Blogs on Brain-Based Learning

Blogs on Brain-Based LearningRSS
Judy Willis MDNovember 19, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

For many students, the brain isn't a hot topic of conversation. This is especially true for younger students who are still trying to understand the world around them, and are still far from developing physiological self-awareness of the very thing that gives them that self-awareness.

But helping students develop "brain literacy" doesn't have to be a matter of dry science pumped full of confusing jargon. Understanding the brain can be empowering for students as they recognize their ability to strengthen it each time they use it. As a teacher, you can emphasize how using the executive functions, both in the classroom and outside of school, increases their strength for academic success. Practice makes perfect!

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Lori DesautelsNovember 18, 2013

Driving my 15-year-old daughter home from cross country, I asked her where she learned to study. She replied, "Mom, I have never been taught how to study, we just do it because teachers have way too much to teach! They assume we know, and Cornell Notes are their idea of teaching us how to study!" I thought about this conversation and began to create a template that can hopefully assist students to organize, plan and create capacity in their working memories to learn content for the long term.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronOctober 30, 2013

In my last post, I began a celebration of brains and made the argument as to why teachers need to brush up on their knowledge of brains in order to reach that all-too-allusive 'tween noggin.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronOctober 24, 2013

In honor of October's most awesome of holidays, I am going to begin a three-part series about the gentlemen zombie's choice of cuisine: the 'tween brain. However, I need to be frank. I'm not going to be able to teach you deeply about the 'tween brain here. I'm not a neurologist. What I am going to do is make an argument, hopefully a darn good one, as to why you should educate yourself further about it.

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Judy Willis MDOctober 9, 2013

This series of blogs is to support you and your students during the transition period that will come with the CCSS. As the new testing and teaching styles promote more student independence, student-constructed learning and project-based learning, students will benefit from a powerful boost to their growing neural networks of executive functions.

However, for students and educators accustomed to more structured plans and teacher- or curriculum-directed learning, the decision-making and uncertainty can increase the amygdala’s stress level and inhibit flow to the prefrontal cortex where those networks of executive function are developing. This blog series will offer suggestions to ease the stress of transition, helping students persevere to reach the intrinsic pleasure that awaits them through meaningful choice and challenges in the classroom.

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Judy Willis MDOctober 2, 2013

Public high school students in large U.S. cities are more likely to drop out than ever before. Almost 80 percent of the students report that the main problem is boredom. When asked what bores them most, the most frequent responses were that the course material is neither interesting nor relevant to their lives.

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Marilee SprengerSeptember 18, 2013

Teaching vocabulary within the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is an essential component of standards-based curriculum alignment. Making the critical words second nature to our students will enhance achievement on assessments and will be useful in college and career. To process and store the academic vocabulary of the standards, our students’ brains require an efficient automatic memory system. This system, also called nonmotor procedural memory, stores information that is repeated, such as multiplication tables, song lyrics, words and definitions.

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Barbora BridleJuly 22, 2013

"She makes my life miserable every day!" cries Madison, one of the girls in my fourth grade class. She sinks her chubby frame onto the bench next to me, and folds her arms dramatically over her uniform. A pout curls her lower lip and tears twinkle inside her eyelids as she dashes a fierce glance sideways at Hailey, who is still blissfully hanging upside down on the monkey bars.

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Ramona PersaudJune 19, 2013

As schools everywhere begin to wind down on the school year, the worry around the summer brain drain begins. But just because school's out doesn't mean the learning process comes to a grinding halt. There are no hard stops on learning; in fact, there are numerous opportunities for learning in your daily activities.

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Ramona PersaudMay 23, 2013

Understanding even the basics of how the brain learns -- how people perceive, process and remember information -- can help teachers and students successfully meet the requirements of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This initiative aims to establish a relatively standardized knowledge base among all students, alleviating the background knowledge gap. It's designed to promote critical, divergent thinking, equipping students with information relevant to the real world and the ability to use it.

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