Did you know that your brain is a muscle, too? Just like the muscles in your arms and legs, the more you challenge and push your brain, the bigger and stronger it becomes.
Many people really believe that we are either born smart or dumb, but that is not true! Your intelligence is malleable – meaning it can change. Just like lifting weights makes you stronger, your brain grows bigger the more you use it. So working harder in school makes you smarter! But if you don’t use it, you might lose it!
Here are some quotes from an article called, “You Can Grow Your Intelligence – New Research Shows the Brain Can Be Developed Like a Muscle” from the National Association of Independent Schools Washington, DC Winter 2008
The cortex of your brain has billions of tiny nerve cells, called neurons. The cortex plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language, and consciousness.memory attention awarenessthought language consciousness
The nerve cells have branches connecting them to other cells and the communication through these brain cells is what allows us to think and solve problems.
When you learn new things, these tiny connections in the brain actually multiply and get stronger. The more that you challenge your mind to learn, the more your brain cells grow.
Then, the things that you once thought were difficult or maybe even impossible – like learning a new language – seem to become really easy. It’s because your brain has become larger, and yes, smarter!
Which one of these babies do you think is the smartest?
Everyone knows that babies are born without being able to talk or understand language. But somehow, all babies learn to speak their parents’ language in the first few years of their life. How do they do it?
From the first day babies are born, they hear people around them talk. They have to try to make sense of these strange sounds and figure out what they mean. In a way, they are exercising their brains by listening hard!
Soon, babies start to practice talking – even though at first it just comes out as goo-goo sounds. But eventually, words start coming out, and then by the time they turn three, most babies can speak a whole sentence almost perfectly. Goo-goo, ga-ga!
Once children learn a language, they don’t forget it. The child’s brain has changed – it has actually gotten smarter! The babies’ brain cells get larger and grow new connections between them.
These new, stronger connections make the child’s brain stronger and smarter, just like a weightlifter’s big muscles make them stronger.
Just like a weightlifter or a ball player, to be a brain athlete you have to exercise and practice. By practicing you make your brain stronger. You also learn new skills that let you use your brain in a smarter way – just like a basketball player learns new moves.
Many people miss out on the chance to grow a strong brain because they think they can’t do it, or that it’s too hard.
It does take work, just like becoming stronger physically or becoming a better ball player does. Sometimes it even hurts!!
But when you feel yourself getting stronger and smarter it is worth it!
NO PAIN, NO GAIN… IT’S TIME TO GROW YOUR BRAIN! PART 2
Are we born smart? How is your brain like a muscle? Do you believe intelligence is malleable (meaning, it can change)? If you believe intelligence IS malleable, do you think you will be more positive when facing challenges and more likely to meet your goals? Why? How do you change how smart you are? Can you?
Throughout camp, we will be exercising our brains with fun team-building challenges. Not only will these challenges trigger your creative thinking and get your mental juices flowing, but you will also improve your cooperation and communication skills, which are life skills that are beneficial to reaching optimum success!
Our world is filled with creative people. Think about inventions like the Chia Pet, the Swiffer, or Silly Bands – someone had to create them! Maybe one day you will create a famous invention! Creativity can’t be taught like math. So when it comes to creativity, there are no right or wrong answers. When you participate in open-ended learning activities, you are given the chance to expand your mind, solve problems in multiple ways, and express your unique ideas.
Getting along with peers is an important part of your daily life – at any age! The way you interact with others says a lot about you as a person and influences your reputation. ▪ If you’re easy to get along with, dependable, and considerate of others, you will gain respect. Cooperating with others in a group maximizes your understanding of the term teamwork and encourages creative problem solving.
When cooperating with others, keep in mind: Every person has strengths and weaknesses Every person has limitations and abilities Every person can contribute a thought or idea – even if it does seem a little wacky! Competing with other team members will get you no where – you’re only as strong as your weakest – or most difficult teammate.
There are so many ways we can communicate with one another, and it is our obligation to be able to do so clearly. Communicating involves: Listening Comprehending The ability to express an idea clearly The only way to learn to communicate more clearly is to practice. You will see how effective communication skills will aid in tackling the team challenges successfully!
You will have 7 challenges during your time here at Summer Dreamers. Your first challenge will take place on Friday…you may want to start working on those brain muscles!