Activators: Classroom Strategies for Engaging Middle and High School Students (ACTIVA)


Activators: Classroom Strategies for Engaging Middle and High School Students is a key resource for teachers in grades 6-12. This unique resource is a deep dive into Activators, a core teaching practice that incorporates individual think time with purposeful social interaction to increase emotional, cognitive, and behavioral engagement in learning.

Featuring concrete, hands-on activities that can be completed efficiently at the start of a unit, lesson, or topic, Activators help to:
• Increase engagement in learning
• Support a well-paced lesson
• Generate connections to prior knowledge
• Provide students with opportunities to practice skills and deepen understandings
• Support formative assessment

Although Activators have different formats, they all share two key components: individual think time and purposeful social interaction, which support students to develop quality responses to content and ideas while engaging with peers. Authors Nicole Frazier and Donna Mehle offer detailed facilitation tips for more than 20 Activators, providing a clear understanding of what they are and how they work in specific settings.

Frazier and Mehle created Activators with careful attention to the latest research on the most effective ways to foster engagement among adolescent learners. They were motivated to write Activators to share this powerful core practice more widely. They note, “In our 25+ combined years of teaching experience as well as our work as educational consultants who support middle and secondary teachers around the country, we’ve witnessed up close the ways in which these Activator formats ignite students’ attention and interest, maximize participation and drive well-paced lessons that deepen learning in meaningful ways.”

Content area examples for English language arts, math, science, social studies, and world languages accompany each Activator. The ELA and math content examples are aligned to Common Core Content Standards for grades 6-12.

Nationally acclaimed differentiated instruction expert Carol Ann Tomlinson praises Activators, noting, “This book is a 'keeper' because it commends instructional strategies that engage the minds of adolescent learners as it attends to their need for interaction with and appreciation of peers.”

Activators is an essential resource for educators who are committed to harnessing the power of engagement in the service of student learning.

Already own Activators and looking for the supplemental material mentioned in the book? Click here!

Secondary Schools | 241 pages | ESR | ISBN 9780942349719

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