Increasing engagement by including deliberate moments in every lesson that hook student interest.

by Beth Maloney

Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12


Without continuous engagement, students won’t learn anything at all. I have found that the best way to drive engagement is to plan and introduce deliberate moments in every lesson that hook their interest.

The more I hook students’ interest about the learning I want them to engage in, the more I bridge the initial gap between them and the content they’re studying.

I engage students by creating lesson hooks that:

–Ask them to call upon their physical senses and their personal experiences,

–Help them integrate the real world within their learning, and

–Highlight the relevance of their lesson to their own lives.

The more I can hook students in these ways, the more engaged they become in their own learning.


What I did well…

I believe that I explained why student engagement is crucial to maximizing instruction and how lesson or unit hooks are a useful tool for teachers. I also feel like I explained how and why teachers can use students’ emotions to their benefit to create engagement. I tried to engage my adult learners by using invitational language and opportunities for movement. I gave many opportunities for the adult learners to participate, share ideas, and reflect on their own learning.

What I would do more of, better, or differently…

I would have loved for our brainstorming and sharing ideas time to extend much longer. This group of teachers was very interested in this topic and we enjoyed learning from each other. We could have talked much longer! I’ve already used several of their fabulous ideas, such as “Hang a Puritan” and voice-overs in my own classroom.

I still want to grow this practice by…

I am always looking for ways to add to my toolbelt of ideas by sharing engaging activities and tips and techniques with other teachers to enhance students engagement. I also plan on continuing my personal professional learning goal of studying current brain research and how the brain learns to improve my instruction and delivery.

About Beth Maloney

Beth Maloney is currently in her seventeeth year of teaching and enjoys every minute of her time in the classroom. She is currently teaching fifth ...

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