Clock Watchers: Six Steps to Motivating and Engaging Disengaged Students Across Content Areas

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Listen to a podcast with Stevi Quate, John McDermott, and two teachers who have used their framework to get all students engaged and motivated.

"Instead of cringing the next time your colleagues utter the words, "These students don't care," hand them Clock Watchers. Describe your personal struggles and your experience with the book so they know that you know what they're going through. Then point out a few of your favorite ideas. As you walk away, you'll smile knowing you've made a difference." -Cris Tovani
Author of I Read It, but I Don't Get It

For Stevi Quate and John McDermott, this was the missing piece of their teaching: "How can I motivate my students and then create a context that will engage them?" Clock Watchers is their powerful answer-a plan that gets kids to care about learning and truly engage with the curriculum.

Clock Watchers is not a book of tips and tricks. Instead it applies the research on motivation and engagement to support increased achievement and improved attitudes about school. Quate and McDermott's six-step framework:

  • catches students' interest across the content areas
  • holds it through meaningful learning and valuable interactions
  • uses assessment to create further opportunities to connect kids with content
  • sustains it all with ideas for projects, activities, and even classroom routines and rituals.

Clock Watchers works with the most reluctant learners. Its end-of-text study guide makes the book ideal for PLCs and study groups, and it is a research-based resource for district-wide initiatives aimed at improving student motivation and engagement.

If deeper learning, increased achievement, and reduced drop-out rates matter to you, then motivation and engagement are an urgent matter. Read Clock Watchers with colleagues and put it into action-before the time to change your students' lives runs out.

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About the Author:

Stevi Quate sees every day why her Heinemann books The Just-Right Challenge and Clock Watchers (both coauthored with John McDermott) are so urgently needed. She consults in Colorado schools and is a site professor at large urban high schools in Denver, where teachers face unrelenting pressure to boost student performance - and where the ability to catch students' interest and hold it has proven essential to raising achievement. Stevi has also been a middle and high school teacher, codirector of the Colorado Writing Project, President of the Colorado affiliates of NCTE and IRA, and state literacy coordinator for the Colorado Department of Education.

John McDermott sees every day why his Heinemann books The Just-Right Challenge and Clock Watchers (both coauthored with Stevi Quate) are so urgently needed. He consults in Colorado schools and is a site professor at large urban high schools in Denver, where teachers face unrelenting pressure to boost student performance - and where the ability to catch students' interest and hold it has proven essential to raising achievement. John has taught elementary through high school and has won an Excellence in Teaching Award as a professor at the University of Colorado Denver. As a consultant he facilitates workshops on team teaching, gifted education, and differentiation.

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