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Just Ask Us

Just Ask Us
Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement

Foreword by Carol Radford

Additional resources:

January 2018 | 256 pages | Corwin

Use these 10 strategies to teach and communicate content that sticks!

Students learn best when collaborating, talking, and working with their peers. That’s what Edutopia blogger and education expert Heather Wolpert-Gawron discovered when she surveyed students nationwide. Now you can hear from the students themselves and discover 10 comprehensive and fresh ideas on precisely what and how to capture your students’ imagination and minds for deep learning, everyday

This research-based approach to cooperative learning provides plentiful lesson ideas, vignettes, videos, and insightful student interviews to help you:

  • Understand the research base for collaborative learning
  • Implement and manage competitively cooperative student work group
  • Incorporate movement, visual tools, and technology
  • Develop achievement-based PBL projects 
  • Conduct your own student survey for increased student choice

Move beyond just teaching content. Build a strong classroom community where students chew on, process, mull over, and retain information everyday using these 10 deep engagement strategies!  

About the Author
The Importance of Student Engagement

Pedagogy Versus Personality

An Argument: What Engages Teachers Also Engages Students

A Brief Note on Brain Research and Student Engagement

The Engagement Survey Process

How Is This Book Different From Others?

Student Engagement Survey

1. Let Us Work Together

Setting Up Group Work for Success

Competitive Learning Can Still Be Collaborative Learning

An Awesome Byproduct: Stronger Classroom Community

What Collaboration Looks Like in the Classroom

Engaging Teacher Spotlight

Discussion Questions

2. Make Learning More Visual and Utilize Technology

This Is Our Brain on Visuals

Learning Through Visuals

The One Visual Tool to Rule Them All: Technology

What Using More Visuals (and Technology) Looks Like in the Classroom

Engaging Teacher Spotlight

Discussion Questions

3. Connect What We Learn to the Real World

PBL Isn’t Just About Engagement; It’s Also About Achievement

Breaking Down the Parts of PBL

Finding an Authentic Goal for Your PBL Unit

What Meaningful Learning Looks Like in the Classroom

Engaging Teacher Spotlight

Discussion Questions

4. Let Us Move Around

What More Movement Looks Like in the Classroom

Engaging Teacher Spotlight

Discussion Questions

5. Give Us Choices

The Academic Benefits of Student Choice

Keeping Structure While Giving Freedom

What Giving Student Choice Looks Like in the Classroom

Engaging Teacher Spotlight

Discussion Questions

6. Show Us You’re Human Too

Unabashedly Show That You Care About the Content

Unabashedly Show That You Care About the Students

The Power of Humor in the Classroom

Using Personal Stories as a Tool for Engagement

Being Fallible to Help Students Understand Learning

What Being More Human Looks Like in the Classroom

Engaging Teacher Spotlight

Discussion Questions

7. Help Us Create Something With What We’ve Learned

Consumption Versus Creation

Creating and Making in Every Subject Area

Creation and the Role of Technology

What Creation Looks Like in the Classroom

Engaging Teacher Spotlight

Discussion Questions

8. Teach Us Something New in a New Way

The Detrimental Practice of Overreviewing

Stepping Out of Our Wheelhouse to Model Learning

What Opening Eyes to New Concepts Looks Like in the Classroom

Engaging Teacher Spotlight

Discussion Questions

9. Mix Things Up

Learning Styles Versus Multiple Intelligences

What Mixing Up Our Implementation Looks Like in the Classroom

Engaging Teacher Spotlight

It’s Hard to Be Engaging

What to Expect When You Adopt These Strategies


"Just Ask Us: Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement is an outstanding resource manual for teachers to increase student engagement. Each chapter includes extensive quotes from students that support researched-based best practices. Diagrams and photos of student work illustrate how students can effectively work together and use more visually stimulated methods to connect their learning to real world applications."

Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Author, Trainer, and Co-Founder
Generational Parenting Blog at, San Jose, CA

"Heather Wolpert-Gawron meshes her teaching experience with extensive student feedback to offer sage advice and a clear argument as to the importance of increased student engagement in their learning environments. She provides practical application that will help teachers everywhere up their game in providing students the right foundation for deeper connections to their learning."

Janelle McLaughlin, Educational Consultant
Innovative Education Solutions, Manchester, IN

"Just Ask Us: Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement is not only a quality read, but also a fresh perspective beyond just providing interesting lessons. It clearly states that student engagement is directly connected to academic content and outcomes."

Julie Frederick, Nationally Board Certified Kindergarten Teacher
Broadview Thomson K-8, Seattle WA

"Any teacher who ever wanted to poll students about what works best for them when learning, and really using the data received to help students, should read this book.  The research behind WHY the ideas presented work, and the practical strategies suggested are also great bonuses."

Patrick Pergola, 7th Grade Science Teacher
Sparta Middle School, Sparta, NJ

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