Lynn Thomas is an English teacher at Dunnville Secondary School in Ontario, Canada.
Being a voracious reader allowed Lynn to experience places and people she would not have been exposed to in real life and sparked a curiosity about the world that was exciting. This fueled her passion and started her on her path to teaching. This same curiosity has not only sparked her enthusiasm in her English classes, but also in embedding educational technology and incorporating global learning opportunities in her classes as well. She is a passionate advocate of social-emotional learning and improving mental health awareness, increasing mental wellness and reducing stigma, and sees educational technology and global collaboration as important ways to foster increased self-esteem, confidence, and empathy.
Lynn on Powerful Learning:
What’s a strategy teachers can use to incorporate powerful learning?
“Many times things we are already doing are already good and it just takes adding or adjusting small things to turn them into powerful learning experiences. What is an activity you already do that could be enhanced by connecting with an expert – whether that be in person or virtually? What is a way to connect this learning to a real-world problem that students can then work on solving? What products can students create to show their learning for a real-world audience? When students are engaged in authentic tasks that matter to them and they can see their own impact on the world around them, they are empowered. They become more driven problem-solvers, take more care in their creations, and learn the subject matter more deeply through that powerful connection.”
What’s one student project that demonstrates powerful learning?
“In small groups, students do a deep dive into learning about mental health by reading memoirs focused on various mental illnesses, connecting with experts via Skype, conducting research on the illness, collaboratively creating and delivering a presentation to teach their peers, and creating PSAs to share information and reduce stigma throughout our school community.”
What book has influenced your thinking on powerful teaching and learning?
Powerful Teaching by Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain. Focusing on the science of learning and such concepts as retrieval practice, spacing, interleaving, and feedback-driven meta-cognition have helped me infuse my class with proven strategies and also explicitly teach my students about how their own brain works – a powerful combination for improved learning and success.”
Ask me about:
“Reach out and ask me about teaching SDGs, collaboration and connecting globally.”
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