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Pick and Plan

Pick and Plan
100 Brain-Compatible Strategies for Lesson Design

May 2007 | 144 pages | Corwin
Pick and Plan offers teachers 100 classroom-ready activities that are based upon how the brain learns and remembers new information. Beginning with a brief overview of the building blocks of the brain, four memory pathways, and what the research says, the author then introduces a five-part lesson planning model: engager, frame, activity, debrief, and story/metaphor. The book offers sample lessons that demonstrate each part of the model in practice, allowing the teacher to 'pick and plan' on an as-needed basis with a fully browsable table of contents. Research sidebars and lively discourse make the book a teacher-friendly resource for beginning or veteran teachers who want to liven up their lesson planning with brain-friendly strategies in mind.

About the Author
Part I. At the Beginning
1. The Building Blocks of the Brain: How We Learn
Brain Functions

Memory Pathways

Part II. The Lesson Plan
2. Engager
Strategy 1. Interview: Man on the Street

Strategy 2. Who am I?

Strategy 3. Reporter Relay

Strategy 4. Do You Know Your Neighbor

Strategy 5. Corners

Strategy 6. Fishbowl Discussion

Strategy 7. Fill 'er Up

Strategy 8. Word Play

Strategy 9. Scavenger Hunt

Strategy 10. Dialogue Circles

Strategy 11. What's Missing

Strategy 12. Mystery Box

Strategy 13. Crossed Wires: Telephone With a Twist

Strategy 14. Collaborative Stories

Strategy 15. To Tell the Truth

Strategy 16. Quick Draw

Strategy 17. Categories

Strategy 18. Life Boat

Strategy 19. Hot Potato With a Twist

Strategy 20. Two Truths and a Lie

3. Frame
4. Activity
Strategy 21. Writing

Strategy 22. Mnemonic Devices

Strategy 23. Peer Discussion/Peer Teaching

Strategy 24. Graphic Organizers

Strategy 25. Storytelling

Strategy 26. Guest Speaker

Strategy 27. Movement

Strategy 28. Role Play

Strategy 29. Celebrations

Strategy 30. Debate

Strategy 31. Music

Strategy 32. Reading Strategies

Strategy 33. Field Trips

Strategy 34. Discovery Learning

Strategy 35. Cooperative Learning

Strategy 36. Rituals

Strategy 37. Novelty

Strategy 38. Art and Creativity

Strategy 39. Scaffolding

Strategy 40. Manipulatives/Models

5. Debrief
Strategy 41. Up!

Strategy 42. Board Races

Strategy 43. Hot Potato With a Twist

Strategy 44. Seven Up With a Splash

Strategy 45. Jeopardy

Strategy 46. Bingo

Strategy 47. Cartoons

Strategy 48. Each One, Teach Three

Strategy 49. Schema Mapping

Strategy 50. Turn to Your Neighbor

Strategy 51. Interview the Expert

Strategy 52. Alphabet Summaries

Strategy 53. Bumper Stickers

Strategy 54. Newsbreak!

Strategy 55. Top Ten

Strategy 56. Hot Dog

Strategy 57. Give Them the Finger

Strategy 58. Circle Stories

Strategy 59. Concentration

Strategy 60. Flyswatter

6. Metaphor and Story
7. How to Mix a Group
Strategy 61. Playing Cards: Color (Two Groups)

Strategy 62. Playing Cards: Suit (Four Groups)

Strategy 63. Playing Cards: Number

Strategy 64. Playing Cards: Number and Color

Strategy 65. Birthday Line-up

Strategy 66. Birthday Week

Strategy 67. Numbered Craft Sticks

Strategy 68. Color of Clothing

Strategy 69. Volunteers

Strategy 70. Physical Attributes

Strategy 71. Hobbies

Strategy 72. Collections

Strategy 73. Last Number of Phone Number

Strategy 74. Last Letter of Name

Strategy 75. Four Corners

Strategy 76. Picture Match

Strategy 77. Proverbs

Strategy 78. Opposites

Strategy 79. Synonyms

Strategy 80. Categories

8. Breaks/Energizers
Strategy 81. Foot/Arm Spin

Strategy 82. Same/Different Pictures

Strategy 83. Indoor Volleyball

Strategy 84. Name Game

Strategy 85. Isometrics

Strategy 86. Simon Says

Strategy 87. Hand Slap

Strategy 88. Jumping Jacks

Strategy 89. Criss-Cross

Strategy 90. Follow the Leader

Strategy 91. Line Dancing

Strategy 92. Stretching

Strategy 93. Toss Across

Strategy 94. Juggling

Strategy 95. Jacks

Strategy 96. Gotcha!

Strategy 97. Rhythm

Strategy 98. Kick the Can: Desk Style

Strategy 99. Silent Ball

Strategy 100. Have a Ball!

Appendix A. Lesson Plan Samples
Appendix B. Elements of Activities

"A wealth of knowledge and practical strategies are packed into this lesson planning book. Teachers will use this informative book to design quality lessons to reach all learners. This one won't gather dust; it will be that dog-eared, coffee-stained, often-used volume!"

Sandra Hess, Assistant Superintendent
Warsaw Community Schools, IN

"Using a four-part model and field-tested teaching strategies, Utter has developed a mix-and-match format for creating an endless variety of dynamic, brain-friendly lesson plans."

Bonnie Rogers, Coordinator of Adult Education
Fort Wayne Community Schools, IN

"If you really want to energize your teaching, this is the book for you. The research-based content is full of ideas presented in a practical and user-friendly format."

Joanne Cearbaugh, ESL Methods Instructor
Taylor University

"it is refreshing to have ideas that will help me tap into new strategies for organizing my lesson plans to help my students learn."

Jana J. Ames, Literacy Coach
Pahvant Elementary, Richfield, UT

"Presents an activities-based workbook to teachers, offering strategies to tailor classroom activities to students' individual learning styles and needs. Sample lessons and sidebars of information accompany classroom-specific routines and suggestions gleaned from real-world applications that work."

California Bookwatch, August 2007
Key features
  • 100 classroom-ready lesson plans based upon how the brain learns and remembers new information
  • Includes an overview of the building blocks of the brain, four memory pathways, and what the research says
  • Sample lessons demonstrate a five-part lesson planning model in action: engager, frame, activity, debrief, and story/metaphor
  • Research sidebars and lively discourse make the book a teacher-friendly resource for beginning or veteran teachers 

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