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Active Learning

Active Learning
40 Teaching Methods to Engage Students in Every Class and Every Subject, Grades 6-12

First Edition
Additional resources:

May 2023 | 256 pages | Corwin

Tried and true teaching strategies to boost student engagement.

Students need to be actively engaged to learn—intellectually curious, physically active, and emotionally involved in collaborative work that builds their capacity for empathy. What can teachers do to instill these elements in the classroom?

Active Learning: 40 Teaching Methods To Engage Students In Every Class and Every Subject is the actionable tool every new and veteran teacher needs to construct dynamic learning experiences for students. This hands-on, easy-to-use guide features 40 carefully curated, high-impact teaching strategies that target learning tools, collaboration structures, reading and writing routines, assessment opportunities and more. It includes:

  • Step-by-step teaching strategies that can be mastered quickly and implemented in any order
  • Tools to help teachers identify the most pressing classroom needs and determine which methods to try first
  • Nine instructional structures including essential questions, strategy groups, stations, and simulations
  • Real-world examples, tips, templates, and other supportive resources that offer guidance for each method, identify common challenges, and detail next steps

Whether tweaking your existing strategies or finding new moves that will quickly become your own, this is your go-to guide for designing active, engaging learning experiences for students.


“Gravity and Barry have crafted a far-reaching, practical encyclopedia of teaching unhooked from any particular educational bias other than becoming a responsive, effective, powerful educator. Whoever you are, at whatever stage of your career, this book will help you to find new ways to engage, push, and support your students in any subject. Like a surgeon’s assistant, they have found a way to present you with the exact tool you need at the moment you need it, as if they were standing over your shoulder as you teach, ready to say – look at what’s happening, try this. Just reading this book made me feel more empowered to teach.”

Kate Roberts
Literacy Consultant, and author of DIY Literacy and Falling in Love with Close Reading

“This is your go-to professional book for preparing students for today and their future! Learn the teaching moves, learning tools, collaborative structures, and reading and writing routines that develop students' creative, empathetic, problem-solving, and independent thinking while fostering trusting relationships. You’ll find tips for getting started, using assessments that inform instruction and intervention, suggestions for using the book as well as charts that open each chapter showcasing all the teaching and learning methods at-a-glance!”

Laura Robb
Teacher, Instructional Coach, and Author of Guided Practice for Reading Growth and Read, Talk, Write

Active Learning: 40 Teaching Methods to Engage Students in Every Class and Every Subject, is a brilliant book you will consistently reach for, reread, and talk about with others. Across each page, Barry Gilmore and Gravity Goldberg provide practical and actionable strategies for engaging the mind, body, heart, and souls of everyone in the learning community. While deeply grounded in research, this text clearly lays out classroom-ready ideas that enable practitioners to foster a strong sense of community interdependence while simultaneously promoting student independence. This professional text leaves readers more prepared to approach daily work with trust, confidence, and joy.”

Pam Koutrakos
Instructional Coach and Author of Word Study That Sticks, The Word Study That Sticks Companion, and Mentor Texts That Multitask

“This book addresses a fundamental, yet sometimes overlooked, aspect of education: teaching students how to think. By breaking down the correlation between student behaviors and the 'why' behind teaching practices, Gilmore and Goldberg present practical methods to promote thinking in any classroom in a way that is accessible and actionable for new and veteran teachers. I highly recommend this book to any teacher who wants to center and grow their students’ thinking.”

Carmen Lacherza
Supervisor of English Language Arts and ELL, Ramsey Highschool NJ

“Barry Gilmore and Gravity Goldberg conceptualize "gold standard" teaching methods through the lens of current educational research on cognition and motivation.  It is a must read for all teachers entering secondary education who are seeking a well-rounded toolkit of instructional practices.  Moreover, this text is valuable for veteran teachers, who likely incorporate these teaching methods daily, but can now appreciate the purpose, foundation, and most effective implementation strategies to strengthen their practice.”

Dr. Brad Siegel
Superintendent of Schools, Upper Saddle River NJ

“This is a very solid foundation text that I would hope to be used for new teachers and/or in new teacher training programs. I would have loved this type of easy-to-use manual as I planned lessons during my first few years of teaching!”

Theresa Walter
Teacher, Department Chairperson, Great Neck Public Schools

Loved this text- some great ideas that are really supportive for teachers at all levels- great examples to follow and use to help support student teacher development and for experienced staff to enhance their practice.

Mr Julian Ayres
School of Education and Community, Wrexham Glyndwr University
March 11, 2024

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