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  1. New Story Corps Video: “They stepped in to care for elderly residents when they were left abandoned”
  2. A Look Back: What Is The “Zeigarnik Effect” & How Did I Apply It In The Classroom Today?
  3. Five Most Popular Posts Of The Week
  4. Columbus Day Is On Oct. 10th – Here Are Related Resources
  5. “What Is Metacognition & How Do We Teach It?”
  6. More Recent Articles

New Story Corps Video: “They stepped in to care for elderly residents when they were left abandoned”

Story Corps just released this animated video:

 

    

A Look Back: What Is The “Zeigarnik Effect” & How Did I Apply It In The Classroom Today?

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Next February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

You might also be interested in A Look Back: Best Posts From 2007 To 2009. and A Look Back: 2010’s Best Posts From This Blog.

I originally shared this post in 2011. You might also be interested in another post I wrote about the same topic: More On The “Zeigarnik Effect”

Bluma Zeigarnik was a Russian psychologist who identified what came to be called the “Zeigarnik Effect.” You can read more about it here, but, basically, it means that once we start doing something, we’re going to tend to want to finish it.

I’m sure many teachers have never heard of the Zeigarnik Effect, but often apply it. We might have students who just tend to procrastinate when doing an assignment, or are afraid of getting something wrong and are reluctant to start, or have a hard time getting going for other reasons . So we encourage students to get started by just answering the first question, or writing the first paragraph, or give reading the first page a try.

I’ve certainly done that often in the past, but recently learning that the strategy actually has a name and scientific evidence to back it up now makes me more conscious of it as another component of my “toolbox.”

One of my students does have a strong tendency toward procrastination. Today, we were completing a short “book talk” form (see My Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them for more information on the idea), and everybody was working away on it except for “John” (not his real name). He said he didn’t know what to write. The article I read about the Zeigarnik Effect immediately came to mind, and I asked him to complete the first question, which just asked for the title of the book and the author’s name. I pointed out that all he had to do was copy it from the cover of his book.

He immediately did so, and then went on to complete the entire form. Would I have made that same suggestion if I hadn’t read about Zeigarnik yesterday? Maybe, maybe not. But it has now made me more conscious of thinking about what might be easy tasks or questions that would be good ways to start challenging assignments (or to use to get students who face a variety of challenges starting on doing any assignments)….

    

Five Most Popular Posts Of The Week

Here’s the latest edition of this regular feature . These are the posts appearing this blog that received the most “hits” in the preceding seven days (though they may have originally been published on an earlier date).

You might also be interested in The Twenty Most Popular Posts In 2016 – So Far and Ninth Anniversary Of This Blog — What Have Been My Most Popular Posts?

1. The Best Sites For Teaching About Latitude & Longitude

2. The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom

3. The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games

4. The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them)

5. The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures

    

Columbus Day Is On Oct. 10th – Here Are Related Resources

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October 10th is Columbus Day.

I’ve just updated and revised The Best Online Resources About Christopher Columbus, which includes many “alternative” perspectives on his role in history.

    

“What Is Metacognition & How Do We Teach It?”

The newest “question-of-the-week” at my Education Week Teacher column is:

What is metacognition and why should teachers be concerned about it?

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Feel free to leave a response in the comments section there or here…

    

More Recent Articles


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