Veronica Betancourt

Affective Lessons are Effective Lessons (Science for English Learners) – Podcast Episode 119 | Classnotes Podcast 119

Dr. Bradley ScottClassnotes Podcast (February 25, 2013) As students get older and move into middle school and high school, some lose their positive attitude for certain subjects like science. Brain research indicates that emotion shapes cognition which naturally affects learners’ cognitive engagement. But teachers can lower students’ affective filter by valuing students’ perspectives and knowledge of science as they plan and deliver their lessons. Veronica Betancourt, M.A., continues our series of conversations on seven research-based strategies IDRA has developed for delivering instruction differently for secondary students. In this episode, she focuses on Strategy #2: Design asset-based science lessons for culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. She describes why value-driven lessons are particularly important for English language learners and how to design asset-based science lessons. Veronica is interviewed by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity.

Show length: 12:42

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Asset-Based Lessons for Linguistically Diverse Classrooms
Veronica Betancourt, M.A., IDRA Newsletter

Science Instructional Strategies for English Learners ~ A Guide for Elementary and Secondary Grades
by Abelardo Villarreal, Ph.D., Veronica Betancourt, M.A., and Kristin Grayson, M.Ed., IDRA

Visual Interpretation in Science – Strategies for English Language Learners
Paula Martin Johnson, M.A., and Veronica Betancourt, M.A., IDRA Newsletter

IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity

Science Smart! 
IDRA’s professional development that provides teachers with scientifically-based strategies to teach initiative scientific concepts, critical-thinking skills, problem-solving abilities and processes.!_Secondary_Training/

Elementary and Secondary Students’ Perceptions Toward Science: Correlations with Gender, Ethnicity, Ability, Grade, and Science Achievement,
M. Faye Neathery, Electronic Journal of Science Education

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Show Notes

  • Veronica introduces the concept of value-driven lessons and explains why they’re important.

  • Veronica talks about making science instruction truly meaningful. She cites studying Charles’s gas law as an example of applying science to real life and ensuring that the lessons don’t just remain inside the classroom.

  • Veronica discusses what literacy and brain research say about creating an emotionally driven environment that engages students in a positive way and builds on their own abilities and capacities, including as a method to drive language learning.

  • Veronica shares key approaches for creating valued-driven lessons: Begin with the end in mind by focusing on the children’s learning opportunity. Intentionally use charts and graphs, and allow children to create them themselves to show they understand how to organize and apply the data.

  • Veronica underscores the need for teachers to be conscientious of how to lower their students’ affective filters and to get them emotionally engaged in the classroom lessons.