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


Discover how to engage teenagers in course content using this resource’s updated research, new sample activities, and tips for designing and evaluating interactive learning experiences.

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

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Discover how to engage teenagers in course content using this resource’s updated research, new sample activities, and tips for designing and evaluating interactive learning experiences.

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Editorial Reviews

Cindy Bean
"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!"
Joan Baltezore
"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."
Sherry Annee
"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!"
Melody Aldrich
"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 classroomatmosphere that will hold their attention and allow them to learn."
Chris Baker
"Gives teachers a variety of simulations and creative ideas they can try in their classrooms to help enhance and energize their teaching."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412963350
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 9/2/2008
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Smokler currently teaches English in Needham, Massachusetts. Jobs for English teachers were nonexistent, so unable to get a traditional teaching gig, Smokler accepted a job teaching juvenile offenders on a horse-drawn, cross-country, covered wagon train. He planned lessons and taught literature and writing to more than fifty incarcerated students while traveling twenty to twenty-five miles a day on horse- and mule-drawn wagons from Pennsylvania to southwestern Texas. On the wagon train, Smokler began to develop some of the experiences in this book. After another year of teaching juvenile offenders in prison, Smokler moved to Cape Cod, where he taught for four years while completing his Master of Arts in Teaching English at Bridgewater State College, where he conducted original research on simulation games. Smokler graduated from Connecticut College in 1996 with a degree in English and with teaching credentials

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Table of Contents

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
Old-Fashioned Sing Down
Musical Moment
The Reveal
Debate Shift-Around
Save the Princess
The Arrest
The Scream
The Fire
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
The Scream
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

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