Erin Ryan

No time for PD? Four quick videos to watch on your schedule

Blog Post created by Erin Ryan on Jul 28, 2020

This spring, NWEA Professional Learning introduced a free video series, Empowering Students as Independent Learners. Designed with school closures and remote learning in mind, this series explores strategies to encourage self-direction and supportive self-management, along with formative instructional practices. Hosted by Strategic Content Design Coordinator Brooke Mabry, these 20–30-minute video sessions provide resources, research-based ideas, and frameworks for teachers to support and empower student learning.


Curious what you’ll learn from each video? Get a sneak peek below before checking out the entire series on YouTube.

Trying on the Six Thinking Hats

In this session, Brooke details the Six Thinking Hats, a formative instructional practice to engage multiple types of thinking. Viewers will learn how to use this strategy, and how to empower their own students to be nimble in their thinking to creatively make decisions and solve problems.


Engaging students in goal setting and monitoring progress

No matter where instruction happens, teachers should continue to empower students to work toward individual and class-wide goals. This session, Brooke shares concrete steps for engaging students in developing and tracking their own goals. She even welcomes a special guest, her own fourth-grader, to help model a coaching conversation. Links to student-friendly goal-setting templates are available as a free download to use, modify, and share.


Pause, think, act

It turns out the old adage “think before you speak” was only the beginning. Brooke takes a deep dive into strategies for developing students’ mindfulness and metacognition in this session, and she shares a straightforward process for fostering student development of cognition to improve self-management and self-direction. Brooke also shares specific strategies for building on these skills in the remote classroom.


Embracing a growth mindset

Brooke goes beyond the buzzword to take a closer look at growth mindset, explaining how to support and cultivate it in remote and on-site classrooms.


These videos are designed with you in mind. Start and stop as your time allows, download the additional printable guides and materials, and share with your colleagues and planning partners. Tell us in the comments what resonates with you and what you’d like to see more of. Our professional learning consultants are here to help you support the next generation of doers, thinkers, and dreamers.



Erin Ryan joined NWEA as senior writer in 2018. A former teacher and student of education policy, she enjoys sharing stories and new ideas to support student learning.