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Why do we remember some learning experiences and forget others completely? As teachers and teacher leaders, we want lessons and learning experiences to leave long-lasting impressions on those with whom we work. When we understand the psychology behind memories and learning, we can use that knowledge to design powerful moments for adults and students alike. According to Chip and Dan Heath in their 2018 book The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, memorable positive experiences contain one or more of these elements: Elevation, insight, pride, and connection. In my interactive session we explore each of these elements in depth through a mathematical lens and consider how to implement them in our work with students and/or adult learners. 

Below you will find the source material I used to create my presentation along with other supporting materials and resources. Feel free to dig through them to deepen your own learning. If you would like me to give this presentation at your school, district, organization, or event, please contact me at mflynn@mtholyoke.edu. Thank you.



The Power of Moments:

Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

The book The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip and Dan Heath really struck a chord with me as an educator, father, and husband. That’s because in any of our capacities, we experience defining moments that rise above the ordinary aspects of our lives. The authors dig into why that happens and provide us with concrete ideas for how we can use this understanding to orchestrate powerful moments in our lives and in the lives of others. I highly recommend you add this book to your reading list. It’s also great on Audible.  



Chip and Dan Heath provide a number of free resources you can use to help you implement the ideas from The Power of Moments in your setting. I highly encourage you to check them out. The Switch for Organizations Workbook and the Switch Framework are particularly helpful.

The Power of Moments Chapter 1

The Power of Moments 1-Page Summary

The Power of Moments Book Club Guide

The Power of Moments for Friends and Family


The Power of Moments Podcasts:

The Power of Moments for Education by Dan Heath

The Power of Moments for Employees by Dan Heath

EntreLeadership Podcast: Dan Heath – Moments That Change Lives





The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip and Dan Heath

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive While Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath

Momentous Events and Vivid Memories: How Unforgettable Moments Help Us Understand the Meaning of Life by David Pillemer

Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected by Leeann Renninger and Tania Luna

Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness By Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story by Steve Kamb

Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate  Change by Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon



The Crystallization of Discontent in the Process of Major Life Change by Roy Baumeister

The Peak-End Rule: How Impressions Become Memories by Lexie Martin

Happiness: It’s All About the Ending by Susan Krauss Whitbourne

Duration Neglect in Retrospective Evaluations of Affective Episodes by Barbara Fredrickson and Daniel Kahneman

What is the Oddball Effect? This Psychological Phenomenon May Explain Why You Perceive Time Differently by Georgina Lawton

The Recognition Gap: Make Sure Your Team Feels Appreciated by Tara Landes

Breaking the Cycle of Mistrust: Wise Interventions to Provide Critical Feedback Across the Racial Divide by David Scott Yeager et al.

36 Questions to Fall in Love by Daniel Jones

25 Revealing Questions That Build Better Work Relationships by Shelley Prevost

Bad is Stronger Than Good by Roy Baumeister et al. 

How Belonging and Productive Struggle Can Motivate Students in Math by Barbara Pape