Herding Cats

Student Engagement and Classroom Management

Guaranteed to be relaxing and fun!

cowboys herding cats

What will we learn in this session?

  • Ways to organize your classroom so students do what they should, when they should (15 min.)
  • Ways to deliver more engaging lessons so that students' brains can learn and remember the information you teach them (15 min.)
  • Resource exploration (15 min.)
  • Q & A

Organizing your classroom

Partner Discussion

  • Scan the document. Notice any links between students' (mis)behaviors and procedures that you may/may not have clearly communicated?
  • Talk with your partner to learn a new procedure (or two). How do they clearly communicate and reinforce the procedure?
When you cant stay awake in class

"Chunk & Check" Strategy

  • "Chunk"
    • a 2-10 minute "chunk" of information or learning
  • "Check"
    • make students SAY, WRITE, or DO something so that you can see or hear what they have understand so far of the "chunk" you just taught
      • say something
      • write/draw something
      • do/make something

How do students learn? Why does sleep matter?

According to teacher, research, and brain expert Dr. Kathie Nunley:

The only time your brain forms connections is when you sleep. When you learn

something new, the brain puts a protein marker, or dot, onto a cell. When you sleep,

the brain “connects the dots.” When you dream, electricity floods the brain and it does

a “circuit test” on the new connections. Usually the protein markers are only available for 18 hours. Sometimes, the brain only holds the markers for as little as 6 hours. This is called "Leaky Bucket Syndrome. Naps are effective, but you have to sleep for 20 minutes. So, it is important to have adequate amounts of

REM sleep. (Adults=7 hours, 9th-12th grade=8.5 hours, 5th-8th grade= 10 hours, 1st – 4th

grade=10.5 hours)

Middle school and high school aged kids are not getting enough sleep. When they hit puberty, they move to an “owl” rhythm (learn best 3.5 hours after sunrise), but you live in a “lark” (learn best 1.5 hours after sunrise) world. After puberty most people move back to a “lark” rhythm, but some do not.


*Research shows that kids who snore regularly have lower intelligence.


*It takes 1.5 hours for the brain to calm down enough from watching T.V. to be able to

get into R.E.M. sleep.

Learn more about the importance of sleep http://help4teachers.com/sleep.htm

Additional "protein marker" information (Brain "gardening")

Table/Partner Talk: If student learning cannot occur without a protein marker, what MUST teachers do?

Engaging Lessons Resources

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