Strategies & Activities Looking for Strategies and Activities? Click Here! In this section of the site, the aim is to provide teachers with examples of activities they can use to increase the amount of Getting it/Using it activities in their repertoire. We believe in the sharing of ideas between teachers as the idea is not to create the most original lesson, but the most effective one for student learning; as such, we invite you to browse through the different activity sections and use any activities or resources that you feel would be useful.
30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class One day, in front 36 riotous sophomores, I clutched my chest and dropped to my knees like Sergeant Elias at the end of Platoon. Instantly, dead silence and open mouths replaced classroom Armageddon. Standing up like nothing had happened, I said, "Thanks for your attention -- let's talk about love poems." I never used that stunt again. After all, should a real emergency occur, it would be better if students call 911 rather than post my motionless body on YouTube. I've thought this through.
Bill Rogers Behaviour Management I came across Bill Rogers‘ work on behaviour management early in my career. I started working in some really tough schools. In some ways, it was lucky, because it made the rest of my career less challenging and prepared me for my very first principal’s role in 1995 (teaching principal), at a school with a teacher turnover rate of 400% over the two years prior to my starting. A lot of my success with challenging classes was due to the work of behaviour management guru Bill Rogers – a real teacher with extensive expertise in behaviour management. Bill’s advice cover’s everything from preventative behaviour management techniques, to consequences and one-on-one programs with particularly disruptive students. I like all of Bill’s work, and recommend it to all of you.
How to Respond to Rude Comments About Teaching When I’m at social gatherings, I often meet non-teachers who ask me questions about teaching. The vast majority of these people are kind and gracious. They’ll tell me about a teacher they had that impacted them positively, or will ask my opinion on thoughtful questions about education. But occasionally, I’ll get someone who is walking around lugging this giant anti-teaching axe to grind. He/she will say something either completely rude or just passive-aggressively rude about teaching, and I have to take a moment in my head to sort through what kind of response I’d like to give that individual. Here are five such comments, as well as my recommendations for how (and how not) to respond.
Character Resources - Let It Ripple When we starting making our first film on character two years ago, called The Science of Character, we talked to countless researchers and educators, and searched across the web and found all sorts of wonderful resources, but we couldn't find one place that aggregated all the ideas around character from different perspectives. So, we decided to start to build one. This catalogue of over 1,600 articles, lessons plans, tools, research, books, films, apps, websites, and games to dive deeper into all the different character strengths and approaches to character development is just the beginning of this journey. We hope you will send ideas to us for each section so that we can grow this together. We are also seeking partners and funds to make this Character Resource Hub as current and beautiful as it can be.
10 TED Talks Every Art Teacher Should Watch Hopefully, when I tell you I have been watching Ted Talks non-stop for a month, you know I am talking about the short, inspiring videos and not the rude, crude talking bear. TED Talks started back in 1984 when a conference was held for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Speakers were challenged to present powerful speeches in under 18 minutes. Since then, it has grown into a national movement with one mission– to spread ideas. My first TED talk happened to be by Matt Cutts with his challenge to do something new for 30 days.
Five psychological findings every history teacher should know This text is somewhere between what I planned to say and what I did say during my session at the Historical Association’s annual conference in Bristol yesterday, with a few reflections in italics. I’m going to start with a couple of stories from the pillar of the local free press: Hackney Today. As one of only a handful of local authorities still publishing a paper fortnightly, and having recently been instructed to cease doing so by central government, this is not an opportunity to be missed.
Can reading make you smarter? When I was eight years old, I still couldn't read. I remember my teacher Mrs Browning walking over to my desk and asking me to read a few sentences from a Dick and Jane book. She pointed to a word. Train Your Brain To Let Go Of Habits – 10 Methods For Creating New Neural Pathways When you understand how neural pathways are created in the brain, you get a front row seat for truly comprehending how to let go of habits. Neural pathways are like superhighways of nerve cells that transmit messages. You travel over the superhighway many times, and the pathway becomes more and more solid. You may go to a specific food or cigarettes for comfort over and over, and that forms a brain pathway. The hopeful fact, however, is that the brain is always changing and you can forge new pathways and create new habits.
How To Trick Your Brain To Hold On To Positive Habit Changes We truly are creatures of habit. Nearly half of our everyday behaviors tend to be repeated in the same location almost every day, according to research out of Duke University. That means most of the time we are running on autopilot. This is a good thing. "Without habits, people would be doomed to plan, consciously guide, and monitor every action, from making that first cup of coffee in the morning to sequencing the finger movements in a Chopin piano concerto," the researchers David Neal, Wendy Wood, and Jeffrey Quinn write. So what of the new habits we're working hard to form--the ones that seem to suddenly veer off course?
Retrieval Practice: A Powerful Strategy to Improve Learning — Summary of Recommendations Use retrieval practice as a learning strategy, not as an assessment tool.Use retrieval practice frequently, as often as possible. Practice makes perfect!Use retrieval practice a few days or weeks after a lesson or study session. Space it out.Use a variety of strategies to implement frequent retrieval practice: clickers, flash cards, online quizzes, quick writing prompts, etc.Use a variety of question types: fact-based, conceptual, and higher order/transfer.Encourage metacognition by including feedback (right/wrong feedback, explanation feedback, etc.).Remain confident that challenging learning (via retrieval practice) is a good thing!Examine your teaching and studying strategies: Do they focus on getting information “in” or “out?"
How to Turn on the Part of Your Brain That Controls Motivation We know we should put the cigarettes away or make use of that gym membership, but in the moment, we just don’t do it. There is a cluster of neurons in our brain critical for motivation, though. What if you could hack them to motivate yourself? The researchers stuck 73 people into an fMRI, a scanner that can detect what part of the brain is most active, and focused on that area associated with motivation.