A new concept on human diversity has emerged over the past 10 years that promises to revolutionize the way educators provide service to students with special needs: neurodiversity. Just as we celebrate diversity in nature and culture, so too do we need to honor the diversity of brains among our students who learn, think, and behave differently. In this book, Thomas Armstrong argues that we should embrace the strengths of such neurodiverse students to help them and their neurotypical peers thrive in school and beyond.
For college level students and adults in the workplace, read my book The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain.More info →
Moody. Reckless. Impractical. Insecure. Distracted. These are all words commonly used to describe adolescents. But what if we recast these traits in a positive light? Teens possess insight, passion, idealism, sensitivity, and creativity in abundance -- all qualities that can make a significant positive contribution to society.
In this thought-provoking book, Thomas Armstrong looks at the power and promise of the teenage brain from an empathetic, strength-based perspective—and describes what middle and high school educators can do to make the most of their students potential.More info →
In today's schools, students and teachers feel unprecedented--even alarming--levels of stress. How can we create calmer classrooms in which students concentrate better and feel more positive about themselves and others? Author Thomas Armstrong offers a compelling answer in the form of mindfulness, a secular practice he defines as the intentional focus of one's attention on the present moment in a nonjudgmental way.More info →
With nearly a half million copies of this book in print, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom provides a nuts-and-bolts teacher's guide to the theory of multiple intelligences, including chapters on lesson planning, teaching strategies, assessment, classroom management, identifying students' intelligences, and more. This fourth edition provides new chapters on personalized learning, neurodiversity, and new learning technologies, as well an appendix of lesson plans aligned to Common Core State Standards.More info →
During the last three decades, education reformers have pushed standardized testing and policies like No Child Left Behind and Common Core to improve test scores and proficiency in basic skills. However, during this period that author Thomas Armstrong calls the "miseducation of America," a number of troubling trends have surfaced, including a decrease in creative thinking scores among children in kindergarten through third grade.
Rather than focus on what's wrong with the education system that has produced these outcomes, Armstrong lays out what creative thinkers know about how children should be educated. In an extended thought experiment, he asks what would happen if we turned the reins of educational policy over, not to the politicians and educational bureaucrats, but to eminent thinkers and creators like Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Martin Luther King Jr., Rachel Carson, Doris Lessing, Jane Goodall, and other seminal culture-builders. What might they say about the best way to educate a child? If Einstein Ran the Schools suggests that the answers to this intriguing question should guide future efforts to reform our nation's schools.More info →
Reading instruction (as well as remedial reading) typically uses words, word, and more words. In this ground-breaking work, based upon Dr. Howard Gardner's famed theory of multiple intelligences, Dr. Thomas Armstrong reveals that some of the most effective learning strategies for teaching reading and writing are actually methods that reach beyond the linguistic (or word) brain and into other non-linguistic areas of the brain, such as the musical brain, the kinesthetic brain, the naturalist brain, the social brain, and the emotional brain.
Dr. Armstrong provides hundreds of examples to illustrate his method. So, for the musical brain, students learn the music of words by chanting stories. For the kinesthetic brain, kids create gestures to go with every one of the 45 phonetic sounds of the English language. For the social brain, students de-construct the implicit social messages of a text (e.g. is this text an advertisement, a political speech, an instructional tool, or a literary effort?). For the naturalist brain, students look for the ''roots'' of words by engaging in etymological excavation. For the emotional brain, students learn to read words that express emotion and activity (like SPLAT! POP! BOOM! CLINK! etc.).
As Dr. Armstrong demonstrates, the most effective reading programs are those that combine phonemic awareness with actively reading real books. But to learn those crucial phonics skills, students need to link phonetic sounds to music, physical experiences, social events, emotional states, logical analysis, and more! That way, the otherwise ''boring'' teaching will transform into dynamic and exciting lessons that students will always remember.
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