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Just Ask Us

Just Ask Us
Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement

Foreword by Carol Radford

© 2018 | 256 pages | Corwin

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!  

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  

"Just Ask Us: Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement is an outstanding resource manual for teachers to increase student engagement. Each chapter includes extensive quotes from students that support researched-based best practices. Diagrams and photos of student work illustrate how students can effectively work together and use more visually stimulated methods to connect their learning to real world applications."

Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Author, Trainer, and Co-Founder
Generational Parenting Blog at, San Jose, CA

"Heather Wolpert-Gawron meshes her teaching experience with extensive student feedback to offer sage advice and a clear argument as to the importance of increased student engagement in their learning environments. She provides practical application that will help teachers everywhere up their game in providing students the right foundation for deeper connections to their learning."

Janelle McLaughlin, Educational Consultant
Innovative Education Solutions, Manchester, IN

"Just Ask Us: Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement is not only a quality read, but also a fresh perspective beyond just providing interesting lessons. It clearly states that student engagement is directly connected to academic content and outcomes."

Julie Frederick, Nationally Board Certified Kindergarten Teacher
Broadview Thomson K-8, Seattle WA

"Any teacher who ever wanted to poll students about what works best for them when learning, and really using the data received to help students, should read this book.  The research behind WHY the ideas presented work, and the practical strategies suggested are also great bonuses."

Patrick Pergola, 7th Grade Science Teacher
Sparta Middle School, Sparta, NJ
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

Preview this book

Purchasing options

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ISBN: 9781506363288
$34.95  $27.95*
*Includes a 20% everyday educator discount!

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