Ten Design Principles for Engaging...Lessons

Dan Meyer has some great ideas on math and education.  I always enjoy reading his blog (even though I sometimes disagree) because his ideas have implications far beyond the math classroom.

His recent "Ten Design Principles For Engaging Math Tasks" perfectly illustrates that point.  These ideas will certainly make a math class more engaging, and improve student learning, but they can also be applied to nearly any subject from pre-K to adult professional development.
  1. Perplexity is the goal of engagement. 
  2. Concise questions are more engaging than lengthy ones, all other things being equal.
  3. Use a short sentence or simple visual to “hook” the student into the space of the problem.
  4. Pure math can be engaging. Applied math can be boring. 
  5. Use photos and video to establish context, rather than words, whenever possible.
  6. Use stock photography and stock illustrations sparingly.
  7. Set a low floor for entry, a high ceiling for exit.
  8. Use progressive disclosure to lower the extraneous load of your tasks.
  9. Ask for guesses. People like to guess, speculate, and hypothesize. Guessing is engaging.
  10. Make math social. 
Read his full descriptions and then consult this list next time you plan a lesson - be it First Grade Literacy, Secondary Social Studies, or a professional development session on Advanced uses of  Google Docs.  How many of these10 principles are you meeting?