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It's June and PIE is concluding the 2023-24 PIE-Lights for Inclusion series focused on student engagement. Throughout the year, we have explored this topic through the lens of cognitive, behavioral, and emotional engagement. To conclude the series, PIE focuses on participation. Self-reflect on the multiple topics covered this year and how your participation in the series may influence your future educational practices. 

Thank you for your investment in this series as you work to Welcome, Serve, and Celebrate all students in Catholic schools!

Please contact PIE's Director, Christie Bonfiglio at, with questions.

June 2024


Previous Month's PIE-Lights

Emotional regulation is the attempt to influence one's emotions–when they occur and their expression (Gross, 2015). Students with better emotional regulation due to systematic Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction experience greater motivation to learn and improved performance (Durlak et al., 2011). 

In the May PIE-Lights for Inclusion, PIE describes the importance of supporting students' emotional regulation and provides a practical strategy for P-12 classrooms. Use your Engagement Graphic Organizer to document these valuable resources.

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Executive functioning (EF) is an umbrella term for the cognitive processes that underlie flexible, goal-directed behavior. There are many EF skills, including, but not limited to, attention, time management, goal setting, and organization. These skills are required to effectively and efficiently acquire knowledge and problem-solve (Goldstein & Naglieri, 2014). Lacking EF skills affects one’s readiness to learn and can create a downward spiral in the classroom, resulting in learned helplessness, lack of interest, and refusal to participate (Strosnider & Sharpe, 2019). Therefore, these mental skills are the basic cognitive building blocks that support successful learning and student engagement (Zelazo et al., 2017).

In April, PIE focuses on the EF skill of organization. Organization goes beyond clean desks and color-coded folders. This month, PIE-Lights for Inclusion provides research on instructional organization. It highlights the importance of building this skill so learners can independently engage content to support their own learning. PIE invites you to engage with this content using the Student Engagement Graphic Organizer.

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Student achievement is positively correlated with behavioral engagement. That is, higher academic skills (achievement) result in more student engagement (Pan et al., 2013). Inversely, when students are highly engaged, they achieve at higher levels (Nunez et al., 2015). Given this important relationship, PIE-Lights for Inclusion will focus on academic skills. Literacy skills are the one academic skill necessary for every content area. Since March is National Reading Month, this month’s edition of PIE-Lights for Inclusion focuses on literacy–specifically the importance of vocabulary. Don’t forget to add this information to the year-long Student Engagement Graphic Organizer.

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In February’s edition of PIE-Lights for Inclusion, PIE introduces the concept of agentic engagement and its relationship to student interest. Student engagement researchers have introduced this fourth domain to supplement academic, behavioral, and affective engagements.

At the midpoint of the year, review your student interest data and employ strategies from this month’s edition to see if your students feel empowered to share their preferences in the classroom.

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In January, the PIE team continues our focus on student engagement with our PIE-Lights for Inclusion series. This month we focus on Attention

Cognitive engagement is one of the three integrated components of student engagement. It has multiple contingent factors, including attention as a critical contributor (Halverson & Graham, 2019). In this edition, PIE outlines variables related to attention and provides an evidence-based practice to counter inattentiveness. 

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The PIE team is pleased to continue our PIE-Lights for Inclusion series on student engagement. In December, we focus on sensory integration. 

Sensory integration is the brain's process of recognizing and responding to the information our senses provide, which is critical to life-long success (Star Institute). This month, PIE outlines issues with sensory integration, specifically hypo- and hypersensitivity. 

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The PIE team is excited to continue our PIE-Lights for Inclusion series on student engagement with a focus on Classroom Culture in November. 

A positive classroom culture requires educators to implement culturally responsive inclusion practices, build relationships, and use proactive management strategies (Renke, Herman, & Copeland, 2022). 

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The PIE team is excited to introduce a new resource: PIE-Lights for Inclusion, a series designed to give teachers and educators strategies they can use in their classrooms to help their students inclusively.

Through the 2023-24 academic year, PIE-Lights for Inclusion will explore student engagement by spotlighting one engagement-related topic each month and providing a resource and a strategy to implement in your classroom or school. You can start this month by exploring the overview and using the graphic organizer. 

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