Archive for category Teacher Support
A new school year is here! Below is a message sent out by Quantum Learning with helps for starting a new year with new students. There are some specific and easy ideas for each part of FADE, with links to terrific resources. Enjoy!
Wow! Another school year is already upon us. Where did the summer go? Well, school can be fun, too, because Quantum Learning has a ton of ideas for you on how to get things off to a great start and make it the best year ever for you and your students.
Remember, Quantum Learning is a SYSTEM for boosting student engagement and learning and it all begins with FADE:
The beginning of a new school year means “training” students in what’s expected in the classroom. With a strong Foundation, you can establish a shared vision and an understanding of expectations in your classroom. Download our document entitled How to Develop Rules and Consequences for a plan on how to establish ground rules that will support a successful year.
How would you like your students to enter/exit the classroom? Consider last year – what did you develop that worked? What would you change? What level of self-directed behavior do your students manifest? Each of these areas of consideration is defined and developed in the QL attachment on PAPR – Policies, Agreement, Procedures, and Rules. Download it here.
The start of the year is your opportunity to establish an empowering Atmosphere for learning. Here’s a link to a short video with tips on what you can say and do to create a climate in your classroom that promotes a sense of joy, safety, and support.
Also, get QL’s Top 5 Hot Tips for creating an empowering Atmosphere in your classroom this year and tips from QL teachers and facilitators on how to build rapport with your students from the first day of school.
Begin every lesson with a plan for how you will Enroll your students so that they are engaged; create Experiences and curiosity; Label what is learned AFTER the Experiences; allow students to Demonstrate what they have learned;Review and promote Reflection of new content learned; and Celebrate your students’ learning successes. The Quantum Learning Design Frame (E L L D R C) provides a proven process for promoting greater learning and long term memory. Click here for some great “Enrolling” ideas.
The start of the school year is your chance to establish a physical learning space that is inviting and supportive so that you can deliver your content in more engaging and interesting ways. As we say in QL, “Everything Speaks,” meaning everything in the environment sends a message that either enhances or detracts from learning. Download our document on How to Create a Supportive Environment in your classroom.
This is just the beginning of how you can begin to make it a GREAT YEAR for your students and boost learning! Also, be sure to check out our QL blog for valuable research and more great ideas.
Looking forward to hearing all about your successes the next time we see you!
Your Quantum Learning Education Team
P.S. Ask about our additional programs to support you: Observation and Coaching Days, Tele-coaching sessions, Reinforcement and Renewal Workshops, and our new QL Topic Specific one day workshops! Visit our website at http://www.qln.com and find out what’s new at Quantum Learning! Or, contact your QL Education Senior Consultant at www.qln.com/learning_education_contact.html
There was a great post about our Quantum Learning efforts by Holdrege, NE teacher. http://esu11.org/2010/07/27/quantum-learning/
Thanks for the support education patrons!
Janet Annett, a Project Director for Aprendiendo Por Vida GEAR UP in Arizona, has loved Quantum Learning for Teachers and Students in the past and wanted to bring the learning to parents. Annett invited Olivia Duarte from Mexico City to come to Arizona and lead a Quantum Learning for Parents session. The room was filled with native Spanish-speaking moms and Olivia related to each parent without losing anything in translation. Forty-five minutes into the session, the first gentleman walked into the group. He was the only dad there, and Olivia welcomed him and included him immediately.
Olivia ended her session on a topic of dependency and fear. In Quantum Learning for Parents, facilitators explain, “Parents have fears, and we pass these fears down to our children. These fears then create a barrier for our children.”
At the close of the session, everyone exited the room except for the one father, who stayed back to chat with Olivia. He told Olivia that his youngest son has a plan of going into the Marines right after high school. The father then further explained that he and his wife have been fighting with their son over that decision for months, trying to change his mind. During Olivia’s closing session, the father realized that his fear of losing his son had created a barrier for his son. He told Olivia, he should be supporting his son’s dream, not turning it down out of fear.
Helping parents recognize the positive and negative impact they have on their children is just one of the benefits of Quantum Learning for Teachers. Janet truly believes that having this program in Spanish was the best way to reach the parents of her students, and made a dramatic difference. “The moms were begging Olivia to stay for one more hour by the end of the four hour session! I told them don’t worry, we have scheduled four more sessions with Olivia next year.”
Middle-level students have many distractions in their lives. Getting their attention even for 10 straight minutes can be a challenge for any teacher. The best middle level teachers are always planning ahead on how they will help students focus on the unit, topic, or activity.
The key to enrolling students into responsible participation is to tap into their motivation for learning. Ask yourself: What can they relate to? What’s in it for them? To enroll your students into a given subject, you need to build bridges into their lives.
Students gain understanding by connecting to prior knowledge and experiences. Their intellectual capital consists of everything associated with the topic of the lesson – the information they have gathered, the vocabulary they know, the concepts they understand, the experiences they have had, and their symbolic language.
We all have worked with students who did not have the intellectual capital to understand what we were teaching. They had an insufficient bank of intellectual capital. Not connecting to, or even developing, students’ intellectual capital so they can make meaning of new content is a common mistake. For example, success with fifth-grade concepts is dependent upon well established third- and fourth-grade intellectual capital. Without it, students are academically handicapped.
The concept that meaning is made when new learning connects with existing intellectual capital sheds light on the importance of ensuring student mastery of the content we teach. Every vocabulary word, math concept, cultural understanding or scientific fact enriches the student’s bank of knowledge and is essential for future learning. The importance of building a rich supply of intellectual capital cannot be overstated. This knowledge bank is fundamental to comprehension, problem solving, analysis and reasoning.
As teachers improve their abilities to tap into existing intellectual capital, it is useful to start with these guiding questions:
- How do I discover and learn my students’ prior knowledge and experiences?
- What is in my students’ intellectual capital?
- How is my class content associated with my students’ prior knowledge and experiences?
- In what ways can I build bridges to events, thoughts, or feelings extracted from their home, social, athletic, musical, artistic, recreational or academic lives?
After you have answered these questions, apply the following strategies for discovering – and building on- what you have learning about students’ intellectual capital.
Build Rapport Great teachers and principals make it a point to be in the hallway when students are filing out of class. They remember students’ names and something important to them, for example a student’s favorite hobby or something exciting a student has seen or done. When we communicate on a human level, we build trust and students feel valued. In return, they are more likely to share who they are, what they know, and what they think.
Create Hot Sheets These can contain information about which singing groups, music, and video games are currently hot with kids. When kids feel like we know their world, they are more likely to communicate with us. Educators can share these lists with one another and collaborate about ways they can use these items to make their lessons more relevant to students’ lives.
Attend Events and Talk About Them Do your students attend local sports team events or is there a concert coming to town that they are excited about? When students see us outside of school at events that they enjoy, they see us as more relatable. Additionally, when we know their world and connect to it, students are more interested in what we have to say. We don’t always have to attend these events so much as know about them and ask students what they thought about them.
Follow Pop Culture Focus on understanding what your students think about and are “in to,” including knowing their favorite heroes and stars, what they’re reading, who’s popular and why, and their biggest concerns. Be mindful of displaying “judgment eyes” as they share with us. We’re trying to gather information so that we better understand their world, not shut them down.
Applying What You Learned When introducing new content, connect to your students’ bank of knowledge and experiences. The more often we can relate new information to past experiences, the more likely students are to picture what is being taught and remember it. For example, introduce a math equation and relate it to a play or a move in a recent basketball game or compare a story in American history to a more recent national event that has impacted everyone.
Enrolling beings with relationships, which are strengthened each time we seek to understand our students’ world and connect out content with their prior learning and experiences.
Christian Rauch, a former assistant principal, is a senior education consultant and instructor with Quantum Learning Education. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Two public teacher workshops will be held at the Quantum Learning Network campus in north San Diego County this summer. These Quantum Learning for Teachers professional development programs for educators provide a proven research-based approach to curriculum design and delivery.
Teachers will learn the steps for building a strong foundation, a positive atmosphere of rapport and respect, and a supportive environment. The teacher workshops will also include steps for improving presentation skills, designing engaging lessons and identifying and reaching all types of learners. Educators will also learn strategies for effective classroom management, accelerating learning, making content more meaningful, and supporting standards-based curriculum.
The workshops are open to all K-12 teachers, Title 1 coordinators, Administrators, GATE instructors, Special Ed instructors, Counselors, and Adult/Vocational Ed specialists. Instruction covers QLT Levels 1 through 5 during a 5-day workshop. Participants can take the full 5-day program or, choose one or more days depending upon their prior QLT training. Workshop participants receive resource manuals appropriate for their specific training day(s).
The teacher workshops are June 28 – July 2, 2010 and July 26 – 30, 2010. To learn more and to register now, educators can visit www.QLN.com or call Rebecca at 800-285-3276, ext 152. There are discounts for enrolling for the full five days and for enrolling five or more people.
Here are a few highlights from our 3 day adventure with Cypress
Fairbanks. We had such a great time with everyone, and especially the
– Liesl Pykles
Things students shared from their journal entries:
“I learned that ‘test’ is not a bad word. Just say, ‘C’mon, gimme that test!‘”
“I have learned that I don’t need to fight any more.”
Things students created during the polygon story:
“We are planning a 6-day vacation that is going to cost $600 to Hexico” for
One group had a student named Hector in it. They said, “Hector’s gone!” six
times for hexagon.
Another group had three people riding tricycles with triangle wheels for
Rhymes/raps students created for Multiplication Mania:
“4 times 6, 24 girls do the splits” and then they do the splits for the
“3 times 3, 9 monkeys in the tree” and then they act like monkeys.
“4 times 8, Shaq is great” and then they dunk a basketball. Although this
does not have the answer of 32 in it, it worked for this group because they
were huge basketball fans that already knew that Shaq wears the number 32 on
Observations during the Above the Line piece:
One girl mentioned to her group that, “people wont get as mad at you if you
are living above the line.”
Another group was asked to stand if they were willing to live above the line
and were willing to give others permission to call them out if they are not.
Everyone in the room was standing.
Things students said in the last session, “Stepping Out”:
“My name is _____. One thing I value in my life is all the teachers in TX.
I will show this by being the student they never thought I could be. Today
I take a stand for my greatness.”
From a student who sat in the back row with his arms crossed for the first 2
days. “My name is _____. One thing I value in my life is everything I
learned at Super Math Camp. I will show this by using it to be a better
student. Today I take a stand for my greatness.”
“My name is _____. One thing I value in my life is my brothers and sisters.
I will show this by not putting my friends first, in front of my family.
Today I take a stand for my greatness.”
“My name is _____. One thing I value in my life is living above the line.
I will show this by not lying anymore. Today I take a stand for my
From a young lady who struggles with her body image. “My name is _____. One
thing I value in my life is having self confidence. I will show this by
believing in myself and knowing I can do it. Today I take a stand for my
“My name is _____. One thing I value in my life is my future career. I
will show this by staying in school and giving it my all. Today I take a
stand for my greatness.”
“My name is _____. One thing I value in my life is fear. I will show this
by facing my fears head on. Today I take a stand for my greatness.”
“My name is _____. One thing I value in my life is myself. I will show
this by not letting others tell me what to do. Today I take a stand for my
“My name is _____. One thing I value in my life is passing the TAKS. I
will show this by studying everyday until the day of the test. C’mon gimme
that test! Today I take a stand for my greatness.”
From a teacher with tears in her eyes. “My name is _____. One thing I value
in my life is my family. I will show this by giving more time to them and
not always being at school. Today I take a stand for my greatness.”
Just reviewing these highlights gives me the chills. Thank you and to
everyone else that worked so hard to make this week such a life-changing
experience for these students. and for me. We love what we do because we
get to work with teachers, staff and students like y’all.
– Liesl Pykles
It’s become pretty obvious that holidays like Thanksgiving, which started out one way, have drastically changed in terms of how we celebrate. The holiday thrives on traditions (tradition!), some of which have stayed constant since Pilgrims and Indians celebrated together in Massachusetts. Yet, a number of newer traditions are for many people, a little strange and unsettling. For instance, in Buffalo, New York every year on Thanksgiving weekend, 7,000 people gather for the World’s Largest Disco. Seriously. Check it out.
For some, this kind of event ruins the spirit of the holiday. And so, every year we are hit with a slew of articles, reports, and news stories that come out talking about the “real spirit” of the holidays. Usually, they go on about the ways in which our society has lost touch with the true meaning of Thanksgiving and yet, they’ve become so commonplace that, unfortunately, they are rarely read or discussed.
The problem is that these writers never really give us any action steps except for “be thankful.” That’s like putting a brand new swimmer at the top of a high diving board and saying, “Just jump and do some flips and twists.” There’s no guidance, just a simple abstract command. Is Thanksgiving really just about “being thankful for stuff?”
The other day, one of the brilliant Team Leaders from SuperCamp, our academic summer camp for kids and teens, wrote something on Facebook which really made me stop and think. She wrote,
“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”
I think this is something most people realize, yet don’t have the necessary mindset for – that is, they don’t know how to really physically represent the idea of being thankful.
At Quantum Learning professional staff development programs, we’re given so many useful tools for life, relationships, and teaching – and we’re encouraged to use them often so that they can fully impact the way we teach, as well as the way our students learn.
This Thanksgiving, the challenge is to take physical action steps in regards to thankfulness (I think that’s a word. And if not, you’re welcome). Personally, I’m always thankful for important people in my life. If you feel the same, maybe use this Thanksgiving break to strengthen those relationships.
Here are a few QL strategies to get you started:
The Affinity Process
- Tell me something I don’t know about you.
- Tell me something you like about me.
- Tell me something you think we may have in common.
Try using OTFD as a way to acknowledge someone.
Example: Hi (insert name of resident turkey carver), I noticed that you carved that turkey all by yourself. I think this makes you a champ because only you could carve a turkey like that. I feel proud that you are in my family, not just because of your awesome turkey-carving skills, but also because you are a really great person. My desire is to give you a hug and then eat this delicious turkey. You’re the best, (insert name of resident turkey carver).
4-Part Apology (AAMR)
Maybe this is the time of the year for a heartfelt apology to your parents, kids, creepy uncle, whoever.
Remember, the four steps are:
- Make it Right
Try some of these out! Let us know how it goes. Most of all, have a fantastic Thanksgiving from all of us here at QLN.