the previous sm areas of group work is the most critical for you as a teacher? What important first step could you make to move toward more cooperative or collaborative experiences for your students?



1. Draw a large circle on a blank sheet of paper and show how you balance the social dimensions of the classroom with the academic.
Is it a 50-50 split? 20-80?

2. How would you describe the sense of community in your classroom? What aspects of Table 6.3 do you currently include in your classroom?
3. If you were to improve upon your classroom community, which one aspect of would be most important to add to your instruction? Try this and observe your students' responses or ask them to evaluate the change in practice.