Young children are naturally curious, asking deep questions about complex concepts. This tendency is a talent that can be nurtured so that children grow to be deep thinkers and innovators later in life. However, in our complex world, it is impossible to teach students everything they need to know. Pushing more factual content ignores what we know about how children learn and endangers their love of learning. Concept-based teaching helps young learners uncover conceptual relationships in a way that is developmentally appropriate. Readers of this guide will learn:
• Why conceptual learning is a natural fit for children
• Strategies for introducing conceptual learning
• Instructional strategies to help students uncover and transfer concepts
• How to write lessons, assess understanding, and differentiate in a concept-based classroom
• How concept-based teaching aligns with best practices and initiatives
Written for educators who strive to cultivate conceptual understanding while honoring students’ innate curiosity, this is a must-have road map for implementing concept-based teaching in elementary classrooms.
"This book provides the research and resources educators need to help students take ownership of their learning. It fosters students’ curiosity about their environment and it allows them to explore and become life-long learners."
Ellen Asregadoo, Fifth Grade Teacher
Public School 190, Brooklyn, NY
"This is an important book for all teachers. We need to be honoring our students as thinkers who deserve developmentally appropriate intellectual rigor in the classroom. We will not achieve this in our traditional coverage based classroom. I am so inspired and can’t wait to start this journey (making mistakes and learning along the way!)."
Sarah Gat, Second Grade Teacher
Ecole Arbour Vista Public School, Guelph, Ontario
Use this lesson framework from Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary, to guide your students through the process of generating and testing hypotheses to discover connections between concepts.
"They want kids to see the world differently, and to be empowered to act differently, because of what they have learned. It seems that the goal of all learning—not just conceptual understanding—is transfer." Read more from Julie Stern, author of Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary, on Corwin Connect.
Use the strategy of concept attainment, from Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary, with your students, which mimics the brain’s natural concept-formation process by drawing out patterns from examples and nonexamples.
This cutting-edge webinar with Julie Stern and Nathalie Lauriault, authors of Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary, will help you to promote depth and breadth of understanding by using learning transfer as both a means and an end goal of learning.