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9 There’s no better way to wake up the brain than to engage students in high interest, hands-on, small group activities. Students are motivated by challenge and that motivation pushes the brain to search for connections needed to problem-solve. In the process of working with others to analyze, predict, and problem-solve, new connections are built. Learning makes sense, confidence grows, and students are more likely to be excited about learning.
http://www.braintargetedteaching.org/
http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/forum/fall03/brain.html
http://education.jhu.edu/newhorizons/Journals/spring2010/thebraintargetedteachingmodel/index.html
http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr140.shtml
http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/content/cntareas/science/eric/eric-2.htm
8 Our brains are social and we have an innate need to relate to others. Cooperative learning activities and team settings give students opportunities to work and learn together in a structured setting. Emphasis is taken off competition and placed on cooperation. This allows students to learn from one another, connect to what they know, and build neural networks.
http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2006/10/12/an-ape-can-do-this-can-we-not/
7 Learning logs and journals are used throughout the units to help students think about what they have learned. These writings help students organize their learning, review concepts, and identify gaps in understanding.
http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/forum/fall03/brain.html (#3- Memory is Not Static)
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/writing-executive-function-brain-research-judy-willis
6 Think-Pair-Share gives students time to think about their learning and compare their understanding with a partner. This reduces the stress students often feel when called upon for a quick answer in front of the class. When students are under stress the emotional area of the brain blocks further learning. Think-Pair-Share also helps students consolidate and rehearse their learning making it more likely to be stored in long term memory.
5 Many of the lessons open or close with a review activity. The brain can hold small amounts of information in working memory but it will soon be forgotten unless we do something to commit it to long-term memory. Review is an excellent way to strengthen long-term memory networks. Varying the way review is done adds interest and addresses different learning styles.
“...auditory and visual rehearsal occurring during learning increase working memory’s interactions with long term memory, raising the probability it will be stored. There is almost no long-term retention of cognitive concepts without rehearsal.” (Sousa, 2006) If information is not stored in long term memory, it cannot be recalled for future use.
4 The anticipation guide is used at the beginning of this lesson to activate prior knowledge about robots. This tool is often used before reading assignments but it can be just as effective at the beginning of a new unit of study. It helps students make connections to what is known and it helps teachers assess where their students are in their understanding of a new topic. The brain learns best when new information is connected to that which is familiar or known.
http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2008/07/03/10-brain-training-tips-to-teach-and-learn/
http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr140.shtml
http://education.jhu.edu/newhorizons/Journals/Winter2011/Tokuhama2
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