Season 4: Episode 3 – Learning in the Fast Lane and Teaching in the Fast Lane with Suzy Pepper Rollins [Podcast]

In this episode, we are speaking  with Suzy Pepper Rollins, author of two ASCD books: Learning in the Fast Lane: 8 Ways to Put All Students on the Road to Academic Success and Teaching in the Fast Lane: How to Create Active Learning Experiences.

Suzy is a passionate, lifelong educator whose mission is to create academic success for all learners by embedding instructional practices that create energized, autonomous, focused learners. A national presenter across subject areas, she is the founder of Math in the Fast lane, an online instructional resource for grades 3-8 teachers. In addition, she has embarked on her latest project called, which is a community of education experts who share research-based work with schools.

Here is what we talked about:

  1. Tell us a little about your two books: Learning in the Fast Lane and Teaching in the Fast Lane. What is the big question behind each volume and what gaps in educational practice do they aim to fill?
  2. In Learning in the Fast Lane, you present eight practices to address gaps in areas such as reading, vocabulary, basic skills and student motivation. Why these eight practices? What led you to this combination? What is some of the research behind the practices?
  3. Vocabulary development is one of the key deficits of learners at risk. What does this look like from the learner’s perspective, and how can a strategic vocabulary plan address this gap? How is it more effective than the practices commonly used by teachers?
  4. We have been talking a lot about learner agency – learners owning their work by being the most active in the process. What conditions help learners embrace agency, and what strategies can teachers use to create those condition, giving learners greater responsibility and motivation to learn?
  5. Many of our teachers utilize stations in their instruction. Tell us about the benefits of the strategy (both academic and soft skills) and how stations can most effectively be used to give learners ownership over the learning.
  6. What’s next for Suzy? What are you working on?

Join the conversation!

Each episode we leave you with a couple of questions to think about…with the idea of provoking conversation. This episode’s questions:

  1. Think about your struggling learners. What did you hear on today’s podcast that you can use to benefit your learners’ learning?
  2. Which of your current practices would you like to upgrade to be more effective for your learners?

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