Engagement "authentic engagement means the learner finds meaning and value in their work." Antonetti and garver

I, Lisa Walter, read John V. Antonettti and James R. Garver's' book 17,000 Classroom Visits Can't Be Wrong: Strategies That Engage Students, Promote Active Learning, and Boost Achievement. I also attended the conference presented by Antonetti.

I highly recommend this book!

When thinking shifts from a low thinking level to a middle thinking level, students are 14 times more likely to be engaged (from 2% to 29%).

Bloom's taxonomy

When teachers aim for middle levels of thinking (application, analysis) and high levels of thinking (synthesis, evaluation) it's almost as if we get knowledge and comprehension (low levels of thinking) thrown in for free! Evaluation, synthesis, analysis, and application can only happen if students already have a foundational knowledge and comprehension of that subject.

Brain Rules

John Medina published in his book Brain Rules:

Rule number 1: exercise boosts brain power

Rule number 2: the human brain evolved

Rule number 3: every brain is wired differently

Rule number 4: for people don't pay attention to boring things

Rule number 5: repeat to remember

Rule number 6: remember to repeat

Rule number 7: sleep well think well

Rule number 8: stressed brains do not learn the same way as non stressed brains.

Rule number 9: stimulate more of the senses at the same time.

Rule number 10: vision trumps all other senses.

Rule number 11: male and female brains are different

Rule number 12: we are powerful natural explorers


Howard Gardner proposed that we each have eight or more intelligences and we can use them to carry out all kinds of tasks tasks.

The more students use their Intelligence strengths, the more engaged they will be.

In schools and districts that have focused on a slicing in approach the frequency of student engagement has increased from 6 to 12%. More of the student work and especially the thinking has to shift to the learners. In classrooms where they marked three or more qualities of “slicing in” or adding in, engaging qualities tools (see Figure 6.1) we saw engagement 86% of the time.

In summary, authentic engagement means the learner finds meaning and value in their work. Katy Ridnour in her book Everyday Engagement states, "Real engagement doesn't come from tricks and gimmicks; it's something you enable, not something you achieve. It happens when you use a few simple keys to help your students own, manage, and pursue their own learning."
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Lisa Walter

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