5 Ways to Teach How the Brain Learns

A conversation with Ramona Persaud on episode 80 of the 10-Minute Teacher

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Today Ramona Persaud @ramonap director of the film, Grey Matters, talks about how we can teach kids the way the brain learns.

title teach how the brain learns

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In today’s show, Ramona Persaud gives five tips directly related to how the brain learns:

  • Understanding stress and the brain
  • Relating knowledge to prior knowledge
  • How the brain changes
  • Thoughts on teaching for mastery
  • The proper place of memorization

I hope you enjoy this episode with Ramona Persaud!

Selected Links from this Episode


Full Bio As Submitted


Ramona PersaudRamona persaud Grey Matters documentary

Ramona Persaud is an independent documentary filmmaker and founder of Change the Lens Productions. Change the Lens Productions specializes in social issue documentaries that are both entertaining and thought-provoking, nudging viewers to examine their life, their perspective, and their overall world view in the context of the stories they’ve just viewed.

GREY MATTERS is Persaud’s second film; the first, IT’S A DIFFERENT WORLD, explores the world of autism through the eyes of three autistic children.

The documentary Grey Matters is based on the book “The Brain Targeted Teaching Model for 21st Century Schools” by Dr. Mariale Hardiman. The documentary offers practical, “use right now” information for teachers, that are based on research.

Transcript for this episode


To be posted as soon as it is available. Check back soon!

The post 5 Ways to Teach How the Brain Learns appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/5-ways-teach-how-brain-learns/

Building Your School and Personal Brand

A conversation with Trish Rubin on episode 79 of the 10-minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Today Trish Rubin @trishrubin teaches us the basics of building your school and personal brand. Enter the book giveaway to win a copy of the book, BrandED, that she co-authored with Eric Sheninger.

Building Your School and Personal Brand (1)

 

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Listen on iTunes

  • Stream by clicking here.
  • The transcript will be uploaded and posted right here at soon as soon as it is available.

Click the button for iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe to this show

10-Minute Teacher Show Stitcher

 

In today’s show, Trish Rubin discusses what you need to know about school and personal branding:

  • Defining brand as it relates to education
  • The risks of brand myopia in schools
  • The reason we need to change how we communicate
  • The aspects of building a brand
  • Individual teacher brand

I hope you enjoy this episode with Trish Rubin!

Selected Links from this Episode


Enter the book giveaway contest

BrandED Giveaway Contest
https://js.gleam.io/e.js

Full Bio As Submitted


Trish RubinTrish Rubin

Trish Rubin is an lifetime educator and a “second act” entrepreneur who consults education and business organizations in improved brand communication. She teaches Marketing and Brand Management at CUNY/Baruch College in NYC and consults in K-16 educational professional development and across business, agencies and nonprofit organizations.

With Eric Sheninger, she has co-authored the first complete guide to using brand/marketing as tools for empowering schools in a digital/ social media age.

Transcript for this episode


To be posted as soon as it is available. Check back soon!

The post Building Your School and Personal Brand appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/building-school-personal-brand/

A Stress Free Plan for Closing Out Your Classroom

A conversation with Angela Watson on episode 78 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Today Angela Watson @angela_watson teaches us a stress-free plan for closing out your classroom. See also her 5 Summer Secrets for a Stress free Fall video series.

a stress-free plan for closing out your classroom

Check out the 40-hour Teacher Workweek Club

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Listen on iTunes

  • Stream by clicking here.
  • The transcript will be linked here as soon as it is available.

Click the button for iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe to this show

10-Minute Teacher Show Stitcher

 

 

In today’s show, Angela Watson talks about the best way to close down your classroom at the end of the school year:

  • Why taking things down too soon can cause behavior problems
  • How to have students help without chaos
  • A simple system for getting the work done
  • Ending the school year with less stress
  • What you should have students do

I hope you enjoy this episode with Angela Watson!

Selected Links from this Episode


Some of the links are affiliate links

Full Bio As Submitted


Angela WatsonAngela Watson

Angela Watson is National Board Certified Teacher currently working as an instructional coach and educational consultant based in Brooklyn, New York. She has published four books for teachers and has maintained The Cornerstone For Teachers blog since 2003.

Angela is the creator of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club an online professional development program that has supported teachers with productivity in over 10,000 schools. Her Sunday podcast called Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers is entering its 6th season, providing motivation and encouragement to teachers on a weekly basis.

Transcript for this episode


To be posted as soon as it is available. Check back soon!

The post A Stress Free Plan for Closing Out Your Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/stress-free-plan-closing-classroom/

Triple Crown hopefuls at the Preakness Stakes

Credit: AP Photo/Garry Jones

This Saturday is the running of the Preakness Stakes Thoroughbred horse race in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Preakness is the second major race for 3-year old thoroughbreds to run in their effort to claim the Triple Crown of horse racing.  Always Dreamer won the Kentucky Derby on May 6th.  Does he have a chance to win the Preakness?  In this activity we look at the empiracle probability of winning the second and third events.

Will-AlwaysDreamer-win-TripleCrown.pdf

For members we have an editable Word docx and solutions.

Will-AlwaysDreamer-win-TripleCrown.docx     Will-AlwaysDreamer-win-TripleCrown-solution.pdf

CCSS: 6.SP.B.5, 7.SP.C, 8.SP.C., HSS.MD.A


More Horseracing activities

California Chrome’s lineage – calculating fraction of parentage of this horse.  CCSS: 3.NFA, 4.NFA, 5.NFB, 6.RP

Triple Crown Possibilities – Tons of calculations and measurements of horses … rates, hands tall, furlongs, fractions. 4.NF.1, 4.NF.2, 5.MD.1, 5.NF.1, 5.NF.7, 5.NBT.7, 6.NS.3, 6.RP.3, 7.NS.3

Horse Odds – Mathematical probabilities. CCSS: 7.SP.7, 7.SP.8, S-CP.2

from Yummy Math https://www.yummymath.com/2017/triple-crown-hopefuls-at-the-preakness-stakes/

Breakout EDU Digital is Awesome (and Free) #breakoutedu

A conversation with Mari Venturino on episode 77 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Today Mari Venturino @MsVenturino talks about breakout edu digital for edtech tool Tuesday. These challenges are free! (And perfect activities for team building at the end of the school year.) Learn about the challenges and advantages of breakout edu digital. Have fun!

BLOG - breakout edu digital is free with mari venturino

 

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Listen on iTunes

Click the button for iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe to this show

10-Minute Teacher Show Stitcher

In today’s show, Mari Venturino talks about Breakout EDU digital:

  • Explaining what breakout edu digital is
  • What it teaches
  • The challenges teachers have with it
  • How to use it in the classroom
  • Some examples of the most popular breakout edu games

I hope you enjoy this episode with Mari Venturino!

Selected Links from this Episode


Full Bio As Submitted


Mari VenturinoMari Venturino

Mari Venturino is a 7th-grade science and AVID teacher and Blended Learning Specialist at Mar Vista Academy in San Diego, CA. She is a Google For Education Certified Trainer and Innovator, a Google Certified Educator Levels 1 & 2, and is Leading Edge Certified in Online and Blended Instruction.

Mari was awarded the CUE Outstanding Emerging Teacher of the Year in 2017. She is the co-founder of Breakout EDU Digital.

Transcript for this episode


To be posted as soon as it is available. Check back soon!

The post Breakout EDU Digital is Awesome (and Free) #breakoutedu appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/breakout-edu-digital-awesome-free-breakoutedu/

Help Kids Learn to Code with Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop

How kids can explore and create in STEM with ease

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

This week has been genius week in eighth-grade keyboarding! We’ve finished our portfolios and it is time to celebrate. We have 3d printing, robot making, and all kinds of building going on. But today, I’m writing about one of my favorite tools for teaching coding quickly, Dash and Dot. Scroll down to enter the giveaway contest!

Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop

These Wonder Workshop robots make it easy to learn to code in my STEM lab.

This is a sponsored blog post by Wonder Workshop. I only recommend products or services that I use and like. See full disclosures at the bottom of this post. 

Learn more about Dash and Dot

Out of the Box Coding with Kids

So, out of all of the items I had available, Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop were the ONLY ones which I didn’t have to help my students figure out. I literally took the Wonder Pack and handed it to my students to open and start using. I said,

“Here are two robots, Dash and Dot, there are apps on the store you can use and there are a lot of attachments and cool things, go for it. Show me what you can do.”

In moments they were driving the robots, adding attachments and playing the xylophone. I’ve used Dash and Dot before but they have something new, the catapult.

I was fascinated by the catapult and they struggled a little. I didn’t intervene, I just said,

“I wonder if you all are hard working enough to figure out the catapult.”

It took longer, but soon they were throwing things across the room. (In a good, non-hurtful way, of course.)

Cool Lesson Plans to Help Kids Learn to Code

I’ve been using Dash and Dot for over two years now with kids of all ages. I often point them to the Dash and Dot curriculum page to figure out what they can do with them.

I have the Dash and Dot Wonder Pack in my classroom. It comes with lots of accessories and attachments. (Even some Lego extensions.) We're hosting a giveaway contest! Scroll down to enter!

I have the Dash and Dot Wonder Pack in my classroom. It comes with lots of accessories and attachments. (Even some Lego extensions.) We’re hosting a giveaway contest! Scroll down to enter!

 

For example, it was rainy one day and a student asked what Dot could do. He found out how to program Dot to play Hot Potato. Then, as they played, he enjoyed changing the speed and timing to make the game different each time. We ended up with ten kids at break programming and playing their own “high tech” version of the low tech hot potato game. So much fun!

Get Lesson Plans. So, while I often like to approach learning from a genius hour/ maker space / tinkering approach, there are some awesome lessons https://teachers.makewonder.com/lessons you can do in the classroom. 

Why Do We Help Kids Learn to Code?

As I’ve shared before, coding is an important skill for students to learn. We want our students to think computationally. I don’t want students playing games – I want them to MAKE games. I don’t want students using apps, I want them MAKING apps. Likewise, I want student making, creating, and melding their environment. While I use dash and dot with older students and they love them, these cute toy robots are targeted to K-5 students.

I believe these robots make an excellent addition to:

  • Classroom maker space
  • Summer camps and robotics experiences
  • Summer enrichment
  • STEM labs, STEAM labs, and FAB labs
  • Any elementary classroom
learn to code with the wonderbots

During innovation week (the first week of school), I had students figuring out and teaching everything they could learn about Dash and Dot. I’ve been using these robots to introduce coding to all ages for the last two years. They are simple to use out of the box.

Apps for Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop

There are many apps you can use to program the Dash and Dot which include:

  • Wonder App –  This is the basic app to control Dash and Dot.  Students can program, drive, and do other things with the wonder app. This is usually the first app they get.One of the favorite things my students do is take a phone and put it on the smartphone app and Facetime with it. They used another phone to drive Dash. We hook up the phone that is Facetiming with Dash back on my big board. So, the students can literally drive Dash around the school and say hello to people and talk via Facetime. It was their own virtual presence! We had lots of conversations after they hit on this. And they were just tinkering. They go much deeper into programming with this basic app.
  • Blockly – If students have used Scratch, Blockly will be very simple. This is our favorite coding app. You can do simple things with it, but you’d be surprised at the advanced things older kids will figure out.
  • Xylo – This app lets Dash play the xylophone. Musically inclined students enjoy this.
  • Path – This app is a little more advanced but students learn about sensors and events by using this tool. For example, you can have students teach the robot to follow a path, but to move and go around obstacles. We talk about “self-driving” cars when using this app. You can get into some pretty advanced concepts in a simple way. While you might not want to use the “big words” like control flow and algorithm design, students don’t need to know the words to do these things.
  • Go – This app help students get started with Dash and Dot and teaches them how to play. While my older students start with the Wonder App, when using these with younger kids, you’d probably want to start with Go.

Dash and Dot Wonder Pack Giveaway Contest

Dash and Dot Wonderpack Giveaway Contest
https://js.gleam.io/e.js

So, if you want to make coding a dash, get the robots Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop. Here’s the link to their teacher portal to learn more.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This blog is a sponsored blog post. The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.)

The post Help Kids Learn to Code with Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/help-kids-learn-code-dash-dot-wonder-workshop/

Understanding the Heart of Dyslexia and Special Needs #MondayMotivation

A conversation with Melissa Raguet-Schofield on episode 76 of the 10-Minute Teacher

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Today Melissa Raguet-Schofield @cloth_mother is a Mom of a dyslexic. Today, we travel into the heart of a Mom of a child who struggles. What better motivation can we have as teachers than to empathize with those in our classroom who struggle. As a Mom of a dyslexic also, I hope you’ll hear our heart for great teaching.

understanding the heart of dyslexia (1)

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Listen on iTunes

Click the button for iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe to this show

10-Minute Teacher Show Stitcher

 

 

In today’s show, Melissa Raguet-Schofield discusses her son’s journey with dyslexia and:

  • Their story of struggle (and triumph)
  • How her son is getting help
  • The frustration with diagnosis
  • What Melissa wishes teachers knew about her son
  • Vicki’s own story of helping her dyslexic son

I hope you enjoy this episode with Melissa Raguet-Schofield!

Selected Links from this Episode


Full Bio As Submitted


Melissa Raguet-SchofieldMelissa Raguet-Schofield

I am a biological anthropologist, ultramarathon runner, and mother of an amazing dyslexic child.

Transcript for this episode


Download the PDF Transcript

[Recording starts 0:00:00]

Understanding the heart of special needs and dyslexia. This is episode 76.

The Ten-minute Teacher podcast with Vicki Davis. Every week day you’ll learn powerful practical ways to be a more remarkable teacher today.

VICKI:   Happy Motivation Monday, teachers. Today we’re talking to Melissa Raguet-Schofield @cloth_mother

about her experience and your son’s learning differences and his challenges. Tell is a little bit about what your son struggles with as he tries to learn.

MELISSA:    It’s become pretty obvious he has dyslexia. So he really struggles with reading a lot and some kind of – memorization skills are pretty hard for him.

VICKI:          I’m a mom of a dyslexic. Two kids of my three have learning differences and it’s not always easy, is it?

MELISSA:    No, actually, it’s been a really rough experience.

VICKI:          You’re really involved in his education, aren’t you?

MELISSA:    Yes, I am. I have kind of had to become involved to get him what he needs.

VICKI:          So what kind of involvement have you had to have?

MELISSA:    Early on he was identified as a struggling reader. I mean, it was always obvious that reading was difficult for him. He worked with reading specialists at school and he was in this three-tiered response to intervention program at school. But it just really wasn’t helping him. And I kept being told, just wait and see, some kids aren’t ready to learn how to read at this time. But I just became really determined after he finished first grade and he still really could not read.

To get to the bottom of this and to figure out what was going on – and I just remember sitting down with him one time with a book my mom had sent, it was literally for preschoolers, it had five words on the page, one syllabus words and he just really struggled, he couldn’t do it. And that’s when I just said to him, “Well, what makes reading so hard for you?” And he said to me, “Mommy, I can see the letters and I know the sounds that they make but I can’t put those down together in the right order.”

VICKI:          And how did that make you feel?

[00:02:00]

MELISSA:    At that moment my heart kind of stopped because I’ve been told he needs to work harder, he needs to try harder, he was even called lazy at school. I was told he was challenging and difficult. And that to me – I didn’t know what that was. I knew that was something; what he was able to articulate at that point he was 6 years old. I didn’t know what that was but that’s not lazy, that not “needs to try harder.”

VICKI:          It’s not. And sometimes this is hard, it’s not that I need to try harder it’s that somebody needs to unlock this and help me, right?

MELISSA:    Right. And a friend of mind had actually suggested a few weeks prior to that, she said, “Melissa, he’s dyslexic, do you think he’s dyslexic?” And I’m a college instructor, I have worked with college dyslexic students and the idea was kind of planted I my head but I rejected it because I thought, “No, no, no, he’s nor dyslexic. His teachers would tell me if they thought he had a learning disorder.” I was really naïve about this.

And so I rejected that idea but when he made that statement to me about not being able to put these letters and sounds in the right order I thought, “What is that? I have to figure out what that is. And that’s dyslexia.” And the other thing that kind of goes along with that, dyslexics really have compromised working memories but yet they kind of have to do everything with their working memory.

And so I was always told he also had behavioral problems because the teacher would say, “Okay, class, everybody get up, go to the blue bin, get out a box of crayons and get a piece of construction paper and go back to your desk and draw a butterfly.”

ViCKI:          Oh, multi part instructions!

MELISSA:    You know, things like this – and all the other kids would have their butterflies and the teacher is hanging them on the wall and Will is walking around saying, “Wait a minute. What about a blue bin? You’re going to my limit.”

[00:04:00]

VICKI:          I know it. I breaks my heart.

MELISSA:    Right. And I realized he really in kindergarten and first grade internalized this and it was incredibly painful. He would cry and beg me not to send him to school. And I figured this out and I figured out what he needs. That was the hard part. Kind of going that extra step and figuring out he’s going to need some extra dyslexia-specific instruction because he just wasn’t getting that at school.

VICKI:          This is so hard. I blamed myself a thousand ways, I ate something wrong when I was pregnant. But sometimes children are just made difference. The beautiful thing, your son drew something and said dyslexia is my gift.

MELISSA:    Yeah. And I have told him. You know, dyslexics – what they’re essentially trying to do is process and decode language with the right sides of their brain. Our language processing centers are on the website of our brain. So these people, these kids are really wide-brained, they are big picture thinkers, they are problem solvers. They look at things in a different way than I would. That moment I realized he was dyslexic, I realized what the problem was because he had created a label for himself. The label he had created was “I am not good at reading, I’m not smart, I’m being pulled out of my class for this extra help. I’m still not getting it.

He had a negative of himself. And I told him, “William, you’re dyslexic, and it’s a gift.” And that completely changed everything because now he has a name for what he is. It’s a thing, it’s a real thing. There’s many, many other people in this world just like him and it has really changed his outlook and he has a much more positive outlive about himself.

[00:06:00]

VICKI:          Melissa, this is obviously Motivation Monday and we wanted to have a story to help all the remarkable teachers out there really kind of get into the world of what’s it’s like to be a mom of a student who struggles. What’s your work to teachers who have that child who struggles or just doesn’t get it? What do you say to those teachers who teach children all over the world that are like your son?

MELISSA:    What I really, really wish is that someone would have understood this and known what was going on and I would have really have to figure it out for myself because I rejected that idea for so long, because I kept being told wait and see. And that just wasn’t working for him. So I guess, I just wished that people knew what dyslexia was and how to identify it. Because if I had started getting him help in kindergarten, he would be much farther along now that want he is.

VICKI:          It’s so hard because we thought my son had it in K4 but they told us a lot of times kids naturally reverse letters toll after 1st grade, so you really can’t find – that’s what I was told – until later. But then I guess you have to just kind of treat it like, “Okay, they have it” and then you just find out later. It’s so hard, this is hard, you know?

MELISSA:    It’s hard. We were told that also, “Oh, it’s normal for kids to reverse letters up until this point. But there are screening tools out there screening tools out there, you can recognize dyslexia in kids as young as kindergarten because there’s so many things that kind of go along with this. I was there was more knowledge about it to really get these kids the help they need because it can be so devastating to them emotionally and in terms of their education as well. The farther behind they get, the hard it is for them to catch up.

[00:08:00]

VICKI:          Has there been anyone who’s done something right with your son?

MELISSA:    Yeah, I found him a dyslexia tutor, I take him to see her twice a week. I wish that we could afford and have the time to go every day. I wish he got that kind of intervention every day. But she is one of the most amazing people in the world and has completely turned our lives around. She works with him using the Orton Gillingham approach http://www.ortonacademy.org/approach.php which is a multi-sensory approach using specific explicit instruction for dyslexic kids. And his reading has improved so much, his outlook has improve so much and we are just so thankful to her and everything she’s done for us.

VICKI:          That’s wonderful. We actually use that with my own son so I do know. And I’ll tell you this. Last time I had seen the reports, my son who’s in 9th grade is reading an 11th grade level. And that’s shocking because we know where he came from. But I do know that when you have that intervention, when you have that parent advocate – and Melissa, that’s what you are. You are his – I believe – God-given advocate who has been put here to speak for him when he can’t speak for himself.

I know that some teachers groan when they see the parent coming with the child with learning difference because they think we’re a helicopter parent. When they don’t understand that this child is different, they learn differently and we just want you to unlock our child, treat them fairly and hopefully love them and see all their talents because so many kids with learning differences are so talented.

Teachers, as you listen I just hope that you’ll look at Melissa’s heart and even my heart that we just want you to love our kids and help them be their best.

[End of Audio 0:09:58]

 

[Transcription created by tranzify.com. Some additional editing has been done to add grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Every attempt has been made to correct spelling. For permissions, please email lisa@coolcatteacher.com]

 

The post Understanding the Heart of Dyslexia and Special Needs #MondayMotivation appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/understanding-heart-dyslexia-special-needs-mondaymotivation/