March 05, 2014 16:42 Age: 4 yrs

Helping Students “Opt In”: Quick Tips From an AF Dean

Category: News, Home
By: Edward Eckert

At Achievement First, we are constantly providing professional development so that teachers can improve their instruction. Below, read some helpful tactics AF Bridgeport Academy Dean Edward Eckert recently shared with his school’s "Team & Family."

We have a robust learning community at school. Leverage the awesome power of this culture to help struggling students "opt in." Here are concrete strategies to learn and practice:

Know your students and use your knowledge to engage them with the work.

Connect students’ personal lives and interests to the work you’re doing. Say: "Is anyone here interested in making video games someday? Well, this math is exactly the foundation you need to get started," or "I know how much you love animals, and this story is about the rarest animal in the world."

Emphasize "we."

Describe your group as a whole learning community. Say: "We’re the grammar rock stars of the grade," or “We all read for four minutes silently!" You can also leverage peer relationships and help students "boost up" their classmates.

When you "have" them, run with it.

When you have pushed for student compliance and you get what you want (sitting up, pencils down, etc.), resist the urge to narrate and instead just get right into the lesson.

Hype and celebrate improvement and engage students around a desire to do better.

Connect students’ previous success to the work they are doing now. Say: "Yesterday you read three pages perfectly without an error! This one today would be number four!"

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