Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Running the Marine Corps Marathon

It was an honor to run my first Marine Corps Marathon in October. I first started running marathons in January of this year as a way of applying the principles described in our upcoming book on developing growth mindsets.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Launching in India

We are thrilled that our book Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains has launched in India. We look forward to answering reader questions from that part of the world.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Engaging Students With Brain-Based Learning

Direct instruction on how the brain learns best is an effective strategy, as borne out by Kim Poore’s experience in teaching a class of K-5 students with behavioral and emotional disorders in South Carolina’s Lancaster County Public School District.

Ms. Poore, who earned her M.S. with a major in Brain-Based Teaching, was enrolled in the Ed.S. program, at the time of her interview with the BrainSMART publication, Effective Teaching, Successful Students. This coincided with her teaching in a Title I school with a diverse population.

“I was able to take what I learned in just one lesson and use it in my class the next day,” said Ms. Poore in the interview. She pointed to several strategies from the BrainSMART book, 60 Strategies for Increasing Student Learning, that had immediate practical use in the classroom.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Motivating Middle School Minds

Impassioned educator Christina Issac has never shied away from a challenge—like focusing her talents on tumultuous ’tweens in middle school.

Issac’s experience as a middle school teacher includes teaching sixth-graders at Washington Middle School in Cairo, Georgia. In an interview with the BrainSMART publication, Effective Teaching, Successful Students, she explained that BrainSMART retention strategies transformed her classroom, including inclusion students in special education.

Her students were allowed to look up during tests, to activate the visual part of the brain that is connected to memory. Practical Optimism and the EFFORT strategy helped get her adolescent students in a receptive mindset for learning.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

BrainSMART in Japan

by Guest Blogger Donna Wilson

Future Education Tokyo features several of our ideas and strategies as a part of a comprehensive and systematic plan to assist Japan as they seek to provide their young with a foundation for learning and skills so they can create their future. An article on the Tokyo website contextualizes the use of our BrainSMART strategies to help guide students to become metacognitive as a key aspect of active learning.

Active learning and metacognition are featured in Japan’s new course of study to be implemented from 2020 forward. The writer indicates that people may have heard about metacognition in business seminars and employee training. However, connecting to insights from our articles, “The Boss of My Brain” and “Building A Metacognitive Classroom,” it becomes clear that educators and parents can assist students to learn how to use metacognition too. On a personal note, having recently returned from a trip to Japan where Marcus Conyers and I had opportunity to engage with many lovely and forward-thinking Japanese people, we are greatly pleased for our strategies to be seen as an aspect of the Japanese vision for education.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

University College Cork Applies a BrainSMART Strategy

by Guest Blogger Donna Wilson

Dr. Eithne Hunt, registered Occupational Therapist and lecturer in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at University College Cork, Ireland, includes one of Marcus Conyers’ and my strategies in an article for first-year students.

I found this article a good read and imagine that it could be of great interest for students when they first leave home and go off to college. In this piece, Dr. Hunt references our BrainSMART strategy “Explain It to Your Brain” as a way to assist students to become more metacognitive.

She summarizes our strategy as follows: “Students who use self-explanation tell themselves what they are thinking and doing when learning, a strategy closely related to metacognition, which is a characteristic of successful student learning and of professional success across careers.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Celebrating BrainSMART's 20-Year Anniversary: Teachers Speak

Koh Huey Min, an educator who attended the BrainSMART seminar in Singapore, uses a number of strategies to improve her outlook on teaching and to help the well-being of colleagues as well. Here are two of the most effective:


Clothes Hanger

Being one of the more experienced teachers in the school, I am often given challenging classes to teach, and this did not change in 2017 (nor has it changed in 2018). In order to avoid bringing negative emotions into the next class, I made a point to collect myself during the walk to the next class. If any anger or frustration I was feeling was not shed by the time that I reached the next class, I made myself stand at the door, took three deep breaths, smiled, and walked in.

During the times that the venue for back-to-back classes was the same, I made myself walked out of the classroom after dismissing the first class before the next class came in. Sometimes I went to the washroom, while other times I walked up and down the short corridor outside the classroom. The brief detachment from the physical environment helped me to reset my emotions before the next class comes in.