” to develop affordable, effective learning tools that help children think critically, giving them the skills to succeed not just in the classroom, but in life.”
- Materials enable differentiated instruction, student practice, and teacher evaluation of progress. Through their dashboard, teachers can identify which students have mastered specific standards, what learning goals should come next for each student, and which students require in-depth interventions to meet the standard(s) being assessed.
- Professional development is available for teachers on core concepts like differentiation in the classroom, rolling out Common Core Standards, best practices for instruction, formative assessment strategies, and more.
Sounds like a lot of materials, doesn’t it? It did to me, too, but Mentoring Minds offers both a Live Chat option and in-house personnel you can work with to figure out what’s best for your needs.
There’s a YouTube channel with dozens of videos on topics like “Suggested Interventions” and “Reflections” to clarify any sections that are fuzzy to you.
Flipcharts are heavily text-delivered. If you’re a visual learner, this could make your head hurt.
I found the website a bit confusing. I think it’s because of their breadth of products. It helps a lot that they offer a Live Chat option so I could get someone knowledgeable to guide me through the selections.
If you’re interested in the Total Motivation option (for reading and math), teacher editions are only available with student editions. Why? Because they are designed to work together. Logically, you wouldn’t need the teacher book if you weren’t using the program with students. It makes so much sense that the teacher edition is free when you buy 25 student editions and discounted when you buy less than that number.
There are quite a few products I think are great–a critical thinking wheel (one of eight wheels offered), a breakdown of Common Core Standards, a flip chart that specifically addressed classroom management (one of fourteen flip charts offered)–but one that really caught my attention was a Depth of Knowledge wheel that addressed Bloom’s Taxonomy. It helps students process information at different levels of thinking while supporting educators in addressing the cognitive demands of standards and assessments. Another I haven’t seen anywhere else is a Cyber Bullying Flipchart with educational strategies and resources to address the effects of cyberbullying, avoid the dangers, and assist the victims.
Besides these tangible education products, Mentoring Minds offers professional development to insure teachers are comfortable with all of their selected topics. This includes onsite training as well as webinars.
And finally, the website offers a collection of articles on pedagogic topics such as Thinking About Thinking Improves Learning and Cognitive Rigor in Today’s Classroom
Overall, Mentoring Minds has an wide collection of resources that support critical thinking and focus on best-practice methods. If these resources are available to your district, or if you have the opportunity to explore them further, I definitely recommend checking them out.
–images copyrighted by Mentoring Minds; used with permission
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of dozens of tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an adjunct professor, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, a tech ed columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning