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Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind

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Deniece Moss

on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind

Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind
The Road to Practical Strategies for Raising Achievement
by: Eric Jensen

Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind
Introduction and Chapter One

Presented by:
Patty Phillips and Deniece Moss
What is Poverty?

Poverty is the state of being poor: lack of money or possessions
Health and Nutrition

A child who has a low socioeconomic status, has a greater risk of health risks. Health related factors include:

1. born premature or low birth weight
2. born with disabilities
3. less likely to receive appropriate medical attention
4. more likely to have mental health problems

Health-related factors significantly have an effect on cognition and behavior.
Many label students as "not reaching their potential" to be lazy or show little effort because their parents are lazy.
Vocabulary building must form a key part of the enrichment experiences for students at school.
Students from lower SES tend to have negative attitudes, a sense of hopelessness, and lower expectations.
Socioeconomic status is strongly associated with a number of measures of cognitive ability including:
Achievement Tests
Cognitive Capacity
More than 1/2 of all poor children deal with:
evictions each year
utility disconnections
lack of stove or refrigerator
YOU can make a difference!
Vocabulary – Let’s think about one reason our students may have issues with it…
Number of Words
Exposed to

13 million words

26 million words

45 million words
Economic Group


Working Class

Characteristics of Situational Poverty
What can teachers do?
Teachers must be relentless about using nonverbal communication, visual aids, and context to add meaning and incorporate vocabulary building in engagement activities whenever appropriate.
Common for immigrants

Occurs for a shorter period of time

Usually the result of circumstances (divorce, illness, death)

People have a sense of pride and a belief in their ability to rise above their circumstances through hard work.

They may refuse to accept offers of help as “charity.”
Characteristics of Generational Poverty

Affects a family for two generations or longer

Usually involves welfare

A common attitude is “I am stuck, and the world owes me.”

There is a short-term value system, which emphasizes survival in the present—not planning for the future (e.g., long-range educational plans).
Comparison of Situational and Generational Poverty

The values of persons in situational and generational poverty may differ in a number of areas.


Education is crucial for getting ahead in life, making good $$, being respected.

Education is valued in the abstract, not
emphasized as a real or attainable goal.

Food quality

This is more affordable but student behavior can suffer and they have a tougher time learning
Student engagement will increase when they have positive attitudes about their learning capacities,
Teachers must encourage students to believe in themselves and their abilities.
The brain needs oxygen and glucose. The supply of glucose to the brain needs to be stable otherwise students will have weaker cognitive and behavior outcomes.
Students need a high protein breakfast like this
one with complex carbohydrates
But they usually get a breakfast with simple carbohydrates.
Teachers can create
highly engaging classrooms
to compensate for the issues from poor nutrition
like this....
The Seven Engagement Factors

tied to socioeconomic status
Effort and Energy
J. Baker
former OTE student
Bay High Salutatorian 2011
Relationships of students living in Poverty
at least one parent may be absent causing stress and insecurity
fail to learn appropriate emotional responses
ratio of positives to negatives - 1-to-2
Effects of relational deficits
dropout and school failure rates increase
adolescent depression
overreacting to others' emotions
inappropriate social-emotional responses that can be interpreted as disrespect, poor manners or laziness
Teacher-student relationships can change the negative effects
Model how to respond and behave appropriately
Use a 6-1 positives-to-negatives ratio (PBS)
What does poverty look like?
When teachers cannot or will not connect personally, students are less likely to trust them.
You, the teacher, have the power to make the class engaging and make a difference. TAKE CONTROL and be the determining factor in the classroom.
Stress Level
A child who comes from a stressful home environment tends to channel that stress into disruptive behavior, such as impulsivity.
Survival Strategy: fight first, ask questions later.
Give students appropriate amounts of control over their daily lives at school.
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