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THOUGHTFUL CLASSROOM PROFESSIONAL LEARNING SUITES

A Professional Learning Suite

Helping Students Connect Personally with Learning

Tools and strategies for getting students more personally invested in classroom learning

Featuring Dr. Harvey Silver, today’s leading expert on instructional tools and strategies

Deep Learning Is Powered by Connections

Dr. Harvey Silver, one of today’s top experts on deep learning, and best-selling author of Teaching for Deeper Learning, reminds us of the role that personal connections play in deep learning: “Deep learning is powered by connections. The more we help students make connections—to their own lives and interests, to the academic goals they’re pursuing, to the human stories residing in the content—the more commitment we’ll see from them, and the deeper their learning will become.”

This professional learning suite is designed to create classrooms where these kinds of connections are the norm and are used to fuel powerful learning. More specifically, the tools and strategies in this suite will help you address three critical questions . . .

  1. How do we increase students’ commitment to new learning by making strong connections at the outset?
  2. How do we tap into the power of empathy and perspective to help students find greater meaning in classroom content?
  3. How do we use variety, choice, and decision making to engage students in meaningful applications of their learning?

What Tools & Strategies Will I Find In This Suite?

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Establishing Strong Connections

  • Student-Friendly Learning Targets (+ Post, Discuss, Reference): Clarify learning expectations and empower students to take greater control over their learning process
  • Hooks & Bridges: Use thought-provoking lesson-openers to help students activate their background knowledge and connect it to the upcoming learning
  • Goal Cards: Help students become more self- directed by giving them a simple framework they can use to set personal learning goals and establish plans for achieving them
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Integrating Empathy and Perspective into Classroom Learning

Tools for Sharing Who We Are

  • Hand of Knowledge: Invite students to reflect on and share aspects of their identity that make them who they are
  • Think of a Time: Encourage students to use their collective thoughts and experiences to help them explore key concepts and content

Tools for Standing in Others’ Shoes

  • A Day in the Life: Challenge students to “become” the individuals and topics they’re studying —and write about a day in their life
  • You Are There: Bring content to life by having students imagine they are at the scene of a real or fictional event
  • Meeting of the Minds: Invite students to discuss or debate key ideas from the points of view of notable figures or characters

Tools for Seeing It from the Other Side

  • TFWN: Encourage students to step outside themselves to consider what someone else is thinking and feeling
  • Questioning Prompts: Engage students in considering other people’s feelings and perspectives using a variety of versatile prompts
  • Perspective Chart: Ask students to view topics, concepts, issues, and events from the perspectives of different stakeholders
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Applying Learning in Personally Meaningful Ways

Tools for Sharing Who We Are

    • Task Rotation (& Task Selection): Design tasks that invite students to think deeply about content and express their ideas in a variety of ways
    • Decision Making: Empower students to make decisions related to what they’re learning while teaching them a strategic approach to decision making
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    PLUS:

    • Practical resources to help teachers and PLCs plan, reflect, and analyze student work.

    Click above for an advance organizer of the tools and strategies in this suite.

    Your Path to Improvement Starts Here

    Check Out a Sample TOOL Tutorial

    Testimonial: Mary Belcher: Suites 2
    “These on-demand suites empower both instructional leaders and teachers to use tools and strategies to improve instruction, engage students in deeper learning, and customize each teacher’s own professional growth path.”

    Mary Belcher

    Instructional Lead and Learning Acceleration Specialist,

    Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) • Hazard, KY

    Testimonial: Mike McQueen

    “The Thoughtful Classroom Online Suites naturally and easily expanded my ability to deliver tailored and targeted professional development for my teachers. These suites have been a driving force in my school’s improvement process.”

    Mike McQueen

    Principal,

    C.W. Davis Middle School • Flowery Branch, GA

    Testimonial: Sharon Paver-Nepote

    “The Thoughtful Classroom Online Suites naturally and easily expanded my ability to deliver tailored and targeted professional development for my teachers. These suites have been a driving force in my school’s improvement process.”

    Dr. Sharon Paver-Nepote

    Principal,

    Wagoner Elementary School • Sauk Village, IL

    Testimonial: Mary Belcher: Suites

    “Together, the Four Cornerstones and Instructional Designer’s Toolbox suites provide the professional learning foundation that has made it possible for us to build a large-scale PD initiative focused on deeper learning.”

    Mary Belcher

    Instructional Lead and Learning Acceleration Specialist,

    Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) • Hazard, KY

    Check out all of the

    Thoughtful Classroom Professional Learning Suites

    TOOLS and Strategies for Active, In-depth Learning
    Promoting Classroom Inquiry

    Turn everyday lessons into inquiry-based learning experiences—no matter what content or grade level you teach.

     

    TOOLS and Strategies for Active, In-depth Learning
    Improving Reading Comprehension

    Equip students with the reading tools and skills they need to make meaning of challenging texts and understand new content deeply.

    TOOLS and Strategies for Active, In-depth Learning
    Unlocking the Power of Comparative Thinking

    Capitalize on the untapped power of comparison: Use it to design better lessons, enhance classroom discussions, nurture creativity, and improve students’ decision making.

    TOOLS and Strategies for Active, In-depth Learning
    Moving From Note Taking to Note Making

    Help your students become active note makers who can process new learning, manage and summarize information, and use their notes to achieve various learning goals.

    Using Feedback to Advance Student Learning

    Create a “feedback culture” in your classroom that inspires improvement, leads to deeper learning, and helps all students develop a growth mindset.

    The Five Episodes of Effective Instruction

    Make the work of instructional design easier and more effective by addressing five universal goals, or episodes, that define all successful learning sequences.

    The Four Cornerstones of Effective Classrooms

    Learn the essential elements that characterize all effective classrooms—and use them to promote better student behavior and higher levels of thinking and learning.