Monday, January 26, 2015

Make Teaching Meaningful to Bring Learning to Life

by Guest Blogger Donna Wilson

When we speak to teachers, one of the things they consistently tell us is how much value they find in the BrainSMART: 60 Strategies for Increasing Student Learning text. Some of many strategies we teach in this text help teachers to teach students how to remember important information. For example, the brain is somewhat like a computer. It acts as if it has a save key and a delete key. It automatically deletes the meaningless information we receive on a daily basis. To promote learning and therefore initiate the "save key," we need to make the information we teach meaningful to young students.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Engage the Senses for a Total Learning Experience

by Guest Blogger Donna Wilson

We experience the world through our senses—through sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile impressions. The more fully we engage our senses, the more we experience and the more we learn.

We recommend that teachers use multiple sensory learning activities whenever possible to help students better understand and integrate the use of cognitive assets in their studies and in their lives. Encourage students to create graphics to illustrate these cognitive assets by drawing the concepts on which they are based and creating posters.

Our use of the brain car graphic, which underscores the importance of driving our own learning, is a popular example of how graphics can make a lesson memorable. Similarly, using a model of a brain can help effectively teach the concept of metacognition.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Regular Exercise Leads to Better Health for the Body and the Brain

by Guest Blogger Donna Wilson

Happy New Year! With a new year may come a resolution to get into shape. Last week, we posted about the importance of eating well. In tandem with that comes the need for regular exercise.

Exercise not only can lead to a healthier life but also can lead to a more academically accomplished life as well. In our book, Thinking for Results: Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement By As Much as 30 Percent, we cite research suggesting that movement is essential for the Body-Brain System to be in a peak state for thinking and learning.

Even just standing and walking can increase the blood supply to the thinking areas of the brain significantly. Additionally, breakthroughs in cognitive neuroscience show that various movements require extremely high levels of cognitive function.