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Forum Home > Student Engagement > Welcome to the Real World!

k conway
Site Owner
Posts: 4

When I first started teaching 26 years ago (has it really been that long…), I tried to “pack” in so much information that there was little room to measure students’ thinking and engagement. Over the years, I began to realize in order to teach the most promising lessons; teacher instruction continually needs to be improved. Kids must "buy into" your message, your energy and your motive for teaching. I believe the only way we can continue to make these connections for students is if we are willing to stay connected to the real world ourselves! Students who see the relevance of what they are studying as authentic and real world are motivated by the application to their daily lives (Doering & Veletsianos, 2008, p.8).  Please share how you engage learners through real-world situations and collaborations to direct their attention toward learning skills that have clear value to their future life and work.

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Kelly Conway

May 22, 2011 at 10:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Isabel A. McLaughlin
Member
Posts: 2

Biology, the study of life, IS the real world. We do our best to bring in recent articles, pictures, discoveries, anything we can to engage our students and open their eyes to biology; to life; to make them SEE that our class is relevant to them! I am constantly on the search for 'relevance'...I think we all have to be this day and age....'relevance' is one of the keys to success for many students.

May 26, 2011 at 3:13 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Laura Kieselbach
Moderator
Posts: 1

Unlike biology, students have a hard time seeing how Language Arts applies to the real world.  Many wonder when knowing how to write an essay will help them.  Little do they realize that without the ability to write, they lack the skill of communication across many unseen boundaries.  They seem to forget the volume of writing that dances across the horizon of our very existence... they don't realize just how much they can do, and are already doing. Texting and short-hand writing have become a staple of today's generation and many students transfer that understanding of the written word into classroom activities.  Not to say that there is not a place for it... rather, teacher need to FIND that place for it. Creating mock facebook pages of authors with their background and "friends" is a great way to demonstrate understanding a person or period in time; "tweeting" summary ideas of a story shows comprehension in its simplest form and allows for student centered discussion. These are both new aged forms of classroom relevancy to the real world.  I often use that as a bridge to bring them into the classroom, as my buy-in to get them to stay.  Beyond that, I seek powerful first person essays and stories to create the true power writing brings, the life that lies within the words.  Students need to feel valued, appreciated, and heard.  Asking them to bring a part of their world into the learning process while embracing the "standard" world that I am teaching, creates a forged bond that can keep both realms satisfied!

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Laura Kieselbach

June 7, 2011 at 2:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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