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Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary - Book Cover

Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary

Harnessing Natural Curiosity for Learning That Transfers
By: Julie Harris Stern, Nathalie Lauriault, Krista Ferraro

Foreword by Debbie Silver

Concept-based teaching helps students uncover conceptual relationships and transfer them to new problems. Written for elementary educators, this is a must-have road map for implementing concept-based teaching.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506377247
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Teaching Essentials
  • Year: 2017
  • Page Count: 208
  • Publication date: October 04, 2017

Price: $39.95



Harness natural curiosity for conceptual understanding!

Young children are naturally curious, asking deep questions about complex concepts. This tendency is a talent that can be nurtured so that children grow to be deep thinkers and innovators later in life. However, in our complex world, it is impossible to teach students everything they need to know. Pushing more factual content ignores what we know about how children learn and endangers their love of learning. Concept-based teaching helps young learners uncover conceptual relationships in a way that is developmentally appropriate. Readers of this guide will learn:

Why conceptual learning is a natural fit for children
Strategies for introducing conceptual learning
Instructional strategies to help students uncover and transfer concepts
How to write lessons, assess understanding, and differentiate in a concept-based classroom
How concept-based teaching aligns with best practices and initiatives

Written for educators who strive to cultivate conceptual understanding while honoring students’ innate curiosity, this is a must-have road map for implementing concept-based teaching in elementary classrooms.

"This book provides the research and resources educators need to help students take ownership of their learning. It fosters students’ curiosity about their environment and it allows them to explore and become life-long learners."
Ellen Asregadoo, Fifth Grade Teacher
Public School 190, Brooklyn, NY

"This is an important book for all teachers. We need to be honoring our students as thinkers who deserve developmentally appropriate intellectual rigor in the classroom. We will not achieve this in our traditional coverage based classroom. I am so inspired and can’t wait to start this journey (making mistakes and learning along the way!)."
Sarah Gat, Second Grade Teacher
Ecole Arbour Vista Public School, Guelph, Ontario

Key features

Teachers will learn:
  • Why conceptual learning is a natural fit for young minds
  • Strategies for introducing children to conceptual learning
  • Instructional strategies to help students uncover and transfer concepts
  • How to write concept-based lessons
  • How to assess for conceptual understanding
  • How to differentiate in a concept-based classroom
  • How CBCI aligns with other current best practices and initiatives (like PBL, CCSS, etc.)


Julie Harris Stern photo

Julie Harris Stern

Julie Stern is the best-selling author of Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary and Secondary, Visible Learning for Social Studies, and Learning That Transfers. She is the thought leader behind the global workshop series Making Sense of Learning Transfer, and is a certified trainer in Visible Learning Plus. Her passion is synthesizing the best of education research into practical tools that support educators in breaking free of the industrial model of schooling and moving toward teaching and learning that promotes sustainability, equity, and well-being. She is a James Madison Constitutional Fellow and taught social studies for many years in Washington, DC and her native Louisiana. Julie moves internationally every few years with her husband, a US diplomat, and her two young sons. Her website is www.edtosavetheworld.com.

Krista Ferraro photo

Krista Ferraro

Krista Ferraro is a history teacher and department head at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts. Her passions include civic education, social justice, and preparing students for effective global citizenship. Previously, she served as Deputy Director of Public Policy and Curriculum Innovation at Chavez Schools in Washington, DC, where she also taught history and public policy courses. Her published works include the bestselling Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary and Secondary. Krista holds bachelor's degrees in American Studies and Spanish from Cornell University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from American University. She is also an alumna of Teach for America.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Authors

Introduction: Why is Concept-Based Curriculum Critical for the 21st Century?

Chapter 1: What Are the Essential Elements of Concept-Based Curriculum Design?

Chapter 2: How Do I Set Up My Classroom for Deep, Conceptual Learning?

Chapter 3: What Are the Building Blocks of Concept-Based Instruction?

Chapter 4: What Additional Tools Can We Use to Design Lessons?

Chapter 5: How do we Design Assessments for Conceptual Understanding?

Chapter 6: How Can We Work Toward Equity in a Concept-Based Classroom?

Chapter 7: How Can Conceptual Understanding Help to Preserve a Love of Learning Beyond Childhood?

Conclusion: Imagine What School Could Be.…





Price: $39.95
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