ASCD’s Whole Child Podcast: Changing the Conversation About Education:
Each student brings a unique set of interests, needs, strengths, and circumstances to school… and teachers often struggle to connect with students, especially those facing the greatest challenges. Yet research and common sense tell us that educators positively impact student learning and achievement when they connect their students’ lives outside of school to their learning and the larger school community.
On this podcast, from ASCD – The Whole Child you’ll hear strategies for meeting students where they are now, while preparing them for the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.
Click Here to listen to the podcast:
Founded in 1943, ASCD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that represents more than 175,000 educators from 119 countries and nearly 60 affiliates who advocate sound policies and share best practices to achieve the success of each learner.
ASCD has launched a public engagement and advocacy campaign to encourage schools and communities to work together to ensure that each student has access to a challenging curriculum in a healthy and supportive climate.
ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative:
In today’s world, budgets are tighter than ever. Principals are now tasked with a great amount of staff training.
When preparing a presentation for your teaching staff, the most difficult element is getting that &*%$ PowerPoint finalized.
We’ve all been there.
After receiving numerous requests for copies of Eric Jensen’s presentations that he’s held in our workshops, we’ve decided that we’d organize all of the top topics, and offer them to you.
Some of the topics covered are:
…and many more.
Eric Jensen has prepared these PowerPoint presentations to help deliver a powerful, concise presentation…
Those who have asked us for PowerPoint presentations are most often:
1. Trainers who work with groups of 20 or more
2. Staff developers who really want to make a difference in the lives of others
3. Teachers who want a more energizing classroom and
4. Anyone who currently or will in the future, spend a lot time in front of groups.
The staff development presentations will have title slides and closing slides. Average presentation will be 75-125 slides, depending on the topic.
You may customize (in fact, you are encouraged to do so), your slides by adding your own titles, key themes, strategies, persons of interest, school pictures and activities.
So save yourself time, and headache, and check out the PowerPoint presentations available here.
You might have experienced some very cold temps in the last few weeks. Cognitively, brains work best in cooler (but not cold) temperatures. But the rest of our body sure likes it a bit warmer.
If you were thinking of “warming up” to some “very hot” learning, I’ve got something pretty amazing for you, and it’s in a warm place!
In fact, you can get a huge savings on your hotel where the winter rates are slashed-but not for long.
I do this amazing course only twice a year. It’s the world’s “gold standard” for brain-based learning. Fortunately, you can add exciting, fresh new content (AND MAXIMUM STRATEGIES) into your skill set.
This workshop is an enriching, high energy, research-based, team-working experience. The heart and soul of this program is joyful immersion. Learn with like-minded people, in an optimal environment, with state-of-the-art resources and a first-class facilitator.
You can expect inspiration, camaraderie and potent, roll-up your sleeves ideas that will last for years.
Oh wait… Did I mention you’ll get to ask questions of a world-renowned neuroscientist in person? You will. But it gets even better… but first:
What is Brain-Based Learning? You may be shocked to find out! Not 1 in 1000 Educators REALLY Knows!
Unfortunately, most educators think brain-based learning is simply knowing about axons, dendrites and synapses. That’s “old school” and it’s ridiculous! Brain-based learning is the process of thoughtfully implementing purposeful strategies based on research derived from a synergy of sizzling cutting-edge disciplines. They include, but are not limited to: cognitive neuroscience, chemistry, nutrition, social neurosciences, biology, pharmacology, computational sciences, quantum systems thinking, and artificial intelligence modeling.
More has been discovered about the brain and mind in the last 20 years than in all of recorded history. Yet, most teachers have no clear understanding of how the brain learns, remembers and behaves except on a superficial basis. Sadly, this lack of knowledge leaves the average educator with an education formulated in, and designed for, the last century. But there’s hope.
When you attend a Jensen Learning program, you’ll discover the genuine “Brain-based Learning” in a completely new way.
Your presenter, Eric Jensen is a twenty-year veteran of the brain-based field. He’s trained more people, written more books and innovated more than anyone in the field. Every principle, every idea and strategy is role-modeled so you can see it, hear it and feel HOW it works.
“(This workshop is) way better, more useful than most graduate courses.” -R.Z. Vernon, NJ
This program is literally, teaching with the brain in mind. It is purposeful, dynamic and easy to implement. The scientific, research-based teaching that BBL advocates involves the use of ten fundamental brain-mind principles. Each of these has been well supported by rigorous, quality scientific studies. These principles are revealed to you through activities, case study, lectures, video and discussion. Each of these principles is so powerful, that implementing even half of them will make a mind-blowing difference in your work.
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to what one of our participants has said…
“I took your workshop a couple of years ago and have been training other teachers. I had just turned around another group of skeptical teachers. As we were packing up, my new training partner said, “OK, it works. I was skeptical and didn’t agree with all the things you were doing, but I’m convinced that it makes a huge difference.” She never questioned what I was doing after that. She just began questioning why so she could understand it better too.” B. Felip, Trenton, NJ
This program is a dynamic overview of Eric Jensen’s revised book Teaching with the Brain in Mind. This course provides specific, practical brain-compatible strategies for all educators. All teachers influence their students. Now you can discover what it takes for students to acquire complex learning and achieve their best. You’ll want to learn these essential rules for how our brain works.
So many teachers want the quick strategies they can use the very next day. Unfortunately, many of those are just more of the same. Sometimes what makes a strategy work (or not work) is HOW the teacher “sets up” the activity. Other times it works because of the timing or the environmental factors.
In short, it not about just the strategy. But for a moment, let’s say, you’ve already taken one of my amazing multi-day brain-based courses. The following might be good for a quick reminder:
1. The saying “too much, too fast,” means we won’t integrate and recall the information if you teach is quickly. Instead, chunk down the learning into small chunks; allow processing and settling time with partners or as reflective journal time.
2. Because every brain is different—genes + experience, plus the interplay between the two, recall the importance of honoring uniqueness, respecting differences. That means use huge variety to maximize learning. Use visual, with illustrations, and podcasts and DVDs. Then use movement with drama, hands on and energizers. Also use plenty of call-response with partner dialogs.
3. Most subjects can be learned under moderate stress; think of it as “healthy concern.” To ramp that up, use constant accountability. After every learning chunk, have kids create a quiz question, stand up, quiz their neighbor or create a short quiz of 10 questions. Use teams, peer pressure and deadlines to add concern. Remember the material better with an emotion embedded with it. After the quiz, celebrate the progress.
4. Thinking about thinking builds learning skills as active processing time. Add the process of journaling, discussion and learning logs valuable for better learning. Give students starter sentences such as “What I was curious (or stressed over) about today was”… Or, “What I learned today was… and, the way I learned it best was when I.” Until patterns emerge, learning is often random and messy, following no clear path over time, the patterns become more obvious. Pattern making is more complex in second languages like math and music.
5. Remember the value in non-learning or “settling” time, to consolidate the content. Take breaks, recess, lunch, relax time, walks, for passive processing. Even a quick energizer that’s fun and playful can be a good break.
6. Our brain can memorize, but our best learning is the trial & error learning; it’s a key to complex learning–there’s value in games done well, so use games, computers, competition, building, initiatives, etc. Games like hopscotch, relays, or just let kids quiz each other. Brains rarely get it right the first time—learning complexity is built over time Using checklists, peer teaching, computers, asking Qs, are all examples of using trial and error.
Kids from poverty do not need a “dumbed down” curriculum.
These are the three “As” that matter” most: arts, AP (advanced placement curriculum) and activity (P.E., recess, sports).
Before these kids even get to school, they have been subjected to years of “doing without.” Poor children are half as likely to be taken to museums, theaters, or to the library and are less likely to go on culturally enriching outings. Low-income children have fewer or smaller designated play areas in the home and spend more time watching television and less time exercising than non-poor children.
Financial limitations of parents also often exclude low-income kids from healthy after-school activities such as music, athletics, dance or drama. In addition, kids from poverty are more prone to depression.
This is critical information for educators because school sports, recess and physical activity all reduce the likelihood of depression in kids via increasing neurogenesis. In fact, part of depression is the inability to recognize novelty, which makes them disinterested in class and harder to teach.
Boosting neurogenesis is the ultimate low-budget anti-depressant… (more…)
Every New Discipline Has Challenges
Typical challenges involved in brain-based learning include:
Sorry, there are no shortcuts with the last one of the three. But the other two, we can help you with those challenges involved in brain-based learning. First, here’s how to find people you can trust. First, do they “walk the talk?” This means, when you attend one of their workshops, do they actually role model and use the strategies they are proposing? Jensen workshops will always model what is being taught because:
Additionally, Jensen always cites his sources. You can rest assured that every single thing offered, proposed or used is research based, cited and classroom tested. That means you can trust the learning, knowledge and skills you get at every Jensen workshop.
The second of the two challenges refers to the type of “learning format.” We suggest the “PPPA” format.
The first “P” means “paper.” Get one of Jensen’s books on the topic you want to learn about and learn the background, so you already have your brain pre-exposed to the topic.
The second “P” means “in person.” There’s no better way than to get the content in a workshop where you can see, hear and practice every skill.
The third “P” is to go back to your “paper notes” from the workshop when you return to school. Use them as a guide for the final “A”.
“A” is for “apply.” This is where you implement the ideas and experience the joy of success.
All of this new knowledge is based on a brand-new paradigm. The paradigm began with the research, which was eventually aggregated into simple, but powerful principles. Let’s get a quick introduction to the principles because they help you overcome the challenges of brain-based learning.
The challenges come about the same way challenges come about for anything that is new and innovative. The questions are asked, and they can be answered. With the proper research, testing, and validation, we all can find better paths to achievement.
The principles behind the technique…
Nothing is perfect. Limitations of brain-based learning do exist. No one process or paradigm can solve ALL of the problems in education. The brain itself has limitations, and all of us are part of the process. They are no more difficult than the limitations you find in any other teaching and learning situation. It will take exposure, awareness, skill-building, and time to become adept. But it can be learned in a fun and supportive way.
What is brain-based learning?
Brain-based learning is a new paradigm in teaching that integrates instruction with the optimal method in which the brain learns and stores information. If there weren’t limitations of brain-based learning, as with all learning, then everyone could potentially know everything there is to know.
To understand what it is all about, it is the:
Although brain-based learning takes into consideration the way the brain best retains information, it also is subject to its flaws and weaknesses. The human brain is not optimally designed, nor did it evolve for the purposes of formalized classroom instruction. Thus, there truly are limitations of brain-based learning because it takes people (like you) to implement it and we all have limits on our time and resources.
Here are a couple of examples of limits in a classroom. (more…)
In-Service Learning Should Be about Reforms and Improvements to Teaching.
Making an educational staff development plan is not always easy. There is a lot of competition for teachers’ time and, from a classroom standpoint, every day is precious.
The chief purpose of making an educational staff development plan is to promote reform in the classroom and in education in general. Any reform requires teachers to center on changes to their own practice of teaching for better results. Any reform that increases student engagement, enhances retaining or critical information, and allows for higher academic achievement should go at the top of the list for material to use in staff development plans.
We can safely say that teachers are far more likely to modify their everyday instructional practices (which is a huge key) when their professional development is linked directly to their daily experiences and aligned with standards and assessments.
In other words, tie in what you are offering with what your staff already does every day. This way there is an immediate tie-in and teachers can see the connection. Additionally, the staff developer should role-model every strategy and give teachers a moment to practice it in small groups.
Staff Development is a Requirement
Making an educational staff development plan is required for teacher recertification and licensing in all states. That requires teachers to spend a considerable amount of time in on-going development, in-service training, or post-graduate credits. There is so much to learn, but because the need to attend in-service development sometimes outweighs the effort to gain meaningful knowledge to use in the classroom, many teachers spend many hours learning how to use a digital camera, a GPS device, or other pedestrian subjects rather than filling the hours with solid, meaningful reforms to apply in the classroom.
Jensen Learning Can Help