Jishaku

Unleashing the power of play with a different game every Friday!FiveMinuteFriday

Happy Friday! And thanks for checking out the blog. If you’re a first time visitor, welcome! I’m John, and I wrote a book called EDrenaline Rush: Game-Changing Student Engagement Inspired by Theme Parks, Mud Runs, and Escape Rooms — which is now available from Dave Burgess Consulting everywhere that books are sold.

I believe that enthusiasm is infectious, and I like to approach lesson planning like I was game planning for a head-to-head sport or athletic competition. As teachers, it is my firm belief that we don’t actually teach content — rather, we use our course content to teach PEOPLE. And so I try to keep a close ear to the ground when it comes to things that are catching people’s attention so that I can capture this same spirit of engagement, enthusiasm, and excitement in my classroom. Because let’s face it: if multi-billion-dollar companies are working around the clock to figure out ways to get folks separated from their hard-earned cash — shouldn’t educators likewise be keeping a finger on the pulse of the sorts of things that get people excited in the world outside of our schools?

By keeping tabs on all sorts of fun and games designed to catch the attention of the kids under our instructional care, we can tap into the same principles when designing our own classroom instruction. And the more we understand the interests and motivations of products designed to appeal to our students? The more likely we are to reach their myriad of diverse and unique needs as learners in our schools.

TL;DR: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

So each Friday, we’ll take a short vlog and devote just about five minutes to a “Game Break” — where we’ll talk about a totally NON-EDUCATIONAL toy or game. After a quick review of how the game works, we’ll attempt to unpack the motivational nuts and bolts under the hood of the activity in an effort to leverage some of the very same design principles in our own instruction.

This week’s game?

Jishaku

Author: John

John Meehan (@MeehanEDU) is an English teacher and school instructional coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. He began his teaching career in 2010 as a career switcher through The New Teacher Project, after spending five years working in social media and event marketing. He is a 2017 ASCD Emerging Leader, and an alumnus of the 2016-2018 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council. In 2016, he was named one of Arlington, Virginia’s “40 Under 40” by the Leadership Center for Excellence. He is a past presenter and regular attendee at educational conferences throughout the United States, including the annual conference for National Catholic Education Association, ASCD Empower19, and the Play Like a Champion Today: Character Education Through Sports summer conference at the University of Notre Dame. He’s an avid runner who’s completed more than three dozen marathons, half marathons, long-distance road relays, mud runs, and obstacle course races. John lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, Laura, a high school music teacher and fellow graduate of The Catholic University of America, and a giant-sized Maine Coon cat named Jack.

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