Jan 9, 2017 0
Jan 9, 2017 0
Dec 8, 2010 1
By: Laurie Bartels
My interest in the brain stems from wanting to better understand both how to make school more palatable for students, and professional development more meaningful for faculty. To that end, I began my Neurons Firing blog in April, 2007, have been doing a lot of reading, and been attending workshops and conferences, including Learning & the Brain.
If you agree that our brains are designed for learning, then as educators it is incumbent upon us to be looking for ways to maximize the learning process for each of our students, as well as for ourselves. Some of what follows is simply common sense, but I’ve learned that all of it has a scientific basis in our brains. Read the rest of this entry »
Feb 19, 2009 0
Last week, in this article’s first part, we discussed the importance of actually teaching children how to get themselves into a physical state of being relaxed, explored several suggestions I hope you found useful.
Teachers can help student overcome stress by teaching them to identify the impediments they might encounter in doing a certain task.
The teacher can ask:
What’s going to get in the way of you doing this work?
He or she may have to jump-start the students thinking by suggesting such things as:
– competing events (family activities, friends call, IM-ing, new video game, etc.)
– lack of adequate place to study
– inadequate prior preparation or skills
– a negative attitude (this is not necessary, I can’t do math, I’ll never need to know this, etc).
– health factors (I’m sick; I’m tired)
Conversely, teachers have to teach students to identify the enhancers; What’s going to make it more likely that you will do this, and do this well?
– I have confidence in my ability
– I feel competent in this skill
– I am committed to learning this because: I have the necessary resources to complete this task, such as materials, sources of information, people supports; parents, tutor, other kids
Teachers can turn distress into de-stress by using the Language of Success
The key is to de-emphasize PRAISE and emphasize SELF-APPRAISAL.
Teachers can encourage self-evaluation by Read the rest of this entry »
Feb 10, 2009 5
Teaching kids how to relax.
Consider this vignette:
-Roxanne: (agitated and loudly) I can’t stand this freakin book!
-Teacher: Roxanne, you need to take it easy. Just calm down! Try to relax.You need to finish your reading.
-Roxanne: (to herself) Right easy for you to say, teacher. But very hard for me to do. What do you mean calm down? I feel like my head is going to explode.
-Teacher: (seeing no response) Well if you can’t settle down, maybe a trip to the office will help you!
Some kids are so agitated that even if they know how to relax, they can’t. If you think about it, calming down when you’re upset is the hardest time to do it! Other kids can’t calm down or relax because they don’t know what that feels like. Teachers, occupational therapists, physical education teachers and parents need to actually teach children (of all ages) how to get themselves into a physical state of being relaxed. This doesn’t happen automatically. If it did, there wouldn’t be so many adult yoga classes!
Setting the mental and emotional stage for success.
Teachers who want to reduce stress and increase learning know that getting kids into a positive mindset will do both. They say Read the rest of this entry »
Oct 6, 2008 10
By: Laurie Bartels
James Zull is a professor of Biology. He is also Director Emeritus of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. These roles most assuredly coalesced in his 2002 book, The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning.
This is a book for both teachers and parents (because parents are also teachers!) Written with the earnestness of first-person experience and reflection, and a lifetime of expertise in biology, Zull makes a well-rounded case for his ideas. He offers those ideas for your perusal, providing much supporting evidence, but he doesn’t try to ram them into your psyche. Rather, he practices what he preaches by engaging you with stories, informing you with fact, and encouraging your thinking by the way he posits his ideas.
I have read a number of books that translate current brain research into practice while providing practical suggestions for teachers to implement. This is the first book I have read that provides a biological, and clearly rational, overview of learning and the brain. Zull provokes you into thinking Read the rest of this entry »