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Engaging Learning Strategies

Learning is active, engaging, and social. Students need to be engaged and motivated in their learning before they can apply higher order, creative thinking skills. They are most engaged when they themselves are part of constructing meaning, not when teachers do it for them. By encouraging students to meet challenges creatively, collaborate, and apply critical thinking skills to real-world, unpredictable situations inside and outside of school, we prepare them for future college, career, and citizenship success.

Effective classroom instruction that embraces both high standards and accountability for students' learning can be project-based, focused on service and the community, experiential, cooperative, expeditionary ... the list goes on. These engaging learning strategies are grounded in instructional objectives, provide clear feedback, and enable students to thrive cognitively, socially, emotionally, and civically.

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Physical Activity and Physical Education

We know that students do better in school when they are emotionally and physically healthy. They miss fewer classes, are less likely to engage in risky or antisocial behavior, concentrate more, and achieve higher test scores. Physical education programs not only improve physical fitness, but they can also benefit students by improving skill development, reinforcing self-discipline, supporting academic achievement, reducing stress, strengthening peer relationships, improving self-confidence and self-esteem, and teaching goal setting.

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Arts Integration

The arts play an essential role in providing each student with a well-rounded education that meets the needs of the whole child. Although classes strictly focused on music, visual arts, drama, dance, and art history are critical, integrating the arts across the curriculum is also key to ensuring that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

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Child Development

Why are the developmental sciences important in the classroom? What is child development and why can academic progress not be separated from the emotional, social, and cognitive changes that occur simultaneously? Effective application of the science of learning and child development in early childhood, the middle grades, and adolescence can be used to maximize learning and help ensure that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

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A school and community that do not address bullying cannot ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Bullying is not an issue that can be focused on for just one month and then forgotten. It is our responsibility to know the signs, intervene, model respectful behaviors, and teach understanding. How do you ensure your schools and communities are safe?

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Fast, Free, Online: The ASCD School Improvement Tool

Designed for use in schools and districts, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment.