engaging practices

How to Activate Student Learning

Color illustrated for only $24.95

the author

Cristal McGill received her PhD in Educational Psychology from Arizona State University. People who have taken her workshops and classes praise her creative style, innovation, and passion for teaching.

She has a reputation for facilitating upbeat, interactive, meaningful sessions marked by engaging instructional practices. Cristal also facilitates dynamic “train the teachers to be trainers” seminars, allowing her to model and coach engaging practices with school districts that require teachers to provide professional development for their peers.

As a leader in the field of engagement, her workshops are loaded with practical, easy-to-use tips and tricks, a game-changer in professional development experiences. Workshops with Cristal have a consistent record of increasing attendance, cooperation, and participation due to her facilitation of active learning strategies. Cristal offers one to four-day programs customized to your specific needs. Participants walk away with an “explosion” of ideas guaranteed to lift any classroom to an entirely new level.

You can find Dr McGills book Engaging Practices in black and white on Amazon at:


Dr. McGills book is full of original art works that are wonderfully colored and illustrated to the rhythms of the book. A full color edition of Engagement Practices is available for 24.95 (S/H included for continental US).

Get ready

This engagement model includes five different components that, when orchestrated together, create an enriched learning climate. Each component stands on its own merits, but when combined, you experience an involved (hand-raising), energetic, participating group of learners. LEARNING IS “STATE” DEPENDENT: INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY METHODS

Social-emotional mindfulness

Social-emotional mindfulness is the soft skill knowledge we use to understand and manage emotions, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.1

When we consciously address our learner’s social-emotional abilities, we promote soft skill opportunities for our learners to improve their personal self-awareness, social awareness, self-control, and relationship skills. The stronger our students’ soft skills develop, the more gains we experience as teachers.

Positive psychological capital (PsyCap)

Positive psychological capital is likened to a savings account that supports the consequences of negative or negatively-perceived human interactions. Development of social and emotional assets builds psychological capital that endows students with the mental strength to cope with adversity. Academic stressors threaten psychological and physical well-being. These stressors may contribute to problems including distraction, fatigue, anxiety, and even illness. Learners with stress-resilient personalities suffer less in response to

the same stresses. Barbara Fredrickson, a champion in the field of positive psychology, has studied the effects of mild positive emotions on desired cognitive traits, including attentiveness and problem-solving. Fredrickson found that feeling a mild and pleasant positive emotional state before experiencing content leads to greater retention.2

Rapport and relationships

Strong relationships are the bedrock for growing and inspiring young minds. You can enrich any learning environment by building personal rapport. Your authentic relationships improve your approachability, making you less threatening and cultivating a safe place for students to risk failure. We nurture emotionally healthy settings by purposefully facilitating positive relationships with and among our learners.


Language is a teacher’s most powerful tool. Every day, the words, tone, and pace we choose have the power to help students develop self-control, build their sense of belonging, and gain understanding.We use linguistic strategies with framing language to create relevance toward content, and curiosity strategies to create inquisitive and interested learners.




You can find Dr. McGill’s book Engaging Practices in black and white at Amazon. For this version please click the link below. Dr. McGill’s book is also available, straight from our home office in a color version full of original art works that are wonderfully colored and illustrated to the rhythms of the book. That full color edition of Engagement Practices is available for 24.95 (S/H included for continental US). For the color version please fill out the order form below.
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