Adolescent Literacy Project  

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.