Monday, May 14, 2018

"Building a Metacognitive Classroom" Featured in New Zealand Magazine

As Donna and I prepare to present at the HBE Conference, which is taking place May 18-20 in Melbourne, Australia, we are delighted that our work has been featured in a leading teachers’ magazine based in New Zealand.

Our article, “Building a Metacognitive Classroom: Engaging Students to Understand Brain Function,” appeared in a recent issue of Teachers Matter, a 76-page glossy, coffee-table magazine focusing on professional and personal development for teachers with circulation in New Zealand, Australia, and other countries.

Thanks so much to Karen Tui Boyes, CSP, founder and director of Teachers Matter magazine, for reaching out to us to publish this piece that highlights our work in supporting teachers to assist students to become more metacognitive.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Respecting Others' Points of View Is Theme of Our Response to Education Week's Classroom Q&A

The ability to understand and respect other individuals' points of view is a vital skill that students of all ages should learn. That was a theme that Donna and I stressed in responding to a question posed by Education Week as a part of the popular Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo.

The question for this blog post was: "When two or more students are having a conflict, what are the most effective ways teachers can respond to the situation?"

As we pointed out, students can be taught two valuable skills that will pay significant dividends throughout their lives—which is to identify, respect, and seek to understand points of view that differ from their own and to tailor their communications to their intended audience.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Strategies to Stimulate Thinking About Learning

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the 20-year anniversary of BrainSMART, we are sharing some of our educators stories. All of the featured educators earned their Master’s in Brain-based Teaching curricula and/or the Minor in Brain-based Leadership, co-developed by Dr. Donna Wilson and Dr. Marcus Conyers, co-founders of BrainSMART. Below is a synopsis of one of those stories.

During his time as a special education teacher with Bartow County Public Schools in Cartersville, Georgia, D’Jon McNair used BrainSMART teaching strategies supporting the concepts of state, meaning, attention, retention, and transfer to help students improve their performance in the classroom.

 “I was excited and stunned to learn that cognitive skills can be learned,” he said in an interview for the BrainSMART publication, Effective Teaching, Successful Students. “Teaching kids cognitive skills has been instrumental in helping them feel successful in what they’re doing and getting them motivated to learn.”

Friday, April 27, 2018

Teaching Young Children to Be Treasure Hunters

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the 20-year anniversary of BrainSMART, we are sharing some of our educators stories. All of the featured educators earned their Master’s in Brain-based Teaching curricula and/or the Minor in Brain-based Leadership, co-developed by Dr. Donna Wilson and Dr. Marcus Conyers, co-founders of BrainSMART. Below is a synopsis of one of those stories.

Christena Nelson’s goal is to create a classroom environment where energetic, optimistic children are excited to learn, and the BrainSMART strategies are among her most useful tools in accomplishing that aim. She shared some of these ideas in an interview for the BrainSMART publication, Effective Teaching, Successful Students.

At the time of the interview, she was teaching a year-round kindergarten class at Copper Canyon Elementary School in West Jordan, Utah. Ms. Nelson adapted many of the ideas in Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers’ book, 60 Strategies for Increasing Student Learning, for use with her young students.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

We Explain in Ed Week Why Brain Plasticity Should Be Taught More in the Classroom

Donna and I had the opportunity to stress the importance of teaching students about brain plasticity in responding to Education Week as a part of the popular Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo.

The question for this blog post was: "What is an instructional strategy and/or teaching concept that you think is under-used/under-appreciated in the classroom that you think should be practiced more widely?"

As we emphasized in our response, teaching students about how their brains change during learning can have a positively transformative impact in the classroom. This is something that is not traditionally taught in schools, but certainly deserves to be. When kids realize they can become smarter through study and practice, it often helps improve their dedication to the learning process.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Students With Learning Disabilities Thrive Using Cognitive Assets

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the 20-year anniversary of BrainSMART, we are sharing some of our educators stories. All of the featured educators earned their Master’s in Brain-based Teaching curricula and/or the Minor in Brain-based Leadership, co-developed by Dr. Donna Wilson and Dr. Marcus Conyers, co-founders of BrainSMART. Below is a synopsis of one of those stories.

As a veteran teacher, Paul Farmer appreciated a fundamental principle of the M.S. program with a major in Brain-Based Teaching—that all students, even those with learning disabilities, can become functionally smarter when they are taught how to learn.

“I am no longer content to see my job as an educator being limited to that of teaching A, B, C and 1, 2, 3, and I feel that such a limit is a disservice to the disabled students in my classroom,” said Mr. Farmer in an interview for the BrainSMART publication, Effective Teaching, Successful Students. “I feel that a greater and more profound service is provided by viewing all students as having the capability not only to develop their bank of knowledge and skills, but also their capacity to learn and function in the world in which they live.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Teaching Students How They Learn Best

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the 20-year anniversary of BrainSMART, we are sharing some of our educators stories. All of the featured educators earned their Master’s in Brain-based Teaching curricula and/or the Minor in Brain-based Leadership, co-developed by Dr. Donna Wilson and Dr. Marcus Conyers, co-founders of BrainSMART. Below is a synopsis of one of those stories.

A productive learning environment puts the cognitive assets of Clear Intent, Practical Optimism, and Thoughtful Behavior to work on a daily basis, according to Theresa Dodge, who has taught in the Greenfield School District in Greenfield, Massachusetts, for more than 20 years.

Ms. Dodge earned her M.S. degree with a major in Brain-Based Teaching from Nova Southeastern University in 2009. As quoted in the BrainSMART publication, Effective Teaching, Successful Students, she said the degree program equipped her “with an incredible arsenal of instructional strategies to meet just about any challenge I could have in the classroom.”