(SEE BIO BELOW)
The need for content knowledge is well-understood, but often overshadows the equally valuable tools of discernment and self-awareness.
Effective teachers use discernment and self-awareness to *reach* students, which then allows them to effectively *teach* students.
This seminar will use e-books, simple games, and small projects to demonstrate concrete strategies that facilitate stronger relationships between teachers and students.
MODULE 1. Reach - Then Teach (Character Education Guide)
Participants will review and discuss "Reach - Then Teach" - a 25-page ebook (written by Derrick Brown) that challenges students to think critically about life, freedom, and the pursuit of success and happiness by introducing them to fundamental principles that define their character.
The book's easy-to-read, "digestible" format allows its information to be delivered and redelivered via subtle, "non-preachy" approaches that will be demonstrated in the remaining modules.
MODULE 2. "Talk To Me" - Teach Character Language!
"Talk To Me" is a game show (in the tradition of Taboo and Pictionary) that requires teams of contestants to build language and discourse skills by guessing vocabulary terms from verbal and/or pictorial clues presented by a single teammate.
The clue giver is provided with the term's formal definition (which does not always help)!
Teams take turns giving and guessing clues for 30-90 seconds per round. The game host and commissioner decide the actual length of each round, as well as the number of rounds per game. At the end of the game, the team that guessed the most terms correctly wins!
Participants will learn to deliver the game by playing a version of "Talk To Me" based on the e-book "Reach - Then Teach".
MODULE 3. Improving Writing Skills Using Six-Word Essays
Writing is organized thought.
The more students write, the more they think critically.
The more they think critically, the more they learn, create, lead, and solve problems.
Writing six-word "stories" about topics of interest will encourage their love of writing and their skill level (while maintaining their interest).
Students' entries can be collected and displayed as a powerful bulletin board!
Workshop participants will review the following six-word stories on teaching and learning and education reform ...
1. Awareness is as important as knowledge.
2. Lifelong learners make the best teachers.
3. Students love teachers who love them.
4. Students learn from people they love.
5. Teach students - not subjects and tests.
6. Teaching diameter determined our knowledge circumference.
7. All inputs and processes influence outcomes.
8. Accountable adult relationships can improve schools.
9. Creative problem solving trumps blame shifting.
10. Civil discourse between dissenters promotes growth.
... and participants will then be challenged to create their own set of six-word stories on a topic assigned during the workshop!
MODULE 4. Nine Mens' Morris Tournament - Tic-Tac-Toe, Checkers, and Chess!
Nine Men's Morris is an ancient board game with the quickness of checkers, the strategy of chess, and the simplicity of tic-tac-toe.
Its simple rules and quick pace of play make Nine Mens' Morris a game that allows teachers and students to appropriately compete with and against each other. Healthy competition can be a powerful relationship building tool.
Participants will learn how to use a simple photo frame from the dollar store, and playing pieces like pennies and nickels to create a class-wide or school-wide tournament using this timeless game of strategy!
Participants will also learn to deliver the game by playing against each other!
MODULE 5. HISToRhYmes (Poetry Writing and Literacy Project)
HISTORhYmes is a 1-2-week literacy activity that enhances reading comprehension, grammar, and writing skills by using the creative imaginations of young people to present stories about historical and contemporary figures. The activity also incorporates supporting elements of the performing arts, entrepreneurship, and computer & Internet literacy.
Students are surveyed about their personal interests, and are then provided biographies of people whose life stories can simultaneously mentor and inspire the students.
The students are then asked to retell the biography using various forms of creative expression (poems, monologues, skits, rhymes, etc.). For example, during a previous activity we explored the differing views and philosophies of W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington. We also explored how their experiences shaped their clashing views on African-American advancement and empowerment after the abolishment of slavery.
Participants will learn to execute a HISTORhYmes project on a topic assigned during the workshop!
MODULE 6. NOW YOU KNOW (What I Wish I Had Known)
"NOW YOU KNOW - What I Wish I Had Known ..." is presented as an energetic, interactive gameshow (played in the tradition of "Jeopardy"). The entire gameshow context is used to present wisdom earned from many lessons learned via the college experience in an inspiring, "edutaining" way.
Up to 6 workshop participants will be selected to participate as actual contestants attempting to provide the correct "questions" to "answers" from the following categories:
ENTREPRENEURSHIP & INNOVATION
TEACHING & LEARNING
Remaining workshop participants will serve as the studio audience!
Derrick Brown's Bio
Mr. Brown has published a digital catalog of more than 70 short films, learning games, visual dictionaries, poems, essays, newsletters, inspirational posters, and projects. He has also delivered more than 30 presentations, workshops, keynote addresses, and invited lectures at conferences, high schools, colleges, universities, and churches.
From 2004-2010, he served as a founding faculty member, governing board representative, Director of Corporate Relations, Dean of Students, and Assistant Principal of Tech High (Charter) School in Atlanta GA.
Mr. Brown founded KnowledgeBase, Inc., in 1998, and served as its full-time executive director until 2004. KnowledgeBase's mission is to educate and to empower people by creating content that enhances their reading, writing, math, entrepreneurial, leadership, and critical thinking (problem solving) skills.
He earned his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering with honors from Clemson University in December 1991. He then worked for The MITRE Corporation's (Reston, VA) Signal Processing and Advanced Technology Department for one year before beginning graduate studies at Georgia Tech, where he received his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in March 1994.
Please share your thoughts on these "Big Ideas" and best practices by leaving comments below. Email us or follow us on Twitter @dbrowndbrown to submit your own "Big Ideas" and best practices!