Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our Approach to Learning

Are you familiar with Dale's Cone?

As you can see, the more involved a person is with the learning, the more they are able to demonstrate, apply and practice what they have learned.  The next level allows the learner to analyze, create and evaluate/analyze what is going and share the learning with others. 

Learning translated into staff development follows this pattern and has two distinct components:  training and field coaching.  No one does this better than Consult 4 Kids consultants.  These seasoned professionals bring experience backed by skill to the work they do with clients.  C4K’s Online Instruction and Vocational Training provide wonderful foundational support for frontline staff.  After participating in this online or written training, staff is able to demonstrate, apply and practice.  It is the face-to-face interaction with a seasoned professional that helps staff to move to the next level and analyze and assess what is happening, and then determine next steps.  When you combine these two powerful forces--you have created a platform for high-quality programming supported by exemplary staff performance. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sir Ken on Education

By CynDee Zandes
This article is written by a member of our expert blogging community.

Are you familiar with TED Talks?  If not, it’s time for you to learn about them for they are a source of knowledge, inspiration and innovation all at the cost of "FREE."  TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a set of video “talks” owned by the Sapling Foundation which was formed to share “ideas worth spreading.”  Many famous and not-so-famous people have shared opinions and knowledge with those who tune into the TED talks regularly. 

One of my favorite contributors is Sir Ken Robinson.  I had the opportunity to hear him in person last April at BOOST, and he was just as interesting in person.  His TED Talks are worth viewing.  Here is some information about two of my favorites.  The first one is entitled, Do Schools Kill Creativity?  In this video he talks about the challenge of education to educate children for a future we don’t understand, and the importance of helping children build upon their capacity for innovation.  He states that he believes creativity is as important as literacy, even though many would not agree.  He asks you to think about being Shakespeare’s teacher and how challenging that might be.  He asks you to consider what sort of learning environment would have encouraged rather than discouraged him.  Join over three million visitors who are interested in the importance of preparing children to be great.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Strengthening Youth Development through Family Engagement

This article is written by a member of our expert blogging community.

family puppets

As the Summer Olympics came and went, I found myself reflecting on the events. Athletes from all over the world come together to compete in a variety of sporting events.  The Olympics provides you with the opportunity to watch a plethora of talented and gifted athletes compete in a sport that they have spent thousands of hours practicing.  What you don’t see is the archer trying to swim, or the basketball player on the balance beam, or the sprinter running the marathon.  In other words, you have athletes focusing on the assets they have and then using those assets to build success.  Have you ever wondered why we don’t do that more often in “regular” life?  Often times it seems that folks identify our strengths and then our weaknesses and then go to work on helping us shore up our weaknesses, leaving our natural assets under-developed. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

FREE Webinars for Afterschool Professionals

We are happy to offer free webinars to our list of professional development support we provide to the afterschool field. These courses are designed for all levels of staff, from frontline staff to site coordinators to even those directing multiple programs and blend the online instruction that web-based training gives with real time interaction and feedback. That means that any time during the course, you can ask a question, make a comment or contribute to a conversation along with all the other participants joining the webinar. Our expert trainers respond and use this feedback to guide the learning.

We know that true development doesn't happen in one one-hour training, so we've structured the webinars to build upon each other with a new topic every month. They are a great for individual development, as well as team and group development. Participate in the webinars with colleagues and use them as discussion topics for meetings. We even record the sessions, so if you ever need to a refresher, all you have to do is click the play button.

Check out our topics for this month and be sure to register today!

Upcoming Webinars
Date & Time
Suggested Participants
Tuesday, August 21
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Mid-Management staff who lead multiple sites
Are your arms and hands tired? Well they should be! Did you know that the average middle manager changes hats over a 100 times a day just in their professional life and probably another hundred times in the personal life? As an afterschool professional, you are a mentor, a leader, a coach, a director, a supervisor, a manager and a keeper - that's 7 different hats!  If you have ever felt overwhelmed, come join this interactive webinar and let’s go deep into what is involved with each one of these hats and learn that just by identifying which hat you should put on at what time will be hugely beneficial for the programs, the people you support, the kids and yes even you.
Tuesday, August 21
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Site Coordinators who lead staff at one program site
Set the tone for your program each day with a phenomenal opening. This is the time to let everyone know that your program is the "place to be at 3:00" (or whatever time you start). Pack your opening with opportunities to build relationships, laugh, and focus on your goals. When everyone works together your opening can be AMAZING!
Tuesday, August 21
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Program Leaders and frontline staff who work directly with kids
Dealing with the poor behavior choices can take up a lot of your time as a leader working with youth, time that could be better spent engaging kids in learning. Preventing poor behavior choices and setting the stage for positive choices is key! Join our webinar for tips, tricks and ideas for creating positive reward systems. Learn how to create opportunities for youth to make positive choices regarding their behavior!

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Adventure Britain

Monday, August 13, 2012

On the Future of Learning

By CynDee Zandes
This article is written by a member of our expert blogging community.

1st grade students from the Staten Island Academy learning an Italian dance as part of their World Cultures day.

Have you ever had to attend a meeting that you didn’t want to go to because the topic had nothing to do with you? Have you ever had to go to a store that just didn’t interest you? Have you ever had to listen to a long-lost acquaintance that you wish would have stayed long-lost? The answer is probably “YES.” Why was this such a torturous experience? The answer is simple, “It didn’t matter to you!” It simply wasn’t relevant. Agreed, relevance is transient. Something can be relevant today and tomorrow it is old news. We have moved on. But the importance of just-in-time relevance makes all the difference. This isn’t true just for us, it is true for youth as well.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

June 2013...What Do You Want to Hear?

By CynDee Zandes
This article is written by a member of our expert blogging community.

The best time to think about the end of the year is at its beginning.  Stephen Covey advises that we “begin with the end in mind”.  So ask yourself, at the end of this program year what is it that I want to hear?  You need to ask yourself that question while thinking about the youth in your program, your staff, your parents, your school day partners, and any other stakeholders that are important to you.  If you think about this end, the one thing you most want to accomplish, it will be easier for you to set your plan for how you are going to achieve that end.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Designing for the Other 90%

This article is written by a member of our expert blogging community.

I have a channel through my U-Verse service that is called simply the Smithsonian channel.  It is a terrific channel and one I wonder how many people have an opportunity to tune into.  However, that is a totally different question.  They have many amazing programs—Aerial America, historical looks at England, China, and other places around the world, an examination of what happened to the Titanic that created the conditions for sinking (beyond the iceberg), and a very interesting segment entitled, Designing for the Other 90%.  I found this title intriguing.  I had questions:  Designing what?  Who are the 90%?  Who’s doing the designing?  How would designing for the 90% be different from designing for the 10%?  So I decided to tune in. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Town in the Land on the Planet in a Galaxy...

Bill Harley wrote a folk song entitled Milky Way.  In this song he talks about living in the Milky Way where there is a “fine star called the sun” around which “a planet spins,” that has lands with towns and streets with very fine people living on them. He is, of course, speaking of us on Earth.  In the play, Six Degrees of Separation, written by John Guare in 1990 and translated into a film in 1993, the “existential premise that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else in the world by a chain of no more than six acquaintances” was explored.  Both of these speak to the fact that we live in one world that is shrinking every day.  We can now travel to most anywhere in the world within 24 hours.  If we don’t want a face-to-face conversation, a plethora of web-based solutions exists.  While wonderful and exciting on many fronts, the dilemma for American youth is that they are often ill prepared to be successful in a global environment.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Learner-Centered Education

By CynDee Zandes
This article is written by a member of our expert blogging community.

As a principal I heard teachers say, “I taught it.  I don’t know why the students didn’t do better on the quiz.”  The problem with this statement is twofold.  The first is this:  How is it possible to “teach” something if no one “learned” anything?  The second is that this comment is from the perspective of what has occurred from the teacher’s vantage point instead of what has occurred from the students’ or the learner’s point of view.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


By CynDee Zandes
This article is written by a member of our expert blogging community.

In a Mind Shift blog post from July 20, 2012, 10 Things In School That Should Be Obsolete, author Greg Stack lists the following: