Not a cover that really grabs you and shouts “READ ME!”, huh? (Fortunately, I got past the cover and into the book. Check out my post at ATUE for the full story on what enticed me to open this book and further details on what I found in it.)
Basically, while reading, I found many similarities between the upper elementary classrooms in which I co-teach, and the ones that Wiliam described. (Wiliam describes a classroom where a handful of dedicated students constantly raise their hands and contribute to the class discussion, while the remainder of students in the classroom doodle, daydream, or fly under the radar.) When I returned to school on Monday, my hunch was 100% verified. A handful of students constantly raised their hands, while the other students either sat quietly or simply “spaced out”. Wiliam concluded that the achievement gap is widening in such a classroom... and I had to agree.
My co-teachers and I soon put some of Wiliam’s engagement strategies into action, and we saw a remarkable difference. I shared my #1 strategy over at ATUE, and if you haven't been there, yet, I highly recommend checking it out.) Below I describe the #2 change my colleagues and I made that seemed to make a significant difference in increasing student engagement during lessons.
#2- ABCD Cards (an all-student response system)
First, each student was given a set of ABCD cards.
|FREEBIE! Click on the image for a set of ABCD cards like these you can print for your students!|
There are many more excellent strategies for keeping your students engaged during lessons, but I think that’s enough for this blog post! I will save other ideas for future blog posts!