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How to Keep Kids Engaged in Class

How to Keep Kids Engaged in Class
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. Still, unless you manage to capture and keep students' focus, whether at the beginning of or midway through class, the engine of student learning that you are trying to drive simply isn't even in gear. From Dead Time to Active Learning I call this lack of engagement dead time. I have come to feel that dead time is so pernicious that I will do everything I can to prevent even the hint of an outbreak. They call students at Level 4, the lowest level, the work avoiders, and on level 3 are the halfhearted workers. Building Your Arsenal

Hands-on Activities for Teaching Biology to High School or Middle School Students by Drs. Ingrid Waldron and Jennifer Doherty, University of Pennsylvania The expression "hands-on, minds-on" summarizes the philosophy we have incorporated in these activities - namely, that students will learn best if they are actively engaged and if their activities are closely linked to understanding important biological concepts. Many of our activities are explicitly aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, as indicated by (NGSS) in the descriptions below and the links to the right. To accommodate limited budgets, most of our activities can be carried out with minimum equipment and expense for supplies. Additional resources for teaching biology are available at More Minds on Activities for Teaching Biology. Read More Intro and Biological Molecules Is Yeast Alive? Students evaluate whether the little brown grains of yeast obtained from the grocery store are alive by testing for metabolism and growth. Enzymes Help Us Digest Food(revised, July, 2016) Who Took Jerell's iPod?

How to Motivate People: Skip the Bonus and Give Them a Real Project Science has managed to reveal some crazy things that fly in the face of almost every commonly accepted management practice. Here's the latest: Rewards for top performers lead them to worse performance. And if you want to foster innovation, bonuses won't work either. Rather, it's all about letting people slip from under line management and strike out on their own, on projects they care about. Dan Pink lays all that out in this new video, which illustrates a talk he gave at the RSA (a kind of British version of TED): Wild stuff, and all the more unsettling because of the current mess on Wall Street. The fact that science has also created a new vision for workplace performance--fueled less by management and more by individual goals--is shocking. Pink tackles those themes at length in Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

Khan Academy - StumbleUpon Education 2.0 – Social Networking and Education In the last decade, the Internet has changed how teachers and students learn in the classroom. Companies like Google, Wikipedia, and WordPress have opened the door to instant exploration of subjects and questions that haven’t been available in the classroom before. Students are now able to explore the ancient Egyptian pyramids using Google Maps, see updated facts and information on a wiki, or read a famous explorer’s blog posts on their expeditions, all safely from their desks. Classrooms, schools and even districts are able to share and collaborate in private social networks, expanding collective knowledge and relationships to new horizons. With our culture’s shift to “social,” companies have created tools that offer free platforms for blogs, wikis and private social networking sites. Blogs share the knowledge of the classroom, projects, and/or experiences with others who can greatly benefit from the shared knowledge.

5 Words You’ll Never Hear on the Campaign Trail In this (and every) election year, I find myself amazed all over again at the phenomenal effort our elected and would-be elected officials put into the denial of their own mistakes. They don’t ever want to fess up to anything, it seems. 5 words you’ll never hear on the campaign trail: “Here’s How I Screwed Up.” I get it; I understand their motives. They want to get nominated, elected, or re-elected, and they don’t want to give any more grist to their competitors’ meat-grinding mill than absolutely necessary. I understand that leadership in the political arena is, in many ways, different from the day-to-day, up-close-and-personal leadership you and I practice in our places of work. There’s no such thing as a perfect human being, and the minute one tries to appear to be perfect, he or she is automatically suspect. So, how about we all stop trying so hard to market ourselves as flawless? Here’s the question: How bold and public are you willing to be with your own valuable screw-ups?

Test Your Creativity: 5 Classic Creative Challenges Fascinated by how brains and creativity work, we frequently share new research on the 99U twitter feed, showing how everything from drinking alcohol, to taking vacations, to moving your eyes from side to side can make you more creative. What’s particularly interesting, however, is that most of these studies rely on just a small group of core creativity tests – and you don’t need any special lab equipment to take them. Below, we’ve collected five of the most commonly used creativity challenges for your self-testing pleasure. While creativity “testing” is far from an exact science, trying your mettle at these challenges could yield insight into when, where, and how you’re most creative. 1. Developed by J.P. Hold papers togetherCufflinksEarringsImitation mini-tromboneThing you use to push that emergency restart button on your routerKeeping headphones from getting tangled upBookmark The test measures divergent thinking across four sub-categories: 2. 3. 4. 5.

Conference 2011: Key Insights on Idea Execution (Pt. II) More insights on making ideas happen from the 2011 edition of the 99U Conference… Laura Guido-Clark onstage at the 99U Conference. LAURA GUIDO-CLARK /// Principal, Laura Guido-Clark Design At Laura Guido-Clark’s design studio, she focuses on the color, materials, and finish, working with companies like Apple, Dell, DWR to “skin” products. “60% of what I do is about ‘passionate consulting’ and 40% of the time, I focus on my dreams.”Actually setting aside a percentage of your time to work on projects unrelated to your day-job (however much you may love your day-job) will ensure that you accomplish what really matters to you.Spend less time on what to do, and more on how to be.Be mindful about yourself and your actions: Are the things you’re spending your time on consistent with the person you want to be? Linda Rottenberg onstage at the 99U Conference. LINDA ROTTENBERG /// Co-Founder & CEO, Endeavor If you’re not being told you’re crazy, you’re not thinking big enough.Crazy is a compliment.

Conference 2011: Key Insights on Idea Execution (Pt. III) More insights on making ideas happen from the 2011 edition of the 99U Conference… Soraya Darabi onstage at the 99U Conference. SORAYA DARABI /// Co-Founder, Foodspotting + Digital Strategist Soraya Darabi cut her teeth at the New York Times, leading the drive to integrate the Gray Lady’s content into the universe of social media. Take a beta approach to social media.As new platforms come online, we should be willing to experiment with the ones that seem relevant to us. Starlee Kine onstage at the 99U Conference. STARLEE KINE /// Radio Producer & Writer A radio producer for This American Life and a writer, Starlee Kine took the stage and instantly made the audience feel at ease – as one attendee commented, “listening to Starlee Kine is like sitting on a couch with her.” Tony Schwartz onstage at the 99U Conference. TONY SCHWARTZ /// President & CEO, The Energy Project Yves Béhar onstage at the 99U Conference. YVES BÉHAR /// Founder & Chief Designer, FuseProject What’s Your Take?

To Get Students Invested, Involve Them in Decisions Big and Small By Matt Levinson When asked why he became a scientist, Nobel Laureate Isidor Rabi attributed his success to his mother. Every day, she would ask him the same question about his school day: “Did you ask a good question today?” “Asking good questions – made me become a scientist!” Rabi said. Questions are critical, and how to manage and navigate a good question requires practice. The hardest part about using design thinking in class is getting the question right and staying in the question. For teachers, in designing learning experiences for students that are embedded with technology, the wording and focus of the question are paramount. [RELATED: For Students, Why the Question is More Important Than The Answer] “I’ve seen students with iPads and the novelty is there and the engagement is there, but it’s not clear that novelty and engagement will lead to increased academic achievement,” writes Stanford Education professor Larry Cuban In The LA Times.