Academic Engagement

March/April 2019

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.

This time of year can be challenging for kids but hopefully this newsletter will spark a couple ideas that might make students more engaged (thus decreasing negative behaviors).

Instructional Strategies

  • Choice-Making: The teacher provides the class or individual students with choice-opportunities when completing in-class academic tasks. Offering choice options to students can increase academic motivation and focus while reducing problem behaviors (e.g., choose assignment, choose partner, choose where to work, etc)
  • Response Effort: The teacher increases student engagement through any method that reduces the apparent difficulty (‘response effort’) of an academic task - so long as that method does not hold the student to a lesser academic standard than classmates (e.g., chunking assignments).
  • High Probability Requests: High-probability requests are a technique that can motivate students to engage in assigned classwork. The teacher first identifies an academic activity in which the student typically will not complete because of non-compliance. The teacher then embeds within that low-probability activity an introductory series of simple, brief 'high probability' requests or tasks that this same student is likely to complete.

Teacher Strategies

  • Maintain a High Ratio of Positive Interactions (Set a goal of having at least 3 positive interactions for each disciplinary action).Can vary in format such as greeting, praise, smile, thumbs-up, etc.
  • Two-by-Ten Intervention (Commit to having a positive 2-minute conversation with the student at least once per day across 10 consecutive school days.
  • Catch Them Being Good