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Brain Based Teaching and Learning

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Aileen Palmer

on 22 February 2013

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Transcript of Brain Based Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning Brain Based S Rose L Kubach A Palmer There is an increase in kinesthetic and visual learners.
There are very few purely auditory learners
entering schools today.

There are numerous reasons why this is true. Kinesthetic & Visual learners "Kids want to do challenging work;
they want you to tell them if it's good or bad;
they want to have some choice in what to learn the next day." Creativity and Brain Based Learning "Thinking about thinking."

Teaching students metacognitive strategies
has proven to lead to significant improvement in student learning in numerous studies.
Examples are: teaching organization, mind maps, using rubrics, use of visuals as reminders of important information, explicitly teaching skills the student doesn't naturally exhibit such as time management. Metacognition For true learning to occur
we need to transfer what we have learned from academic to real world applications. Transfer The Learner must be
engaged and focused
allowed down time
to process. Attention In a negative learning environment, stress is created.
Stress causes the hormone cortisol to enter the bloodstream. "This chemical is a powerful steroid that raises an individual's anxiety level. It also prompts the frontal lobe to stop processing low-priority information, such as the learning objective, in order to focus on the cause of the stress and decide how to reduce or remove it."

The frontal lobe remembers the situation
but not the learning objective. State - Cortisol “When you learn new things,
the tiny connections in the brain actually
multiply and get stronger.
The more you challenge your mind to learn,
the more your brain cells grow.”

Carol Dwerk Neuroplasticity “Research shows that learning changes the brain.
The brain is ‘plastic’ – it makes new cellular connections and strengthens existing ones as we gain and integrate information and skills….The enormous growth in understanding brain plasticity has created an entirely new way to consider how learning and teaching take place.” Neuroplasticity Brain research teaches us that learning is highly dependent on positive emotions.
Emotions in the limbic system are important in making meaning. Differentiated Instruction - Emotions Each brain is uniquely organized.
Brains make patterns - need meaning to learn
The Frontal Lobe (executive center) - is responsible for problem solving and higher order thinking.

Convergent thinking brings information together to solve problems.
Divergent thinking generates creative ideas by exploring different ways of solving problems.

DI strategies help students become more divergent in their thinking. Differentiated Instruction and BBL Circadian Rhythms are daily cycles (peaks and valleys) we have throughout the day the affect our ability to focus and learn
(cognitive rhythm).
This cognitive rhythm is about the same for preadolescents and for adults. It starts about an hour later in adolescents because of the onset of puberty and returns to normal around age 22 - 24.

Both groups experience a "trough" (dark hole of learning) just past the middle of the day for 20 - 60 minutes.
Learning can still occur during this time, but takes more effort. Sleep Research - Circadian Rhythms "Some students’ memory systems are so well organized and networked that their response time is fast. Others’ memory systems are not so well consolidated and contain weaker links. This does not mean the student with the weaker links does not know the correct response. Rather, it means that it will probably take longer to retrieve it, even when the student is not under stress. If the purpose of the assessment is to determine what the student knows, where is the logic in messing up an already delayed retrieval process by pumping cortisol into the system to add further interference? Timed tests may be appropriate for certain competitions and for standardized tests, but educators need to reevaluate their purpose in the daily instructional environment.” Retrieval Time - Do they know it? “Timed tests also produce stress for many students.
Their brains often get so preoccupied with the time limits that their cortisol levels begin to interfere with the simple recall of how, for example, to organize a persuasive piece of writing (Peterson, 2009) or carry out simple mathematical operations (Tsui & Mazzocco, 2007). The more we learn about the brain, the more we can question the benefit of timed tests in everyday classroom assessments.
While no one proposes giving students totally unlimited time for an assessment, the notion that one must produce an answer quickly runs counter to our understanding of how memory systems are activated and respond in different individuals.” Retrieval Time - Timed Tasks Learning is a social endeavor.

"Boys and girls may benefit from social interaction in different ways.
For example boys are more likely to get involved and learn from the physical, spatial and kinesthetic aspects of a group learning assignment, while girls are likely to benefit from sharing ideas and learning from their peers. Group activities that involve students as active participants can help girls develop spatial visualization and hypothesizing skills needed to master mathematics (Hanson, 2001)." Learning is Social Traditional schools are designed around the way
girls learn best - linguistic/language based.

Boys are more visual & spatial
Boys have weaker fine motor skills

Girls' brains mature faster -
so they tend to have better executive skills
(i.e. planning and organization) Gender Differences Teachers tend to rely on analysis and details.
Most students learn best when they see the big picture first and then learn in a variety of modalities.

"The brain learns best when new information is connected to the big picture and background information." The Big Picture As an emphasis on
standardized tests and learning objectives has increased, creativity has decreased -
and not only in the U.S.

21st century employers say creativity is one of the most essential skills they need in employees in today's high tech workplace.
They need students with new innovative ways to solve problems. Creativity Our brains weren't designed to remember facts that aren't relevant to our everyday lives.

We are meant to delete what we don't use and need.

We can learn skills and strategies to retain information.

Racing through curriculum makes sure material is covered but not learned. Retention Learning must be meaningful in the mind of the learner.

Finding meaning in new learning requires time for reflection.
(Racing through curriculum doesn't allow for this.)

Meaning is very personal and is greatly influenced
by one's own experiences. Meaning "In positive learning environments endorphins are running through the bloodstream.
These are the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators.
They produce a sense of euphoria,
so that an individual feels good about being in the situation...
Most importantly, they stimulate the frontal lobe to remember the situation and whatever it is processing at the moment -
most likely the learning objective." State - Endorphins State - Students learn best when in a...

low-stress/high challenge
frame of mind. Fundamentals
Effective Learning What we know..... Brain Based Learning Research http://www.intmath.com/numbers/math-of-beauty.php The Math Behind the Beauty! Stupid in School Calming Figure 8 'The hardest kind of thinking is thinking about thinking' Anna, aged 9 - METACOGNITION Let's Build A Brain!
Brain Cells
The brain is composed of at least a trillion cells.
There are two types: neurons and glial-They synapse!

True or False
1. The growth of new neurons can be strengthened by diet and exercise and weakened by prolonged loss of sleep.
2. The structures responsible for deciding what gets stored in long term memory are located in the brain's rational system. 4 Main Parts
Brain Stem
The Limbic System
Cerbellum Interior Parts of The Brain Gage was seriously injured when a metal rod pierced through his skull, destroying a large section of his brain. Miraculously, the man survived, but the accident left him a changed man, a shadow of his former self. Due to the fact that the injury impacted his frontal lobe, his personality was changed and he became
a new "Gage". Phineas Gage Exterior Parts of The Brain The Lobes
Frontal-Behind the forehead: planning, problem solving, personality.
Temporal-Above the ears: sound, music,speech(left)
Occipital-At the back: visual
Parietal-Top of the head:
spatial, calculation The human brain weighs just a little more than 3 pounds.
It is about the size of a grapefruit or small head of cauliflower.
It can fit in the palm of your hand.
The brain works ceaselessly-even when we are asleep.
It represents about 2 percent of your body weight, but consumes nearly 20% of our calories. Brain Facts Brain Anatomy
Function Cerebellum
Right behind the brain stem
11% of the brain's weight
Coordinates commands,movements, motor tasks, touch
Injury to this area would cause difficulty with motion/activity. Cerebrum
80% of the brain
Two Hemispheres
Corpus Callosum-Bridges Hemispheres to Communicate
Thinking, memory, speech, muscular movement-Gray Matter 4 Main Parts... Brain Fact

The frontal lobe matures slowly.
The capacity is not fully developed in adolescence.
This is an important reason why teenagers are more likely to submit to their emotions and resort to high-risk behavior.
(Dosenbach et al., 2010; Goldberg, 2001) The Limbic System
Thalamus-Sensory Info(except smell)
Hypothalamus-Maintains body temperature, regulates sleep, food/liquid intake
Hippocampus-consolidates learning/converts to long term storage, recall facts
Amygdala-emotions, fear Brain Stem
Vital Body Functions-heartbeat, respiration, temperature, digestion are monitored and controlled.
Reticular Activating System (RAS)- responsible for the brain's alertness.
11 nerves out of the 12 nerves that go to the brain end in the brain stem.
Medulla, Pons 4 Main Parts... “When information and patterns produce an emotional “Aha!” chemicals are released that stimulate the brain’s reward system and keep us motivated to continue learning.”
DI offers more positive opportunities to learn. "Creativity thrives where there is challenge, enjoyment, interest, engagement and involvement." Differentiated Instruction - Emotions I wonder if we can think ourselves thin? Please enjoy some
Brain Food & Brainteasers
to get your brain stimulated
ready to learn! http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Bloom%27s_Taxonomy Bloom's Taxonomy Adapted from the Omaha Public Schools Teacher's Corner, a lesson objective based upon the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is presented for each of the six levels of the Cognitive Process as shown on the Revised Taxonomy Table. Remember: Describe where Goldilocks lived.

Understand: Summarize what the Goldilocks story was about.

Apply: Construct a theory as to why Goldilocks went into the house.

Analyze: Differentiate between how Goldilocks reacted and how you would react in each story event.

Evaluate: Assess whether or not you think this really happened to Goldilocks.
Did Goldilocks make good choices?

Create: Compose a song, skit, poem, or rap to convey the Goldilocks story in a new form. Goldilocks and the three fish . . . Bloom's Bakery Using Bloom's Taxonomy
to think about thinking . . . What does this look like in your classroom?
What behaviors do your students exhibit? Lack of Metacognition . . . . Baffled, stay to ask questions after class, stop studying before they know it, review only the material they are comfortable with, don't ask questions, are shocked when they don't do well . . . In the past is was thought that the brain had a set IQ and could not develop . . . .
We must now rethink the concept of improved intelligence!

Through Brain Plasticity - one can improve, strengthen and even create new connections in the brain that improve memory and learning. Neuroplasticity & Mindsets A B C
The efficiency of the pathways involved in memory is affected by a process known as Neuroplasticity. The concept of Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the nervous system to change or reshape in response to how often a particular pathway is used. Suppose you were traveling down a road in the middle of the night and you come upon a bridge that requires you to pay a toll in order to cross. You approach a long line of toll booths of which only 2 booths are open. Given that it is the middle of the night there is very little traffic and the 2 tollbooths can handle the number of cars without any problem. You slow down, pay your toll and cross the bridge. Now suppose you approached that same bridge at rush hour when the traffic was heavy and suppose that there were still only 2 tollbooths open. Obviously there would be a back up and only a certain number of cars would be allowed to pass. In order to make the traffic flow more efficiently, the department of transit would open more tollbooths in proportion to the number of cars trying to pass. As more tollbooths open, the bottleneck would open up and more cars would be able to cross the bridge faster. In our analogy, the bridge that we need to cross is the synapse or space between each neuron in the memory pathway. When there is very little traffic along the neurological pathway, there may only be a few connections (or tollbooths) open. As we use the pathway, the number of neurological signals trying to cross the synapse increases. In response to this increase the nervous system opens new connections to accommodate this increase in signals. This opening of new connections (or tollbooths) is Neuroplasticity. Through Brain Plasticity - one can improve, strengthen and even create new connections in the brain that improve memory and learning. Even of "those" kids - we must change our mindset . . . Analogy Time . . . The adult human brain has approximately 100 billion neurons. Education increases the number of branches among neurons, increasing the volume and thickness of the brain. Brain is like a muscle that needs mental work-outs. Learning and brain exercises slow age-related mental decline and even improve brain function. Did you know that when you become an expert in a specific domain, the areas in your brain that deal with this type of skill will grow?

For instance, London taxi drivers have a larger hippocampus (in the posterior region) than London bus drivers (Maguire, Woollett, & Spiers, 2006). Why is that? It is because this region of the hippocampus is specialized in acquiring and using complex spatial information in order to navigate efficiently. Taxi drivers have to navigate around London whereas bus drivers follow a limited set of routes. Learning to juggle can increase gray matter in the
occipito-temporal cortex as early as after 7 days of training. CURIOCITY CURIOSITY RELEVANCE ASK VARIETY EMOTION CRAVE
Step 1 - Build Curiosity for learning
Step 2 - Use Relevance to increase the level of attention.
Step 3 - Ask questions.
Step 4 - Remember that Variety is the spice of attention.
Step 5 - Emotion drives attention. Boys vs Girls Girls vs Boys Plasticity can also be observed in the brains of bilinguals (Mechelli et al., 2004). It looks like learning a second language is possible through functional changes in the brain: the left inferior parietal cortex is larger in bilingual brains than in monolingual brains. http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/gender-differences-in-the-classroom-physical-cognitive-behavioral.html XX and XY Time to workout the brain! Jump Spell/Solve
Back to Back Book Pass
Figure 8 between the legs
Slap - Trivia
Say 21 Brain Breaks
4. Can you guess the next three letters in the following series and why?

9. I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me yet I am in the midst of crosses. I am always in risk yet never in danger. You may find me in the sun but I am never out of darkness.

10. When you have me, you immediately feel like sharing me. But, if you do share me, you don't have me. 1. What can you hold without ever touching or using your hands? Brain Teasers Contest Break Just a thought...
Classroom Strategies for Brain Based Learning Shorter lessons

School Start Times

Classroom Lighting


Classroom Climate Circadian Rhythms 1. Break your teaching into chunks!
20 minutes for older students
7-15 minutes for younger students.
2. Always begin your lesson with the most
important information. The brain
remembers the beginning and end.
3. Use variety/shift gears.
4. Complete a state change at the end of the
lesson. The Power of 20 Minutes Increasing Wait Time-5 Seconds or More
The Power of Association - Pictures are worth a thousand words!
Alliteration - Adjectives, Poetry A few more Brain Based Strategies... Mind Mapping Differentiation
Multiple Intelligences The Big Picture
A Variety of Styles Fibonacci numbers are sequences that occur in nature. Fibonacci Numbers & The Golden Ratio This ratio is said to exist in the faces of people who are considered attractive. The relationship between the numbers is called the Golden Ratio. Time to Feed the Brain! Lunch, Let's look at some more research. 2. When can you add two to eleven and get one as the correct answer? 3. Which is faster, hot or cold? 7. The number 8,549,176,320 is a unique number. Can you tell what is so special about it? 8. A woman from Washington married twenty different men from that city, yet she was not arrested for breaking the law. The most surprising fact is that she never divorced and none of these men died. How was this possible? 11. What has a mouth but cannot eat, what moves but has no legs and what has a bank but cannot put money in it? 12. What makes more as you take them? 14. Schwarzenegger has a long one. Michael J. Fox has a short one. Madonna doesn't use hers. Bill Clinton always uses his. The pope never uses his. What is it? 13. From the beginning of eternity to the end of time and space I am in every place. What am I? Thank You,
Keep Thinking & Keep Learning!! References
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Smutny, J., Walker, S. & Meckstroth, E. (1997). Teaching young gifted children in the
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Sousa, D. & Tomlinson, C., (2011). Differentiation and the brain. How neuroscience supports the learner-friendly classroom. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Starko, A. (2013). Creativity on the brink. Educational Leadership. 70 (5) 54–56.

Tomlinson, C., Brimijoin, K. & Narvaez, L. (2008). The differentiated school. Making revolutionary changes in teaching and learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

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Wilson, D. L., & Conyers, M. A. (2011). BrainSMART 60 strategies for increasing student learning (4th ed.). Orlando, FL.: BrainSMART. 5. C Y G T N T L I T F.........

6. First I threw away the outside and cooked the inside, then I ate the outside and threw away the inside, what did I eat? Brain Pop Video
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