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Brain Based Teaching and Learning. “If the brain is the organ for learning, then why aren’t teachers brain experts? . Cognition and Emotions. The ability to engage the mind and heart with high interest, focused attention and relevancy and meaning of subject matter.

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Brain Based Teaching and Learning

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brain based teaching and learning

Brain Based Teaching and Learning

“If the brain is the organ for learning, then why aren’t teachers brain experts?

cognition and emotions
Cognition and Emotions
  • The ability to engage the mind and heart with high interest, focused attention and relevancy and meaning of subject matter.
  • Research verifies that emotional connections, prior knowledge and novelty are key ingredients to creating experiences where students learn and retain knowledge at deep levels of understanding- applying it in the everyday world!
  • Imagination is our greatest domestic renewable resource. Without it, education is utterly empty!
  • Testing and data collection is born of good intention: to close achievement gaps of race and poverty. Too many public schools focus on the measurable to the exclusion of the possible. We are preparing for tests, but are we preparing for skillful learners in the world beyond school?
there is no conflict between imagination and accountability
There is no conflict between Imagination and Accountability
  • Our brains and minds are wired for patterns, observing details and visuals, curiosity, and emotional connections. Our brains love and ponder questions long after they have been asked!
  • Our brains are wired to create meaning and capable of holding larger perspectives IF we are guided in this direction!
emotional states and child development
Emotional States and Child Development
  • We have to observe and understand how children develop as a part of the holistic model of effective education. We need to look at
  • Attachment
  • Right brain and left brain development
  • Environment
  • Prior knowledge and past experiences
  • Emotional IQ which accounts for 75-96% of life and job success and happiness, which includes self-efficacy, self-awareness, the ability to empathize, motivation and social awareness
brain friendly categories
Brain Friendly Categories
  • Positive emotion
  • Gratitude
  • Optimism
  • Curiosity
  • In early and continuing on through adolescence, 20% of responses are reflective with conscious control
  • 80% reactive or involuntary responses from the older brain –limbic system (amygdala)
  • As teachers, our goal is to help our students critically think and problem solve through the executive function of the frontal lobe.
adolescent development
Adolescent Development
  • Pre-frontal cortex is underdeveloped.
  • Hormones surging
  • Peer group becomes most relevant
  • Reactionary or thalamic responses come from the amygdala which is usually stimulated and over functioning
  • High stress levels- affect immune system, clarity of thought, and memory function
executive functions
Executive Functions
  • Delay of gratification
  • Decision-making
  • Organizing
  • Prioritizing
  • Tolerance
  • Empathy
  • Adaptability
  • Only five or six emotions are hardwired
working memory
Working Memory
  • Key to learning!! This is the ability of focused attention and manipulation of presented knowledge or information. Many students are diagnosed incorrectly because we are not looking at the significance and contribution of the working memory in learning and interacting with others.
how do we reach focused attention
How do we reach focused attention?
  • Novelty
  • Pique curiosity- drives attention
  • No threat is perceived
  • Causes of Stress
  • Overpacked curriculum
  • Fear of being wrong
  • Test-taking
  • Frustration with difficult material
  • Boredom from lack of stimulation!
  • Embarrassment ( to read aloud)
stress the diagnosis of the 21 st century
Stress- The Diagnosis of the 21st century
  • Stressed state : nor pre-frontal cortex= low memory
  • Positive emotional state: PFC= passage of information and memory engaged
  • Anytime there is perceived fear, there is stress and a decrease in flow of information to the PFC.
  • Boredom makes you do crazy things- it may create its own fun or novelty
  • Lower Brain output is involuntary in the state of stress- which is fight, flight or freeze!
  • Most often, it is not the child’s choice- misbehavior is when the lower brain is in control
  • Flight-withdrawal, look like ADD or ADHD
  • Fight- ODD
  • Freeze-Social Anxiety and Seizures or OCD
why do students drop out of school
Why do students drop out of school?
  • 75%- material wasn’t interesting
  • 39% material wasn’t relevant
  • 37%no interactions with teachers
  • Boredom is stressful!
  • So what do we do?
  • Create a community and classroom culture that feels safe and accepting.
  • Consistent guidelines
  • Teach students ways to control their own responses and monitoring their emotions
  • Visualizations and activities that are physical and tactile- movement engages 100% of the brain which no cognitive skill or strategy can do this!
dopamine driven students
Dopamine driven students!
  • Movement
  • Playing music
  • Story-telling
  • Choices
  • Gratitude circles or journals
  • Interaction with friends, social exposure
  • Video Games
  • Why are they so powerful and keep a child’s attention
  • 1. Achievable challenge- they can see and feel their success
  • 2. Incremental Progress-gives students evidence of their incremental goals
  • This is why we differentiate!
  • Dopamine Study- Nine week study- middle school grade level ( 30 second visualization- happiest day) -20% better on math work sheets and assessments
environment is key
Environment is Key
  • Genius is much more than genes! When you enrich the environment and exercise the muscles of the brain and power of the mind, you are literally creating neurons, neural connections and stimulating IQ and brain development
  • Frequent informal assessment strengthens learning
  • Self-assessment is the most powerful form of assessment because it empowers the student, gives relevant, personal and meaningful feedback and reinforces memory!