Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Feeding the Teacher’s Brain: Nutrition Tips for Busy Educators

Now that the holidays are behind us, we have been getting requests from people who are excited to learn tips on how to eat healthier in 2018! We thought it would be helpful to reprint our January 20, 2016, blog post from Edutopia on the topic. Here it is below, in its entirety.

Teaching is a cognitively complex profession. In the course of a single school day, an educator must make hundreds of decisions and respond quickly to the myriad unexpected turns that life in the classroom may take. You have a high-energy job, so it's essential to prime your brain and body with the right fuel.

But in the busy life of a teacher, who has time to think about healthy eating, much less sorting through the sometimes-conflicting claims about the nutritional value of various food choices? Unfortunately, the less we think about what we eat, the worse our diets may be—especially if we default to snacking on so-called convenience foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats and low in nutrient-dense ingredients that sustain energy levels.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Online Video Companion for “Teaching Students
 to Drive Their Brains” Will Be Available This Spring

by Guest Blogger Donna Wilson

This past autumn, I was delighted to lead the development of our upcoming online video program, Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains: Metacognitive Strategies, Activities, and Lesson Plans, with ASCD.

The video is based on research, development and practical strategies from the ASCD book of the same name, which I co-authored with Marcus Conyers. Both the book and the accompanying video highlight the principles of metacognition as a tool that helps students unlock their brain power and take control of their learning.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Wilson and Conyers Featured in Ed Week

by Guest Blogger Donna Wilson

Marcus and I were featured prominently in Education Week as a part of the popular Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo. The question for this blog post was: "What do you think are the most important things that many policymakers don't understand about teachers, students, and schools?"

In our response, we pointed out how important it is for policymakers to learn and apply the scientific understanding that every student who walks through the schoolhouse door has the ability to succeed. We explained that the acceptance of this scientifically based belief would be useful in creating policy to support teachers in the use of practical high-yield strategies such as having high expectations for the success of all students, using formative assessment and reading comprehension programs, and not labeling students as limited in their learning potential.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

We Have a New Ed Week Post: "It's an Exciting Time to Be an Educator"

by Guest Blogger Donna Wilson

Marcus and I were pleased to be featured in Education Week, discussing how "It's an Exciting Time to Be an Educator," in the popular Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo.

In the post, we talk about how we have arrived at a unique moment in the history of education as the field of learning sciences continues to gain momentum. We observe how learning environments and instructional processes have been elevated through the explicit teaching of practical metacognitive, cognitive, and social skills to enhance academic achievement.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Celebrating BrainSMART's 20-Year Anniversary: Teachers Speak

Teacher leader Stacey Wartenbee shares a BrainSMART celebration entry about using one of our popular strategies to help transform her classroom into an even more positive and focused learning zone.

How to Leave Your Worries Outside
the Classroom Door

Attending a BrainSMART professional development session helped to transform my classroom and teaching. As we know, true learning cannot take place until basic needs are met and we feel safe. So over the last couple of years, I have really focused on the social and emotional needs of my second-grade students. I believe that these skills are as important as math and reading (and are necessary for students to learn well in the content areas).

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Celebrating BrainSMART's 20-Year Anniversary: Teachers Speak

After posting news of BrainSMART's upcoming 20th anniversary, we are delighted to have received many responses stating there will be pictures and stories coming!

One teacher leader's response came in minutes after our posting to say that she would be back in touch very soon. Below is teacher leader Dr. Kara Kehrer's celebration entry.

To those teacher leaders, administrators, and others who are sending entries, Marcus and I want to say that just as everybody's brain is as unique as a fingerprint, so will be your individual stories!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving

Students who succeed academically often rely on being able to think effectively and independently in order to take charge of their learning. These students have mastered fundamental but crucial skills such as keeping their work space organized, completing tasks on schedule, making a plan for learning, monitoring their learning path, and recognizing when it might be useful to change course.