Humans crave a deep connection when it comes to learning something new, especially if they initially don't see any value in what's being taught or facilitated. We expect this as adult learners, so it goes without saying that our students both want and need this as well. In the absence of authentic meaning there is a tendency to disconnect or go off task, putting the learning experience at hand in jeopardy of not being successful. No one wants this, especially teachers who have spent a great deal of time planning lessons.
In the classroom making connections to content and concepts embedded within standards is of utmost importance, but these have to be captivating as some kids naturally won't be jazzed up about certain content. The key is to elicit attending behavior. Interest is a powerful element that acts as a motivator and is a key component that drives learning. NEVER underestimate the importance of a "hook" during the opening movements of a lesson to empower ALL learners. In this piece of #EDvice I unpack some tips on how utilize simple strategies as well as share some practical examples.
Whether you refer to the strategy as a hook or anticipatory set, they key is to infuse relevance that piques the interest of diverse learners. Below are some of the startefgies I shared in Disruptive Thinking in Our Classrooms:
- Picture prompt
- Real-world problem of the day
- Current event or personal story
- Open-ended writing prompt that sparks inquiry and creativity
- Short, engaging video followed by a turn and talk
- Sensory exploration