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Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites

Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites
20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain

Second Edition
Edited by:

168 pages | Corwin
What could be more frustrating for teachers than teaching an important lesson and then having students unable to recall the content just 24 hours later?

In this new edition of Marcia Tate's best-selling "Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites", her 20 field-tested, brain-compatible instructional strategies that maximize memory and minimize forgetting are supported by new classroom applications and research throughout. Each short chapter is devoted to one of the strategies and includes: the brain research and learning style theory undergirding the strategy, sample classroom activities utilizing the strategy, and reflection/action planning steps. As Tate's many workshop participants worldwide can attest, using these strategies will not only help students retain content and increase motivation but will also improve the classroom environment.

About the Author
Strategy 1: Brainstorming and Discussion
Strategy 2: Drawing and Artwork
Strategy 3: Field Trips
Strategy 4: Games
Strategy 5: Graphic Organizers, Semantic Maps, and Word Webs
Strategy 6: Humor
Strategy 7: Manipulatives, Experiments, Labs, and Models
Strategy 8: Metaphors, Analogies, and Similes
Strategy 9: Mnemonic Devices
Strategy 10: Movement
Strategy 11: Music, Rhythm, Rhyme, and Rap
Strategy 12: Project-Based and Problem-Based Instruction
Strategy 13: Reciprocal Teaching and Cooperative Learning
Strategy 14: Role Plays, Drama, Pantomimes, and Charades
Strategy 15: Storytelling
Strategy 16: Technology
Strategy 17: Visualization and Guided Imagery
Strategy 18: Visuals
Strategy 19: Work Study and Apprenticeships
Strategy 20: Writing and Journals
Resource: Brain-Compatible Lesson Design

"Turn the page and begin your journey down a path that may help revolutionize your instructional practices or that may support the effectiveness of the practices that you are currently using. At any rate, in many classrooms the fun has gone out of teaching and learning. Put it back while simultaneously growing dendrites!"

From the Introduction

This book is a great resource to use when training other adults as well as students in Pk-12. Wondeful book for my collection!

Professor Ashlye Rumph-Geddis
Early Childhood, Midlands Technical College
February 16, 2012

I was looking for a book to complement an inquiry based teaching lesson. This book has great ideas and examples but I needed more pedagogy.

Dr Julie Delello
Curriculum Instruction Dept, University of Texas at Tyler
October 19, 2010
Key features
  • Updated throughout
  • Extremely practical and user-friendly
  • Full of classroom examples in all content areas and all grade levels that teachers can implement immediately
  • Based on research and theory while maintaining a completely accessible, teacher-friendly style

The second edition of Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites (2010) is approximately 70% changed from the 2003 edition. The Good and Bad Scenarios in the Introduction are totally different. While the 20 chapters reflect the same 20 strategies which should be used to engage the brains of all K-12 students, the explanations of 19 of the 20 strategies has changed. Ninety percent (221 of the 244) of the research statements in the Why: Theoretical Framework section of each chapter have been updated to reflect 2005-2009 copyright dates. The Bloom's Taxonomy Chart in Strategy 1: Brainstorming and Discussion has been revised to reflect a 2002 copyright date. Each activity in the Instructional Activities section of every chapter is categorized in the following three ways: Who, or what grade levels is the activity designed for, When, or should the activity be used before, during and/or after the lesson, and Content Areas, or for which content area is the activity most appropriate. Newly-designed activities are included in each chapter that were not included in the first edition and some of the original activities have been omitted. In fact fifty percent (110 of 220) of the activities are new. The Reflection and Application section in each chapter remains unchanged. The Brain-compatible Lesson Plan Design included in Resource A of this book was not in the first book at all.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Strategy 1

Marcia L. Tate

Marcia L. Tate, EdD, is the former executive director of professional development for the DeKalb County School System in Decatur, Georgia. During her thirty-year career with the district, she has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, language arts coordinator, and staff development executive director. Marcia is currently an educational consultant and has taught over 500,000 administrators, teachers, parents, and business and community leaders throughout the world. She is the author of the eight books in the best-selling Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites series and four additional books: Formative Assessment in a Brain-Compatible... More About Author