Posts tagged ‘personalized learning’

The Importance of our Words as Educators

Today I have for you an amazing guest blogger….the fantastic Danielle Springs, an outstanding educator and a life long learner! 

In this blog post I am going to share with you the importance of the awareness of our words when interacting with our students, and the significance of strong teacher and student relationships.

Let’s start with strong relationships. When I reflect on my years as a student in the public education system, I notice one common trend: my life was positively impacted by the teachers who took the time to build genuine relationships with me and my peers. These teachers were the same ones who used their words in a positive manner and encouraged me and made me want to come to school. Initially, this is the exact reason why I became a teacher; I’m in it for the children. They matter. Their voices matter, their choices matter, and their feelings matter. If you are familiar with Personalized Learning, then you know that my advocacy of strong relationships directly aligns.

As an educator, I make it my priority to intentionally build strong relationships. I am fortunate to teach at a school and in a school district that places relationships and students above all. I make a point to build relationships and not force them.  Eventually,  it  becomes to natural and second nature that I build them without even knowing.  I am going to talk with you today about some of the ways, big and small, that I strengthen the relationships I have with my students.

First and foremost, I stand outside of my classroom door each and every morning greeting my students. You will not find me sitting at my desk preparing for the day ahead or grading papers. I greet each student with a hug, a warm smile, and cheerful “good morning!”. I also take this time to greet their siblings if they are walking past my room to their classes, greet students in other grade levels, and participate in secret handshakes that the student create with and for me. I ask them if they had a good morning preparing for school… and sometimes, the answers surprise me. For example, most of the time, their mornings are routine and the same. Other times, they wake up late, forget to eat breakfast, or feel frazzled, sometimes they are simply “still tired!”. Knowing this is very important to me. I can take it into consideration if I notice any changes in their usual behaviors throughout the day. This is one small step in building relationships that any teacher can easily implement.

When the bell rings every morning at 8:15, we begin our morning meeting. I cannot stress the importance of this opportunity to build your classroom culture, which directly relates to your relationships with students.  I allow students to choose topics that we discuss, share their personal lives, and express their interests or concerns. I encourage collaboration and stake my claim for the importance of taking academic risks. We participate in team building activities and set goals as a class and as individuals.. We do all of this together, and learn how to encourage one another along the way. I encourage you to listen to Podcast number 17 for more information on building classroom culture through morning meetings.

Another simple way to build your relationships is to spend time with your students at recess.  I rotate throughout the week the areas in which I spend my recess time. Not only am I observing and actively watching the students play, I am also a participant. I engage in games of kickball either as a player or the referee, I play four square and make my way around the court from joker to king, I take nature walks to our big Oak Tree, I play gaga ball, and other times I simply walk around and students crowd around me asking me to either talk or play a game. I have students who walk up to me at the beginning of the school day and say “will you please play with me at recess this afternoon??” I see this carry over into the classroom and my bond with each student as an individual grow and strengthen.

Another subtle way to build relationships is to encourage and seek out my students so that their voices are heard. I do not create a pathway without student input. I make it a point to incorporate choices, videos, activities, and assignments that the students ask for. I intentionally place topics on pathways or embed them into my lessons that I know students are interested in and can relate to. I want my students to know our classroom is a community and is truly their room- not mine.  I also stay true to my word. If I tell a student I will have something ready for them tomorrow, then I do it, even if I remember just as a place my head down in bed at night to go to sleep. It is important to not make empty statements, even if they are trivial in our minds. This builds trust and stability.

I also want to encourage each and every educator who is listening to not be afraid to share with students about your personal life and your feelings. If I forget to do something or make a mistake, I tell them right away. I am open and I am honest. I share stories about my personal life all the time. My students feel as if they know my family on a first name basis, because I make it a point to be an open book.  This trust and vulnerability will allow for a two way street of communication and thus building your relationships.

I mentioned previously that we can build relationships in subtle ways at school, but I also want to mention about one way that I have strengthened my relationships with my students outside of school. I intentionally send out surveys to my parents and students at the beginning and end of each school year. I use surveys provided by the author of one of my favorite books, “Passionate Learners” by Pernille Ripp. I highly recommend every teacher to read it, especially if you are implementing Personalized Learning. The beginning of year school survey is beneficial for many reasons, one which includes the parents and students speaking on behalf of student interests and out of school activities. As a teacher I have attended soccer games, basketball games, baseball games, swim meets, and gymnastics competitions. One of my favorite moments this school year was at a baseball game I attended for one of my boys. He stepped up to bat and on the first pitch, he hit the ball to the fence. This led to a home run! Instead of heading straight to the dugout as he waited for the next batter, he sprinted through the dugout and headed straight for me. He gave me the biggest hug and told me that it meant the world to him that I was at the game and was able to witness this moment. Our relationship has been exceptional ever since. He knows I care about him and love him, and this is so much more impactful than solely focusing on academics.

The last point I want to make is that as educators we need to be intentional of the way in which we speak to our students. In the book, “Choice Words”,  by Peter H. Johnston writes this: “To me, the most humbling parts of observing accomplished teachers is seeing the ways in which they build emotionally and relationally healthy learning communities- intellectual environments that produce not mere technical competence, but caring, secure, actively literate human beings.”

Our words matter. I encourage all educators to pick up a copy of “Choice Words” by Peter H. Johnston. It reminds us that our language affects children’s learning. If a student is struggling with a concept, we need to be careful of the way in which we approach our corrections. If we address the area of their needs in a positive light, there is a greater chance that the student will not be discouraged, thus continuing to build on our relationships and their progress academically. For example, I am thinking of a student I previously taught that was reading several grade levels below proficiency. During a research reading conference, I asked her to read her book out loud for me to hear. She read a sentence and replaced a key word with an incorrect word. When she was finished, she looked up at me. She expressed that it did not sound right, but that she could not figure out what the sentence said. There are several ways that I could have approached this. I could have told her the answer. I could have made her try again. I could have asked her to keep going. But, instead, I asked her this- “Why do you think that the sentence doesn’t make sense?” and “What can you do to help you figure out the meaning of this word?” Once we went through strategies together,  I told her that I was proud of the way SHE figured that out. If you notice- I did not take credit for giving her the answer. I let her work through it, only providing her tools. I celebrated her ability to figure out the unknown word. I celebrated her ability to read. I chose my words wisely and I allowed this teaching moment to build on our relationship while encouraging her to be a reader. Peter H. Johnston writes about a similar scenario that occurred and I encourage you to read “Choice Words” for more.  In reading conferences and in other situations throughout the school day, we find ourselves with opportunities to correct students and choosing our words is vital in all situations.

Let’s think about a time when a student may have become quickly frustrated in the classroom and acted upon his or her frustrations, I might say “What can I do to help?” or “What are your next steps?” rather than immediately correcting the behaviors and actions. This shows that I am going to support him or her in making a decision, rather than being a dictator. It is important for students to know that they are able to have feelings- and this includes frustrated feelings as well. We must celebrate their ability to express their frustrations and help them find solutions and ways to move forward.

The last thing I want to leave you with is this: there will never be a student of mine who goes home at the end of the day without knowing he or she is loved by me. I tell each and every student daily that I love them and care for them- and then I prove my words through my actions. I encourage all educators to do the same. Build your relationships. Love your students endlessly. Watch them grow both emotionally and as a result, academically.

 

The Four Attributes with Habits of Mind

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” By Walt Disney

I am so excited to have Bena Kallick and Allison Zmuda be guest bloggers this week! I met Allison a few years ago at an ASCD conference and we instantly bounded over trying to figure out what Personalized Learning meant for schools and classrooms, while on the floor waiting for the keynote doors to open! This encounter turned into a partnership and friendship and I am so glad to have met her not only because she is an amazing thought partner but she has introduced me to so many amazing educators including Bena.

Guest Post by Bena Kallick and Allison Zmuda

How can we encourage student reflection and growth in each of the four attributes? We have found that it is helpful to pay attention to key Habits of Mind associated with voice, co-creation, social construction, and self-discovery. If you want to take a look back at each habit, take a look at Bena and Art Costa’s page on Learning Personalized.

This post explores how modeling and growing certain habits in conjunction with the attributes nurtures the learning partnership between teacher and student: one grounded on trust, increased autonomy, shared responsibility, and thoughtful actions.

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Voice

Habits of Mind to Pay Attention To: listening with understanding and empathy; thinking and communicating with clarity and precision, questioning and problem posing.

Typically, students are driven by the school’s curriculum agenda. They become passengers in the journey adults have mapped out. As a result, students have grown accustomed to being told what to do; what to read, what to think, etc.

In personalized learning, every student is seen as a respected and valued participant. Empowerment comes from an environment in which students recognize the power of their own ideas and recognize the shift that can happen by being exposed to others’ ideas.

When developing voice, it is as important to listen to what others have to say as it is to learn how to voice your own thoughts. Often, when we are listening closely to another, we begin to seek greater clarity about what the other is trying to express.

We raise questions that help to clarify our understanding and we pay attention to what the other person is thinking and feeling. At the same time, as we establish our own voice, we try hard to choose words that help express our thoughts with specificity. So, for example, instead of saying “everyone thinks that is the case,” we might say, “when I was at the meeting the other day, I heard at least three people say that this is the case.”

Growing student voice through building the habits that focus on both expressing yourself and thinking clearly about what it is you really are trying to say is an essential key to the sense of empowerment we want all students to experience as they engage with the world.

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Co-Creation

Habits of Mind to Pay Attention To: creating, imagining and innovating; thinking flexibly; persisting.

Students assume a significant design role in the development of the idea, challenge, problem, or inquiry. They are being invited to the design table to co-create a personalized plan using “backward design” principles.

The student works with the teacher to:

  • develop a challenge, problem, or idea
  • clarify what is being measured (learning goals)
  • envision the product or performance (assessment)
  • outline an action plan to be successful on that performance to achieve the desired results (learning actions)

When we invite students to become co-creators of their own learning, we want them to persist as they consider many new and innovative possibilities for learning. We want students to realize that the first idea may not be the best idea.

They need to be willing to let go of ideas that they predict may not work and to come up with another idea that leads them in a new direction. They must open their minds to what others think and say as they shape the actions they might take. They need to learn that creativity is often an interactive process of thinking collaboratively as well as individually.

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Social Construction

Habits of Mind to Pay Attention To: thinking interdependently, taking responsible risks, gathering data.

Students build ideas through relationships with others as they theorize, investigate, and develop in pursuit of a common goal. There is real power in feeling that you are not alone, a sense of camaraderie when you are working to cause a change, create a performance, or build a prototype.

As Riley indicated based on his own observations of many schools:

“The experiences that have most inspired me have shared one singular feature: They have involved rich conversations among a community of scholars. The most compelling classrooms are ones in which learning goals are shared, and knowledge is fostered through social interactions.”

When students are in a conversation with others, they need to be open to the influence of other people’s thinking. They must be able to hear what others are saying and remain open to the continuous refinement of ideas as they deepen their understanding of what is at hand. They might need to reach out to experts in the field they are studying.

Although this is taking a risk, it also often leads to enormous rewards. Students learn which risks are most likely to give them greater clarity in their thinking. Developing the habits for social construction broaden the students’ experiences beyond the walls of the classroom or school.

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Self Discovery

Habits of Mind to Pay Attention To: thinking about your thinking, responding with wonderment and awe, applying past knowledge to new situations.

Students need to know enough about themselves to be able to make wise decisions as they navigate through the turbulence of a rapidly changing environment. Being educated is more than being knowledgeable about a series of topics and fluent in key skills; it also is having students come to understand themselves as learners and know more about what they want to do both in the world as well as in future learning.

Our ultimate aim is for students to become self-directed learners who know how to manage themselves in a variety of situations.

When students build the habit of reflecting on their learning, they are becoming more self-directed. They are able to consider what they learned from a given study and celebrate their successes as well as paying attention to what did not work. They are able to distinguish what is important so that they can transfer that learning to new situations.

They begin to discover their passions, interests, dreams as they experience the adrenaline that flows from what they have accomplished. They stand back and gaze with wonderment and awe!

Personalized Learning from A- Z

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” By Tamika L. Sims

One of my goals for 2017 is to help educators see that Personalized Learning (PL) is not “another thing” and not something that is hard to do in your classroom when you start small and are intentional in how you start. Below I offers 26 ways to incorporate the PL philosophy into your classroom practice. I suggest choosing one and start making small changes in your practice. To read how to get started with PL, check out my previous blog post here.

 A. Authentic: Create authentic experiences for your students that align to the real world and are fun.

B. Brain Breaks – Having an Action Based Learning (ABL) classroom that allows brain breaks keeps students engaged through movement.

C. Choice – Allow students to have choice in the classroom from the room design to the tasks they complete.

D. Data Trackers – Having students keep data trackers helps them understand what they are strong in and what they need to work on; allowing them to build a growth mindset about learning.

E. Empower – Empower students to have agency in their learning.

F. Flexible environments –  Let students pick where they sit and offer flexible seating options. It can be as simple as allowing students to stand if they chose or you can re-design your room with different types of seating.

G. Goal setting – Have students set academic goals.

H. Habits – Let go of old habits. As teachers/educators we get stuck in habits because they become comfortable for us and not always what is best for students. Reevaluate your teaching habits and think about why you _____ (fill in the blank with practice.) Ask yourself is it best for students? Why or Why Not?

I. Innovation  – Give students time to be innovative and think outside the box. You can do this through Genius Hour or PBL’s etc.

J. Journey  – Personalized Learning is a journey and always evolving for both you and the students. There is no one right way and you will at times make mistakes.

K. Know  – Take the time to get to know your students including their strengthens and weaknesses, likes and dislikes.

L. Learning outcomes – Allow students to understand what the learning outcome is. Having students understand the outcome helps them focus on what steps they need to meet the outcome.

M. Mastery learning – Allow mastery to be measured in various ways in the classroom, including formal or informal assessments, performance tasks, or verbal responses.

N. Non-cognitive skills – Dispositions or non-cognitive skills are arguably just as important as understanding content or maybe even more important. Instilling skills such as communication, critical thinking and collaboration are important life long learning skills that help students become successful in life.

O. Opportunity – Provide students opportunities that are new or different to them opening up doors to possibilities.

P. Pace – Allow students to work at their own pace/speed.

Q. Quests – Learning quests allow students to research and discover content verse regurgitating.

R. Reflection – Reflecting on your work is one of the most under utilized best practices. Having students reflect on their work, assessment and learning process helps guide them to understand mistakes, ideas and problem solve.

S. Shift – You need to shift the role of the teacher from a lecturer and holder of all knowledge to a coach who guides students based on needs.

T. Technology – Technology is a tool you can utilize to help support instruction and deliver content based on the students needs.

U. Use Data –  Use data to make changes in your instruction, drive your lessons and tasks.

V. Voice – Have students share their voice  and knowledge with others. This can be done through blogging, projects, creating such as iMovie etc.

W. Whole Child – The concept of meeting the Whole Child is more than establishing  relationships with your students but also being aware of  each students health, safety, engagement and support.

X. Xamples – Have students collect eXamples of their work over time to see their growth. (Okay, so I cheated a little bit with this one but X is hard!)

Y. You Matter – Every student needs to hear they matter. Check out these resources from the You Matter Movement.

Z. Zigzag – PL is not going to be perfect all the time. You will have to be able to be zig-zag through what works for you in your classroom.

Getting Started with Personalized Learning

“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness  to learn is a choice.” By Brain Herbert

I often hear I love the philosophy of Personalized Learning (PL), but where do I start??  I hate to break it to everyone but there is no ‘how to guide’ because every teacher is at a different point in their craft and there is no one right place to start. In this post I offer you some ideas of where you can get started but again, there is no one right way.

Let’s start off with understanding what PL is because PL looks different in every district. The foundation of Personalized Learning is the same, classrooms are student driven with an emphasis on student ownership of their learning. The role of the teacher is different but very much important as they are now the facilitator of learning verse the only one that holds the knowledge at the front of the room.

With that being said, let’s look at some ways you can get started with PL in your classroom:

  1. Offer choice in your classroom: It does not have to be 10 choices, which is often the misconception, but try offering two. For example, if you are studying the theme of Identity in English, offer the students two articles or books to read around that theme. You can then still have a class discussion around the theme even though students read different material.
  2. Use data to make changes in your instruction: As teachers we gather a lot of data but we don’t often use it to change what we are doing in the classroom. Try giving a pre-assessment or an entrance ticket and use that data to drive your mini-lesson. Ask yourself, does everyone need this lesson? Probably not, so let the students that have shown that they know the skill, go deeper and try exploring the concept on their own through a task. Then pull the small group that needs the mini-lesson. I often hear, ‘but everyone needs this skill because it is a new concept/skill in ____ (fill in grade level)’. This does not mean that they don’t have background or that they don’t know how to do it. Stop making the assumption that everyone needs the same thing because it makes you as the teacher feel more comfortable. Think about it in another  way if you don’t believe me; how often have you sat in  workshop because the instructor has assumed that everyone needed to be trained on the same thing. How frustrated did you get? It is the same thing for your students.
  3. Try flexible seating: Let students pick where they sit and offer flexible seating options. This does not mean that you have to spend lots of money and redesign your classroom all at once. Try allowing students the option if they want to stand or sit while they learn. (Fast Fact: Did you know that you learn 10% more when you stand!) You can also swap out desks for tables or hold a ‘furniture drive’ and see if parents can donate used furniture such as bean bag chairs. You can also use sites like Donors Choose or Go Fund Me Education to redesign your classroom.
  4. Allow students to goal set and reflect: You will be surprised at what students will admit about themselves when you give them the time and structure to do these things. Allow students to think about their strengths and weaknesses as a learner. Have them set a goal for themselves and then later have them reflect on it. You can start with weekly goal setting and reflections but most find it is so powerful that they have the students do it daily. Start by making it a routine and stick to it. As the students are transiting into the subject or class, have them set a goal and then a few minutes before they transition again, end class with a reflection.
  5. Get to know your students: Building relationships with your students and understanding what they like and dislike is a huge part of PL. Knowing your students allows for you to better meet their needs and interests.  Something I hear from secondary teachers is but I have 180 students; yes that is a lot and harder to do but not impossible. You can do a few things to get to know your students (and it is never to late) such as create a survey for them to fill out or greet them at the door and slowly start to get to know them. When I taught 8th grade, I greeted them at the door before every block. I slowly learned something about each student and let that start the relationship. In the beginning I had many students ‘blow me off’ but soon they realized I wasn’t going to stop and that I cared. I too often watch some teachers not even acknowledging their students until the bell rings and then they go right into the lesson. It only takes a few minutes to stop and say Good Morning and this can make the world of a difference to so many students.
  6. Showing Mastery: Allow students to pick how they show mastery of a concept. This allows students to use their higher order thinking skills. If students aren’t sure how to show mastery of a concept, have a list of options to guide them. Remember PL is a new way for students to think as most liking previously they have been told what to do.

There are many more ways of getting started with PL but hopefully one of the ideas above will help you. Here are also some tips with getting started:

  1. Ask yourself: Would I want to be a student in my own classroom? If the answer is yes, why? Is there anything you can change to make it even better? If you aren’t sure try asking your students. If the answer is no, why? What is one thing you can change to make it better? Then try it.
  2. Chose one area to try PL in: It can be any subject, grade level or a unit but just pick one place to start in order to not overwhelm yourself. For example: start with Math or with your block one class. You do not have to implement PL in everything you do right away, choosing an area and one thing is a great way start. If it goes well, try the one small change in another class/subject.
  3. Chose one small action step: Small action steps make the biggest impact. Take one small action step that changes your role as a teacher along the continuum. To learn more about the continuum check out my previous blog post: The Shift in the Role of the Teacher.

I know I will have some readers that will say, yeah but ____ (fill in the blank with excuse) and you are right, there is always going to be a yeah but. The difference is knowing that you can find a solution to that excuse by trying something to change it. For example, yeah but my district doesn’t ‘do’ PL. That is okay, no one said you can’t in your classroom, so give it a try.

Check out my other blog posts on Personalized Learning:

Dismantling Personalized Learning Myths

Personalized Learning ‘Look For’s

Moving Through the Continuum of Personalized Learning

10 Ways to Personalize Your Classroom

Personalized Learning Collaboration Group

I also have many more if you want to click on the category tag, Personalized Learning, on the right hand side of my blog page. Good luck with your implementation of PL. If you have any questions, or need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Heutagogy and Personalized Learning…There is a Difference!

“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.” – John Lubbock

We have all heard of Pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching) and Andragogy (the method and practice of teaching adult learners) but what is Heutagogy? Heutagogy is the method and practice of self-determined learning. In this approach the learner is the center of their own learning by determining what they want to learn and how they want to learn it.

Many educators think that Personalized Learning (student driven learning) and Heutagogy are the same thing. They have many similarities but also many differences that I have illustrated in the chart below. The biggest difference is that with a Heutagogy approach the learner determines what they want to learn; it is not determined by curriculum or standards.

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An example of Heutagogy approach that could be done in the classroom would be Genius Hour. The student determines what they want to learn and how they want to learn about it. The curriculum or pacing guid does not determine the outcome.

Here are some more articles on Heutagogy:

Heutagogy Explained for Teachers

Shifting From Pedagogy To Heutagogy In Education

The Difference Between Pedagogy, Andragogy, And Heutagogy

From Andragogy to Heutagogy

 

Dyslexia Awareness Month

Guest blog post by the fabulous Megan Mehta!

“[Dyslexia] is more common than you can imagine. You are not alone. And while you will have this the rest of your life, you can dart between the raindrops to get where you want to go and it will not hold you back.”  – Steven Spielberg, Director

dyslexia

It’s October, and along with relief from the hot temps of summer and beautiful foliage, there are opportunities to learn and grow about a variety of causes. One that affects us as educators because it can so profoundly affect our students is dyslexia. October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, and it’s important that we are armed with information about this relatively common learning issue, because our good intentions can be for nothing because of misconceptions, misinformation and a general lack of knowledge on the subject.

What Dyslexia is NOT:

  • Reversal of letters and numbers: this is a fairly common characteristic of developing readers and writers. Though some dyslexic students may do this, it is not a definitive indicator of dyslexia.
  • Something that primarily affects boys: Both boys and girls can be affected– it’s not a picky issue!
  • Laziness or lack of intellect: People with dyslexia are quite the opposite! I look at my own daughter who is not reading on grade level because of her dyslexia, yet has an astounding processing speed and such a unique way of looking at problems that she often has to walk me through her way of thinking to help me understand.
  • Something that will be outgrown: Dyslexics are that way for life.

What Dyslexia IS:

Dyslexia is a specific reading disability and it causes the brain to process graphic symbols differently. It is characterized by difficulties in word recognition, spelling, and decoding; as well as reading comprehension. The National Center for Learning Disabilities says that dyslexia is a neurological and often genetic condition, and not the result of poor teaching, instruction, or upbringing; nor is it linked to intelligence.

It is also something that may affect up to 20% of people. However, symptoms can present as mild, moderate, severe, and everywhere in between. Some people may be able to develop enough coping skills to manage to get through school without too much support, yet their self-esteem might take a hit because they start to believe they aren’t as smart as everyone else. Students with dyslexia that is unrecognized will start to believe that they are lazy, not smart, not as good as their peers and this can profoundly affect them for life.

How Can I Help My Student or My Own Child if I Suspect Dyslexia?

Begin by educating yourself, whether you read an article or two at the bottom of this post, or take advantage of a workshop in your area. Talk to the reading specialists in your school, or the special education teacher to help you with strategies you can use. Helping kids develop a growth mindset can also have a big impact. Children who are dyslexic, or struggle with dysgraphia or dyscalculia need to be taught differently than their peers. They need a systematic approach that will teach them to process written language in the way best suited for how their brain is wired. These approaches can be found in the offerings of Orton-Gillingham, or the Barton program, among others.

Unfortunately, the public schools in North Carolina do not specifically test for or diagnose dyslexia. If it severe enough, it may show up under the umbrella of “specific learning disability” but that’s not always a guarantee. North Carolina is one of 11 states that does not yet have a law addressing the specific learning needs of students with dyslexia. Fortunately, there are groups that are working hard to change this. In the meantime, as teachers we need to be a voice for all our students and do what we can to help them reach their full potential: be compassionate, be empathetic, and know the power you have to make a big difference in the life of a child.

Resources:

Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity

Understood.org

National Center for Learning Disabilities

The Rankin Institute offers professional development for educators and parents in Charlotte, NC

Decoding Dyslexia- NC

Bibliography

  • Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. Web.
  • Lapkin, Emily. “Understanding Dyslexia.” Understood.org. 02 Apr. 2014. Web.
  • Shaywitz, Sally E. Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2003. Print.
  • “Yale Center For Dyslexia & Creativity.” Yale Center For Dyslexia & Creativity. Web.

Action Based Learning

“Student engagement is the product of motivation and active learning. It is a product rather than a sum because it will not occur if either element is missing.” By Elizabeth F. Barkley

Action Based Learning (ABL) is a pedagogy of brain-based learning theory which focuses on the structure and workings of the brain in regards to learning. Check out all the reasons why kinesthetic classrooms are important in the below graphic created by the amazing Kim Cooke.

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ABL is not just a “Physical Education”thing but something you can add into all classrooms and in all grade levels. Here are three quick ways you can start adding kinesthetics into your classroom today:

  1. Transitions: During transitions, for example from math to reading, have students do something active for one minute such as jump on one foot. Here are some more brain break ideas here!
  2. Furniture: Add some different seating options such as yoga balls, wobble stools or allowing them to stand and work.
  3. Hands-On: Allowing students to show what they know with hands-on activities such as role playing, plays/skits,  building models or experiments.

Want to learn more about ABL? Action Based Learning & Kinesthetic Classroom Training is coming to Charlotte, NC on Nov 4th and 5th. Click here for more information!

More Information on ABL:

Article: Building Better. Brains through Movement and Moving and Shaking in the Classroom

Pinterest Board: Action Based Learning Lab Ideas

Books: Energizing Brain Breaks and The Kinesthetic Classroom: Teaching and Learning Through Movement

My previous blog posts on Brain Based Learning!

 

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