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“The New Science of Teaching and Training” Eric Jensen
Eric Jensen Eric Jensen has been a leading authority on the applications of brain research in education for more than 15 years. He ís a former teacher who has spoken at national and international conferences and taught as adjunct faculty at three universities. Jensen authored Teaching with the Brain in Mind, Enriching the Brain, and 23 other books on learning, the brain, and teaching.
Learning in accordance to what comes natural to the brain and how the brain is impacted by circumstances and experiences.
Seventy-five percent of teachers have learned to be sequential, analytic presenters, and that’s how their lessons are organized; yet 100 percent of their students are multi-processors. Seventy-five percent of teachers have learned to be sequential, analytic presenters, and that’s how their lessons are organized; yet 100 percent of their students are multi-processors.
When we think of how our memory works, it is important to think process, rather than location when discussing our memory system. Neuroscientist Daniel Schacter, PhD suggests that multiple memory locations and systems are responsible for our learning and recall. His research suggests that different learning tasks may require different ways to store and recall information. Researchers emphasize that it’s the retrieval process which activates dormant neurons to trigger our memories.
Many learners may actually know the material they are being tested on, but don’t demonstrate it well during exam time. Ex: if they study under low stress, but take the exam under high stress they may recall less if the physiological states were matched. Students who might be thought of as “lazy learners” may, in fact, be simply recalling only what they can. Another example: a particular student may be good at recalling names and dates, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be good at recalling a poem. Learning is stored in distinctive pathways. If you can’t retrieve it through one pathway, it may be accessible via another.
Evidence suggest memories may be stored in peptide molecules which circulate throughout the entire body via the bloodstream.
“Now You See It, Now You Don't” Let's test short term memory.
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Good nutrition promotes healthy functions of neurons—the essential building blocks of mental performance. Most important is oxygen and glucose Second is water—pure water—every day for optimal learning. The brain is composed of 80 % water How much we eat or don’t eat affects our brain and thinking. Glucose, a blood sugar, is the sole source of fuel for our brain cells. (ex: fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, proteins and some carbohydrates. (Unfortunately, many low-income learners typically have carbs for breakfast like toast, breads, cereals and this doesn’t provide the boost to thinking as in eggs, bacon and cottage cheese would.
Research suggests that students have access to water during class time. Allow them to bring water bottles into the classroom. Explain to your students the importance of water versus other beverages, such as soda, juice, coffee, etc. Discuss the relationship between good nutrition and good brain power. Encourage learners to eat “close to earth” –fresh fruits and vegetables and to include good protein and fiber with frequent meals and to Re-Hydrate often!
Music facts: Increases muscular energy Increases molecular energy Influences heartbeat Altars metabolism Reduces pain and stress Speeds healing and recovery in surgery patients Relieves fatigue Aids in the release of emotions Stimulates creativity, sensitivity, and thinking
The stimulation of imagination and thinking The stimulation of motor skills, speaking and vocabulary A reduction in discipline problems “Significant positive effect of music during learning have been reported, especially with music from the baroque and classical periods: however, positive effect of music played during testing are not consistently supported.” __Uschi Felix
Music is an effective instrument to set the emotional state of mind you as a teacher would like to evoke. Different types of music elicit different psycho-physiological states…..so incorporate a variety of music types. Ex: when students arrive play music that creates a state of anticipation or excitement (epic movie themes)…..during storytelling, use music that has built in peaks and valleys and that engages fantasy and emotion (classical or romantic). When teaching content use classical or romantic music. Have learners rewrite well- known songs with words that reflect with what they are currently learning. Give students the opportunity to experiment (in a structured way) with music in the classroom.
Sing "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" with the class. Every time they hear a “B" they change position: if they are sitting, they stand, and vice versa. It's fun when you get to the "bring back, bring back, oh bring back my Bonnie to me" part and their heads are bobbing like buoys in the ocean! We then try to do it faster and faster.
Draw a line down the middle of your body. That's called the midline. Every time you cross over that line, you are helping connect the hemispheres in your brain. Put on some music and have children follow along as you cross left hand to the right side of your body, right hand to the left side of your body, cross over with your feet, etc. *Give children a piece of toilet paper for a streamer and have them follow along as you make figure eights in the air, circle the streamer around your body, wave it high, swing it low, and so forth. *Staple tissue paper streamers to a straw and have children follow along as you make cross lateral movements to music..
Children can improve eye-hand coordination and cross the midline by juggling scarves, paper towels, or wadded up paper balls. Begin by having children toss up and catch one ball or scarf. Can they toss it and catch it one time? Can they toss it, clap and catch it? Can they toss it, turn around, and catch it? Add a second ball or scarf and see what they can do. Try juggling to music. Hint! To make inexpensive juggling scarves, cut up netting fabric into 12" squares.
Smells in our environment can influence our moods and levels of anxiety, fear, hunger, depression and sexuality. Researchers (Weiner and Brown 1993) reports certain aromas even inspire individuals to set higher goals for themselves, take on greater challenges, and get along better with others. (Lavabre 1990) “The act of smelling something, anything, is remarkably like the act of thinking: You can feel your mind going to work….Particular scents may even be effective in re-triggering specific optimal learning states.” (Grisante, PhD, suggests aromas may be potent enough to boost learning, decrease food intake, increase productivity, aid in relaxation, and calm the nerves.
An awareness of aromas……aromatherapy, can give you as a teacher a powerful edge in reaching learners and optimal learning states. Start simple. Research suggests that peppermint, basil, lemon, cinnamon, and rosemary enhance mental alertness, while lavender, chamomile orange, and rose calm nerves and encourage relaxation.
Color choices are often underestimated. According to the book, The Power of Color by Robert Gerard, PhD how a color affects you depends on your personality and state of mind at the moment. If you are highly anxious and stressed, for example “RED” can trigger more aggressiveness. BUT if you’re relaxed it can trigger engagement positive emotions!
Red is an engaging and emotive color. It is considered more disturbing by anxious subjects, and more exciting to calm subjects. May increase blood pressure and breathing, and stimulate appetite and sense of smell.
Yellow is the first color a person distinguishes in the brain. Associated with stress, caution, and apprehension, yet it stimulates an overall sense of optimism, hope, and balance. Excellent for use in classrooms.
Orange has the characteristics halfway between red and yellow. It is one of the best color for stimulating learning.
Blue is the most tranquilizing color. It calms tense subjects and increases feeling of well-being. When you see blue, your brain releases 11 neurotransmitters that relax the body and may reduce temperatures, perspiration and appetite. Blue may be a bit to calming for most learning environments.
Green is also a calming color. In response blood histamine levels may rise resulting in reduced sensitivity to food allergies. Antigens may be stimulated for overall better immune system healing.
Dark Colors lower stress and increase feelings of peacefulness.
Brown promotes a sense of security and relaxation, and reduces fatigue.
Bright Colors such as red, orange, and yellow spark energy and creativity. They can also increase aggressive and nervous behavior.
Gray is the most neutral color.
For optimal learning, choose yellow, light orange, beige, or off-white. Those colors seem to stimulate positive feelings.
We may be underutilizing the potential of color in the learning environment. The more visuals you can incorporate, the better. Make lectures or presentations more compelling to the brain with objects, photographs, graphics, charts graphs slides, bulletin board displays and COLOR! Consciously choose the colors you use in the classroom Hang colorful posters Encourage the use of color in mind-maps, painting, projects and posters
Keep It Up- Have the kids toss around a beach ball trying to not let it hit the ground. Class Volleyball- Same type of game as above but have the kids pass the ball back and forth from one side of the room to another.
Plates- Have kids all put a paper plate on their head. Have them move about the room. If their plate falls, they are frozen and someone else has to bend down without having their plate fall off their head and put it on a classmates head. The object is to keep everyone in the game. Heads Up & Up- 7 kids are up in front of the classroom and all others have their heads on their desks with their thumbs up. Each of the 7 tap one person and they put their thumb down. Once all students choose one person, you say "heads up- 7 up" Those 7 stand and try to figure out who picked them. Telephone- All students sit in a circle and one person whispers a message in another's ear. It gets passed around until the last person hears it and shares out. Relay Races- You could do all sorts of things with this. Cross Lateral Moves- Have the kids move by doing cross lateral things such as touching the left shoulder or knee with the right hand, etc. Dance- Play music and have the kids dance Simon Says- I am sure you know how this one works.
A Metal Rod
1 in 6
Sonic Hedgehog Gene
Awake and Resting
Slightly Smaller Than…
How did you do?
Learners in positive, joyful environments are likely to experience enhanced learning, memory and feelings of self-esteem.
Thank you and have a colorful rest of the week!