Here’s to the kids who are different, Kids who don’t always get A’s, Kids who have ears Twice the size of their peers, And noses that go on for days, Here’s to the kids who are different, Kids who bloom later that some, Kids who don’t fit, But who bloom later than some, Kids who don’t fit, But who never say quit, Who dance to a different drum, Here’s to the kids who are different, Kids with the mischievous streak, For when they have grown, As history has shown, It’s their difference that makes them unique. ~Digby Wolfe http://www.ncwiseowl.org/kscope/TeacherHut/Teachley/index.html
Brain Research Brains have been the subject of research as long as anyone can remember. We do know that brains are universal. Every society has the same number of right or left brains. The brain is not divided equally. The left side is larger and that is why so many people are right handed. However, being right handed does not mean that you are left-brained.
Are you left brained or right brained? In general the left and right hemispheres of your brain process information in different ways. We tend to process information using our dominant side. However, the learning and thinking process is enhanced when both side of the brain participate in a balanced manner. This means strengthening your less dominate hemisphere of the brain. Take a dominance test. Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World p. 49
Right Brain/Left Brain As you probably know, our brains have two hemisphere's, the left and right. We use both sides of our brain to solve problems, make decisions and learn things, but for most of us one side dominates. Some people prefer to approach things very analytically and logically, focusing on detail, working in a linear fashion. Others prefer a more global, holistic approach, synthesising many pieces of information simultaneously, using intuition and imagination to generate ideas and links.
Left Brain Learning Style • If you are left brain dominant, then you probably like to work through learning step by step. • You'll prefer resources that guide you through learning in sizable chunks and you'll be happier breaking down your learning into an ordered series of goals and tasks. You work best with other people who are systematic and focused.
Right Brain Learning Style • If you are right brain dominant, you will prefer learning resources that give you the big picture, such as case studies, and examples of good practice. • You will prefer to start work on a broad goal or project, and fill in the detail, the specific skills you need as you go. You will probably learn well from observing, discussing and sharing experiences with colleagues.
Sequential Vs. RandomLeft Brained • List maker • Daily planning • Make master schedules • Complete tasks in order • Pleasure in checking things off • Good speller because it involves sequence • Follow directions
Sequential Vs. Random Right-Brained • Random approach • Flit from one task to another • Get it done without addressed priorities • Assignments may be late or incomplete because they were working on something else • Ready to rebel when asked to make schedule of week • Must make lists to survive because of random nature of brain • Spelling makes them cringe • Must make special effort to read directions • Color sensitive-try using colors to learn sequence • 1st green, 2nd blue, last red or imagine sequence
Linear Vs. HolisticLeft Brained • Part to whole • Takes pieces, lines them up, arranges in order then draws conclusions
Linear Vs. HolisticRight Brained • Whole to part: Start with answer, see the big picture first not the details • Difficulty following lecture unless they have the big picture first • Important to read/know background information before lecture: Teacher must give overview • Have trouble outlining: Write paper first then outline later because it is required • Needs to know why you are doing something
Symbolic Vs. ConcreteLeft Brained • No trouble processing symbols • Comfortable with mathematical endeavors • Memorize vocabulary words or math formulas
Symbolic Vs. Concrete Right Brained • Things must be concrete • Need to see, feel, touch the real object • Have trouble learning to read using phonics • Need opportunities for hands-on activities • Draw out math problems • Must illustrate notes
Logical Vs. IntuitiveLeft Brained • Linear • Sequential • Logical • Use information piece by piece • Look for pieces to draw logical conclusions • Writing mechanics: spelling, agreement, punctuation
Logical Vs. IntuitiveRight Brained • Intuition • Know right answer to math problem but not sure how you got it • May start with answer and work backwards • Gut feeling on quizzes as to which answers are correct-usually right
Reality-Based Vs. Fantasy-Oriented • Right Brained • Try to change environment • Not aware anything wrong • Need constant feedback and reality checks • Must keep careful record of assignments and tests • Creative • Focus on emotion Left Brained • Deals with the way things are—reality • Adjust to things • Want to know rules and follow them. If none, want to make up rules to follow. • Know consequences of not turning in assignment or failing a test
These are just some of the differences that exist between the left and right hemispheres, but you can see a pattern. Because left brain strategies are the ones used most often in the classroom, right brain students sometimes feel inadequate. However, you now know that you can be flexible and adapt material to the right side of your brain. Likewise, those of you who are predominantly left brain know that it would be wise to use both sides of the brain and employ some right brain strategies.
Learning Styles Left brains learn by hearing. They find the lecture system just fine. Right brains need to see something done--show me, to feel, and to actually experience the process--then, they remember. Lecture style is a challenge for a right brain.
Planning Lefts plan days in advance and are prepared for weekends, parties, and going to the movies. Rights decide things on the spur of the moment.
Neatness • Lefts usually have a tidy personal space and know where things are.
Neatness Rights have a "piling" system that they use quite often. They sometimes say, "Don't touch my piles. I know where everything is." Other rooms in a right brain's world may be neat and tidy, but the personal space rarely is.
Testing • Lefts memorize well. They can remember dates and facts easily. On tests they do quite well. • Rights remember images and patterns. They can see the picture of that soldier next to the cannon, remember details in his uniform, know what season of the year it is, and they know the date is below--but what is that date? • Lefts usually do better on tests even if both left and right brains have the same I.Q.
Impulse Control • Lefts can control their behavior easier. If a left has an eraser thrown at him, he first checks the location of the teacher. If the teacher is looking at him, he does not touch the eraser. A right will "not" look to see where the teacher is, pick up the eraser, throw it back at the person that threw it at him and get caught.
Punctuality • Lefts will be on time and even early for everything. They are the ones in the theatre before anyone else gets there. • Rights, on the other hand, are usually only on time for the most important things. Rights are likely to be on time for church if in the choir. If not in the choir, it is probably optional to be on time.
Gestures • Lefts speak with few gestures and are not very animated. Their voice does not fluctuate much. • Rights can not talk without using the hands. Their facial expression and voice may both be quite animated and entertaining.
L.D. vs. A.I.G. • "LD, Learning Disabled, students are not that much different from AG, Academically Gifted. The difference is that the AG students have learned to play the school game." LD students know that it is a game and refuse to play or have not figured out how to play because of their disability. TAG students know that it is a game but will play because they want to be successful in the world. IQ is often the same. • Because half of the students are right brained, teachers must teach to many modalities and not just one--lecture.
How They Approach A Project • Left brains naturally arrange the various steps in order and begin with the first one. • Right brains prefer the ricochet method. They select steps without any obvious order--doing what comes to mind at the moment. Both get the job done but in different ways.
Recall • Left brains can go to a party, meet 12 new people, and remember their names the next day. • The right brained person will not remember the names but will remember what they were wearing, the couch they were sitting on, the room they were in, how their hair was done, and possibly what they were talking about. Everything but the name.
When teaching, managing and communicating are going well, they are most likely whole-brained. They also noted that when things don’t seem to be working, it’s likely we’ve forgotten one or more of the quadrants.
It’s T I M E ……… Technology Integrated into Meaningful Experiences
Stopwatch • Gives a programmable stopwatch for timing tasks. • http://www.online-stopwatch.com/full-screen-stopwatch/
Technology Resources • Handhelds • GPS and Geocaching • PRS: Personal Response Systems • United Streaming • Schoolpads • Google Earth • Movie Maker • Network Music
Inspiration • Animoto • Webquests • Wikis • Blogs • Delicious • Book Builder • Storyline Online • Podcasts