EDET 637 Week 8

Essential question: What is brain-based learning and how can it inform problem based learning and differentiation?

Brain-based education is “the engagement of strategies based on how our brain works,” according to Jenson. Knowing how the brain works allows educators to create a learning environment that gives students a better chance at understanding a concept (Prince, 2005). Three words can describe brain-based learning: engagement, strategies, and principles. “You must engage your learners and do it with strategies that are based on real science,” according to Jenson.

Many things matter in the learning process. There are seven critical factors that influence learning that inform problem based learning and differentiation: engagement, repetition, input quantity, coherence, timing, error correction and emotional states (Jenson, 2005). Students’ brains need time for processing and rest after learning (Jenson, 2005). For example, from grades kindergarten thru second, an appropriate amount of direction instruction time would be 5-8 minutes. “The human brain is poor at nonstop attention.

Its important teachers understand the brain, and how it functions. Most of our short-term memory is stored in our frontal lobes. “Researchers have found that we can take in only three to seven chunks of information before we simply overload and begin to miss new incoming data,” (Jenson, page 42). This year, I haven’t really given my class much free time in the mornings. I’ve recently changed my schedule after my first period, allowing 10 minutes of recess for both K-1. This will not only give my students that “brain break” they need, but will prepare them mentally for the next class.

“The reason things stay the same is because we’ve been the same. For things to change, we must change,” (Jenson 2009). Looking at this quote thru the eyes of a teacher, it means if we want our students to change, we must change ourselves and the environments student spend time in every day. There are different things we can do in our classrooms to enrich student behavior and performance. For example, physical activity will increase the production of new brain cells. Playing board games like chess, or establishing the arts, will increase student attention, motivation, processing and sequencing skills (Jenson, 2009).

I have a reward system in my classroom, Class Dojo. My students and I love it. I read that “what one student finds rewarding may not be rewarding to another,” (Jenson, 2005). I have several students who pass on stickers or behavior reward tickets, and then I have students who love getting stickers, and love getting rewarded for positive behavior. “The degree of pleasure that various students take in a reward is linked to the uniqueness of their brains,” (Jenson, page 105). I know that I have to change my reward system to make the pleasure of getting rewards fair for everyone.

Knowing the signs of a student who is raised in poverty is important as an educator. Students who come from low SES families display: acting-out behaviors, impatience and impulsivity, gaps in politeness, inappropriate emotional responses, and less empathy for others’ misfortunes (Jenson, 2009). There are many things we can do to help students in these situations. For example, build reliable relationships, strengthen peer socialization, and make sure all students feel equal, (Jenson, page 20).

Knowing how the brain works is critical as an educator. It helps us understand the past, present and possibly change the future of a student.

Resources:

Jenson, E. (n.d.). Brain-Based Learning Strategies. Florida Education Association. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from https://feaweb.org/brain-based-learning-strategies

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with the Brain in Mind (2nd Edition). Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2005. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 March 2016.

Copyright © 2005. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). All rights reserve

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with Poverty in Mind : What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 March 2016.

Copyright © 2009. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). All rights reserved.

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with the Brain in Mind (2nd Edition). Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2005. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 March 2016.

Copyright © 2005. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). All rights reserved.

Jensen, Eric. Teaching with Poverty in Mind : What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 March 2016.

Copyright © 2009. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). All rights reserved.

Learn all about ClassDojo ♥. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2016, from http://www.classdojo.com/

Prince, A. (2005). Using the Principles of Brain-Based Learning in the Classroom How to Help a Child Learn. Super Duper Publications, 81. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from https://www.superduperinc.com/handouts/pdf/81_brain.pdf

 

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5 thoughts on “EDET 637 Week 8

  1. Thank you for your thoughts on Brain Based and problem based learning. You mention the statement that resonated with me as well, “the reason things stay the same is because we stay the same.” As our students are constantly we changing, we as teachers need to reflect on our practice and do the same. Like you, I also was thinking about the transition time for students, I do not give students a ton of time to change environments, I usually have a bellringer up on the board and expect students to begin working on it the minute they walk in. I learned that scientifically, this is difficult for students to do. Maybe I could incorporate a yoga pose or something at the beginning of class to get them to focus and get into the right “state.” I am thankful for this class because it has provided with me with teaching practices that I knew existed, but didn’t really take the time to learn and implement completely. Thank you for insight.

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  2. I appreciated your statement, “I know that I have to change my reward system to make the pleasure of getting rewards fair for everyone.” One system I have in place is a ticket system (with 8th graders), which most of them love. I started using it after I was trained in CHAMPS. However, for the few that don’t respond, I would like to have something else. Have you come up with any ideas that work for you?

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    1. I’m trying a five point a day system. If students do well that whole day, they get 5. This way students have a better chance of earning those rewards. So far, it’s working. If students don’t earn those five, whatever points they accumulate will be added from the previous. This way they can still build their points throughout the week.

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  3. I appreciate how you described how the readings have influenced decisions you’re making with your own students, such as providing brain breaks and rethinking your reward system to meet all of their motivation needs. I, too, thought more about “settling time” needed by the brain to truly process information. The idea of “learn, discuss, then take a walk” really hit home because it makes perfect sense. At my middle school there are four minutes between classes for students to move, address bodily needs, and shift from one class to another. I’m wondering if I need to or could provide more opportunities for settling time in my 50 minute math class periods. For example, after a teacher-led example or class discussion, could we go outside and walk around the school for five minutes before starting on homework? Would this help with retention and brain function? I know my students would at least appreciate it. Would this be a benefit of block scheduling?

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