Student Engagement: 3rd-12th Grades, Part 2
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Relationship Building

“When students fail to connect with their instructor or with their classmates, they disengage.”



Michael shared his approach to checking in with students in order to form relationships. Check-in conversations may take the form of quick response polls through private chat, self-reflection assignments, small group meetings, surveys, and one-on-one conferences.

  • In what ways have strong relationships benefitted your classroom community in the past?
  • What strategies for connecting with students benefit from the availability of a virtual platform?

New to the SAMR Model? Have no fear, we will take a closer look at this model and how we can incorporate SAMR into how we think about teaching with technology next.


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The Social-emotional Pulse Check

As a warm-up at the start of class, begin with an open-ended question like “What’s motivating your this week?” Students might meet with small breakout rooms or share their answers in the chat. It can even be creative, where you have students create a superhero name or a band name.

Consider creating an emotions chart with pop-cultural references and have students share where they at this week. Are you “Eleven” sitting at home alone or “Michael Scott” getting ready for the annual Christmas party? This really depends on the age, the class culture, and the subject you teach.

Self-assessments and Surveys

Take advantage of tools such as Flipgrid and Google Forms to engage students in reflections on what they are learning, how projects are progressing, and how they are managing their time. 

One-on-one video conferences

Scheduling meetings can be quite time-consuming. Consider incorporating a free web-based scheduling tool that allows students to select a time from a list of your available meeting times. Some tools offer automatic meeting reminders via email or text message. There are many options to choose from, but you may start looking in Three Good Tools for Scheduling Meetings With Students, Parents, and Colleagues from the Free Technology for Teachers blog.