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Unleashing Student Superpowers
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Unleashing Student Superpowers
Practical Teaching Strategies for 21st Century Students



June 2014 | 176 pages | Corwin
Turn students into learning superheroes!

Like we see in the movies, no two superheroes learn to use their powers in the exact same way. Each of your students has superpowers hidden inside, and you hold the keys to unlock them. With this cutting-edge handbook, you’ll turn your classroom into a place where students don’t just receive an education—they use their powers to create it.

Discover specific, ready-to-use instructional journeys designed to foster an inquiry-based, student-driven learning environment. Each research-based journey

  • Supports one of the six student superpowers: Wondering, Curating, Designing, Digital Inking, Gaming, and Connecting
  • Encourages students to think deeply; as required by the CCSS and NGSS
  • Includes step-by-step lesson frameworks, aligned with the Common Core, that fit into your regular day

Tear through the obstacles of achievement and show your students that anything is possible! 

“Ferguson and Swanson explain why tapping into student competencies is imperative and show the road-map for matching engaging activities to specific standards. So many books on the market explain why a shift is needed; this one gives you the tools to do it.”
—Erin Klein, Teacher
Michigan Reading Association, Bloomfield Hills

Unleashing Student Superpowers is an amazing resource for the creation and enhancement of student-centered classroom environments that focus on high-level questioning, inquiry, and passion-based learning. Each Superpower theme provides linkages to the Common Core and flexible lesson plans that promote relevant skills for students’ learning.”
—Victoria Olson, Teacher 
West Langley Elementary School, Canada
 
Foreword by Marilee Sprenger
 
A Preface From the Superpower Guardians
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1. Anything Is Possible: So Why Do Our Classrooms Have So Many Limits?
What's the Point of School?

 
The Knowing-Doing Gap

 
Teachers Are Designers

 
I'm Busy! Where Does This Fit?

 
Research Reminders

 
What About the Standards?

 
All About the Common Core State Standards

 
Look Back and Step Forward

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
Chapter 2. The Student Superpowers
The Student Superpowers

 
What Is an Instructional Journey? How Does It Promote Student Superpowers?

 
The Superpowers Are Bigger Than Specific Journeys

 
Debunking Departmentalization

 
Included Components of Each Instructional Journey

 
A Few Final Considerations

 
Look Back and Step Forward

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
Chapter 3. The Wondering Instructional Journey: What Do You Wonder?
Superpower Summary and Overview

 
Wondering Journey at a Glance

 
Instructional Journey Goals

 
Student-Friendly Authentic Learning Problem

 
General Progression

 
Connecting the Standards

 
Learning Activities and Tech Upgrades

 
Formative Assessment and Tracking Student Progress Toward Goals

 
Final Assessment: Have Your Goals Been Achieved? GAME SHOW REDESIGN

 
Differentiation: Meeting the Needs of All Learners

 
Window Into the Classroom

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
Chapter 4. The Curating Instructional Journey: Solving a Puzzle
Superpower Summary and Overview

 
Curating Journey at a Glance

 
Instructional Journey Goals

 
Student-Friendly Authentic Learning Problem

 
General Progression

 
Connecting the Standards

 
Learning Activities and Tech Upgrades

 
Formative Assessment and Tracking Student Progress Toward Goals

 
Final Assessment: Have Your Goals Been Achieved? CREATING SCHOOL CLUBS

 
Differentiation: Meeting the Needs of All Learners

 
Window Into the Classroom

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
Chapter 5. The Connecting Instructional Journey: Sharing Stories
Superpower Summary and Overview

 
Connecting Journey at a Glance

 
Instructional Journey Goals

 
Student-Friendly Authentic Learning Problem

 
General Progression

 
Connecting the Standards

 
Learning Activities and Tech Upgrades

 
Formative Assessment and Tracking Student Progress Toward Goals

 
Final Assessment: Have Your Goals Been Achieved? CONNECTING AROUND THE WORLD

 
Differentiation: Meeting the Needs of All Learners

 
Window Into the Classroom

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
Chapter 6. The Digital Inking Instructional Journey: What Should We Tweet?
Superpower Summary and Overview

 
Digital Inking Journey at a Glance

 
Instructional Journey Goals

 
Student-Friendly Authentic Learning Problem

 
General Progression

 
Connecting the Standards

 
Learning Activities and Tech Upgrades

 
Formative Assessment and Tracking Student Progress Toward Goals

 
Final Assessment: Have Your Goals Been Achieved? CREATING AN INTERACTIVE CAMPAIGN

 
Differentiation: Meeting the Needs of All Learners

 
Window Into the Classroom

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
Chapter 7. The Designing Instructional Journey: What Can You Make?
Superpower Summary and Overview

 
Designing Journey at a Glance

 
Instructional Journey Goals

 
Student-Friendly Authentic Learning Problem

 
General Progression

 
Connecting the Standards

 
Learning Activities and Tech Upgrades

 
Formative Assessment and Tracking Student Progress Toward Goals

 
Final Assessment: Have Your Goals Been Achieved? DESIGN A SCHOOL BUS

 
Differentiation: Meeting the Needs of All Learners

 
Window Into the Classroom

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
Chapter 8. The Gaming Instructional Journey: Make Life More Fun!
Superpower Summary and Overview

 
Gaming Journey at a Glance

 
Instructional Journey Goals

 
Student-Friendly Authentic Learning Problem

 
General Progression

 
Connecting the Standards

 
Learning Activities and Tech Upgrades

 
Formative Assessment and Tracking Student Progress Toward Goals

 
Final Assessment: Have Your Goals Been Achieved? GAMIFY YOUR HOMEWORK

 
Differentiation: Meeting the Needs of All Learners

 
Window Into the Classroom

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
Chapter 9. The Superpower Audit: How Am I Doing?
How Can I Track Progress?

 
How Should These Audits Be Used?

 
Summary

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
Chapter 10. Start Today: Ten First Steps
Finding Small Wins

 
1. It's All About Choice

 
2. What Does Good Work Look Like?

 
3. Knowing What I Know

 
4. Different Every Day

 
5. List-Group-Label

 
6. Student-Directed Share

 
7. Think Time

 
8. Three-Finger Self-Assessment

 
9. Gallery Walk

 
10. A Class Blog

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
Chapter 11. More Readings: The Fab Five
Continuing the Journey

 
A Question to Consider as You Reflect

 
 
References
 
Index

"Ferguson and Swanson take teachers on a step-by-step journey through the process of planning powerful pedagogy for today's learners. They not only explain why tapping into student competencies is imperative, but they show the road-map for matching engaging activities to specific standards. So many books on the market explain why a shift is needed; this one gives you the tools to do it."

Erin Klein, Teacher, Second Grade Teacher and Technology Chairperson
Michigan Reading Association, Bloomfield Hills, MI

"Unleashing Student Superpowers is an amazing resource for the creation and enhancement of student-centered classroom environments that focus on high-level questioning, inquiry, and passion-based learning. Each Superpower theme provides linkages to the Common Core and flexible lesson plans that promote relevant skills for students learning, curating, questioning, connecting, authoring, and creating in a digital age."

Victoria Olson, Grades 3-4 Teacher and Technology Coach
West Langley Elementary School, West Langley Elementary School

"Swanson and Ferguson make the case that anything is possible in our classrooms. Student superpowers are not something to hope for, but instead they are real, tangible, and accessible ways to unleash each student’s potential. If you want to prepare our young students to be successful in today’s world, and in the future, read this book and watch your teaching change into a powerful motivational force. The “ten first steps” to starting today will have you moving toward this type of learning in no time!"

A. J. Julian, Author and K-12 Technology Staff Developer
Wissahickon School District, Ambler, PA

"In this book, Swanson and Ferguson provide a practical framework set to unlock the potential inside every student. The many easy-to-use strategies can be implemented in classrooms tomorrow. This book will help any teacher see and bring out the very best of each one of his/her students." 

Thomas C. Murray, Director of Technology and Cyber Education
Quakertown Community School District, PA

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

Foreword by Marilee Sprenger

Chapter One


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ISBN: 9781483350967
£23.99

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