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Alyssa Bergeron EDU 417 Instructor Joanna Savarese-Levine February 24, 2014

Is Brain-Compatible Learning Right For us?

Throughout this presentation, I will show you why I believe that a braincompatible classroom is better suited for your child. You will learn:

What the Brain-Compatible class is Differences between the traditional classroom and the braincompatible classroom How the brain-compatible classroom can help your child

About Me

My Name is Alyssa Bergeron. I am a social worker who would like to help your child get into a situation that would be more suitable for his needs.
Before entering college, I served in the United States Navy as an Operational Specialist. I attended Ashford University, where I received my Bachelors degree in Cognitive Studies. I am passionate about working with children. I have two of my own and I find it very rewarding to be a mother, as well as to work with other children. My goal has been to help others be the best them that they can be. I look forward to working with you and your family to help your child get into a better environment for him.

What is Brain-Compatible Learning?

Brain-based or brain-compatible learning is based around how the brain works. Brain-based learning is when strategies are used based on principles taken from an understanding of how the brain works (Jensen, 2008).
A simple way to remember brain-compatible or brain-based learning is E.S.P. E = active ENGAGEMENT S = purposeful STRATEGIES

P = PRINCIPLES derived from neuroscience

(Jensen, 2008)

Traditional Teaching and Brain-Based Learning: Similarities and Differences



Have Lesson Plans Want to teach for the benefit of students Includes activities throughout the day Teaching takes place in a classroom Both understand the importance of a good education

Brain-Based Learning (BBL) has more in depth lesson plans built around how the brain learns and the processing model BBL Includes many activities that will reach individual students Teaching takes place in BBL in a class fit for the brain Traditional relies heavily on standardized tests, while BBL relies on different teaching methods. BBL has the tools to provide the brain with what it needs to learn

Factors That Can Impact Learning

There are environmental and genetic factors that can impact learning. To be able to work through these factors, we need to better understand them. Some of these factors are: Environmental:

Movement Sleep Technology Nutrition


Vision Hearing Learning Disabilities

Brain-Compatible Learning: Factors

MOVEMENT: Movement is important with learning. Movement helps the brain to make more connections between the brain cells and in doing so, causes a student to have better focus (Ronald, 2004).
SLEEP: Our brains need sleep to function properly. A properly functioning brain enables a better opportunity to learn. During sleep, our brains move information from short term to long term memory (Wolfe, 2010). Sleep also helps students to concentrate better when in the classroom. TECHNOLOGY: Technology is now a big part of everyday life, even for students, and it can start at a very young age. Not all technology is good for education purposes or for children. However, if games can focus on critical skills, provide feedback, add challenge, adapt to the gamer, and provide opportunities to master skills, games could be very beneficial (Wolfe, 2010).

Brain-Compatible Learning: Factors Continued

NUTRITION: A proper diet is crucial to development of both the body and the mind. An improper diet can cause growth to be delayed, as well as developmental delays in the brain. What we eat contains amino acids and the brain has neurotransmitters made up of amino acids, which means that what we eat helps build our brains (Wolfe, 2010).
VISION: A major part of learning involves reading. Any problem with the eyes could result in problems or difficulties reading. Some deficits could be bad eye health, poor visual activity, and slow eye movement, and these could cause learning problems (Fischer, 2008). HEARING: For children to read, they need to be able to process the auditory sounds of the language by understanding the sounds (Fischer, 2008). If a child has trouble hearing, this could pose a problem because it could cause a student to have trouble noticing differences in similar words or phrases.

Brain-Compatible Learning: Factors Continued

LEARNING DISABILITIES: There are many different learning disabilities that could impact learning. Some of these disabilities could include:

Dyslexia: Language processing disorder Dysgraphia: Affects writing ADHD/ADD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder/ Attention Deficit Disorder

Learning disabilities can cause for the lesson plans to be structured differently. Learning disabilities can also be discouraging for a child and it can cause for a child to lose confidence. Learning disabilities can have a very negative impact on the learning environment if the proper procedures and the proper techniques are not put in to place to help the students to benefit.

The Brain-Compatible Classroom and Factors

The brain-compatible classroom is beneficial when dealing with both environmental and genetic disabilities. The brain-compatible classroom enables teachers to provide the best environment for their students because they have the proper techniques to deal with all of the different factors that could impede learning.
The brain-compatible classroom:

Is able to structure the classroom around the brain Is able to cater to the individual students way of learning

Allows for a comfortable learning environment

Allows for students to learn better with an understanding of environmental and genetic factors

How Does the Brain Learn?

The brain retains information using the information processing model. The Model looks like this:
Sensory Memory Working Memory Long term Memory We take information in through our senses and it goes into our sensory memory. The sensory memory holds information for a few seconds before deciding to pass it on or not (Wolfe, 2010). Information goes to the working memory where it requires rehearsal and if it does not receive this, it only lasts in the working memory for a mere 18 seconds (Wolfe, 2010). Information in long term memory is broken down into either declarative memory or procedural memory.

Declarative: A memory that is recalled by declaring it in speech or writing (Wolfe, 2010) Procedural: A memory brought into play by skill or habit (Wolfe, 2010)

Emotions Affecting Memory

Emotions can affect the ability for the memory to work to its full potential. Negative emotions can have a negative affect, while positive emotions can have a positive effect.
In some cases increased levels of stress can release stress hormones, like epinephrine and norepinephrine, can actually improve memory formation (Rimmele, 2009). However, there is also negative stress that can cause the brain to close down, in a sense.

Emotion can increase retention in the classroom and teachers can achieve this by using highly engaging activities (Wolfe, 2010).

Making a Lesson Plan Brain-Compatible

Below is a lesson plan on the subject of George Washington Carver. Original Lesson Plan History, level: Kindergarten Posted Tue Mar 4 22:06:17 PST 2008 by Tamicia Currie (Tamicia Currie). The Juice & Berries History Adventures, Phoenix Materials Required: pencil Activity Time: 20 minutes

Concepts Taught: creative imagination, research and focus skills

Encourage students to use the following words and create their own word search puzzle. Upon completion, have the students exchange puzzles with their peers to locate the hidden words. The following words are relative to the life of George Washington Carver, black botanist and farming expert in the 19th Century: peanut sweet potato crops pecans

George Washington carver

As you can see, that was a rather simple and straightforward lesson plan. It did not have many layers. Now, here is a modified version of that lesson plan: Grade Level: Kindergarten Subject: History George Washington Carver

Lesson Objective:
After this lesson plan, students will Learn how to research Gain an understanding of who George Washington Carver is Use creative imagination Materials: Pencils The Juice and Berries Adventures Peanut Butter and Sweet Potato Pie by Tamicia Currie Large squared chart paper

Colored Pencils, Markers, or Crayons

Journal Scissors (Kid safe) Glue

Stapler (Handled by Teacher)

George Washington Carver Flap Book retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/semo/forkids/upload/Carver.pdf Paper Continued

Suggested Class Time: 1-2 classes Procedures: I. First start by getting the classes attention. To get the class excited, have everyone fall into line behind you and march around the class, clapping your hands. Do this as you lead the class to the reading corner. Once there, the students can sit down. II. Ask the students of some African Americans that they know of in history. Barrack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, these may be some examples of what students say. Let them know that you will be learning about another important figure in Black History and that is George Washington Carver. III. Read to the class The Juice and Berries Adventures Peanut Butter and Sweet Potato Pie by Tamicia Currie. Ensure that you are reading the book with pictures facing the students as you read. Ask the students about the pictures as you read along, as well as have students participate by asking them questions about the story. In this way, you are involving them with the book. IV. After the book has been read, go through the book with the children and pick out important words that relate to George Washington Carver. Some of these words could be Peanuts, Sweet Potato, Pecans, Crops, Inventor, Scientist, George Washington Carver, and Farmer. Write these words on the white board. V. Have your students go back to their desks and write the words from the white board into their journal. This is a great way for students to practice their writing, as well as to have more practice on these words. VI. Pass out the flap book papers to your students. Talk them through the instructions of putting it together. First, have the students color the flap book pages. Walk through the classroom and check on how all the students are doing. After they have colored their books, help the students to assemble them together. Once the books are glued and stapled how they need to be, read through this flap book with your students. Again, point out the words that represent who he is. Also, involve the students again by asking them what things he invented and what they think about the work he had done.

VII. Once the students are done with their flap books, pass out the large squared chart paper to the students. Tell the students to look through their journals at the words. Have the students read the words aloud with you. Next explain to the students how they will make a word search. The students will have to add in other letters to try to hide their words. Walk around the classroom to help any students that may be having problems.
VIII. After you have checked through the students word searches, have the students get into groups of two. Once every student has a partner, have them exchange their word search with their partner and then they can complete their word searches. IX. To finish off the lesson plan, ask the students to gather in a circle in the reading corner. Have a class discussion about who George Washington Carver was, what he did, and how his inventions have helped. Accommodations and Modifications for Students with Special Needs: To accommodate to the needs of students who may need extra attention or special help, ensure that there is a teacher assistant available to help any students who may need extra help. If a student has eye problems, help them by seating them at the front of the class so it is easier for them to see. Continue to ask students questions throughout the entire lesson plan so that you can catch on to a student that may be struggling. Ensure that the classroom lighting is suitable for the students.

How The Modified Lesson Plan Supports Brain-Compatible Learning

The original lesson plan has a great activity. However, it is one activity that is meant to reach every student. Not every student learns the same and that is what brain-compatible learning takes into effect.
The modified lesson plan enhances learning by appealing to the emotions, having fun projects, and using both the visual and auditory senses. The modified lesson plan has instructions on how to modify it to better suit the needs of students with special needs. With the different activities that the modified lesson plan has, it has a greater chance of appealing to more students. The modified lesson plan is organized around the brain-compatible strategies.

The brain-compatible classroom will provide an environment that can cater more to your childs needs. From the crowded classroom with one way of learning, to a classroom that can focus on your childs needs.
The brain-compatible classroom has a much more in depth curriculum that will challenge your child with achievable assignments. Your child will see how well they are doing on an individual level. The brain-compatible classroom is not like a traditional class. Everything that your child needs is taken into account. From the lights in the ceilings, to the colors in the wall, to the details in the days lesson plans. Understanding how the brain works is key in achieving a proper learning environment. The braincompatible class can provide this for your child and in doing so, your child will get a much more fulfilling education.

Jensen, Eric. (2008). Brain-Based Learning: The New Paradigm of Teaching. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Wolfe, P. (2010). Brain matters: Translating research into classroom practice. (2nd ed.). Alexandria,VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Ronald, Kotulak, T., Science Reporter. (2004 Mar 17). Exercise for the body is food for the brain, study says. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/419995426?accountid=32521. Fischer , K. W., Immordino-Yang, M. H., & , (2008). The jossey-bass reader on the brain and learning. (1st ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Rimmele, U., Spillmann, M., Brtschi, C., Wolf, O. T., Weber, C. S., Ehlert, U., & Wirtz, P. H. (2009). Melatonin improves memory acquisition under stress independent of stress hormone release. Psychopharmacology, 202(4), 66372. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-008-1344-z