Monday, October 15, 2012

Using their brains

Think about the development of the brain of an adolescent.  What can I do to link their learning and storage with the different access points of the brain to help understanding and retention while the student's brain is continuing to grow. 

Planning, so I am starting to see, is a must have when it comes to keeping teens focused.  We see it every day, teen’s get restless and unfocused when they sit idle or are unchallenged.  Keeping this in mind while preparing for a lesson and thinking about the differences in learning styles, will help keep students engaged over the course of class time…hopefully!

Kids brains are still developing, especially in the frontal cortex, which maintains the areas for decision-making, appropriate behavior and the inhibitions that affect the rest of us.  Knowing the developmental processes of out students will help guide us to effective teach and support them.

By using specific strategies and modeling behavior, teachers like myself, can start to move students in a more positive direction.  Starting with your own demeanor and modeling the behaviors that you expect in them is the first step.  Maintain a set of standards that students will be expected to follow and enforce those standards consistently.  Knowing about teenage development and more about the differences in memory development, teachers can place specific strategies in place to facilitate learning and personal growth.

Semantic Memory:  Memory from books, lectures and presentations
Strategies to access
Graphic organizers, peer teaching (tea parties), questioning, summarizing (quick writes), debates, time lines,
Episodic Memory:  Sense of place and location-use local surrounds to relate to individual experiences.
Teaching strategies:
Bulletin boards, field trips, teaching important information from the same location, etc
Procedural memory:  Muscle memory, processes that the body does, classroom routines.
Teaching strategies
Repetition, Labs, discrepant events - movement enhances procedural memory and keeps students engaged.
Automatic Memory:  Conditioned response, ex. decoding not comprehension
Teaching strategies:
Music enhances automatic memory, repetition, quiz shows and games for review (Jeopardy)
Emotional Memory:  The most powerful memory. If it takes over, you lose logic.
Teaching Strategies:
Music, debate, role-play, teacher enthusiasm, knowledge of students and       their interests (Surveys, take real interest, how does this information affect

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