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Have you ever plunked yourself down in a staff meeting where some of your colleagues were, for lack of a better phrase, not paying attention?
Grading homework? Having private conversations? Texting? As we know all too well, kids aren't a whole lot different than adults: If they aren't absorbed by what's going on, they'll find something else that interests them. Getting all your students focused, eager, and on task at the beginning of class is challenging enough.