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Bill McBride Educational Consultant Author of Entertaining an Elephant Engaging the Disengaged Sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Bill McBrideEducational ConsultantAuthor of Entertaining an ElephantEngaging the Disengaged

    Sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Two questions: 1: What does neuroscience tell us about student engagement?

  • Two questions: 2: How do we use this information to help students read SS texts?

  • Begin with a teaching strategy.

  • Anticipation Guide1. 1 in 5 students drop out of high school.2. Los Angeles has more dropouts than New York City3. The cost of each drop out who goes into crime is $1.2 million over his/her lifetime.4. Instruction involving mostly predictable stimuli helps the brain retain its focus.5. Most dropouts are already failing.Agree - Disagree____________

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  • How many of you lie to your students?

  • Drop in a little uncertainty.

    ?When faced with uncertainty, students spend the time actively trying to sort out what is true from what isnt, and are more engaged, with greater retention. Source: Ellen J. Langer, Harvard

  • Focus on three questions.

    ?

  • 1. Do we want our students to pay attention ALL the time?

  • Brain vs. ComputerOur brain has 100 billion neurons, or cells. It takes in more information from our environment in a single day than the largest computer does in a year.David Sousa, How the Brain Learns

  • What does the brain care about?The survival brain is interested in two things: desire and need.

  • When presented with new information the brain asks ...Do I need to know this information?Do I want to know this information?

  • Constant Attention = No No Much of what we learn cannot be processed consciously; it happens too fast. In order to create new meaning, we need internal time. After each new learning experience, we need time for the learning to imprint.

  • 2. Are our students paying attention ANY of the time?

  • THE PATTERN THAT HAS DOMINATED CLASSROOM TEACHINGTeacher provides a brief discussion of a new chapter/topic

    Assigns pages to read and end of the lesson questions for homework, and asks students to be prepared to discuss text

    Lectures, discusses and asks questions

    Written tests

  • Show a video clip!

  • Brain-based TeachingAn environment that contains mainly predictable or repeated stimuli (like some classrooms?) lowers the brains interest in the outside world and tempts it to turn within for novel sensations. David Sousa, How the Brain Learns

  • What percentage of high school students drop out in America each year?5% 9% 15% 23% 27% 34% 45%

  • An increasing number of researchers are saying that nearly 1 in 3 high school students wont graduate.Time April 17, 2006

  • www.polleverywhere.com

  • Teen Cell Phone Use? Average 440 text messages a week. 110 of them during a class. Works out to more than three per class period. 65% of student use cell phones at school. 23% of parents believe they do.Source: USA Today, June 18, 2009

  • How engaged are our students?

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  • WHY STUDENTS DROP OUT Almost 50% said they were boredSource: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, March 2006High School DropoutsBoredom is a disease of epidemic proportions.Why are our schools not places of joy?Source: John Goodlad, A Place Called School

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, March 2006WHY STUDENTS DROP OUT 69% said they were not motivated or inspired by teachers to work hardHigh School Dropouts

  • WHY STUDENTS DROP OUT Life events such as pregnancies, arrests or need for full-time income. 60% of girls who have babies at 17 or younger drop out.High School DropoutsSource: Education Week, June 3, 2009

  • 70 percent were confident they could have graduated. Most students do not drop out because they cant do the work. Nearly 90% had passing grades when they left school.The Silent EpidemicBill and Melinda Gates Foundation, March 2006

  • The Silent EpidemicBill and Melinda Gates Foundation, March 2006 Studies show that the lifetime cost to the nation for each youth who drops out of school and later moves into a life of crime and drugs ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 million.

  • The Silent EpidemicBill and Melinda Gates Foundation, March 2006 If the number of 20 year old dropouts were cut in half, the government would reap $45 Billion in extra tax revenues and reduced costs in health, crime, and welfare.

  • Process Time!Directions: With a partner list two things youve learned so far.__________________________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________

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  • 3. What engages our students brains?

  • The brains first job is to keep you alive--survival.Powerful Teaching

  • The brain constantly learns from its environment.Powerful Teaching

  • What is programming the minds of many of our young people?Powerful Teaching

  • ChoiceCollaborative Problem SolvingConnection

    Challenge/ CompetitionCommotionCommunicationWhat does Technology have that captures the brains of our children?

  • Choice (content, process, resource, environment)Collaboration (problem solving through trial and error)

    Connection (use of personal and subject prior knowledge)

    Challenge/Competition (attainable and exciting goals)

    Communication (feedback as immediate as possible)

    Commotion (physical and verbal)

  • Choice!Choice changes behavior, motivates, provides a sense of ownership, and makes the world seem right to the learner.Sprenger, M. (2010), Brain-based teaching in the digital age. ASCD

  • ChoiceExternal versus Internal MotivationRichard deCharms Educational Leadership, March 1977Pawn forcing students to learn through threat, reward, or punishment.

    Origin encouraging internal motivation

  • ChoiceExternal versus Internal MotivationRichard deCharms Educational Leadership, March 1977Both academic achievement and attendance significantly improved in internally motivated classrooms. Rather than coercion, the emphasis in on CHOICEallowing students to feel a sense of personal influence over the learning process.

  • ChoiceWhich assignment would you rather do?Read the chapter silently. Get out a sheet of paper. Answer all 10 questions at the end. NO TALKING.Choose a partner. Read the questions at the end of the chapter first. With your partner, choose 6 of the 10 you want to answer. Read the chapter and answer the questions you chose. Be prepared to show the class how you found the answer to your questions.

  • Choice (content, process, resource, environment)Collaboration (problem solving through trial and error)

    Connection (use of personal and subject prior knowledge)

    Challenge/Competition (attainable and exciting goals)

    Communication (feedback as immediate as possible)

    Commotion (physical and verbal)

  • At age 6 Irene Kordick emigrated from Munich to the slums of Cleveland.She managed to reach the 5th grade as an A student without knowing how to read or write in English.She vowed that this would never happen to anyone else.

    Powerful TeachingSource: Washing ton Post.com May 28, 2008

  • She is now the Principal of Ocean City Elementary, and 100% of her students passed the state assessment.Her secret: She abolished the practice of teachers asking questions, students raising hands, and the teacher picking one to answer.Now students pair off and answer the questions together.

    Powerful Teaching

  • Getting Groups to WorkPowerful TeachingCollaborative Review Activities

  • Cooperative Learning and RubricsBy offering students the choice of how to create the rubrics, a feeling of control and ownership is further enhanced, ...Sprenger, M. (2010), Brain-based teaching in the digital age. ASCD

  • Cooperative Learning and Rubrics... and using a rubric helps students see connections between what they are supposed to be learning and how they will show it.Sprenger, M. (2010), Brain-based teaching in the digital age. ASCD

  • Dodging the Question1. Why does Choice get students engaged?2. What percentage of American dropouts are making passing grades?3. 1 in how many American students drop out of school?4. What is a good technique to use at the beginning of every class?

  • Choice (content, process, resource, environment)Collaboration (problem solving through trial and error)

    Connection (use of personal and subject prior knowledge)

    Challenge/Competition (attainable and exciting goals)

    Communication (feedback as immediate as possible)

    Commotion (physical and verbal)

  • Powerful teachers build explicitly on their students prior knowledge and experience.Linda Darling-HammondStanford UniversityPowerful Teaching

  • Todays students want to see their real world reflected in the classroom.Powerful Teaching

  • Choice (content, process, resource, environment)Collaboration (problem solving through trial and error)

    Connection (use of personal and subject prior knowledge)

    Challenge/Competition (attainable and exciting goals)

    Communication (feedback as immediate as possible)

    Commotion (physical and verbal)

  • People love gamesChallenge Games

  • What is it?King of PopChallenge Game

  • What is it?A card shark

  • What is it?Pool table

  • What is it?Dr. Pepper

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