At the beginning of the summer, teachers look down at their professional development list. I like most wondered what benefit I would have from the training that I will receive. This summer I had the privilege to meet Larry Bell. Larry is a thirty year plus veteran teacher. Larry still educates children, but not in the classroom. Larry has taken his talents of teaching to the teachers and empowered teachers to strive for the success of every student. One of my favorite quotes Larry said during the training was “On your worst day on the job, you are still some child’s best hope.” Larry emphasized the importance of making connections with your students as well as his “12 Powerful Words” and UNRA(A)VEL. More about these later. I have always been a person who understands how connecting with your students makes a huge difference. I love how he uses his “7,3,1” method during class time, seven times during class praise your students, three times during class brag on your students and one time during class NEVER accept their excuses but do it lovingly. Larry made a lasting effect on me; his message was assuring I was still doing it right by my children.
Larry Bell and his “12 Powerful Words” are exactly what it says. These twelve words are words can be found on state test questions or ACT/SAT questions. Your students might have heard these before, but they may have not totally understood the meaning. Question? How many times have you given a test question to a student and they not answer it correctly, but if you tell them what the question is wanting they can answer you every time. By training a student with these words, they will have a better understanding of what the question is asking. This strategy will help the student perform on the test better. Some of these words are: evaluate, infer, analyze, compare, contrast, etc… These words may feel like they are simple to understand although teachers are college educated and have heard and used these words a few times in their years. Our students are not, with some of their backgrounds we are happy they are just making it to school. The “12 Powerful Words” help even the playing field for our students on testing questions.
Larry Also unraveled to us UNRA(A)VEL a reading and writing strategy for students. By using the acronym, students can look at the passage and understand the writers point he/she is trying to get across. With more of our testing “common core” centered it is important that the student understands how to pull the information out of the text and answer the questions given.
This year my school has bought into the “12 Powerful words” and UNRA(A)VEL. We hope these strategies will help our students perform better on their state mandated tests, and also help them as they continue their education. I am very thankful of my school district to bring Mr. Larry Bell to us this summer. He was such an inspiration to myself and other colleagues. Larry is scheduled also to spend some time with us this fall, which I can not wait for it again.
More information about Larry Bell and his passion towards students you can find them at
http://www.larry-bell.com Also, if you would like to know more from my perspective you can contact me via twitter @jacobdunn