Marcia L. Tate, Ed.D. is the former Executive Director of Professional Development for the DeKalb County School System, Decatur, Georgia. During her 30-year career with the district, she has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, language arts coordinator, and staff development executive director. She received the Distinguished Staff Development Award for the State of Georgia, and her department was chosen to receive the Exemplary Program Award for the state. More importantly, Marcia has been married to Tyrone Tate for more than 30 years and is the proud mother of three wonderful adult children: Jennifer, Jessica, and Christopher; and the doting grandmother of two granddaughters, Christian and Aidan.
Marcia is currently an educational consultant and has taught more than 350,000 administrators, teachers, parents, and business and community leaders throughout the world, including Australia, Egypt, Hungary, Singapore, Thailand, and New Zealand. She is the author of the following five bestsellers: Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain; “Sit & Get” Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Professional Learning Strategies That Engage the Adult Brain; Reading and Language Arts Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Literacy Strategies that Engage the Brain; Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Techniques for Managing a Brain-compatible Classroom; and Mathematics Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Numeracy Strategies that Engage the Brain. Participants in her workshops refer to them as “some of the best ones they have ever experienced” since Marcia uses the 20 brain-compatible strategies outlined in her books to actively engage her audiences.
Marcia received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and elementary education from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her master’s degree in remedial reading from the University of Michigan, her specialist degree in educational leadership from Georgia State University, and her doctorate in educational leadership from Clark Atlanta University. Spelman College awarded her the Apple Award for excellence in the field of education.
Assessment: How Do We Know They’re Learning?
It stands to reason that if students are not learning the way we are teaching them, then we must teach them the way they learn! Let’s use an analogy to make this point clear. When you go fishing, do you use bait you like or bait the fish likes? Whether you refer to them as multiple intelligences, like Howard Gardner, or to them as gifts, like Marcia Tate, students come to class with many different ways of knowing. Experience 20 brain-compatible strategies for unwrapping those gifts, strategies such as role play, drawing, music, or movement. Once teachers have taught students in these ways, how do we know that they have truly learned what we have taught? Experience over 50 ways (including the use of products and performances) to determine if those strategies are making a difference in student achievement in your classroom. The workshop will deal with both traditional and more authentic forms of assessment since both forms should be included in a student’s overall portfolio. After all, isn’t it better for students to produce their own knowledge rather than to simply reproduce yours!
Mathematics Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites:
20 Numeracy Strategies that Engage the Brain
M-A-T-H is known to be the shortened form of the word Mathematics. However, did you know that it is also a mnemonic device that stands for Math Ain’t That Hard? This acrostic rings true when brain-compatible strategies are used to teach mathematics. Learn to chunk your math content according to the five focal points of the National Council of Teachers of Math. Experience how easy it can be to teach those chunks when your students are role-playing, drawing out or visualizing a word problem, dancing the number line by doing the Number Line Hustle, or creating an original mnemonic device or story to remember the steps in long division. Whether one is singing the multiplication facts or the quadratic equation, teaching math while using 20 brain-compatible strategies makes the content understandable, memorable, and so much fun!
Preparing Your Child for Success in School and in Life:
20 Ways to Increase Your Child’s Brain Power
Since the most rapid period of growth for brain cells is zero to four years of age, that would make a parent a child’s first and best teacher! Yet, there are few manuals which are given to parents to show them exactly how to perform this all important job successfully. Participants in this workshop will learn techniques which can help them get their children off to a healthy start, build relationships with them throughout their lives, equip them with the necessary structure for healthy brain development, and assist them in increasing their academic achievement. Instructional strategies which parents can use to address the visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic modalities of their children will be modeled throughout. Many parents have stated that this workshop and the accompanying book should be a required experience for every one who calls themselves a parent!
Reading and Language Arts Workshops Don’t Grow Dendrites:
20 Literacy Strategies that Engage the Brain
According to experts in the field, reading and language arts skills and abilities are best acquired when students are actively engaged in their own learning. This practical, highly-engaging workshop will show you how to do just that – actively engage students in learning to read at the lower grades and reading to learn at the upper grades. The content is structured around the standards set forth by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. The methodology for teaching those standards comes from the 20 strategies which take advantage of the way that all brains learn best. By the time the workshop is over, you will have experienced learning vocabulary by drawing it, role playing it, and singing it and comprehension skills through the use of graphic organizers, visualization, and storytelling. This is not one to miss!
Science Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites:
20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain
If there were ever content that should be taught using hands-on, relevant content, it is in the area of science. This workshop is taught by one of the best science teachers in the world, Warren Phillips. Warren was named the 2004 Disney Teacher of the Year and one of the 2007 USA Today Top Teachers and has turned countless students on to science in Plymouth Massachusetts during an illustrious teaching career. He is also the author of SingAlong Science, a three CD set of original songs designed to teach science concepts to a variety of familiar tunes. During this workshop, you will learn to teach selected content standards delineated by the National Science Teachers Association through the use of 20 brain-compatible instructional strategies. You will sing the States of Matter, hear the story of the Amber Rock to help students understand the discovery of electricity, and witness countless experiments that can be replicated in the classroom. This workshop always leaves participants wanting more!
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey has been on the New York Times best-seller list since the 1980s because the content contained in this book is just as valuable today as it ever was! This workshop is based on that book and acquaints participants with seven principles which effective people attempt to practice daily in both their personal and professional lives. While actively engaged in the workshop the entire time, you will learn to be proactive, not reactive; to identify and prioritize your life with the things that really make the most difference; to improve your ability to understand where others are coming from so that you might help them to achieve goals which are mutually beneficial to you both, and to work for mental, spiritual, physical, emotional, and social balance in your life. You will walk out of this workshop a person changed for the better!
Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites:
20 Techniques for Managing a Brain-compatible Classroom
Have you ever noticed that the louder some teachers get when reprimanding students, the louder those students also become? Learn techniques for managing an active, brain-compatible classroom without ever raising your voice. Learn to alleviate 100% of your behavior problems. Eliminate at least 50% by the way you set up the physical environment in your classroom and deliver engaging lessons. After all, your best defense against classroom management problems is an engaging lesson. Get rid of another 40% by developing and implementing a proactive management plan which includes rituals, celebrations, and consequences. Then tackle the most challenging 10% by using techniques which appear to work with such chronic behavior disorders as attention-deficit, conduct, or oppositional disorder. You will also experience the bonus of learning to create a home environment which minimizes stress and maximizes calm!
“Sit & Get” Won’t Grow Dendrites:
20 Professional Development Strategies that Engage the Adult Brain
Visualize the worst presentation that you have ever been a part of as an adult learner. Now, visualize the best one. No doubt, there is a considerable difference between the two professional development opportunities. This workshop is designed for administrators, staff developers, teacher leaders, instructional coaches and coordinators, college and university professors, business and community leaders, and anyone else who teaches the adult brain. In fact, many presenters to adult audiences do not realize that having participants sit and get information is not the most effective way to ensure that the information sticks to their brains. Adults don’t retain information simply by sitting and viewing multiple PowerPoint slides and being read to what is contained on them. Participants in this workshop are engaged the entire time while they learn the answers to the following three basic questions: (1) What are 20 strategies that I can use to make my professional development experience unforgettable? (2) What are techniques that appear to result in sustained adult behavior change? and, as a bonus, (3) What are 10 things that keep adults living well beyond the age of 80?
Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement (TESA)
Over 50 years of research have taught us that you get what you expect. If you don’t expect much from your students, you won’t get much from your students. Experience 15 interactions which teachers should use to convey their high expectations to all students. These interactions include calling on all students, taking a personal interest in students, standing in close proximity to them, praising their academic work and complimenting their personal characteristics, as well as remaining cool and calm when correcting misbehavior. When these interactions are used, academic achievement and attendance increase and behavior problems are reduced.
The Power of Positive Thinking
Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you’re right! People don’t realize how they severely limit their brain’s potential with negative thinking. It is amazing how confidence in one’s ability to accomplish a task positively impacts one’s success at actually achieving it. When people approach situations with a confident attitude and a positive belief system, life-changing things can occur! Based on a combination of brain research and the book, The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, this workshop, explores the detrimental effects of stress on your life and how it is the number one cause of aging and a major contributor to illness. You will learn how to lengthen your life by determining your purpose, reducing damaging stress, and creating an optimistic daily outlook. You will also learn the importance of laughter. After all, consider how long most of your major comedians lived such as George Burns, Bob Hope, or Red Foxx or the age that many of the living ones have attained such as Phyllis Diller or Betty White.
True Colors: Understanding Personality and Temperament Types
Have you ever questioned why some people in your workplace are more difficult to get along with than others? Have you ever wondered why your spouse or significant other is different from you in ways that sometimes drive you crazy? Have you considered whether your children are really yours or whether they were switched at birth? Regardless of race, religion or national origin, people come in four personality types. Hippocrates called them Phlegmatic, Choleric, Sanguine, and Melancholic. Don Lowry called them Gold, Blue ,Green, and Orange. The more you understand the differences in human temperament, the easier it becomes to understand and get along with the important people in your world. The workshop is great for building an effective team in the workplace. Find out your personal preferences and the preferences of others as well!
Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites:
20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain
Have you ever wondered why some students cannot understand or recall important content after a 24-hour period? If your students are not learning the way you are teaching them, then you must teach them the way they learn! Experience 20 instructional strategies (based on brain research and learning style theory) that maximize memory and minimize forgetting. Increase learning for all students when strategies like drawing, metaphor, movement, music, and storytelling are used to teach curriculum objectives and meet international standards. Explore research that shows why these strategies are preferable to others. Ensure that brains retain key concepts, not only for tests, but for life! This workshop has been called both professionally and personally life-changing and lots of fun!