Contributed by by Heidi Erstad, WATG Board member
PERTS is an applied research center based out of Stanford University. The center has developed a free, evidence-based program designed to increase ninth graders' engagement, motivation, and ultimately success by laying the foundation for a growth mindset.
The online program delivered in two 30-minute sessions. Includes survey questions, short reading passages, and brief reflection exercises. Students will learn scientific evidence showing that the brain is malleable and specific behaviors that can rewire the brain and increase one’s intellectual abilities.
High schools can enroll in this free course at https://www.perts.net/orientation/hg to help freshmen navigate this often-fragile transition in a strengths-based way.
This month’s featured resource comes as a result of a question posed to the WISGIFT listserv about advanced learning in the teaching of history. (Thank you to WISGIFT listserv subscriber Andrea Lorenz for this resource!)
Stanford’s History Education Group provides field-tested materials for teaching students to be critical consumers of history. Resources include:
A toolkit of powerful tools for extending learning and creating informed and critical-thinking adult citizens.
Strong relationships between teachers and students have been shown to be a powerful tool to foster student engagement and learning and ensure that ALL learners have equal access to learning opportunities in the classroom.
This set of five online learning modules (based on the research of some very smart people!) helps teachers pay close attention to the different factors influencing their relationships, which in turn will help them form stronger and more positive connections with students. Each module includes video presentations, reflective questions, and interactive components.
Teachers can use the modules independently or as a team. Requires FREE registration to access learning modules. Visit: http://www.corclassrooms.org/
Speak Out, Listen Up! Tools for using student perspectives and local data for school improvement - Heidi Erstad, WATG Board Member
This year’s WATG Conference will feature sessions around engaging student voice. This IES document offers guideline for using three tools that educators can use to gather and analyze local data to listen to students on school-related topics or problems:
Download a copy of this document here
Another Ian Byrd super tool! Use the drop-down menus to mix & match SCAMPER skills, thinking skills, literary elements, literature, and products to stretch students’ thinking with creative literature response tasks.
Want to explore? Visit http://byrdseed.com/respondo/
Some students with gifts and talents struggle with learning and attention issues. The Understood.org site was designed for parents, but can also be used by educators to better help understand and navigate learner issues such as attention, organization, time management, social skills, motor skills, and more.
Resources in “Your Parent Toolkit” include, for example, the fascinating “Through Your Child’s Eyes”: simulations and videos to experience firsthand what it’s like to complete tasks when you have trouble focusing or experience other learning / attention obstacles; the practical Tech Finder identifies expert-selected assistive technology targeted toward helping learners manage a range of issues.
Interested? See https://www.understood.org
Richard Cash, a 2017 WATG Conference keynoter, shares the following free resources for classroom teachers seeking to stretch the learning of students:
Interested? See http://www.nrich.consulting/resources.html
A series of short posts about specific elements of teaching practice that British educator Tom Sherrington “think[s] are effective and make life interesting.” These small snippets are good reminders of those solid teaching practices that may have slipped out of our repertoire, e.g. dialogic questions, personal projects, expert knowledge.
Interested? See https://teacherhead.com/2014/05/11/the-pedagogy-postcard-series-all-in-one-place/
MIT’s BLOSSOMS video library has over 100 math and science lessons designed by diverse master teachers from around the world, available at no cost to schools. Each 50-minute interactive lesson mixes video instruction with problem solving and critical thinking activities. Teacher’s guide, handouts and add’l resources provided. Lessons are searchable by CCSS and Next Generation standards. Topic clusters include lessons for Astronomy, Botany, Chemistry Mole, DNA, Environmental Sustainability, Evolution, Newtonian Physics, and Probability, among others.
Interested? See https://blossoms.mit.edu
Teaching Channel Back to School Starter Packs
The Teaching Channel is a GREAT resource for seeing effective teaching and learning in action. To help teachers prepare for the start of school, the Teaching Channel has also developed downloadable checklists organized by grade band to help both new and veteran teachers get off to a good start with Classroom Setup, Lesson and Unit Planning, Class Culture, and Self-Care.
Note that you’ll need to register for a free Teaching Channel account to access this resource.
Tools to Use Today
Note: WATG neither endorses nor recommends specific products and programs. This column is for informational purposes only.