[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Mary Ann Johnson



The strategies in this book are divided into seven categories, including work for whole class groups, pairs, and individuals, as well as reluctant learners.  Not only are the 99 possible strategies going to help engage your students, but you will find they will banish any boredom you may be experiencing as well.  Based on sound teaching strategies, you use the processes to get students involved with material you already planned to cover.  No special equipment or preparation is required, and there is an appendix with helpful forms that can save your preparation time.  There is plenty of variety to try with any class, teaching style and grade level.  You will have fun selecting the best fit for your classes, and finding out just how to get the student engagement and focus that makes learning indelible and authentic.  Eric Jensen, brain researcher, has endorsed it as “the most practical engagement book on the market.”

Harris, Bryan. 2001. Battling Boredom, Part 1: 99 Strategies to Spark Student Engagement. Larchmont, NY.  Eye on Education. 133 pages.  ISBN 978-1-59667-166-9.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Find ways to activate student involvement and thinking.
  2. Create activities that will engage students at the critical times at the beginning and end of lessons.
  3. Provide students some learning processes that are intrinsically rewarding.
  4. Have essential forms to use for implementing lessons.
  5. Gain ideas to help students who need focused movement in their learning activities.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Harris, Bryan. 2011. Battling Boredom Part 1: 99 Strategies to Spark Student Engagement. Larchmont, NY.  Eye on Education. Available through Kindle

  • Battling Boredom, Part 1: 99 Strategies to Spark Student Engagement
    ISBN# 0367151979
    by Harris, Bryan

    Buy from Amazon





Assignment #1:

In 1-2 pages, please introduce yourself and describe your own experience dealing with the challenge of keeping students engaged.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #1’.

Assignment #2:

From the course text, read the Introduction.  What are 6 important quotes, or ideas you found in this article?
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #2’.

Assignment #3:

Read Part One, “Strategies to Begin a Lesson,” and describe the way you might use three ideas.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #3’.

Assignment #4:

Read Part Two, “Strategies to End a Lesson,” and summarize the five you’d find most adaptable to your classes.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #4’.

Assignment #5:

Read Part Three, “Strategies for Solo/Independent Work.” Rate the ideas you like on a “Top Ten List.” Briefly explain why you chose the ones you did.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #5’.

Assignment #6:

Read Part Four, “Strategies for the Whole Group.” Select four and tell how you could use them.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #6’.

Assignment #7:

Read Part Five “Strategies for Partners and Small Groups.”  Explain which three strategies you could use and explain how.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #7’.

Assignment #8:

Read Part Six “Strategies for Student Movement.”  Explain how you could use any two strategies.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #8’



In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation.  This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students.  If you are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

Assignment #9: (400 & 500 Level Assignment)

Complete one of the following:
Option A)
Using one of the lessons you applied based on a strategy from the book; complete a “Strategy Implementation” using the Self-Reflection Guide on p. 116.  If you cannot field test a strategy in the summer, consult a colleague and write the results of the peer review.  (The Self Reflection guide asks for how things went, what could be improved, and almost everything suggested.)
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #9-A’.
Option B)
Write a letter to the author, describing your how you adapted strategies selected from this book.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #9-B’.

Assignment #10: (500 Level ONLY)

In addition to the 400 level assignment, complete one of the following:
Option A)
Create an annotated bibliography of five resources with strategies for ‘The Reluctant Learner’ from online resources.  Rate their value in a short description of their content, their feasibility, and their appropriateness for your own classroom use.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #10-A’.
Option B)
Select a book from the Bibliography. Write what you found of value to compare and contrast with the text.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #10-B’.
Option C)
Another assignment of your own design, with prior approval of the instructor.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Battling #10-C’.


Assignment #11: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments.)

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when, and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Mary Ann Johnson, M.Ed Adm. has worked with students of all levels, from alternative high school to gifted classes. She has also been a junior high vice principal and is now working with teachers for continuing education in classes, distance learning and building leadership groups. She is a teacher emeritus who has led seminars for educators which focus on developing a quality learner environment for students and for teachers. Her courses are research-based and resonate with user-friendly and energizing content.



 ERWIN, JONATHAN C. 2004. The Classroom of Choice, Giving Students What They Need and Getting What You Want, Alexandria, VA.  ASCD. 229 pages. ISBN 0-87120-829-6
This book is based on Glasser’s beliefs that people have these motivators:  fun, freedom, power and belonging.  Give students choices, and they will pick the one that meets a basic unmet need.  It is a rich and wonderful book, full of practical and engaging teaching strategies to help teachers achieve important intellectual goals in the process of helping students meet their developing social and intellectual needs.  Erwin believes that while learning is hard work, it doesn’t have to be painful:  Fun is both a prerequisite for and a byproduct of quality learning.

FERLAZZO, LARRY.  2011.  Helping Students Motivate Themselves:  Practical Answer to Classroom Challenges. 
Larchmont, CA.  Eye on Education. 190 pages. ISBN 978-1-59667-181-2
Find a dozen categories of strategies to engage the thinking and processing of your course information.   In this book by award-winning author Larry Ferlazzo, you will see:  How to motivate students, help students to take personal responsibility, deal with disruptive students and classes, find best ways to maximize the chances that a lesson will be successful, and more.  Each section of the book provides stimulating ideas and down-to-earth tools, including lesson plans, and even downloads of the handouts that save you hours.

HIMMELE, PERSIDA & HIMMELE, WILLIAM.  2011.  Total Participation Techniques:  Making Every Student an Active Learner. Alexandria, VA.  ASCD.  133 pages.  ISBN 978-1-4166-1294-0
this book is a highly recommended companion to the text for this course.  It begins with a chapter “The High Cost of Disengagement,” and makes an enthusiastic case for banishing boring education.  The Total Participation Techniques “are teaching techniques that allow for all students to demonstrate, at the same time, active participation and cognitive engagement in the topic being studied.”  Many strategies are described with clear directions, and ways to assure higher-order thinking. The strategies have been field-tested in elementary to college classes. A real winner; very readable.

MICHALKO, MICHAEL.  2006.  Thinkertoys  (2nd Ed).  Berkeley, CA.  Ten Speed Press.  395 pages.  ISBN 13-978-1-58008-773-5
This is an exciting collection of prompts for creative thinking and visual thinking.  It is addressed to business people, primarily, and it is full of more ideas than you will ever need, but it is a rich resource for fun, engaging, worthwhile creative writing and visual prompts.

SAGOR RICHARD. 2003. Motivating Students and Teachers in an Era of Standards. Arlington, VA. ASCD. 152 pages. ISBN 0-87120-801-6                                                                                                                                                              In six-fast-paced chapters, there is a focus on the need for both teachers and students to feel the power of experiencing basic psychological needs:  a sense of competence; belonging; usefulness; potency; and optimism.  Each chapter focuses on one of these needs, which are drivers for student/teacher motivation to work hard.

WORMELI, RICK.  2005. Summarization in any Subject; 50 Techniques to Improve Student Learning.  Alexandria, VA.  ASCD.  226 pages.  ISBN 978-1-4166-0019-0
Here is another tantalizing collection of “classroom-tested techniques for written, spoken, artistic, and kinesthetic summarization techniques for individual use or group activities across the content areas.”  The directions and illustrations for the fifty strategies are excellent and ready to use.