You are here

Interactive Learning Experiences, Grades 6-12
Share

Interactive Learning Experiences, Grades 6-12
Increasing Student Engagement and Learning

Second Edition


© 2009 | 168 pages | Corwin

"This book will excite teachers who want to motivate today's secondary students. Information about the brain, presented along with the author's personal teaching experiences, tips, and creative game ideas, makes for a very worthwhile read!"
—Cindy Bean, Seventh-Grade Math Teacher
Arcola Intermediate Middle School, Schwenksville, PA

Energize adolescents with memorable and engaging learning experiences!

Research shows that the adolescent brain is wired to seek novelty and ignore familiar stimuli. This innovative resource demonstrates how teachers can transform everyday classroom lectures into memorable experiences and reinforce course content by introducing new, different, and surprising elements into daily lessons.

Based on brain-compatible teaching principles, the updated edition of Making Learning Come Alive shows how to use stimulating interactive learning experiences to connect teenagers with content. Teachers will find activities and ideas for introducing each learning experience and will discover how to design and assess their own. Updated throughout, this new edition offers:

  • Nine new sample learning experiences, including four in math and science
  • A revised assessment chapter that covers standards-based education and NCLB
  • Reflection questions in each chapter

The learning activities can be used as is or modified to connect with hundreds of themes and concepts across middle school and high school curricula.

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Why Create an Experience?
What Is an Experience?  
Brain-Compatible Learning  
Seeing Into the Brain  
How the Brain Learns  
Brain Research and Education: What Teachers Need to Know  
Why Is It So Hard to Impress a Teenager?  
Emotion: At the Center of the Brain  
Complex Learning Activities  
The Power of Reflection  
Reflection Questions for Teachers  
 
2. How to Create an Experience
Preparing a Classroom Environment Conducive to Experiences  
Here's the Problem  
Spread the Love: Rapport-Building Exercises  
The Physical Environment  
Strategies for Creating Experiences  
What Does Infinity Smell Like?  
Move Your Body  
Using Music to Build Anticipation, Excitement, and Readiness  
Tying Music to Your Curriculum  
Fantasy Contexts  
Putting It All Together: Creating Your Own Experiences  
Student Involvement  
Other Ideas for Experiences  
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation  
Ideas for English and Social Studies Teachers  
Ideas for Math and Science Teachers  
Ideas for World Language Teachers  
Ideas for Health, Wellness, and Physical Education Teachers  
Reflection Questions for Teachers  
 
3. How Do You Assess an Experience?
Traditional vs. Authentic Assessment  
Reflection as Formative Assessment  
Aligning Your Experiences to Standards  
Why Standards-Based?  
Reflection as Summative Assessment  
Other Considerations  
See What They Already Know Before You Begin  
Reflection Questions for Teachers  
 
4. Sample Experiences
Guess Who Had This for Dinner  
The Eliminator  
Morning Move-Around  
The Wave  
Two Truths and a Lie  
The Name Game  
Thumper  
Old-Fashioned Sing Down  
Musical Moment  
The Reveal  
Debate Shift-Around  
Save the Princess  
Counter-Terrorism  
The Arrest  
Shelter  
The Scream  
The Fire  
Power  
Island Survival  
The Salesman  
Witch Hunt  
The Farm Game  
Crime Scene  
Rollercoaster Designer  
 
5. Making Experiences Work for You
 
Resource A. Reproducible Handouts
Song Reflection Report  
Save the Princess  
Counter-Terrorism  
The Scream  
Power  
Island Survival  
The Salesman  
The Farm Game  
Crime Scene  
Lab Report  
 
Resource B. Additional Resources
Brain-Based Learning Fun Kit  
Web Resources About Brain-Compatible Learning  
Web Resources About Simulation Games  
 
References
 
Index

"This book will excite teachers who want to help motivate today’s secondary students. Information about the brain, presented along with the author’s personal teaching experiences, tips, and creative game ideas, makes for a very worthwhile read!"

Cindy Bean, Seventh-Grade Math Teacher
Arcola Intermediate Middle School, Schwenksville, PA

"Makes teachers think about the purpose and connection that a game will have to the curriculum as well as to students’ lives. This book helps clarify the purpose of including meaningful experiential games in the classroom."

Joan Baltezore, Biology Teacher
West Fargo High School, ND

"Smokler passionately argues the need for games in the curriculum as a means to create authentic and meaningful learning experiences. Hands down, this is the best book I’ve read about the use of games in the classroom!"

Sherry Annee, Biology Teacher
Brebeuf Jesuit Prep School, Indianapolis, IN

"The book begins with the teenager’s brain. In layman's terms, it lets teachers know why teenagers are difficult to engage and how to create a classroom atmosphere that will hold their attention and allow them to learn."

Melody Aldrich, English Teacher
Florence High School, AZ

"Gives teachers a variety of simulations and creative ideas they can try in their classrooms to help enhance and energize their teaching."

Chris Baker, Eighth-Grade Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair
Salem Middle School, Apex, NC
Key features
  • Current research on brain-compatible learning
  • Convenient reproducible handouts for many of the interactive experiences
  • Reflection questions for teachers and students
  • Suggestions for aligning interactive experiences with national, state, and local standards
  • Assessment recommendations for each experience
  • Step-by-step tips for creating the necessary physical environment and social climate for conducting effective interactive learning experiences
  • Sample student reflections

Preview this book

For instructors

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412963367
ISBN: 9781412963350