UCFSD Elementary Book Study
Using research and learning from educational leaders is a common practice of our school district.
The elementary teaching staff engaged in a year-long collaborative study about how people learn. Within the context of four core books, teams of professional staff investigated the intricacies of learning. Learning is at the core of everything we do in school. From academic, social-emotional, and the physical, understanding how we learn is key to our success as educators.
While focusing on enhancing instructional practices, designing minds-on activities and resources for students, and informing and supporting our community, the objective of the book study was to build professional connections and reflect on our practices as educators.
Some of the resources that we used to forward our learning and growth as educators are shared below.
The Innovator's Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent,
and Lead a Culture of Creativity - by George Couros
Summary: Kids walk into schools full of wonder and questions. How you,
as an educator, respond to students' natural curiosity can help further
their own exploration and shape the way they learn today and in the future.
Free to Make: How the Maker Movement is Changing Our Schools,
Our Jobs, and Our Minds - by Dale Dougherty
Summary: Dale Dougherty, creator of MAKE: magazine and the Maker
Faire, provides a guided tour of the international phenomenon known as
the Maker Movement, a social revolution that is changing what gets
made, how it’s made, where it’s made, and who makes it. Free to Make is
a call to join what Dougherty calls the “renaissance of making,” an invitation
to see ourselves as creators and shapers of the world around us.
How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why
It Happens by Benedict Carey
Summary: In How We Learn, award-winning science reporter Benedict
Carey sifts through decades of education research and landmark studies
to uncover the truth about how our brains absorb and retain information.
What he discovers is that, from the moment we are born, we are all
learning quickly, efficiently, and automatically; but in our zeal to
systematize the process we have ignored valuable, naturally
enjoyable learning tools like forgetting, sleeping, and daydreaming. Is
a dedicated desk in a quiet room really the best way to study? Can
altering your routine improve your recall? Are there times when distraction is good? Is
repetition necessary? Carey’s search for answers to these questions yields a wealth of
strategies that make learning more a part of our everyday lives—and less of a chore.
Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning
by John Spencer and AJ Juliani
Summary: Kids begin their learning journey as curious problem
solvers who ask questions and create solutions. As they go
through school, something happens to many of our students, and
they begin to play the game of school, eager to be compliant and
follow a path instead of making their own.