Midwest Brain & Learning Institute June 25th –28th 2001 Sponsored by Hope College Muskegon Area Intermediate School District Ottawa Area Intermediate School District
Preparation • The planning committee put much time and thought into making the Institute a success.
After two years… • After two years of planning, the Institute commenced. It began with warm welcomes and a thoughtful Keynote Address from Dr. Gerald Tirozzi.
Movement was incorporated… • Dr. Jeff Haebig began with the “Brain Boogie” and got the audience involved in the movements.
Learning Clubs • Learning Clubs were incorporated into each day of the Institute. They provide a time to ask questions and reflect on the speakers. The Learning Clubs also provided the opportunity to form community.
“Down Time” • Each day, Headquarters was the retreat for leaders when the day was over. This was a time to collaborate, debrief, and eat candy!
The “nuts and bolts”… • Day two began with some more movement and then moved into the “nuts and bolts” of the brain with Dr. G. Christian Jernstedt.
In the afternoon… • The afternoon was filled with information. Rita Brodnax and Chris Jernstedt led intriguing Breakout Sessions. Following the sessions, the speakers were on a panel discussion where many important questions were answered.
Family Fun Night • Jeff offered to lead a Family Fun Night filled with movement. The Holland community was involved and everyone appeared to have good time!
“Hola, Buenos Dias!” • Jo Gusman started out day three. She shared her experiences both as a migrant child and teaching ESL students. She role played with sensitivity and humor reminding the audience of how they can sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to “diverse learners”.
Diverse Learners… • Jo Gusman and Terri Patterson led Breakout Sessions that focused on diverse learners. Jo went deeper into her methods of teaching ESL students, and Terri discussed ways to teach students that live in extreme poverty. They both then joined Dr. Haebig for the afternoon panel discussion.
Movement or Play? • Mark Amenta began day four with more movement except by incorporating it into “theatre games.” He had the participants involved and on their feet. Mark provided even more ways to use movement in the classroom.
“Windows of Opportunity…” • Dr. David Sousa discussed the “windows of opportunity” that the human brain has. He talked about how and when we should teach children in order to get the best results. Dr. Sousa, like Dr. Tirozzi, challenged the audience to think about how they teach their students.
Early learning… • Joan Firestone joined Dr. Sousa after the Keynote and led a Breakout Session. She looked at current brain research and how it affects early learning.
Collecting thoughts… • Once again, the learning clubs provided a time to collect one’s thoughts and discuss some of the information that had been given in the Institute.
The final panel discussion… • A highlight of the final panel discussion was seeing the image of a “teaching brain”, which Dr. Sousa displayed on the overhead screen. Mark Amenta, Joan Firestone, and Dr. David Sousa closed the Institute with an intriguing and captivating discussion.
Final thoughts… • The end of the first Midwest Brain & Learning Institute came to a close with many “words of wisdom”. Applauses were given, and “thank you’s” were made.
Don’t forget to “floss”… • As everything came to a close, we all had to remember to “floss”, that is, use our Brain Floss. The participants were even asking about next year already.
Until next year… Good-bye!