Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6-12
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Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6-12



© 2013 | 224 pages | Corwin

Banish boredom once and for all!

If your STEM lessons are falling on disinterested ears, it's time to mix things up. What you need are more engaging, brain-based science and math strategies to captivate your students' attention, activate their prior knowledge, and invigorate their interest.

Blending current research on the student brain with practical methods for teaching science and math, John Almarode and Ann M. Miller identify six essential "ingredients" in a recipe for student success. In their book you'll discover

  • A customizable framework you can use right away
  • Classroom-ready, content-specific attention grabbers
  • Overt and covert strategies to boost behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement
  • Techniques for making relevant connections that maximize retention

With this new approach to captivating STEM lessons, you'll energize classroom time and keep your students on task and engaged—every day.



"This book links a wealth of best practices in lesson design to the latest research on how the brain learns new information."
—Edward C. Nolan, PreK-12 Content Specialist, Mathematics
Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD

"This book is a must-read for teachers of math or science who want to increase student achievement and create meaningful learning experiences!"
—Melissa Miller, Science Instructor
Lynch Middle School, Farmington, AR

 
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. The Recipe for an Engaged Brain
The Recipe for Student Engagement  
Recipes as Frameworks  
Using Your Engagement Monitor  
Engagement: An Overt and Covert Operation  
You Can Lead Students to Class, but Can You Make Them Think?  
Chapter 1: 3-2-1 Exit Ticket  
Engaging Professional Development Tasks  
References  
Engaging Professional Development Tasks  
 
2. Building Background Knowledge
Using Models to Build Background Knowledge  
A Road Map of the Brain  
The Nuts and Bolts  
Engaging the Students With Vocabulary  
Pandora's Box  
Chapter 2: Concept Development Exit Ticket  
Engaging Professional Development Tasks  
References  
 
3. Prime the Brain: Activate Prior Knowledge
The Deafening Sound of Silence  
Making Student Brains More Efficient  
Getting Better Encoding, Retention, and Recall  
Link to the Recipe for Engagement  
Chapter 3: "Fist List" Exit Ticket  
Engaging Professional Development Tasks  
References  
 
4. Captivate With Novelty
In the Classroom, Novelty Is the Spice of Life  
Emotionally Charged Events  
Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Novelty in Moderation  
Chapter 4: Exit Ticket  
Engaging Professional Development Tasks  
References  
 
5. Why Do We Need to Know This? Establishing Relevance
How Is Relevance Good for the Brain? A Mouse Tale  
How Can I Make Learning Behaviorally Relevant?  
Link to the Recipe for Engagement  
Chapter 5: Exit Ticket  
Engaging Professional Development Tasks  
References  
 
6. Too Much, Too Fast: Maintaining an Engaging Pace
Input and Quantity Limitations  
Press and Release  
What to Do Between Chunks?  
Too Much, Too Fast  
Chapter 6: Exit Ticket  
Engaging Professional Development Tasks  
References  
 
7. Make Learning a Long-Lasting, Invigorating Experience
It's as if They Were Never Even in Class  
Checking for Understanding  
Reading  
Closure Activities  
A Watched Pot Never Boils . . . and This Is a Good Thing  
Chapter 7: Exit Ticket  
Engaging Professional Development Tasks  
References  
 
8. Building an Engaging Science or Mathematics Lesson and Unit
Using the Recipe to Build an Engaging Lesson  
Using the Recipe to Build an Engaging Unit  
A Recipe for Diversity  
Taste Testing the Recipe  
Chapter 8: Exit Ticket  
Engaging Professional Development Tasks  
References  
 
Appendix A Unit Instructional Plan
 
Appendix B Daily Lesson Plan
 
Index

"This book links a wealth of best practices in lesson design to the latest research on how the brain learns new information. It is a must for all educators involved in building effective lessons."

Edward C. Nolan, PreK-12 Content Specialist, Mathematics
Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD

"This book provides a different perspective on how learning takes place. The authors provide unique insights into some of the obstacles to student learning in science and mathematics. The authors' strategies should provide classroom teachers with new tools and a fresh perspective on designing enhanced learning experiences for their students."

Patricia Waller, Educational Consultant and Retired Science Educator
Emmaus High School, Emmaus, PA

"The success of this book lies in the fact that this is a practitioner's voice, simple, concrete and easy to follow. The engaging lesson framework provides easy access to other practitioners on 'how.'"

Rosalind LaRocque, Professional Development Coordinator
American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC

"This book is a must-read for teachers of math or science who want to increase student achievement and create meaningful learning experiences!"

Melissa Miller, Middle School Science Instructor
Lynch Middle School, Farmington, AR

"This book offers real strategies to activate and invigorate learning in real students in real science and math classrooms."

Loukea N. Kovanis-Wilson, Chemistry Instructor
Clarkston High School, Clarkston, MI
Key features
  • Each chapter ends with "engaging strategies" that exemplify the topic discussed in the chapter
  • Strategies address specific math and science content areas (earth science, algebra, physics, etc.)
  • Useful forms and supplements for each strategy are included
  • Space is provided after each strategy for the teacher to brainstorm how they will adapt and implement the strategy. This makes the book useful for independent or group book study.
  • Each chapter has "stop-n-thinks" that ask the reader to pause, take a break from reading, process, and reflect upon the content. This models the importance of reflective practice needed to personalize the strategies discussed in book and provides a chance for readers to make conscious decisions about their own classrooms.
  • A sample lesson plan template is included.
  • A glossary of terms assists readers with brain terminology.

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ISBN: 9781452218021

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