How to Hook Scholars In and Keep Them Engaged

Class engagement

As an instructional coach, the perennial question that often surfaces from teachers is, “How do I keep scholars engaged throughout an entire lesson?” This concern is not only valid but also fundamental to fostering a positive and productive learning environment. In this blog post, we will explore six impactful strategies to not only capture the attention of your scholars but also maintain their engagement throughout the entirety of your lessons.

  1.     Start with a Strong/Rigorous Do Now: The beginning of a lesson is critical for establishing a conducive learning atmosphere. By initiating the class period with a strong and rigorous “Do Now” activity, you activate prior knowledge, stimulate critical thinking, and set a tone of intellectual curiosity. This strategy not only engages scholars from the outset but also prepares them for the forthcoming lesson content.
  2.     Do a Quick SEL Check: Acknowledging the emotional well-being of scholars is paramount for effective learning. Incorporating a quick Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) check at the beginning of the lesson allows you to gauge the mood and readiness of your students. This brief assessment enables you to address any emotional concerns promptly, creating a supportive and empathetic environment that promotes optimal engagement.
  3.     Create a Culturally Relevant Hook: To capture the interest of diverse learners, infuse your lessons with a culturally relevant hook. This could be a real-world example, a current event, or a story that resonates with the varied backgrounds of your scholars. A culturally relevant hook not only grabs attention but also establishes a connection between the lesson content and the students’ lived experiences, making learning more meaningful and relatable.
  4.     Assess in the Middle Using Highly Engaging Tools: Traditional end-of-lesson assessments may not capture ongoing understanding and engagement. Incorporate assessments in the middle of your lesson using highly engaging tools such as interactive discussions, collaborative projects, or technology-based activities. This approach not only ensures active participation but also provides real-time feedback, allowing you to adjust your teaching strategies as needed.
  5.     Stamp the Learning with an Exit Ticket and Predetermined Mastery Goal: Conclude your lesson with an exit ticket that aligns with a predetermined mastery goal. This not only reinforces key concepts but also allows scholars to demonstrate their understanding. Having a clear mastery goal helps students focus on the intended learning outcomes, providing a sense of accomplishment and direction. It also serves as a formative assessment, guiding your planning for future lessons.
  6.     Celebrate Success and Set Goals for Tomorrow: At the end of each lesson, take a moment to celebrate successes and acknowledge student achievements. Recognizing their efforts fosters a positive learning environment and encourages continued engagement. Additionally, set goals for the next lesson, creating a sense of anticipation and purpose. This forward-looking approach instills a growth mindset and reinforces the idea that each lesson is a step toward academic progress.

Sustaining scholar engagement is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a combination of thoughtful strategies. By starting strong, incorporating SEL checks, creating culturally relevant hooks, assessing mid-lesson, stamping learning with exit tickets, and celebrating successes while setting goals for tomorrow, educators can cultivate an environment where students are actively involved, motivated, and invested in their own learning journey.

By: Jonnecia Alford, CT3 Associate

Check out CT3 Education programs such as No-Nonsense NurturerReal Time Teacher Coaching, and Real Time Leadership Coaching to find out more about Professional Development for Teachers and Leaders, classroom management strategies, and building relationships with students and their families.

Category: Coaching, Education, No-Nonsense Nurturer, Real Time Leadership Coaching, Real Time Teacher Coaching, Teaching, Tips for Teachers