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The Brain and How We Learn

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The Brain and How We Learn. Parts of the Brain. Parts of the Brain. Cell Body – the main body of the cell Axon – is the line the transmits information to the next cell

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parts of the brain1
Parts of the Brain
  • Cell Body– the main body of the cell
  • Axon – is the line the transmits information to the next cell
  • Myelin – Is the covering on the axon that allows transmission. It acts like insulation on the axon wire. Without it the signal can easily short circuit.
  • Dendrite – is where the cell receives information.
  • The more dendrites, the more connections you have to the information in your brain.
  • Analogy – if you have one way to get to work/school and there is an accident or the road is being fixed, you need another way to get there. The more ways you can get there the easier it is to get to your goal.
  • So how do we get more connections to the information? In other words how do we learn?
how do w e l earn
How Do We Learn?

We learn by making connections to previous experiences and by emotional responses.

The more connections you can make to previous learned material the more paths you have to that information.

We have all sorts of emotional experiences and if we can connect to these then we are way more likely to remember these things.

understanding memory
Understanding Memory

Understanding Memory Video

distractions and stress
Distractions and Stress

To be able to learn anything you have to make sure your stress level and distractions are gone.

The brain can not get information to the frontal cortex at all if you are stressed about something.

Why is that?

how the brain takes in information
How the Brain takes in Information
  • Information hits the senses 
  • Goes to to the thalamus 

Which is relay station between body and cortex

  • Goes to the sensory cortex 

Part of the brain processes sensory input

  • Goes to the amygdala or hippocampus 

Amygdala associated with flight-or-fight

Hippocampus – gateway to short-term memory and prepares to long term memory

  • Goes to the frontal cortex

Frontal Cortex – where high level thinking takes place

get ride of stress
Get Ride of Stress
  • It will turn the on the amygdala and that can cause a downshift which is pretty much a small version of fight or flight. They have shifted in to a lower primal gear. That can’t connect to higher level thinking that is found in the frontal cortex.
study techniques to h elp t he b rain
Study Techniques To Help The Brain
  • There are different techniques the brain uses to be able to take in information.
      • Chunking
        • Acronyms
          • (Dow High School = DHS)
        • Mnemonics
          • Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genius, Species
          • King, Phillip, Came, Over, For, Good, Spaghetti
        • Chunking Procedures: Simplify into smaller parts
          • Story Problems: Knowns, Formula, Rearrange, Solve
        • Chunking by Categories: Simplify into smaller topics
          • Macromolecules: breaks into 4 groups
            • Lipids, Carbohydrates, Nucleic Acids, and Proteins
        • Chunking with Music
          • Make verses to go with a well known song.
study shorter
Study Shorter
  • Study a little bit everyday.
    • We remember typically the first thing we hear and the last thing we hear. All the stuff in the middle gets lost.
    • We all have heard of cramming. Our brains don’t learn that way. You have to think about it and come up with ways to remember it.
    • This helps in that if you can’t put the picture together in your head, you can ask about a topic the next day in class. Instead of trying to figure out everything the last minute.
involve multiple intelligences
Involve Multiple Intelligences
  • People learn in different ways.
    • Try to bring all of the different styles together.

What are the different styles of learning.

Visual/Spatial Intelligence:

Mind Mapping for Recall – make a visual picture of the idea using shapes, figures, colors, and text.



Interpersonal Intelligence:

    • Think-Pair-Share (share with a partner)
    • Paraphrase (summarize your partners explanation)
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence:
    • Generate Evaluative Questions (use bloom’s taxonomy – higher level thinking questions)
  • Logical/ Mathematical Intelligence:
    • Synthesize (determine the most important ideas from a unit and synthesize a essay, mind-mapped.)
    • Forecast (Determine how this information can be used in the future – give it meaning)
  • Bodily/ Kinesthetic Intelligence:
    • Act It Out (Make a story and Act It Out)
  • Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence:
    • Make It Funny! (Like, say it with an accent, something to make it memorable.)
  • Limit material – study a little but enough to make a lot of meaning.
  • Short and sweet – Main points – try to notice attention span.
  • Make the practice relevant – Relate to previous knowledge and why this important
  • Massed + Distributed Rehearsal = RETENTION – Repeat going over it.
  • Provide accurate feedback immediately – Use Web sights that can give immediate feed back with explanations.