Archive for September, 2012

Reflection Tools and Techniques

More Ideas to Engage Learners from the Moment They Walk in the Door

Engage learners from the moment they walk in the door. Rather than using these precious moments for focusing on taking attendance, collecting homework, or other “administrative” duties, involve students in an activity that helps them transition into the learning environment, make positive connections with their peers, explore or review the academic material at hand and most importantly shift their focus to the “here and now.”…

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Experiential Learning and Engagement

Group Building, Problem-Solving and Academic Review: Zoom and other Sequencing Challenges

Interactive approaches to practicing, recalling, reviewing and discussing academic material such as this one increase engagement. According to new research on the brain and learning, using a variety of teaching and review methods that involve multiple senses helps learners retain and recall information by promoting multiple “learning pathways” for storing and accessing information (Willis, 2006, 2011). This week I am offering my take on the popular team-building activity “Zoom” with variations that connect this great communication, problem solving and group building activity with academics and curricular content review including “Layers of the Atmosphere Line Up” and a “Historical Time Line Shuffle” among others…

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Active Academic Review

Another Brain-Friendly Strategy for Blending Community Building, Academic Review and Social-Emotional Learning: Charades Race

This time of year many of us are returning to the classroom or kicking off training programs. We often start by facilitating community/team building activities with groups to build positive rapport and buy in as they start the semester, training or course. As the program or school year progresses the pressure to reinforce and assess academic content increases and sometimes the focus on group work, social skills development and team-building goals gets moved to the “back burner”. I encourage educators to think of blending together academic, social-emotional, and group building/school climate goals throughout their whole curriculum or program…

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Brain, Learning and Experiential Education

Inspiring Articles, Podcasts, Books & Blogs on Engagement, Learning & the Brain

As readers of this blog know I am excited about new research on the brain and learning and the links between the emerging field of educational neuroscience and experiential learning principles. Over the last couple of years I have been attending a number of professional conferences on this subject and have run across some great authors in the field who offer accessible information of use to educators of all kinds…

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