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Teaching that Sticks: The Companion Site

Page history last edited by Keith Schoch 8 years, 6 months ago

Teaching that Sticks owes its title and its purpose to the remarkable book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath. As educators, whether in the classroom or in the training room, we are constantly seeking ways to give our ideas "stickiness," a term coined in The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. This site shares one teacher's insights and observations about small ways to make teaching stick using the behind Made to Stick.  (For a frequently updated collection of great instructional strategies, structures, stories, and solutions, visit the my blog at Teaching that Sticks. There you'll find a growing store of resources and links to make your teaching truly sticky).


Sample entry from this site:



Simple doesn't mean dumbed down.

"It's hard to make ideas stick in a noisy, unpredictable, chaotic environment. If we're to succeed, the first step is this: Be simple. Not simple in terms of 'dumbing down' or 'sound bites.' What we mean by 'simple' is finding the core of the idea. 'Finding the core' means stripping an idea down to its most critical essence." (pgs. 27, 28)

Simplicity doesn't mean dumbing down; it means cutting to core of your message. Is the humble spork, for example, an example of simplicity, or a compromise that fails to satisfy either the function of a fork or spoon?

In order to ensure simplicity:

Prioritize and exclude relentlessly to find your core message.

Break the curse of knowledge by simplifying ideas.

Help students develop their schema, find patterns, and use successful templates.

Use graphic organizers to make the complex simple.


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