Learner 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 learners?

3. How can you develop meaningful and beneficial learner-facilitator relations while still holding learners accountable for their academic progress?

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

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



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

a. How is learner 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 trust-building strategy in your classroom. Observe how learners respond.

2. What is your role as a teacher when learners have not experienced positive facilitator-learner relations? How do you identify these learners? 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 learners use to characterize you as their teacher? Which aspects are less evident in your instruction?

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

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



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

2. How can you connect your personal experiences to course content in ways that would help learners 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 learners need to feel that they belong to every classroom?

2. Are there some learners 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 learners 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 learners.

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 changes you could make to your instruction to be more autonomy supportive? Implement these changes in the classroom. How do learners react?



1. How would you characterize the level of structure in your classroom? Do learners 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 learners?

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



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

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


1. What obstacles have you experienced in developing relationships with learners 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 learners?

4. Choose one area of culturally responsive instruction and incorporate it into your next lesson. Collect data on learner 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) learners in a class by making a list with the following headings:

Always highly engaged

Often disengaged



1. For each learner in the "highly engaged" column, answer the following questions:

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

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

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

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

a. Do you know this learner as well as the learners in 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?



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 in the classroom.
3. Think about opportunities you provide for learners 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? c. How do learners 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 learners as highly engaged or disengaged. Are your highly engaged learners friends with each other? Do the disengaged learners hang out together? Identify ways you could encourage these learners 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 learners need to learn and practice in order to work productively in groups (see Table 6.2)? How and when do you teach them these skills?
3. Tasks: How do you create tasks that require learners 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 learners to work through their own problems before intervening?
7. Which of the previous areas of group work are 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 learners?



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 aspect would be most important to add to your instruction? Try this and observe your learners' responses or ask them to evaluate the change in practice.