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Interactive Learning Experiences, Grades 6-12
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Table of Contents

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

About 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

Reviews

"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 "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 "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 "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 "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

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