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Brain Labs: A Place to Enliven Learning

Brain Labs: A Place to Enliven Learning
Although emotion and cognition originate in different parts of the brain, they interact and play a powerful role in learning and memory. According to neuroscientists like Eric Jensen, priming the brain for particular states of engagement -- such as curiosity, intrigue, surprise, suspense, a bit of confusion, skepticism, and the feeling of safety -- prepares the mind to learn. Furthermore, incorporating emotion into our instruction and content supports long-term memory. This might not be news to teachers, but not enough students know how to optimize their brain for learning. That's why every child should have the opportunity to explore neuroscience in a brain lab. What Is a Brain Lab? Every school or classroom should have a student- and teacher-created brain lab with these goals: Students could be assigned personal folders with choices of lab activities. Using Pop Culture to Study the Brain Some brain-related topics could take advantage of recent research and pop culture.

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Does Your Classroom Tell a Story? Do you have mystery objects that attract the curiosity of students, leading them to ask questions that foster meaningful conversations? Is your classroom visually stimulating for the students? Does it cultivate creativity, and more importantly, is it filled with objects, images, and even props that help your students learn -- even when they think they're not learning? Like most teachers, I decorate my classroom with posters and objects that help promote learning, but that also lend a little pizzazz to an otherwise humdrum learning environment. It is typical, for example, for science teachers to have full skeletons and periodic tables in the classrooms, or for history teachers to have maps and portraits of famous historical figures pinned to the walls. However, the best teaching props are the ones that are not so obvious and that help the teacher reach students in unexpected ways.

Yes, Differentiation Is Hard. So, Let's Get It Right. Today's guest post is written by Lisa Westman. Lisa is an instructional coach specializing in differentiation for Skokie School District 73.5 in suburban Chicago. She taught middle school gifted humanities, ELA, and SS for twelve years before becoming a coach. I must admit, I love a good challenge. I love the learning that comes from trial and error. Collaborative Learning Spaces: Classrooms That Connect to the World Editor's note: This post is co-authored by Fran Siracusa, co-founder of and educational technologist for Calliope Global. As citizens of the world, students in today's classrooms seek global contexts for learning. Opportunities for networked and international collaborations are bringing both the world to classrooms and classrooms to the world. With a focus on international standards of instruction, globally-minded programs inspire students to be curious through investigation and reflective in analysis of thought. These pathways lead to the development of cultural literacy by allowing students to examine issues of global significance through interconnected sharing of experience and exchange of ideas. Collaborative learning spaces empower students to work with each other and with students in classrooms of the world to assume multiple perspectives, explore alternative solutions, and thoughtfully solve problems.

Why Teachers Say Practicing Mindfulness Is Transforming The Work Garrison Institute looks a little like Hogwarts. The retreat center is housed in a former monastery amid tranquil green hills overlooking the Hudson River, 60 miles north and a world away from New York City. Inside the airy chapel on a recent summer afternoon, about 35 educators from the U.S. and at least five foreign countries are seated quietly, shoes off. “Just notice your breath, the sensation of your air coming in, going out,” says Christa Turksma, a Dutch woman dressed all in white with silver-white hair. She’s one of the co-founders of Cultivating Awareness and Resilience for Educators, or CARE for Teachers. For the past nine years at this annual five-day summer retreat, and now within schools, CARE for Teachers teaches what’s called mindfulness: calming the body and mind through breathing and movement, and using insights from psychology to better regulate your emotions.

Collab Lab: An Experiment in Leadership and Growth Editor's Note: Michael Podraza, Principal at East Greenwich (Rhode Island) High School, is on a mission to share and implement new ideas in education that will engage and empower students, educators, and school communities. This video looks at the planning and practice of a month-long experiment to model collaboration and risk taking by the school’s leadership team. The 2014-2015 school year was East Greenwich High School's first year of 1:1 Chromebooks. Even with two years of planning and professional development for teachers and administrators, we still anticipated plenty of nervousness and fear of failure in the coming school year. It was with this in mind that I tried to support my faculty and encourage risk taking by labeling (and living) SY 14-15 as our "Year in Beta". I hoped that promoting risk taking in the classroom would benefit both teacher and student learning.

This is Not Pretend: Teaching from the Inside Out Todd Finley , Blogger and Assistant Editor (Contractor) Posted 07/29/2016 9:24AM | Last Commented 08/09/2016 11:31AM I tend to metabolize emotions slowly and interact with students cautiously. I try to figure out what I should look and sound like as a teacher, and then attempt to feel that authentically—an outside in approach. Helping Students Start the School Year With a Positive Mindset For students who have had trouble in school, or who have had a negative summer, it is especially important to get the school year off to a fresh start. And for all students, having a positive mindset makes learning much more likely. Here are four activities to help accomplish these goals. Identity and Purpose: Who Am I? Now that students are back in school, it's a good time to help them refocus on learning, their strengths, and the personal and other resources that will help them succeed.

7 Learning Zones Every Classroom Must Have There are many elements to consider as you plan for the next school year. You always review critical pieces like standards, curriculum, instructional activities, and testing, but you also think about the classroom space and how to arrange desks, set up bulletin boards, and organize materials. You can bring these seemingly disconnected components together in a system of seven learning zones. The discovery, news, supplies, community, quiet, teacher, and subject area zones will help you establish routines, save time, and maintain your sanity from the first through the last days of school. The 13 most innovative schools in the world Mathias Eis Schultz Ørestad Gymnasium is one giant classroom, where more than 1,100 high school students spend half their time learning in an expansive glass cube — a "gymnasium," as parts of Europe still call secondary schools — to avoid traditional instruction. By encouraging students to collaborate in wide-open settings, the school hopes kids will be equipped to think flexibly on diverse topics later in life. "We want to have teaching where the students make research and work together in solving real problems," headmaster Allan Kjær Andersen tells Tech Insider. "So we want to be an open school that is in connection with the outside world." The open spaces, which are adorned with equally spacious "drums" for a more relaxed learning environment, encourage students to assume an active role in their own education.

STORYHIVE - I [heart] Bullies Project Page Accessibility Links current page is I [heart] Bullies Project Page British-Columbia 8 mins. 54 sec. Gary Turner Documentary I [Heart] Bullies is a documentary series that examines the roots of aggressive and dominant behaviour in children, and the labels of shame and guilt we place upon the young people who exude them, challenging our understanding of this troubling issue

Dr. Gabor Mate - When the Body Says No - Cost of Hidden Stress Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | | More Gabor Maté M.D. is a world renowned speaker and bestselling author. Instead of Teaching Your Kids To "Be Nice," Teach Them This… - Dr. Shefali “Be Nice” is one of the most common phrases we say to our kids, especially our young ones. It comes out of our mouth without thought, like a reflexive reaction to our eternal fear that our kids will grow up to be unscrupulous and cruel. Let’s stop to examine, what “be nice” really means. For the most part, it means: be tolerant and accommodating. Danish schools have figured out the best way to teach empathy Denmark teaching Klassen Tid class time — Quartz Last year more than a million migrants and refugees risked their lives in overcrowded, often barely seaworthy boats to cross the Mediterranean. Most of them were Syrians, making the trip from Turkey to Greece in an attempt to get inside the borders of the European Union. But the Turkey-Greece route—now down to a trickle after a deal between Turkey and the EU in March—is only one of two main ways across the Mediterranean. The other, used mainly by migrants from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa, goes from the northern African coast (typically Libya) to Sicily.

De nouveaux espaces pour apprendre Robin Wright and her students discuss their classroom and how it works in this very nice, 4-minute video clip. The clip is originally from here, but has been placed on this page for your convenience. According to Dr. Wright, "what the movie doesn't show is the overall course philosophy. We leave the students to do the lower levels of Blooms on their own, by reading the text with study questions. Then in class we do application and analysis questions in teams.