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Helping students with LD in a pre-school in Tanzania

Resources. I am currently

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Resources.
I am currently enrolled in an online Masters Program and have had a chance to read about neuroplasticity and how we as educators can actually mould the brain and affect learning outcomes. This article has endorsed that view and I am looking forward to presenting this and more information to my colleagues! Having limited resources there is only so much we can do but i believe where there is a will there is a way.

5th Grade Teacher, Norfolk, VA

As an educator with over 14

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As an educator with over 14 years of classroom experience, I find myself excited about my chosen profession once again. I recently had the privilege of attending a workshop on "Brain Friendly Teaching". I believe it will truly have a profound effect on the way I teach, and in turn, the way my students learn. I agree that channels need to be opened between teachers and neuroscience researchers. Do you have any suggestions as to how interested teachers might begin to participate in any current studies?

Mathematics Teacher

I became aware of resources

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I became aware of resources on how the brain learns when I attended professional development during our NJEA convention. I attended a workshop on "How the Brain Learns", based on resources by David A. Sousa. His e-books are reasonably priced. From this lecture, I immediately took back to my classroom that you should change the style of learning, and even the specific information every 10 minutes. My students enter the classroom and spend about ten minutes doing and correcting a spiraling "Do Now' in mathematics. By the way, this first ten minutes is when the most learning occurs. Then my students spend 10 minutes learning a new concept through direct instruction and practice using manipulatives. Then my students spend about 10 minutes in cooperative learning groups applying the concept(s) in different ways. During this time frame, I try to get them physically moving. Then my students spend about 10 minutes practicing the concepts individually using a worksheet or the computer. We spend the rest of the class assessing learning by assessing student answers on the whiteboard, and writing responses to the exit card/journal activity. This is the second most significant ten minute window students will spend in my classroom learning. From Sousa's workshop I learned that students, especially middle school students, give about ten minutes to learning before they "check out." Therefore, to make the most of the learning window you need to change up what and how the students are learning to keep the brain active. It works! My students love my class and cannot believe that it is over because it moves so quickly.

I appreciate the content in

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I appreciate the content in this article. As a parent of a special needs child and a Kindergarten teacher, I have a passion for learning how the brain works. I am a very visual learner, is there a good diagram or video that you use to teach those of us who are still novice in the area of neurosciences? Thank you!

Best resource to start with?

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I read this article with a hungry brain. I am a classroom teacher who has learned some of the ways my third grade students' brains work in the most primitive of ways, trial and error. I would love to have to be pointed to a resource that would help me to understand and implement more brain-aware teaching when I return to my classroom in August. I thank you for any input you might have!

Educational Therapist

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I completely agree with what you have presented here about teachers needing to be more informed of how the brain learns. However, I think it will be quite some time before it happens. Right now the information is spreading by individuals passing it along but I know of no school district that has implemented this type teaching. There will always be teachers who grasp a concept, really understand it, and do a wonderful job implementing it but most others will need a lot of training and guidance. For example, computers, many teachers want to be the computer guru of their school and really implement it into their classroom but don’t feel comfortable, are unsure how to do it, or not sure where to find and how to use the software, so they decide it’s best left alone and teach how they always have or use the computer for reinforcement games. Another area I’ve noticed that is still deficient in the college realm is the knowledge of identifying children who have learning difficulties. While in college teachers are taught what learning disabilities are but it is in an all-inclusive class with all the other special ed. needs. So, when these teachers are in the classroom, they are not able to identify these students. Every year I inform teachers of how to identify children with learning disabilities and it continues to amaze me that the colleges have not made this a more in-depth class when the percentages of children with learning differences increases every year. Yes, some of the best brain training I had was from NILD (National Institute for Learning Development) out of Norfolk, VA. They are reaching out to schools through the therapists they train, who in turn are spreading this neurological news and knowledge to the teachers with whom they have contact. I hope this trend continues.

Seventh grade science teacher from El Dorado, KS

Amazing article. I've always

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Amazing article. I've always felt that to be a better educator, we need to understand how the brain processes information. If we can find new triggers, then we can incorporate those into our lessons and make them stick. Neuroscience is a definite area of interest for me!

Raising the level of professionalism in education...

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necessitates that anyone working to educate children have a foundational understanding of the anatomy and functionality of the brain as we understand it. Only with this base of understanding is it possible to make informed decisions regarding the most effective and appropriate techniques to apply in any given educational situation. The ability to understand and specifically justify the decisions made in teaching are what raise it to a higher level and truly require the application of the art and science of learning. Additionally, the research done regarding the positive effect of sharing a basic understanding of neuroplasticity of learning with students requires that educators have accurate, clear information to share. I look forward to the changes you are able to effect with your work Ms. Willis!

taught 1st and 5th for 4 years now sub and grad student from Memphis

I find this topic very

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I find this topic very interesting. We educators have the power in our classrooms to actually increase our student's intelligence by providing education that keeps our students engaged and motivated. I find it difficult to keep my students from zoning out during my lessons. I would love some suggestions for keeping them motivated when they are not working at grade level.

Reading Facillitator from Trinidad West Indies

I agree that they should know

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I agree that they should know because it makes you so much more aware of what is going on with your student,even teaching the student about their brain encourages them to protect their brain.Superb article.

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