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Just Ask Us - Book Cover

Just Ask Us

Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement

By: Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Based on over 1000 nationwide student surveys, these 10 deep engagement strategies help you implement achievement-based cooperative learning. Includes video and a survey sample.
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506363288
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Teaching Essentials
  • Year: 2017
  • Page Count: 256
  • Publication date: October 26, 2017

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Use these 10 strategies to teach and communicate content that sticks!

Students learn best when collaborating, talking, and working with their peers. That’s what Edutopia blogger and education expert Heather Wolpert-Gawron discovered when she surveyed students nationwide. Now you can hear from the students themselves and discover 10 comprehensive and fresh ideas on precisely what and how to capture your students’ imagination and minds for deep learning, everyday

This research-based approach to cooperative learning provides plentiful lesson ideas, vignettes, videos, and insightful student interviews to help you:

  • Understand the research base for collaborative learning
  • Implement and manage competitively cooperative student work group
  • Incorporate movement, visual tools, and technology
  • Develop achievement-based PBL projects 
  • Conduct your own student survey for increased student choice

Move beyond just teaching content. Build a strong classroom community where students chew on, process, mull over, and retain information everyday using these 10 deep engagement strategies!  


Key features

This book will include:
  • A copy of the survey so that teachers can give the survey to their own classes
  • Voices from students about what engages them
  • Vignettes from teachers who model these high-engagement strategies
  • Lesson ideas from across discipline areas
  • Video interviews with students
  • Videos of the author & a couple other teachers modeling each engagement strategy


Heather Wolpert-Gawron photo

Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Heather Wolpert-Gawron is an award-winning middle school teacher. She is a staff blogger for and shares all things middle school at tweenteacher .com. She has been a proud member of the California Writing Project since 2008. She is the author of the following books: DIY for Project Based Learning for ELA and History, DIY for Project Based Learning for Math and Science, Writing Behind Every Door: Teaching Common Core Writing in the Content Areas and ‘Tween Crayons and Curfews: Tips for Middle School Teachers. Heather is passionate about project-based learning and believes the Maker Movement for teachers is in curriculum design. Heather believes curriculum design itself should tell a story, and she helps her students craft the tale. Heather lives with her husband and two boys in Los Angeles where they play Dungeons & Dragons every week, building their cross-over stories and adventures together. Follow Heather on Twitter: @tweenteacher.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Author


     The Importance of Student Engagement

     Pedagogy Versus Personality

     An Argument: What Engages Teachers Also Engages Students

     A Brief Note on Brain Research and Student Engagement

     The Engagement Survey Process

     How Is This Book Different From Others?

     Student Engagement Survey

1. Let Us Work Together


     Setting Up Group Work for Success

     Competitive Learning Can Still Be Collaborative Learning

     An Awesome Byproduct: Stronger Classroom Community

     What Collaboration Looks Like in the Classroom

     Engaging Teacher Spotlight

     Discussion Questions

2. Make Learning More Visual and Utilize Technology


     This Is Our Brain on Visuals

     Learning Through Visuals

     The One Visual Tool to Rule Them All: Technology

     What Using More Visuals (and Technology) Looks Like in the Classroom

     Engaging Teacher Spotlight

     Discussion Questions

3. Connect What We Learn to the Real World


     PBL Isn’t Just About Engagement; It’s Also About Achievement

     Breaking Down the Parts of PBL

     Finding an Authentic Goal for Your PBL Unit

     What Meaningful Learning Looks Like in the Classroom

     Engaging Teacher Spotlight

     Discussion Questions

4. Let Us Move Around


     What More Movement Looks Like in the Classroom

     Engaging Teacher Spotlight

     Discussion Questions

5. Give Us Choices


     The Academic Benefits of Student Choice

     Keeping Structure While Giving Freedom

     What Giving Student Choice Looks Like in the Classroom

     Engaging Teacher Spotlight

     Discussion Questions

6. Show Us You’re Human Too


     Unabashedly Show That You Care About the Content

     Unabashedly Show That You Care About the Students

     The Power of Humor in the Classroom

     Using Personal Stories as a Tool for Engagement

     Being Fallible to Help Students Understand Learning

     What Being More Human Looks Like in the Classroom

     Engaging Teacher Spotlight

     Discussion Questions

7. Help Us Create Something With What We’ve Learned


     Consumption Versus Creation

     Creating and Making in Every Subject Area

     Creation and the Role of Technology

     What Creation Looks Like in the Classroom

     Engaging Teacher Spotlight

     Discussion Questions

8. Teach Us Something New in a New Way


     The Detrimental Practice of Overreviewing

     Stepping Out of Our Wheelhouse to Model Learning

     What Opening Eyes to New Concepts Looks Like in the Classroom

     Engaging Teacher Spotlight

     Discussion Questions

9. Mix Things Up


     Learning Styles Versus Multiple Intelligences

     What Mixing Up Our Implementation Looks Like in the Classroom

     Engaging Teacher Spotlight


     It’s Hard to Be Engaging

     What to Expect When You Adopt These Strategies





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