“It's like a math co-processor. It's not essential for any activity... but it makes any activity better. Anything we can think of as higher thought, mathematics, music, philosophy, decision-making, social skill, draws upon the cerebellum....” Dr. Jay Giedd, National Institute of Mental Health The Cerebellum
The Frontal Lobe How we interact with our surroundings. Our judgments on daily routines. Our expressive language. Assigns meaning to words we choose. Involves word association. Memory for habits and motor activities
The Parietal Lobe Location for visual attention. Location for touch perception. Goal directed voluntary movements. Manipulation of objects. Integration of different senses that allows for understanding a single concept.
The Temporal Lobe Hearing Memory Visual perceptions. Categorizing of objects. T
Memory Song Sung to the tune of “10 Little Indians” Touch the appropriate area of your brain as you sing: Temporal, Occipital, Parietal Frontal, Cerebellum
Check for Understanding: Which lobe(s) would students mainly use when: Sorting colors into primary, secondary, tertiary Playing spelling Twister Typing vocabulary words Copying notes from the board Listening to teacher lecture Role playing an event from history Completing a word find Discussing the pros and cons of a proposal
Higher Level Thinking Can actually generate NEW neurons (neurogenesis) Adds dendrites Increases the thickness of the myelin sheath Using the Gray Matter!
Stimulating Environment Affects Learning A child's ability to learn can increase or decrease by 25 percent or more, depending on whether he or she grows up in a stimulating environment. www.brainconnection.com
Two times of ENORMOUS brain growth and pruning: During the first month of life, the number of connections or synapses increases from 50 trillion to 1 quadrillion. If an infant's body grew at a comparable rate, his weight would increase from 8.5 pounds at birth to 170 pounds at one month old. Overproduction ends, pruning begins until about age 3
Second cycle of growth and pruning Dendritic growth spurt at age 11 in girls, 12 in boys Pruning phase during adolescence Age 13 – 18 lose 1% of gray matter per year If you don’t use it, you lose it!
The Teacher Effect Quality of classroom instruction is most significant factor in students’ brain development. Didactic instruction – teacher directed Interactive instruction – student actively engaged Which type do you think grows dendrites?
Sad Fact: Failing to engage students actively can actually make students dumber. Use it or lose it: If dendrites are not being used, they will be pruned.
Teaching as a Profession Body of research that recommends best practices. No longer ok to “feel like” we’re doing a good job – where is our evidence?
What the Brain Needs….. Relationship – can’t separate subject from teacher, particularly middle school Respect – remember that amygdala! Rigor – challenge and engagement Chunks – time to digest and process Movement – increases blood flow to brain Significance – related to the real world High Expectations – when little is expected, little is achieved
ABA review activity Pick a partner – decide who will be A and who will be B Person A talks for 60 seconds – you may repeat, you may use notes, but you must keep talking Person B talks for 90 seconds Person talks for 30 seconds
Implications for my Classroom Interactive instead of didactic!!! Access prior knowledge Add new knowledge using many modalities Apply knowledge in a variety of ways Assess and summarize
Grow Dendrites More neurons firing Active Engagement In Learning
WAIT time Average person needs 3-5 seconds to process a question and formulate a response Students with disability need more Students who are ELL need more Students from lower SES need more Students who are left handed tend to need more Students who are boys tend to need more What does WAIT time mean? W hy A m I T alking???
Chunking: Age plus 2 Primacy/recency theory Teaching cycle Change brain state
Get the Brain’s Attention Put Amygdala into the yellow zone Ask suspenseful questions. Provide personal, moving examples. Have students give presentations. Incorporate props, costumes, vocal change. Use drama and role playing. Read text dramatically with “sound effects” and stop at a “cliff hanger.”
Access Prior Knowledge Before starting a lesson, have students participate in a fun, quick game of review over the material. Teach students to produce a graphic organizer that displays all they already know about a topic. Have students work together in groups to connect all the information they have learned in a colorful, pictorial way (mind maps). Use a Chalk Talk to show what they know.
Add New Knowledge Use activities from the Strategy Ring. Link information to strong sensory stimulus. Teach students to use SQ3R. Have students stop then draw or discuss what they are learning. Make student notes a work in progress, allowing them to add pictures or what other students have written. Always go from concrete to abstract.
Apply Knowledge Give students choice of various products or assignments to demonstrate learning using multiple learning styles or intelligences. Relate knowledge to other disciplines and/or as many previous experiences as possible. Play charades or word association games with material. Use movement, dramatization and visualization frequently.
Assess and Summarize Immediately after teaching new information, have students discuss, draw, or act out the material. The following day, have students create a graphic organizer or mind map of the material. Conduct weekly discussions about lesson content. Allow student to summarize learned material in a variety of ways: pictures, songs, charts. Have students work in groups to write one-word summary.
Role playing activities Expert Interviews – one student is a reporter, the other an expert on the topic being studied. Retro Party – visualization comparing time periods or describing events/places. All the World’s a Stage – pause during the lesson and have students generate a 3- minute skit from lecture.