Do you live in a rural area with limited to no school choice options? Or do you live in a suburban or urban area with plenty of school choice, but highly impacted programs with long wait lists? Or better yet has your child been overlooked by one of those highly touted programs?
Well, help is on the way! You no longer need to feel frustrated or cheated by the system. Regardless of where you live there are schools, classrooms and teachers that provide high quality instruction if you know what to look for.
And while most are familiar with labels like Gifted, Honors and AP equating high quality, there are powerful academic learning practices in place (right under your nose) that provide powerful learning experiences regardless of your child’s interests, learning preference or strengths.
In this post, at this stop on this backpack tour, I will visit 5 powerful academic best practices essential to setting your child up for success regardless of grade, school or program.
Thinking maps – powerful visual tools used to move abstract thoughts into concrete images.
So What? Who cares? Why does it matter? Used to facilitate critical thinking, communication, collaboration and increase creativity.
Write from the Beginning program – takes students through the developmental stages and phases of narrative, expository and argumentative writing including modeling, rubrics and mini-lessons.
So What? How cares? Why does it matter? Sets the foundation for communication in writing early on. An essential skill starting at 3rd grade.
Interdisciplinary (a type of integrated curriculum) approach where learning occurs across disciplines (subjects) using themes and concepts (big ideas).
So What? Who cares? Why does it matter? Provides rigor, helps sees connections (relationships) between ideas (concepts) and creates relevance. And relevance is one of the key factors or ingredients in keeping students engaged and motivated.
Project-based learning aka problem-based or place-based learning (another type of integrated curriculum). Structured around student questions and concerns in real-life context. Choice highly motivates and engages students to learn.
So What? Who cares? Why does it matter? Project-based learning helps make connections, retains learning and teaches the powerful habit of “going the extra mile.” Other 21st century skills learned are teamwork (collaboration), critical thinking, problem solving and communication.
Colleges that Change Lives, Small Liberal Arts Colleges and other colleges that offer student choice. Provide interdisciplinary studies and/or student created majors.
So What? Who cares? Why does it matter? Motivation comes from 3 factors – Autonomy (setting one’s own goals), Mastery (supporting one’s own professional growth) and Purpose (working towards a nobel end) [Pink, Drive, 2009].
Now is the time to arm your child with some powerful learning tools for 21st century skills, colleges and careers. You may just realize that the promise you’re looking for is right under your nose.
And this is why powerful academic learning practices are a necessary stop on this backpack tour.
Framework courstey of Boaler, J.(2015), Guilford, J.P. (1950), Von Oech, R. (2008) and NAGC (2019)