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*ASCD bestseller


Providing 51 easy-to-use alternatives to the “stand and deliver” approach to teaching that causes so many students to tune out—or even drop out—Total Participation Techniques presents dozens of ways to engage K–12 students in active learning and allow them to demonstrate the depth of their knowledge and understanding.

The authors, Pérsida Himmele and William Himmele, explain both the why and the how of Total Participation Techniques (TPTs) as they explore the high cost of student disengagement, place TPTs in the context of higher-order thinking and formative assessments, and demonstrate how to create a “TPT-conducive classroom.”

Readers will learn how to implement field-tested techniques they can use on the spot (e.g., Quick-Draws, Quick-Writes, Chalkboard Splash); with Hold-Up cards (e.g., True/Not True, Selected Response); with movement (e.g., Bounce Cards, Line-Ups, Simulations); and to guide note-taking and concept analysis (e.g., Picture Notes, 3-Sentence Wrap-Up, Debate Team Carousel).

Each TPT is presented in four parts:

  • A descriptive overview

  • How It Works—step-by-step instructions for implementation

  • How to Ensure Higher-Order Thinking—ideas for advancing students beyond surface-level thinking

  • Pause to Apply—suggestions for how to adapt and personalize the technique for specific contexts and content areas

Filled with examples from real classrooms, Total Participation Techniques is an essential toolkit for teachers at all levels and for administrators who want a model for analyzing lessons to ensure that they are relevant, engaging, and cognitively challenging


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Blog - Reviews

Angela Watson's Review from The CornerStone...

At last month’s ASCD conference, I had the pleasure of speaking with William and Persida Himmele, the husband and wife team who wrote the wonderful new book Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner. I can’t say enough good things about how useful and practical this book is, and I’m excited to share it with you........

-Angela Watson, National Board Certified Teacher


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Lin Winfree's Review

Reading is one of my favorite summer activities. I'm an omnivore as a reader, so I'm usually reading more than one book at a time. Rarely do I finish a book in one sitting, especially a professional development book; however, Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner  (Himmele and Himmele, 2011) is one I devoured in an afternoon. Here's what made this text a great book for me:

  • The book offers a well-researched yet easy to follow rationale for using the Total Participation Techniques (TPT). 

  • A usable model for implementing the techniques. This included a quadrant visual of Participation plus Engagement as well as example, broken into times, of how a classroom teacher used the TPTs.

  • Not only a description of each technique, but also an explanation of how to link the technique to higher order thinking skills


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Tim Lacourt's Review from Stetson & Associates, Inc...

Total Participation Techniques presents strategies that are meant for every learner in the classroom, whether a kindergarten class or seminar space on a university campus; gifted and struggling students alike. The book is brilliant in its simplicity of presentation, and offers teachers a treasure trove of practical strategies...


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