March 28, 2013
Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain
On February 6thover 100 teachers and administrators
involved in ESU 10’s Adolescent Literacy Project participated in Dr.
Marcia Tate’s workshop based on her best-selling book, Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain.
The workshop was highly engaging as Dr. Tate modeled nearly all 20
strategies throughout the day. Participants experienced numerous
activities that can be used with students to ensure that ALL learners
are engaged, learning, and achieving.
This workshop was planned to further Adolescent Literacy Project
participants’ understanding of how to plan engaging lessons that enhance
the literacy strategies promoted through the project. Although the 20
instructional strategies promoted by Dr. Tate were not new to the world
of teaching, she highlighted the brain research supporting the
strategies and provided numerous concrete examples of how they could be
incorporated across the content areas in order to take advantage of how
the brain learns best.
The entire day was a positive, energizing training opportunity which
left participants motivated to begin using the strategies. Comments
such as “…excellent modeling for me to implement back in my classroom.”,
“…reinforced prior learning and gave us more strategies to use that
encourage engagement.”, “This was the most valuable and engaging
workshop I’ve ever been to.”, and “I can’t wait until I get to use these
strategies tomorrow!” were heard and noted on the workshop evaluations
as teachers and administrators left at the end of the day.
Dr. Tate’s Strategies That Take Advantage of How the Brain Learns Best:
1. Writing 11. Graphic Organizers
2. Storytelling 12. Drawing
3. Mnemonic Devices 13. Humor
4. Visuals 14. Discussion
5. Movement 15. Games
6. Role Play 16. Project-Based Instruction
7. Visualization 17. Field Trips
8. Metaphor/Analogy/Simile 18. Manipulatives
9. Reciprocal Teaching 19. Technology
10. Music 20. Work-Study
For more information about the Adolescent Literacy Project contact the ESU 10 Professional Development Department at (308)237-5927.