Using Jamboard to Engage Students

  • by Ashley Taplin
  • Feb. 7, 2021, 4:39 p.m.

I recently worked with a teacher on revamping a lesson to increase student engagement. Before designing the lesson, I asked her to describe what student engagement looks like and sounds like in her own classroom. Doing this seemed simple, but it uncovered key values that were important to her and helped bring more clarity to her vision.

Before reading on, I encourage you to take a 3-4 minutes to brainstorm your own ideas of student engagement on this Jamboard and share with others who might want to do this with you.

After doing this Jamboard activity with colleagues that I am coaching, I am reminded that student engagement is complex, and new challenges of virtual learning make social cues of physical engagement even harder to see and hear. However, no matter what setting we are in, I believe each response to what it looks like and sounds like to you can fall under one of the three types of engagement: emotional, behavioral, and cognitive.

Below are a few ideas that can be incorporated into any lesson that I hope will jumpstart new conversations for increasing student engagement:

  • Emotional: Help students emotionally engage and connect with each other by starting off breakout rooms with SEL prompts. Using get to know you questions such as, “if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?” or a “would you rather” type question can build relationships and comfortability before diving into content. (See it in action with students in this video from Edutopia).

  • Behavioral: Help students manage their behavioral engagement by purposefully embedding movement into content. Sara Van Der Werf is a math consultant who shares several ideas about movement in the math classroom. One of my favorites is incorporating it with remote students into Which One Doesn’t Belong by asking them to display their answer choice with a certain corresponding household item. (See example here).

  • Cognitive: Provide opportunities for reflection such as prompting students to graph their own engagement and confidence level. This can help you pinpoint specific students to check-in with and reflect on the lesson strategies as a whole. Grab this Jamboard template here.