Engagement Strategies – Attention not a voluntary choice- input must be selected by sensory filter. If it does not reach pre frontal cortex, does not make it to long term memory. Must be selected to make it to the reticular Activating System RAS. Survival skill for animals. Whatever is new or different will get priority. Curiosity alerts the RAS. Sound (voice volume, pitch, cadence), color, movement, placement of objects, your appearance (costumes, hats), do something unusual. Novelty and curiosity…predictions are great (which one1 penny doubled or 100,000). Grumpy faces do not allow passage to pre frontal cortex. Optical illusions to
Children are sometimes misdiagnosed when the brain is not the problem. Kids are bored. Children want the dopamine pleasure that games and technology brings.
Humor surprise problem solving
Think pair share is only as good as the prompt. Up until now multiplying numbers has always resulted in a larger number Using words and pictures explain why multiplying fractions always results in a smaller number 2) How might the concept of an electoral college be considered undemocratic?
Networking: To raise level delve into the implications of the concepts for the world around us. Provide opportunities for students to personalize the responses by applying them to their own worlds. Ask students to defend their responses based on learned info. Evaluation – blooms level
Instructional Strategies to Enhance
Judy Willis, M.D. Engagement
• Attention Is Not
• Whatever is new or
different will get priority
Memory + Attention = Learning
• Emotional link
• Association to past knowledge/information
– Does the information make sense?
– What significance or meaning does it have in my
– Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2012)
What We Know About Retention
Training Labs – Alexandria, VA
Primary – Recency Effect
• We remember best what happens first,
second what happens last and last what
happens in the middle of a lesson.
• We should present the important information
first. (avoid duties such a roll call in first
minutes of class)
• Do not ask students to guess at the beginning
of class because students will remember the
#1 Reason Kids Drop Out is Boredom
• Judy Willis, M.D. Stated (2011):
• Boredom is stressful.
– The lower reactive brain is in control.
– Fight (Disruptive) – Oppositional Defiant
– Flight (Withdrawal) – ADHD and ADD
– Freeze (Zone Out) social anxiety syndrome, seizures,
– Children are misdiagnosed when the brain is not the
problem. Kids are bored. Children want the dopamine
pleasure that games and technology brings.
Judy Willis, M.D. Engagement
• The more ways
something is learned,
the more memory
pathways are built
• Multiple stimulation
mean better memory
• Multiple forms of
• Visual imagery
• Personal relevance
• Produce product or
Engagement Strategies (Willis, 2006)
• Attention is not a voluntary choice – input
must be selected by sensory filter. If it does
not reach per-frontal cortex, it does not make
it to long term memory.
• Must be selected to make it to the Reticular
Activating System (RAS). Survival skills for
The RAS – Judy Willis (2006)
• Curiosity alerts the RAS
• Sound (voice volume, pitch, cadence)
• Color, placement of objects
• Your appearance (costumes, hats) do something
• Novelty and curiosity
• Predictions are great (which one do you want 1 penny
doubled for a year or $1,000,000?)
• Optical Illusions http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/
• Grumpy faces do not allow passage to pre-frontal
Emotions and Learning:
Brain-Targeted Teaching Strategies
Mariale M. Hardiman (2004)
• Personal connection between teacher and
• Trust and acceptance
• Safe environment
• Control and choice
• Music, art, dance and theater
Connecting Emotions to Content
• It helps to make emotional connections to curriculum
in order to achieve long term retention.
• For example by considering the emotional toll of the
US Civil War may connect learning much more than
isolated battles, and persons involved.
By Mc Knoell - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/deed.en
The two structures in the
brain responsible for long-
term remembering are
located in the emotional area
of the brain.
“Visual Tools Help Students Reach
Higher Levels of Thinking”
• Arrangements of ideas
that can be linked to
• Access both left and right
side of brain
• Appeal to all learns
starting at about age 5.
• Can have new info added
easily and quickly.
• Are helpful in all subjects
• Are fun and easy to create
- Sprenger (2010)
Venn Diagram (comparison
T- Charts (cause/effect) or
(problem/solution) or Y -
we want to
we find out
Mind Maps or Pictures
• “With mind maps we are creating pictures that
will enable student to remember 80 to 100
percent of what we have taught.” – Marilee
• Nonlinguistic representations are a way of
imaging information and are one way to
improve student achievement. – Marzano,
Pickering, and Pollack (2001)
• It does not have to be pictures, mind maps or
graphic organizers. It may be movement, sounds
• Ask students to reflect on a
question or prompt. Give
them a brief amount of
time (perhaps 30 seconds)
to formulate a response.
• Ask students to pair up or to
turn to their assigned
• Ask them to discuss their
• Select a prompt that you
would like students to
• Give students a specified
amount of time to collect
their thoughts and jot down a
• Follow up with a Networking
• Reflect on meaning of “big
idea” and create a visual.
• Follow up with Chalkboard
“Ideas taken from Total participation
Techniques” – Persida Himmele and
• Prepare 1-4 prompts. Ask
students to reflect on or quick-
write responses to prompts.
• Ask students to find someone
(they have not spoken to) to
• Signal when to switch to next
person with next prompt.
Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
• Ask students a question for
which a yes/no or
agree/disagree response is
• Copy responses to Quick-
Write or Quick-Draw onto
random or selected places in
classroom. (butcher paper)
• Ask students to walk around,
analyze and jot down
similarities, differences, and
• Ask students to get in small
groups and share before
sharing with larger group.
“Ideas taken from Total participation
Techniques” – Persida Himmele and William
Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2012)
• Safe, positive learning
• Consider the role of
emotions in learning
• Sense and meaning
• Active learning
• Note Taking
• Clear Objectives
• Cooperative learning
• Mind maps/visual images
• Graphic organizers
• Willis, J. (2006) Research based strategies to ignite student learning. ASCD:
• Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2012), MICDS Workshop. St. Louis
• Willis, J. (2011) Sustaining students classroom attention in the digital age
[Presentation]. 2011 Learning and the Brain Conference. San Francisco.
• Hardiman, M. (2004) Connecting Brain Research With Effective Teaching: The
Brain-Targeted Teaching Model. Lanham, Maryland: R&L Education
• Sprenger, M. (2010), Brain-based teaching in the digital age. Alexandria, VA:
• Medina, J. (2008), Brain rules. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.
• Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollack, J.E., (2001), Classroom instruction that
works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
• rsida, and William Himmele.Total participation techniques
making every student an active learner. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD, 2011. Print.