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Strategies to increase the level of student engagement with state adopted curriculum materials
School should be a productive learning environment where students gain knowledge and build on top of their background knowledge. In order to fully comprehend information, students must show interest in the subject matter. Due to the curriculum being tremendously controlled, students are limited when it comes to reflecting on their background knowledge or studying a subject that is appealing. This study investigated a variety of teaching strategies used to enhance the level of student engagement while using stated adopted curriculum materials. My mentor teacher and I explored different aspects of student engagement that involved: implementing different teaching strategies into the classroom, asking for student and parent feedback, analyzing student work samples, interviewing teachers, and maintaining anecdotal records on our lessons. We also looked for any attitude changes involving academics such as an increase in student engagement, active participation, and deeper understandings of the content. The methods and procedures used contributed to answering: How can I improve the student engagement in my second grade classroom using a variety of teaching strategies with state adopted curriculum materials? Anecdotal notes, pretests, posttests, feedback forms, interviews, and student work samples were the methods used to demonstrate that it is possible for students to be engaged while using a variety of teaching strategies with state adopted curriculum materials. The results of the methods used were consistent. Student engagement increased when visual learning, team tasks, and student choice were implemented into the curriculum when compared to teaching using state adopted curriculum materials only. In many cases, students became motivated to extend their own learning through independent research after exposure to engaging teaching strategies.