I know I’m about 3 years late to this party – but I’ve had the book (affiliate link) Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites on my shelf since 2015 and I knew I needed to read it! Since I’ve been working in an Arts-Integrated school, my teaching has really transformed. I don’t do nearly the same amount of crafts as I used to, students create their own graphic organizers and Thinking Maps in composition books, and my reading instruction doesn’t include the same amount of comprehension worksheets as it used to. With today’s education focusing on brain research and appropriate development, it seemed like a good time to crack this book open and dive on in.
Marcia Tate (as seen in this YouTube Video) starts the book off with two scenarios:
- Mrs. Taylor, a civics teacher, who gives lectures day in and day out. Sometimes her lectures go on for the whole class! She doesn’t use visuals and expects students to take notes on what she says. She has them round-robin read (which we know is a huge no-no for a whole group setting). Not surprising – few of them are listening or engaged.
- Mr. Stewart is a civics teacher next door, but he has different techniques for his classroom. He uses graphic organizers, checks for understanding with questioning techniques, and even gets students involved in a simulation activity to learn the branches of the government. He has few behavior problems and his students excitedly learn the content.
- brainstorming and discussion
- drawing and artwork (Yay for arts-integration!)
- field trips
- graphic organizers, maps, and webs
- manipulatives, experiments, labs, and models
- metaphors, analogies, and similies
- mnemonic devices
- movement (more arts-integration!)
- music, rhythm, rhyme, and rap (even more arts-integration!)
- project-based and problem-based learning
- reciprocal teaching and cooperative learning
- role plays, drama, pantomimes, and charades (arts-integration again!)
- visualization and guided imagery (ahem, arts-integration)
- work-study and apprenticeships
Which strategy are you excited to learn more about or try? Which is one that you already do?