# Engagement Archives - Mary Kienstra

## Halloween Estimation with Pumpkins

By: Mary Kienstra on: October 28, 2017  in: #tlap, Engagement, estimation, Math

Teaching math on Halloween requires even more creativity than other days.  Holding kids’ attention when they are only thinking about dressing up and trick or treating takes a special kind of  magic.  So what’s a teacher to do?  Halloween estimation with pumpkins! Here’s the plan:  Go to your local grocery store or anywhere that sells […]

## Eight Great Ways to Learn Algebra Thinking with Games

By: Mary Kienstra on: July 27, 2017  in: algebra, Engagement, Marcy Cook math, Math, , ,

The best games in the classroom have kids totally engaged and learning while they think they are playing.  With games, kids can practice a variety of skills as well as strategic thinking.  The idea is to give kids eight great ways to learn Algebra.  With games. And this is before they ever see an equation with […]

## Visual Algebra – Emoji Style

By: Mary Kienstra on: June 12, 2017  in: #tlap, algebra, emoji, Engagement

Algebra is fun and engaging when emojis represent the unknowns.  Solving these equations seems like working a puzzle, not an Algebra problem.  Kids love visual Algebra – emoji style.  It doesn’t even seem like work. According to Jo Boaler,  Visual mathematics is an important part of mathematics for its own sake and new brain research […]

## Eight Great Ways to Learn the Coordinate Plane

By: Mary Kienstra on: April 18, 2017  in: coordinate grid, dance, Engagement, Uncategorized

When kids live the coordinate plane they actually remember it.  Try these eight great ways to get kids to understand and remember the coordinate plane. 1. LIVE IT: Arrange the classroom on the coordinate grid.  Attach tape to the floor and arrange the desks with “addresses” that represent the plane.  As students come in, they pick […]

## One Book One School: Generating Reading Excitement

By: Mary Kienstra on: April 14, 2017  in: #tlap, Engagement, reading

Every teacher in every school is looking for ways to generate reading excitement.  How do we get kids more excited to read?  How do we motivate them?  How do we make reading fun for everyone?  This year was our first One Book One School.  It was a huge success. We started with the idea that […]

By: Mary Kienstra on: April 2, 2017  in: #tlap, creating, Engagement, reading

Filling out a bracket for March Madness is always exciting.  Which team will be this year’s “Cinderella?”  How will my favorite team do?  Which team will win it all?   A few years ago I decided to capitalize on this excitement.  In my classroom, it’s Book Madness 2017: Reading in the Brackets!  If the brackets […]

## My First Hyperdoc: Engaging Interaction

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 6, 2017  in: Engagement, hyperdoc, reading

I’m not sure when I first saw a HyperDoc, but I knew right away that was something I wanted to try.  After reading the book with my PLC,  I was ready.  I created my first hyperdoc to use with my reading class for our historical fiction unit.  I know it will not be my last. […]

## Choosing a Business Partner – Kid Style

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 4, 2017  in: #tlap, Engagement

There are times when students need to work together on a project for an extended period of time.  Sometimes those partnerships are just awkward.  You know how kids are – they are not always that excited about working with certain kids.  I think I found a way to make this situation a bit easier.  Make […]

## Hanging on to Clothesline Math

By: Mary Kienstra on: January 18, 2017  in: Engagement, percent, proportional thinknig

Most concepts are just more easily understood when they are made more concrete.  Clothesline math is the concrete representation of percents that helps students understand.  As my students shared their thinking during one of our clothesline math lessons, I wondered why it took me so long to try this.  Now my students are hanging on to […]

## Two Words: Small Group

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 31, 2016  in: assessment, differentiation, Engagement, feedback

So many teaching strategies come and go.  There’s always a new idea or the latest gimmick to engage kids in learning.  We have endless lists of buzz words and terms that describe various aspects of teaching and learning.  Of all the strategies I’ve employed, the one that engages my students the most consistently is two words: […]