Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Never Too Young to Learn About Metacognition

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 BrainSMART. Below is a synopsis of one of those stories.

Students are never too young to learn the value of metacognition. For several years, Regina Cabadaidis has taught this concept to her pre-K/K students at S.D. Spady Elementary School, a Montessori Magnet School in Delray Beach, Florida.

“We talk about metacognition all the time,” Ms. Cabadaidis said in an interview for the BrainSMART publication, Effective Teaching, Successful Students. “It was one of the first words I taught them.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Skill Strong Readers Share

Students in classrooms across the United States spend an estimated 85 percent of their school day on assignments that require reading texts. A key difference between students who can read well and those who cannot is the ability to use metacognition.

Metacognition can be regarded as a conversation readers have with themselves about what they are reading. Metacognitive readers enjoy reading because they can find meaning in texts and think deeply to comprehend what they’re reading.

Those who have not yet learned to be metacognitive often have trouble reading fluently and comprehending what they read.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Powerful Way to End the School Year

One of our strategies that teachers enjoy using at the end of the school year is a practical, easy-to-use tool we call Celebrating Learning With Year Mapping. This activity gives your current students a chance to feel good about what they’ve learned and provides incoming students an opportunity to see real evidence that they can be successful learners in the coming school year. And it gives teachers a chance to enjoy seeing students share what they’ve learned and to internalize their successful teaching.

Several elements of this strategy make it a powerful way to end the school year with a positive experience, often much needed after testing is over and as a busy year comes to an end. With prompted recall, each student can remember learning events that mean the most to them. Year-end mapping utilizes the power of positive teacher-student relationships as well as personalized learning, summarizing, group learning, and organizing information graphically.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Guiding Students to Be Independent Learners

It’s estimated that students in the U.S. spend nearly 20,000 hours experiencing classroom education by the age of 18, and that much of what is taught is forgotten within a short time. And there’s little evidence that they know how to apply effective learning strategies when they arrive at college.

In essence, many students have not learned how to retain and apply knowledge. Fortunately, current research offers fascinating insights about the brain’s capacity to learn at higher levels when effective learning strategies are used.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Our Latest EdWeek Commentary Highlights an Underappreciated Strategy: Teaching Students About How Learning Changes the Brain

Marcus and I had an opportunity to stress the importance of teaching students about their brains and learning when responding to a question for 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 underused/underappreciated in the classroom and should be practiced more widely?"

In our response, we pointed out how teaching students about their brains can have a transformative impact in the classroom, but unfortunately the knowledge about how brains change during learning is traditionally not taught.