Review by Ericka D, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2017

LearnStorm

Guided lessons focus on the brain, encourage a growth mindset

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Character & SEL

Subjects
  • Health & Wellness
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3-12
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Pros: Step-by-step, fillable lessons are engaging and help students set positive goals and earn rewards.

Cons: Students may still need additional assistance; requires some extra time for setup and planning.

Bottom Line: Wonderful, easy-to-use lessons spur self-reflection and a growth mindset in students.

Use LearnStorm as a supplement to your classwide social and emotional learning content. If you're a school counselor or social worker, use the site as a supplement to your curriculum on growth mindset and goal setting. During morning meetings, check in as a class and see how much progress your students have made. Make sure to use the teacher dashboard to see what activities or materials you may need to prep or plan. Consider using the progress chart as part of your math discussion as you analyze the graphic data. Use the content as part of a biology or science lesson that focuses on the neurobiology of the brain.

As part of a responsive classroom, acknowledge those who do well by presenting them with certificates that LearnStorm provides at no additional cost. Check in at the end of the day as part of a classroomwide incentive management program to send students off with a positive message and a summary of their hard work.

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LearnStorm is a free six-week course through Khan Academy that helps encourage growth mindset and resiliency skills for students in grades 3-12. The website begins with a teacher dashboard that introduces you to the content and allows you to add your students to the class via the Khan Academy interface. LearnStorm then diverts students to the current weekly activity based on their progress.

For each activity, there's a lesson that may incorporate an interactive graph or visual aid such as a short video clip. Then the content prompts students to fill in answers on-screen and set small, incremental goals. It ends with a weekly reflection that allows students to add a visual representation of their goal and share it on the LearnStorm social forum. Throughout the course, students can earn badges and certificates.

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LearnStorm is successful at helping young students learn how to set measurable, achievable goals in a positive and engaging way. Not only does it provide background content and lessons on how the brain works, but it actively guides students through ways to engage in growth mindset activities (e.g., type in three positive phrases you can say to yourself).

LearnStorm appears to be designed to encourage classwide participation, which only enhances the overall concept of individualized and team goal setting that much more. While LearnStorm has a focus devoted to social and emotional learning, it also allows for teachers to customize it to their content area and use many of their own tools to make this a relevant and appealing activity for students of many ages.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Colorful characters and relevant video clips are built into the web-based lessons. While the responsiveness of the site might require a teacher's eye, students will find the content to be appropriately paced.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

Learning about a growth mindset and goal setting is baked into this experience. Fillable forms help check for understanding and actively guide students through the content.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

This website uses a variety of modes to present information. While some students may require adult assistance at times, it offers integrated supports and active tutorials during the lesson to foster independence.


Common Sense Reviewer
Ericka D Counselor, psychologist, or social worker

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