4Mind Benders!1. A scientist performed the same experiment everyday for a month. The scientist discovered that it took 90 minutes to complete the experiment on odd days and 1.5 hours on even days. Why??Time yourself to see how long it will take you to solve this multiplication problem.Because 90 minutes & 1 ½ hours equals the same amount of time.25 X 20 X 23X 57 X 11X 365 X 0
5Better Teaching With The Brain In Mind I promise every day your child will learn something. Some days they bring it home in their hands. Some days they bring it home in their heads. Some days they bring it home in their hearts.Valerie WeeksSarah Madson Ms.ed. Early Childhood Teacher School District U-46
6Do each of the following in succession. Visualize a place you would like to be. Maybe it’s riding the crest of a huge monster wave? Soaking up the rays on a sandy beach? Reading a great book? Or maybe it’s your room, catching some much needed ZZZ’s? Create the image of that place in your mind and hold it for a minute or two.Listen to the sounds in the room around you. Really Listen. What do you hear? The cracking of someone’s gum? Muffled laughter in the hall? The low buzz of music humming in the background? See how many sounds you can differentiate.Silently tap your fingers, one tap, one finger at a time, in succession. Then reverse the order of tapping. Then tap each finger twice, in succession, then in reverse. Then three times….
7Starting at 100 count backwards by 7’s. Remember some event from your past. The first time you rode a bike by yourself; Your grandmother baking your favorite cookies. Put yourself back in that place, and recall everything you can about it. Who was there with you? What were you wearing? What emotions were you feeling?Now pinch yourself. Pick a tenderspot on the inside of your elbow, andpinch the skin just hard enough to feelpain.
8The seven tasks…Visual imagery, lights up the visual cortex in the back of the brain, as well as pathways leading to it from the eyes, along the optic nerve, when you visualize something.The auditory cortex is activated when you differentiate individual sounds around you.Counting backwards by seven is a complex task. Complex cognitive tasks use the brains center on the prefrontal cortex.
9The hippocampus, an inner brain structure is activated when recalling something from our past. A memory of a motor task such as bike riding will light up the motor area of the brain.The olfactory center of the brain is activated when recalling thee smell of Grandma’s cookies.Pain receptors in the skin’s nerves alerted the brain to the location and intensity of the pain.
10Structure of the BrainFrontal Lobes: Located just behind the forehead, the frontal lobes of the brain deal with planning and thinking. They control rationality, higher-order thinking, problem-solving, and regulating the emotional system. Personality is also controlled by the frontal lobes. Full operation of the emotional system is not complete until adolescence.
11Structure of the Brain continued BrainstemVital body functions such as heartbeat, respiration, body temperature, and digestion are monitored and controlled by the brain stem.ThalamusThe thalamus monitors the information coming in from the outside.Structure of the Brain continued
12Structure of the Brain continued HippocampusConsolidates learning and converts information from the working memory to long term storage. Essential for creating meaning. Plays an important role in the recall of facts, objects, and places.HypothalamusMonitors internal systems to maintain the normal state of the body. (homeostasis)AmygdalaControls emotions, especially fear.Structure of the Brain continued
13Structure of the Brain continued CerebellumDeeply folded and highly organized structure that contains more neurons than the rest of the brain put together. This area coordinates movement to perform fine and gross motor tasks.CerebrumThe largest area of the brain, 80% of the brain’s weight. Consists of two hemispheres. It is connected by a thick cable of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. Thinking, memory, speech, and muscle movement are controlled by the cerebrum.Structure of the Brain continued
14Brain ElasticityImagine a bowl of jello. How easy is it to poke a fork in the jello? It is with this ease that children form neurological pathways during the early childhood years. Millions upon millions of pathways are formed as a child gains new skills and information.
15ApoptosisBetween the years of 3 and 12, the brain naturally begins to eliminate neurons that are not being strengthened. This process is called apoptosis. As my Grandma would say, “Use it or lose it!”
16MyelinizationNow, imagine a piece of clay. Creating neurological pathways is much harder as the brain Myelinizes, or hardens. As a child approaches puberty, it become more difficult to form new pathways.
18True or falseIf a child does not receive visual stimulation by the age of two, the child will never be able to see.TRUEPediatric researchers have identified some learning periods as critical such as vision and language. Even with a perfect brain, the absence of visual stimulation will lead to blindness and if a child does not hear language by the age of 12, they will likely never speak.The movie NELL, starring Jodie Foster is an example of language being withheld during the critical language window of opportunity.
19True or falseEmotional control is just as easy to learn in the teenage years as it is in the preschool years.TRUEThe window of opportunity for emotional control opens from just after birth to about age 2 1/2. While children older than this can learn some emotional control, it is much more difficult than if they had learned it before age 3.
20True or FalseA child can learn over 2,000 words between the ages of 3 and 5.TRUE3 to 5 year olds can easily learn up to 10 new words a day in a language rich environment. Researchers estimate that children in professional families hear 11 million words a year, in working class families children hear 6 million words a year, and in families receiving public assistance children hear 3 million words a year.Reading just 20 minutes a night to a young child can make the difference between being ready for learning or being at-risk for academic failure.
21True or falseEarly Childhood is the perfect time for a child to learn a second language.TRUEThe window for acquiring spoken language opens soon after birth and slowly closes between 10 to 12 years of age. Not only is this the reason younger children learn a second language much faster than their parents, it is also the reason that children who learn a second language before puberty do not have an accent in either their native language or their acquired language.
22True or falseThe windows of opportunity for learning close before a child enters junior high.TRUEWhile learning can take place throughout a person’s entire lifetime, optimal learning periods for language, motor, logic, and emotional control close around ten years of age. As a child approaches puberty, neurological connections in the brain either solidify or are pruned away. (Apoptosis)
23Ten Classroom Brain Strategies HumorLaughing provides more oxygen to the body, causes an endorphin surge, and decreases stress and blood pressure. Laughing also gets attention, creates a positive climate, increases retention and recall, and improves everyone’s mental health. While humor is a powerful tool, sarcasm is not. Be careful to avoid relying on sarcasm as a humorous tool.Ten Classroom Brain Strategies
24A period of silence following a question. Wait TimeA period of silence following a question.High school teachers average a wait time of just one second following a question, Elementary teachers average three seconds. One to three seconds is not enough time for slow retrievers to locate the answer in their short and long term memories. As soon as the answer is given, those learners will stop the retrieval process and lose the opportunity to relearn information.
25Wait Time continuedWhen wait time is increased by at least five seconds or more:The length and quality of student responses increases.There is greater participation by all learners.Students used more evidence to support inferences.There were more higher-order responses. One method for increasing wait time is to use think-pair-share. The teacher asks a question, gives adequate wait time, and then has the students form pairs to share their thinking.
26RehearsalRehearsal strategies can be as easy as simple repetition and cumulative repetition. Simple repetitiongood for remembering short items such as telephone numbers and dates and involves repeating aloud over and over again. Cumulative repetitioncan be used to learn poems or lists by rehearsing the first few items and then slowly adding.
27Short Lesson TimesThe primacy-recency effect describes the fact that people tend to remember best what comes first and the next what comes last. What happens during the middle of a lesson is what is remembered least. 20 minute lessons have 18 minutes of prime time and 2 minutes of down time versus an 80 minute lesson that has 50 minutes of prime time and 30 minutes of down time. That’s 10% of down time in a 20 minute lesson instead of 38% of downtime in an 80 minute continuous lesson.Simply breaking an 80 minute block of time into three different segments significantly increases the prime time learning.
28SynergySynergy is the action of two people working together to increase effectiveness. This strategy gets students moving and talking while learning.When using synergy, remember the following guidelines: provide adequate time for reflectionmodel the activityget students to stand, move and deliverkeep in motionensure accountabilityclarify misunderstandingsuse variety for pairings
29Words are common examples of chunks. ChunkingChunking occurs when the brain sees several pieces of information as a single item. Words are common examples of chunks.Remembering a telephone number can be easier if the numbers are chunked into larger items, such as (630) (555) (1974). In this way, 10 digits actually become three chunks.
30 Chunking continuedCategorical chunking is when learners establish categories to help classify information. Types of categorical chunking are: Advantages and Disadvantages (pros and cons)Similarities and Differences (using attributes)Structure and Function (ex. parts of a cell)Taxonomies (hierarchies)Arrays (sorting)
31MusicMusic affects the brain through intellectual and emotional stimulation. Music can influence:heart ratebreathingblood pressuremuscle movementsChoose music that plays about 60 beats per minute, which is similar to a human heartbeat. Fewer beats per minute can calm a classroom while more beats per minute can encourage activity.Try to avoid using music during direct instruction because it can be a distraction.
32 Music continuedBe aware of lyrics. Students working on a learning task can be distracted by lyrics. Familiar music can cause a distraction when the students attend more to the music than the task. Choosing unfamiliar music can provide a stimulating background without causing too much distraction. Allowing students to contribute music can be powerful as well, as long as it meets the purpose of the lesson and classroom culture.
33Bridging Brainstorming: Bridging occurs when teachers create transfer to help students see the connection between from what the learner knows to other new learning. Brainstorming:Engage students in brainstorming to see ways thatnew learning can be applied in other situations.Analogies:Analogies can be used to examine the similarities and differences between one system and another.Metacognition: When solving problems ask students to investigate ways of approaching the solution and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
34MeaningWhen new learning can be connected to past experience, brain scans have shown substantially more brain activity than simply learning the material on its own. Making the content relevant to the student’s life helps them to recall the information at a later time. Creating meaning can be accomplished by:modelingusing examples from student’s experiencescreating artificial meaning(Mnemonic devices are an example ofartificial meaning.)
35MotivationExtrinsic motivation comes in the form of rewards and punishments. This motivation comes from wanting to attain something concrete or to please someone else.Motivation that comes from within a person is intrinsic motivation.Intrinsic motivation is related to a person’s needs, values, interests and attitudes.Learning occurs best when the motivation is intrinsic.
36Did You know?The most complex structure of the human body weighs about 3 pounds. YES! It is your brain.The brain can send signals to thousands of other cells as fast as 200 miles per hour.In the past ten years, scientists have learned more about the brain than what they have in the previous century.Although there have been huge advances in brain research, the leading cause of disabilities is brain and central nervous system disorders. Brain disorders cause more hospitalizations and prolonged health care than almost all the other diseases combined.
37One in 5 people will develop some type of brain disorder. Ninety percent of children's brain development occurs by the age of five.Studies show that high-quality early childhood programs are the BEST way to support improved academic outcomes in the preK– 12 system. Children who participate in early childhood education programs are far more likely to enter kindergarten ready to learn, read at grade level by third grade, and graduate from high school or even college.The Perry Preschool Study has tracked their program for 40 years. In 2005, they reported that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, there is a return of $16.14 in savings to state and federal schools and agencies.
39A man has two coins that equals 55 cents. One is not a nickel A man has two coins that equals 55 cents. One is not a nickel. What two coins does the man have?A group of people from Canada and America were on a plane that crashed on the border of America and Canada. Where do you bury the survivors?More Mind BendersTOUCHlinesINlinesClothes__________Under
40Early Childhood LinksCenter on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL)The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) is focused on promoting the social emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5. CSEFEL is a national resource center funded by the Office of Head Start and Child Care Bureau for disseminating research and evidence-based practices to early childhood programs across the country.Web site address:Circle of InclusionWeb site address:The Circle of Inclusion web site is for early childhood service providers and families of young children. This web site offers demonstrations of and information about the effective practices of inclusive educational programs for children from birth through age eight.Illinois Early Learning WebWeb site address:The Illinois Early Learning Web site provides evidence-based, reliable information for parents, caregivers, and teachers of young children in the State of Illinois.Illinois Resource CenterWeb site address:Lists of recommended children's books for birth to five and Early Childhood Block Grant professional development opportunities are available on the Early Childhood portion of the Illinois Resource Center's web site.
41More Early Childhood Links Illinois Resource CenterWeb site address:Lists of recommended children's books for birth to five and Early Childhood Block Grant professional development opportunities are available on the Early Childhood portion of the Illinois Resource Center's web site.National Association for the Education of Young ChildrenWeb site address:The National Association for the Education of Young Children has for its purpose, “leading and consolidating the efforts of individuals and groups working to achieve healthy development and constructive education for all young children.”National Early Childhood Technical Assistance CenterWeb site address:The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center supports the implementation of the early childhood provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Their mission is to strengthen service systems to ensure that children with disabilities (birth through five) and their families receive and benefit from high quality, culturally appropriate, and family-centered supports and services.Ounce of PreventionWeb site address:The Ounce of Prevention was established to promote the well-being of children and adolescents by working with families, communities, and policy-makers.
42More Early Childhood Links Project ApproachWeb site address:The purpose of project approach.org is to provide readers with resources to enable them to carry out projects wherever they may work with children.North American Reggio Emilia AllianceThe North American Reggio Emilia Alliance offers some background information to support your interest in the well-being of children and the philosophies and experiences of the birth-six education project of Reggio Emilia, Italy, recognized throughout the world as a living system of the highest quality.Voices4kids.orgERIC database
43Early Childhood Literature Educating Young Children by Mary Hohmann, David Weikart, Ann EpsteinCreative Curriculum for Preschool by Diane Trister Dodge, Laura Colker, Cate HeromanBuilding Structures with Young Children by Ingrid Chalufour, Karen WorthDesigns for Living and Learning by Deb Curtis, Margie CarterDiscovering Nature with Young Children by Ingrid Chalufour, Karen WorthThe Inclusive Early Childhood Classroom by Patti Gould, Joyce SullivanLiteracy: The Creative Curriculum® Approach by Cate Heroman, Candy JonesYoung Investigators by Judy Harris Helm, Lillian G. KatzThe First Three Years & Beyond by Edward F. Zigler, Matia Finn-Stevenson, Nancy W. HallEager to Learn Educating Our Preschoolers by The National Research CouncilStarting Out Right “A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success by The National Research CouncilThe Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz and Lucy Jane MillerThe Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, Revised Edition: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock KranowitzBridging: Assessment for Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Classrooms, PreK-3 by Jie-Qi Chen and Gillian Dowley McNameeBuilding Support for Your School: How to Use Children's Work to Show Learning by Judy Harris Helm and Amanda Helm