The chapter, "Build Habits," was interesting in the fact that it talked about how habits are mostly formed because of the environment. I never thought about how environment can either reinforce or deter a habit until reading this chapter. It makes sense that they refer to habits as "behavioral autopilot" because you do them without even thinking.
Their idea of a mental plan or "action trigger" was fascinating. It helped me connect that if you decide to make a change it isn't the same as actually making a plan to do it with concrete steps. The quote that struck a note with me was, "Action triggers simply have to be specific enough and visible enough to interrupt people's normal stream of consciousness." In school, this makes a lot of sense to use with students.
They suggested that using a checklist "educates people about what's best, showing them the ironclad right way to do something." We already do it in some areas, but not necessarily in the area of changing "bad" habits. In Writing, we use checklists for what should be included in a particular genre of writing. Many teachers use checklists in solving math problems. The assessments in the ELA Modules always have a "checklist" of what they call Criteria for Success for the students to check and see if they have included everything they should. What if we created checklists that told students what they needed to do specifically to change the habits they already have that hinder their success and held them accountable for following through?
The end of the chapter brings up that the hardest struggle will be maintaining motivation of the "Elephant." Wouldn't it be great if we could design classrooms to be environments that would make it easy for students to change their bad habits? The question is, how do we do it effectively so it makes a lasting impact with students?