Teachers aim for student engagement, participation

New techniques help get all students involved


Practicing ways to simplify expressions, Azalia Hernandez and Aris Arredondo search for the correct answer during a game of Kahoot in Tina Jada’s class on Oct. 18.

Kathryn Matthes, Staff Writer

     Teachers are using different tactics to help students be more interested in their classes. Their goal is to make sure all students are engaged and participating on a regular basis.
     Eighth grade math teacher Rachel Mangum teaches total student engagement techniques during staff development days and believes it is one of the most important parts of being a teacher.
     “You can’t learn something if you are not engaged in the learning. Making sure that students are engaged is the number one thing that a teacher has to do,” she said. “No engagement means no learning, period.”
     The teachers use different methods to get students more engaged in the topic that they are learning. Some tactics are used in group assignments while other are to help them as individuals.
     “Being involved in class helps me understand a topic because I’m having fun in class and it helps me to remember the topic better,” eighth grader Samuel English said.
     One of the resources teachers use is called Kahoot, which gives a game-like feel to learning. A question will appear on the screen and the students have a certain amount of time to answer it with their devices. Students enjoy playing Kahoot because it helps them understand the lesson better while having fun.
     “Kahoot makes learning in the classroom enjoyable than normal learning because you can learn from your mistakes,” English said.
     Other strategies Mrs. Mangum has taught include SmartPAL dry erase folders which allow teachers to print their own materials and have students participate in a variety of ways that range from circling one answer to writing a longer sentence. Flippity, a selection tool that creates random groups, is being used by several teachers and gets students more involved by discussing the lesson with peers.
     Teachers say the more fun students have in their classes, the more likely they will want to came to class and be excited to learn. Students also are more likely to remember the topic by applying what they learned since it was more enjoyable than just writing down a bunch of notes.
     “I believe that students who are having fun learning, are actually learning more,” eighth-grade science teacher Regan Roach said. “They are excited to come to class, they want to do well for themselves and their teacher, and the success shows during the formative (assessment).”