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.
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.
of the practices she described in her interview: “I love using the Ten
Pegs and the teaching strategies like snowballs where we would ball up
paper and write a test review question, throw it out to the kids, they
open the paper wad, read it, respond, and throw it back to the teacher.
It is a fresh and effective way to reach these kids.”
also described how her class was leading the entire school in
incorporating movement in the classroom to get ready to learn, every
morning over closed-circuit TV. The morning routine was used to awake
children’s brains for a day of learning. In addition, her class created a
character called Nancy Neuron to help the students understand how to
rewire the brain and to illustrate advanced concepts of brain
architecture and functioning.
According to Ms. Poore, applying
the BrainSMART strategies has improved students’ academic performance as
well as reducing behavioral problems. “I can’t imagine walking into the
classroom without the knowledge and strategies that I’ve learned,” she
concluded. “It makes my teaching and learning experience more rewarding.