Brian Sztabnik @ Edutopia
"If a lesson does not start off strong by activating prior knowledge, creating anticipation, or establishing goals, student interest wanes, and you have to do some heavy lifting to get them back."
This reminds me of the lesson plans I had to write in college. Miles long, they began with attention grabbers. I remember having discussions in class and spending so much time trying to come up with good ones. After that, though, the discussions turned to procedures, materials, questions, and conclusions. Important stuff, sure, but we stopped talking about grabbing the attention of students.
I'm worried that, twenty years later, the expectation remains the same. Grab attention in the beginning and get right to the lesson and data collection. So, for the last few years, I've made a point to create unique, engaging activities and avoid traditional, boring ones.
However, I get so caught up in the games and technology that I've ignored the 8 minutes that matter most. Mr. Sztabnik offers some great ideas for Beginnings and Ends, and reminds me that every minute of a lesson should focus on student engagement.