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Interactive Learning Experiences, Grades 6-12
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Interactive Learning Experiences, Grades 6-12
Increasing Student Engagement and Learning

Second Edition


September 2008 | 168 pages | Corwin
'This book will excite teachers who want to motivate today's secondary students. Information about the brain, presented along with the authorÆs personal teaching experiences, tips, and creative game ideas, makes for a very worthwhile read!'ùCindy Bean, Seventh-Grade Math TeacherArcola Intermediate Middle School, Schwenksville, PAEnergize adolescents with memorable and engaging learning experiences!Research shows that the adolescent brain is wired to seek novelty and ignore familiar stimuli. This innovative resource demonstrates how teachers can transform everyday classroom lectures into memorable experiences and reinforce course content by introducing new, different, and surprising elements into daily lessons.Based on brain-compatible teaching principles, the updated edition of Making Learning Come Alive shows how to use stimulating interactive learning experiences to connect teenagers with content. Teachers will find activities and ideas for introducing each learning experience and will discover how to design and assess their own. Updated throughout, this new edition offers:Nine new sample learning experiences, including four in math and science A revised assessment chapter that covers standards-based education and NCLB Reflection questions in each chapterThe learning activities can be used as is or modified to connect with hundreds of themes and concepts across middle school and high school curricula.
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Why Create an Experience?
What Is an Experience?

 
Brain-Compatible Learning

 
Seeing Into the Brain

 
How the Brain Learns

 
Brain Research and Education: What Teachers Need to Know

 
Why Is It So Hard to Impress a Teenager?

 
Emotion: At the Center of the Brain

 
Complex Learning Activities

 
The Power of Reflection

 
Reflection Questions for Teachers

 
 
2. How to Create an Experience
Preparing a Classroom Environment Conducive to Experiences

 
Here's the Problem

 
Spread the Love: Rapport-Building Exercises

 
The Physical Environment

 
Strategies for Creating Experiences

 
What Does Infinity Smell Like?

 
Move Your Body

 
Using Music to Build Anticipation, Excitement, and Readiness

 
Tying Music to Your Curriculum

 
Fantasy Contexts

 
Putting It All Together: Creating Your Own Experiences

 
Student Involvement

 
Other Ideas for Experiences

 
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

 
Ideas for English and Social Studies Teachers

 
Ideas for Math and Science Teachers

 
Ideas for World Language Teachers

 
Ideas for Health, Wellness, and Physical Education Teachers

 
Reflection Questions for Teachers

 
 
3. How Do You Assess an Experience?
Traditional vs. Authentic Assessment

 
Reflection as Formative Assessment

 
Aligning Your Experiences to Standards

 
Why Standards-Based?

 
Reflection as Summative Assessment

 
Other Considerations

 
See What They Already Know Before You Begin

 
Reflection Questions for Teachers

 
 
4. Sample Experiences
Guess Who Had This for Dinner

 
The Eliminator

 
Morning Move-Around

 
The Wave

 
Two Truths and a Lie

 
The Name Game

 
Thumper

 
Old-Fashioned Sing Down

 
Musical Moment

 
The Reveal

 
Debate Shift-Around

 
Save the Princess

 
Counter-Terrorism

 
The Arrest

 
Shelter

 
The Scream

 
The Fire

 
Power

 
Island Survival

 
The Salesman

 
Witch Hunt

 
The Farm Game

 
Crime Scene

 
Rollercoaster Designer

 
 
5. Making Experiences Work for You
 
Resource A. Reproducible Handouts
Song Reflection Report

 
Save the Princess

 
Counter-Terrorism

 
The Scream

 
Power

 
Island Survival

 
The Salesman

 
The Farm Game

 
Crime Scene

 
Lab Report

 
 
Resource B. Additional Resources
Brain-Based Learning Fun Kit

 
Web Resources About Brain-Compatible Learning

 
Web Resources About Simulation Games

 
 
References
 
Index

"This book will excite teachers who want to help motivate today’s secondary students. Information about the brain, presented along with the author’s personal teaching experiences, tips, and creative game ideas, makes for a very worthwhile read!"

Cindy Bean, Seventh-Grade Math Teacher
Arcola Intermediate Middle School, Schwenksville, PA

"Makes teachers think about the purpose and connection that a game will have to the curriculum as well as to students’ lives. This book helps clarify the purpose of including meaningful experiential games in the classroom."

Joan Baltezore, Biology Teacher
West Fargo High School, ND

"Smokler passionately argues the need for games in the curriculum as a means to create authentic and meaningful learning experiences. Hands down, this is the best book I’ve read about the use of games in the classroom!"

Sherry Annee, Biology Teacher
Brebeuf Jesuit Prep School, Indianapolis, IN

"The book begins with the teenager’s brain. In layman's terms, it lets teachers know why teenagers are difficult to engage and how to create a classroom atmosphere that will hold their attention and allow them to learn."

Melody Aldrich, English Teacher
Florence High School, AZ

"Gives teachers a variety of simulations and creative ideas they can try in their classrooms to help enhance and energize their teaching."

Chris Baker, Eighth-Grade Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair
Salem Middle School, Apex, NC

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