by Susan Gingras Fitzell, M. Ed.
The "Power" of Two
By Dr. Robert K. Greenleaf
Dr. Greenleaf has designed this booklet to demonstrate the learning power of activities and interactions, which involve two people. Given my experience with students of all ages, elementary through adult, I have come to believe that learning experiences involving pairs are powerful and underutilized. As educators, we focus much time on group work. Group work has its advantages, but it also can be problematic. Paired work, or the power of two, is quick, can take as little as two to five minutes, and be a very effective learning strategy consistent with multiple intelligence theory and the latest research on brain based learning. Imagine a classroom, especially one on a block schedule, punctuated by 5-10 minute paired interactions that reinforce the lesson being taught.
Well, the next question is, how? What does it look like? How do I do it? That is where Dr. Greenleaf’s book comes in. In an easy to use format, clear and to the point, Greenleaf describes thirty-one different paired activities! As he states in his booklet, "Causing learners to experience multiple, integrated, relevant ways of knowing…to gain appreciation and understanding, is the target of [his] book." He accomplishes this task by presenting ideas and activities that are easily transferred into everyday practice.
Greenleaf also presents matrices for parings to demonstrate how a class of twenty would be arranged for ease of moving into activities quickly. The matrices can be altered to address the number of students in your class.
You can order The Power of Two by calling Greenleaf Learning at 401-782-8507 or through e-mail Robert_Greenleaf@Brown.edu
Brain Based Teaching: Building Excitement for Learning
By Dr. Robert K. Greenleaf
Dr. Greenleaf understands what works for teachers and students. As I read this book with highlighter and Post-It markers by my side, I was continually sparked and enthused by what I saw. The multicolored markers projecting out from the book's edge are direct testimony as to how useful I found the material in his book. I have a library full of books on brain based learning that are not nearly as effective as this one. Why? Greenleaf understands how to put information down for teachers in a practical, easy to read way. The bonus is: The ideas are wonderful!
Greenleaf identifies 14 brain-based strategies for learning. He clearly explains each strategy in easy to understand language and provides examples for application.
You can order Greenleaf's book by calling Greenleaf Learning at 401-782-8507 or through e-mail Robert_Greenleaf@Brown.edu