Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites Ch. 1 & 2 Linky Party




Hi everyone!
   I am linking up with Kickin' it in Kindergarten for the Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites book study!

bookstudy


This book is quick and easy to read, and grabs your attention right away.  It begins with the story of two different teachers.  One who lectures, and reaches some of their students, and one who truly engages their students through meaningful activities.  The goal of these activities is to reach all of the different learning styles in your classroom, and to provide opportunities for the learning to really stick with your students for a lifetime.

I know we all get caught up in the hectic, fast paced life of teaching, and we get stuck in a rut using the same old methodologies (or is this just me? : )  I do a lot of these activities, but the book has already given me some new ideas to try, and some ideas that I can take back to the rest of my staff, and use as professional development for them.

There are 20 chapters in the book and they each outline a specific strategy to engage your students. Chapter 1 focused on brainstorming and discussion.  Students need to talk things out, we as adults find this exceedingly helpful, but don't always give our students the time they need to achieve this.

Out of all the instructional activities listed for this strategy, I really latched on to the sentence starters.  The book mentioned how this strategy is great for ELL students, which comprise 95% of my class.  Many times, they struggle to find the right words to express themselves, and I thought these sentence starters were a great way to teach them new vocabulary, and encourage them to share their thoughts and opinions.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4hNrywGV-bnUnVBcXdFTVQ3QkU/view?usp=sharing

 I created these talk cards that can be kept in your shared reading area.  After reading a story, pull out a couple of the talk cards, and encourage your students to share their opinions.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4hNrywGV-bnUnVBcXdFTVQ3QkU/view?usp=sharing

If your would like a free copy of these talk cards, just click on the picture above.

Chapter 2 was all about drawing and artwork.  To be honest with you, this is an area that I struggle with particularly because of my own lack of artistic skills.  Keeping all learning styles in mind, it is truly important to give the students an opportunity to create pictures.  It's just another way for their minds to grab on to a particular concept.

My favorite instructional activity from this chapter was creating drawings to accompany a particular vocabulary word.  I created a math vocabulary book for my students to record drawings after a vocabulary word has been introduced.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4hNrywGV-bnSlVDLUZkV3VOYm8/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4hNrywGV-bnSlVDLUZkV3VOYm8/view?usp=sharing

You could shrink this to 50% of the size if you wanted to save some paper or have them keep it in an interactive math journal.  If you would like a free copy of the math vocabulary book, click on the picture above. 

If you would like an editable slide for the math notebook, click HERE.

The first two chapters of this book were great, and gave me some quick and easy activities that I could use with my students to enrich their learning experience.  I'm excited to see what others teachers took away from these first 2 chapters as well!

20 comments

  1. I LOVE your sentence starters!!!! Thank you so much for sharing! That is something I said I would like to work on after reading the first chapter! I also love that this book is an easy read! Hope you have a great weekend!

    recipeforteaching

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked them and found them useful!

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  2. No, it is not just you getting "stuck in a rut". While most of the ideas in chapters 1 & 2 are things I do in my classroom and have done for years - I think it serves as a reminder of WHY we do WHAT we do and to pull out and dust off some of the oldies and goodies that we may have let drop to the wayside thinking, if it's something I did 'back then" there must be something better out there...it's good to try new things, for sure, but some of our past practices are STILL best practice!

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

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    1. That's very true! Those "old" practices have been around for a long time for a reason!

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  3. I love the sentence stems cards you created!! Thank you for sharing!
    Kara
    http://purposefulteachingandlearning.blogspot.com/

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  4. I think your talk cards will be a great help for your little learners!
    I also like what both you and Holly said about strategies that we've been using for a long time. There's a tendency to think we need to replace them, but sometimes they're still very sound practices that just need some dusting off and polishing up. This book seems like it will provide good direction for that.
    Linda
    Primary Inspiration

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    1. I agree, we haven't read any new Earth shattering information, just good practices that we need to keep alive!

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  5. I have to 100% agree with Linda and Holly! I think a lot of us do these strategies in our classrooms but it's a great reminder as to why we do it and also how we can get even better at it! I love those task cards that you created. It is so important to get kids finding ways to talk about their learning and these are great...thank you!

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    1. I hope these will give them the words they need to express themselves! : )

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  6. I love the sentence starters! This is something I've been working on orally with my students, but having them posted in the room would be so helpful for them!

    I also struggle with integrating art in my lessons. Hopefully we can both improve in this area as the year goes on!

    Samantha

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    1. I integrate art, but I just wish I had the skills to help them improve on their own art skills. Like you said, a goal to work on : )

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  7. Great post! I love your sentence starters. Thanks so much for sharing them. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

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    1. Thank you Deanna! I'm enjoying reading this book!

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  8. Love the sentence starters and the math notebook. I think illustrating math terms is a great way for them to make the math learning more meaningful and accessible!

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    1. Me too! I tend to forget to bring art into the math curriculum, but this was a good reminder!

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  9. I loved the sentence starters also! Those cards will help so much!

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  10. I also work with a classroom full of ELL students. I love using sentence frames with them to support their learning. I love the cards you created. These will help me to remember to support my students with higher order thinking. Thank you.

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  11. Thanks for the sentence starters - I think they will be great for this time of year when the kids need a bit more direction in their partner talks. Thanks for sharing! Sara

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