You are here

Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6-12

Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6-12

May 2013 | 224 pages | Corwin
Get your students excited about science and math!

Are your lessons falling on unengaged ears? Maybe it's time to mix things up! John Almarode and Ann Miller provide numerous strategies and a model for developing engaging science and math lessons and units that captivate students, activate prior knowledge, and invigorate student interest by making lessons rigorous and relevant. Based on the latest brain research, this book includes:

-Content-specific lessons plans and strategies for middle and secondary school teachers

-Useful forms and supplements for each strategy

-Examples across all areas of middle and high school math and science, including physics, algebra, and chemistry

-Lesson plan templates to get you started

About the Authors
1. The Recipe for an Engaged Brain
The Recipe for Student Engagement

Recipes as Frameworks

Using Your Engagement Monitor

Engagement: An Overt and Covert Operation

You Can Lead Students to Class, but Can You Make Them Think?

Chapter 1: 3-2-1 Exit Ticket

Engaging Professional Development Tasks


Engaging Professional Development Tasks

2. Building Background Knowledge
Using Models to Build Background Knowledge

A Road Map of the Brain

The Nuts and Bolts

Engaging the Students With Vocabulary

Pandora's Box

Chapter 2: Concept Development Exit Ticket

Engaging Professional Development Tasks


3. Prime the Brain: Activate Prior Knowledge
The Deafening Sound of Silence

Making Student Brains More Efficient

Getting Better Encoding, Retention, and Recall

Link to the Recipe for Engagement

Chapter 3: "Fist List" Exit Ticket

Engaging Professional Development Tasks


4. Captivate With Novelty
In the Classroom, Novelty Is the Spice of Life

Emotionally Charged Events

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Novelty in Moderation

Chapter 4: Exit Ticket

Engaging Professional Development Tasks


5. Why Do We Need to Know This? Establishing Relevance
How Is Relevance Good for the Brain? A Mouse Tale

How Can I Make Learning Behaviorally Relevant?

Link to the Recipe for Engagement

Chapter 5: Exit Ticket

Engaging Professional Development Tasks


6. Too Much, Too Fast: Maintaining an Engaging Pace
Input and Quantity Limitations

Press and Release

What to Do Between Chunks?

Too Much, Too Fast

Chapter 6: Exit Ticket

Engaging Professional Development Tasks


7. Make Learning a Long-Lasting, Invigorating Experience
It's as if They Were Never Even in Class

Checking for Understanding


Closure Activities

A Watched Pot Never Boils . . . and This Is a Good Thing

Chapter 7: Exit Ticket

Engaging Professional Development Tasks


8. Building an Engaging Science or Mathematics Lesson and Unit
Using the Recipe to Build an Engaging Lesson

Using the Recipe to Build an Engaging Unit

A Recipe for Diversity

Taste Testing the Recipe

Chapter 8: Exit Ticket

Engaging Professional Development Tasks


Appendix A Unit Instructional Plan
Appendix B Daily Lesson Plan

"This book links a wealth of best practices in lesson design to the latest research on how the brain learns new information. It is a must for all educators involved in building effective lessons."

Edward C. Nolan, PreK-12 Content Specialist, Mathematics
Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD

"This book provides a different perspective on how learning takes place. The authors provide unique insights into some of the obstacles to student learning in science and mathematics. The authors' strategies should provide classroom teachers with new tools and a fresh perspective on designing enhanced learning experiences for their students."

Patricia Waller, Educational Consultant and Retired Science Educator
Emmaus High School, Emmaus, PA

"The success of this book lies in the fact that this is a practitioner's voice, simple, concrete and easy to follow. The engaging lesson framework provides easy access to other practitioners on 'how.'"

Rosalind LaRocque, Professional Development Coordinator
American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC

"This book is a must-read for teachers of math or science who want to increase student achievement and create meaningful learning experiences!"

Melissa Miller, Middle School Science Instructor
Lynch Middle School, Farmington, AR

"This book offers real strategies to activate and invigorate learning in real students in real science and math classrooms."

Loukea N. Kovanis-Wilson, Chemistry Instructor
Clarkston High School, Clarkston, MI

Great companion text for Methods.

Professor Elizabeth Baker
Scholl of Education, Mills College
October 4, 2014

John Taylor Almarode

Dr. John Almarode is a bestselling author and an Associate Professor of Education at James Madison University. He was awarded the inaugural Sarah Miller Luck Endowed Professorship in 2015 and received an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia in 2021. Before his academic career, John started as a mathematics and science teacher in Augusta County, Virginia. As an author, John has written multiple educational books focusing on science and mathematics, and he has co-created a new framework for developing, implementing, and sustaining professional learning communities called PLC+. Dr. Almarode's... More About Author

Ann Marie Miller

Ann M. Miller has had the privilege of working as an educator and staff developer for many years.  She is currently the Coordinator of Elementary Instruction and Professional development K-12 for Waynesboro Public Schools.   Ann began her career teaching Special Education for Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES in Cayuga County, New York.  She focused her efforts on emotionally disturbed students before making a successful transition to the position of Instructional Specialist.  Ann became a member of an elite team of staff development leaders where her enthusiasm, knowledge and approachable style helped to develop strong... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781452218021

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.