LINKS 6: Powerful Classrooms: Generating Connectivity Across the Curriculum

Creating Powerful Learning Environments is critical in helping students achieve their academic and career goals. Powerful classrooms are one piece of the puzzle and in Links 6, 3CSN looked at tools from the three Communities of Practices (CoP) it supports (Reading Apprenticeship, Habits of Mind, and California Acceleration Project) that will help engage and involve students in the classroom environment.


Students often find great pleasure in classrooms that create the feeling of exhilaration.  Yet, many lack the habits of mind needed to help them succeed in academia. Applying proven teaching strategies in your classes can help create these powerful, robust classes that both challenge students as well as help develop their academic abilities.  During this session, collectively we will:
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  • Explore the characteristics and uncover tools to empower students to take charge of their educational experience in your class
  • Recognize and address gaps, needs, opportunities, and strengths related to teaching and learning in a range of educational settings.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate effective learning environments for diverse groups based on relevant research.

Speed Dating in Santa Clarita

Who knew that there was going to be 3 rounds of Speed Dating?  Each round had a different focus and Crystal made sure the speed daters didn’t linger too long with their new pedagogy crushes.  Each round explored the relationship between students and the required texts for the course and how various Reading Apprenticeship strategies and techniques might affect these relationships.

Discuss level of reading in your class and your students’ interactions with required texts. Which of your classroom texts is ideal for trying the Talking to the Text strategy?
Discuss the collaborative reading activity you completed this morning. How did the collaboration extend or deepen your learning? How might similar collaborations in your classrooms extend or deepen your students’ learning?
Carol Dweck ends her article stating, “Most of all, teach them that by taking on challenges, making mistakes, and putting forth effort, they are making themselves smarter.” What is one strategy you can implement to help students internalize the value of challenges, mistakes, and/or effort, which in turn can help you create a more powerful classroom?

3CSN’s 3 Communities of  Practice from an Instructor’s Point of View

Reading Apprenticeship – Maria Perser, Pierce College

Maria Perser (Pierce College) spoke of Reading Apprenticeship and how it has reshaped the curriculum in her Psychology classes.Watching Maria is was not only evident that she was passionate about how RA has helped her classes but also how RA has transformed her and her students.

Meta Codnitive Journal Sample

Habits of Mind – Kim Manner, Pierce College


Kim Manner (Pierce College) shared how incorporating Habits of Mind and OnCourse techniques into her class are helping her students enrolled in her English classes grow their lifelong learning capabilities.  Her “I’m not a touchy-feely approach” has truly empowered students and helped her in her classes tremendously.

Journal Assignment

California Acceleraton Project (CAP)  – Summer Serpas, Irvine Valley College

Summer Serpas (Irvine Valley College) gave her awe inspiring transformation of her English classes- moving from “there is no way acceleration can be good for our students” to “I CANNOT believe 6 months ago I was doing and expecting this”. She shared how much more prepared her students are after completing the accelerated class she and her department developed.

Old Writing Assignment vs New ACCELERATED Assignment

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