Teaching with the Brain in Mind Teacher Workshop:
“This is the best week long workshop I have taken.”
Ana R., San Antonio, TX
“This is the most engaging, fun, informative conference I have ever attended.”
Mari Jo Z., Wisconsin Rapids, WI
“This conference has changed the way I think everyday. It’s a must for any person in education.” Anonymous
“You have to go to this wonderful workshop. There is so much we need to learn in order to help students.”
Rose P., Corpus Christi, TX
“Go for it! Will be one of the best weeks of your professional life.”
Tami W., Irving, TX
“You really need to attend. It will change your point of view on teaching.”
Rachel B., Saginaw, MI
“This week-ling seminar was the best thing I did this summer for improving my teaching practice. I understand the “why” and “how” of the strategies.”
Ruth H., Wisconsin Rapids, WI
“Best conference I’ve been to in 20 years – very informative, many easy-to-use ideas, what I learned will make my teaching more intentional.”
Barb S., Wisconsin Rapids, WI
“You have to go – no other conference could be more informative for the “why” we should or shouldn’t do in our classroom.”
A.J. P., Wisconsin Rapids, WI
“Regardless of who and where you teach, you and your students will benefit!”
Mindy A., Montezuma, KS
“Attend, Attend, Attend. One of the best classed I’ve been too.”
Ross R., San Antonio, TX
“Every teacher & administrator need to attend TWTBIM. You will learn how to manage states and helping others manager their states. You will go home learning so many strategies that can be used all the time.”
Melinda A., Corpus Christi, TX
“It is a truce life changing experience. You will learn how to walk the talk. You will learn how to apply BBL into your daily routine as a teacher, consultant, human being.”
Sorietta M., Levittown, Puerto Rico
“Brain-Compatible learning strategies are critical for taking students to their optimal levels of performance and repairing our broken education system. This workshop is brilliantly presented. You will leave clearly knowing the what, how, and why for implementing.”
Mindy R., Belchertown, MA
“Don’t hesitate about time or money. It is worth every second, every penny and every bit of energy.” Trisha S., San Antonio, TX
“This is a workshop all teachers should be required to attend! Understanding how kids learn will have a huge impact on how I teach.”
L. Allen, Marshfield, MO
“Highly recommend workshop for anyone looking to make a difference with staff and students.”
H. Kirk, Houston, TX
“You have to go to this workshop. It will change your life by making you LOVE teaching again.”
S. Reed, Makawao, HI
“This is by far the best PD I’ve ever received! Practical strategies hooked me on day one.”
G. Gilman, Mexico, MO
“Anyone who does or doesn’t ask about the course I’m going to tell them it was a mind and body changing experience. I will not be the teacher I was but a more intentional and motivating teacher. This was the most engaging course I’ve ever taken. I didn’t want to get up & leave to do something because I didn’t want to miss a thing. Awesome!”
C. Dlugas, Toledo, OH
“Go! You’ll never look at teaching and learning the same way. It helped clarify my practice and reminded me of the importance of as well showed me new ways of being more purposeful and deliberate throughout my entire day with my students.” B. Perkins, Pittsburgh, PA
“One of the most awesome educational experiences ever. After 24 yrs. of teaching I can still learn how to affect my student’s lives & learning.”
C. Shelden, Houston, TX
“Definitely inspiring training. It makes me truly believe that there is a way to every child’s learning & nothing is impossible!”
A. Mendoza, Amarillo, TX
“Every educator must take this workshop – it changes your core!!”
D. Krebs, Keller, TX
“This is a fabulous, enlightening workshop! Be prepared for high energy and information that can be transferred into school setting immediately!”
M. Strahan, Houston, TX
“The best workshops are the ones where a teacher walks away with ready-to-implement strategies. Everybody at this workshop has a tone of useful strategies that can be implemented immediately.”
M. Gamboa, San Antonio, TX
“As a literacy coach, I have attended and lead many professional trainings but this by far has been the most informative, practical, inspiring and interesting. I wish I could bring all my teacher’s with me.”
X. Kahn, Orlando, FL
I have had so many success stories; I wouldn’t know where to begin. Your workshop in Portland last summer changed my life. I have truly rekindled my passion for teaching using your tools of engagement strategies. As a matter of fact, today I was voted Teacher of the Year for Sawtooth Middle School. Yesssssssssssssss!!!!! I look forward everyday to engaging my students in the learning process. So today, I honor you and your dedication to providing teachers with the best and latest brain researched strategies to engage all learners of any age or skill level.
Forever in gratitude.”
– Donna Battazzo, 6th grade teacher, Sawtooth Middle School
“We (my teaching partner Mike Brasch and I) have focused on threat reduction w/ these students who are very low readers by using lots of self assessment, personal connections, personal stories, humor breaks for laughter, music to transition mental states w/ ease, water and movement for every ones’ brain food…along w/ Brain Gym to start each class, and lots of partner and small group work. My kids understand exactly how their brains work and they know why they need settling time (to allow for tighter connections…) after every 20 minutes of input.
They even share the fact that they have to ASK their other teachers for settling time to make better connections! Pruning during sleep is something they come into class discussing and are very anxious for a quick ‘brain check’ of the pervious day’s information to see what IF ANYTHING was ‘pruned!’
The role of the Hippocampus is very clear to them and they laugh about the fact that their brain’s ‘media specialist’ is hard at work looking for the information that it stored the previous night. We have lots of fun w/ all of this cool ‘brain information’ but meanwhile our data is showing huge gains in literacy skills as we go along through this year. Lots of testimonials are coming to me via email from my colleagues noting the tremendous jumps in reading levels and self-esteem of my students in Academic Literacy.”
– Barbara Mercer, Vancouver School for the Arts & Academics, Vancouver, WA 6 – 12th grade struggling readers
…I have been experimenting with preschool age children and language acquisition through rhythm stick activities. Keeping in mind the work of Alfred Tomatis, I theorized that children drop syllables because they don’t hear them. Therefore, by putting words into straight rhythms, tapping sticks and saying them we are: using both sides of the brain, using several senses and slowing down the sounds for better processing. Of course, we put words back into their natural cadence so as not to disrupt speech patterns. Parents are finding that the children are becoming more successful with words and able to say words they had been having trouble with.”
– Maryann “Mar.” Harman, Music with Mar. classes in Pinellas County FL (and other places)
“I am happy to relate a brain-related success story from my school. The problem will be choosing which story to relate! In the seven years since I began teaching the Music and Movement class at Bonham Early Childhood Center I have seen how music and movement enhances the academic and social development of all young learners, especially those with disabilities. At Bonham I teach all the children, which includes regular learners, Spanish dominant learners, PPCD and hearing impaired learners.
One young girl has been enrolled in the PPCD classroom since she turned three. She has very little language and has a difficult time communicating with those in her environment. She has recently been diagnosed with Autism. Her class comes to me twice a week, once by themselves and once with their inclusion class. I have found that doing the activities first as a small class gives the PPCD children an opportunity to experience the activities at a slower pace. When they attend as members of a much larger inclusion class they are more willing and able to participate and benefit more fully from the songs, dances and other activities. At the end of each class the children have around ten minutes of “Free Play”. At this time they are able to make choices of the instruments and equipment in the room and play freely. One of the first sentences this little girl said was during this time. She picked up a tambourine and began jumping while she played. She began singing, “I am jumping. I am jumping.” I relayed this to her teacher, who was thrilled!
Thank you for the opportunity to share just one of the joys I experience each day as a teacher of these precious children.”
“Here’s a strategy that involves understanding the brain and the need for an absence of threat by establishing a year-long theme that creates a warm classroom atmosphere:
Children learn better in a safe environment that fosters the absence of threat. My fifth-grade classroom is decorated as a wolf den with trees, plants, stuffed wolves, wolf puppets, camouflage drapes, a cave (it’s really a small tent), beanbag tree stumps, etc. My students and I are known as the WOLFe PACK, and each cooperative learning “Tribe” has a Native American Indian name. We like to start our day with a Pow Wow (community circle) where we learn about each other by taking turns sharing personal reactions, opinions, funny stories, family customs, background experiences, etc. This creates a feeling of closeness, understanding, and a sense of identity that establishes a warm, safe, and accepting atmosphere where conflicts are resolved quickly and respectfully, and long-lasting friendships are built.”
– Louise Chickie-Wolfe
“Eric (Jensen) got me fired up from a 1998 Fairfax County (VA) presentation. Since then at my school we do some Brain energizers to get students blood flow going and encourage thinking—We do this every day the students come to PE and strongly encourage classroom teachers to do the same, plus lots of water and moving around, before any test or quiz.
But our biggest success has been the Pre-SOL (Virginia State Standards of Learning) Test Warm Up. All classes in the grade level come to the gym at 8:15 am for a half hour of movement before their tests begin. The gym is divided into three stations; a walk/jog “track” around the outside corner cones, and two other aerobic type activities – one on each half of the gym on the inside of the corner cones.
For 3-4 minutes all students are moving to high BPM music. Rotations occur through the three stations on this time frame for 20 minutes. Then, all classes sit on the floor and perform their designated Brain Gym ® Exercises, followed by relaxation. The last five minutes the students listen to classical music (low BPM). At the end students are dismissed to their classroom teacher for water breaks before testing begins.
Classroom teachers and administrators are very pleased with the increased attention span the students have while taking the tests. They report the students are better able to focus and stay on task longer. They also report the students are more relaxed and there is less test anxiety.”
–Mark Pankau, Physical Education,
Guilford Elementary School, Loudoun County Public Schools, Sterling, VA. 20164
“I have enclosed a copy of a program (KEEP 57) that I have created based on Brain research that I did at the University at Buffalo. We looked at intense exercise as a way to improve brain chemistry (as an alternative to drugs like Ritalin) and as you know the added benefit is clear on the impact of cardio-intense exercise on brain growth. We have done two trials beyond the SUNY Buffalo research and found a positive impact on executive function as well. I have also included a paper on drug abuse, exercise and the brain. I know brain-based learning supports the managing and influencing of brain states. Most recently we were published in JOPHERD Nov 2004.”
–Dr. Michael S. Wendt, Superintendent of Schools,
Wilson Central School District, 412 Lake Street, Wilson, New York 14172
“We have implemented Body-brain compatible strategies school wide. Our teachers have attended the Jensen BRAIN Expo for over five years. Our success stories are many. We have school wide procedures in place that have created a safe learning environment for our students. All of my teachers have increased our use of movement as a result of the training we have received and the current research. We are a school that keeps up on current research and use this to improve our teaching practice.
I would be happy to discuss details and the incredible success we have had over the past five years.”
–Laurie Mclachlan Fry, Principal, Chipman Middle School in Alameda, California
“My name is Bobi Condry and I teach a transition first grade at the Republic Early Childhood Center in Republic, Missouri. In our grade level we are required to give spelling tests. The brain research on sensory pathways suggests using more of them, more intensely. It is my goal to teach using the best practices so I teach spelling in many different ways, using oral, visual, and kinesthetic pathways each week. By doing this we are able to empower our students to know their individual strengths and to study their words at home using their most effective pathway.”
“Eric, I teach emotionally disturbed 4th and 5th grade students. I have had your Special Needs Brain Based Workshop and have had great success with knowing which parts of the brain that special learners have affected. I frequently use the reduction of threat by making the environment of my classroom very structured and appealing, which you presented in your workshop. Last year I was voted teacher of the year on my campus because the success my students showed and improvement they had made by utilizing many of your techniques. Thanks!”
–Bill Combs, Foster Village Elementary, Birdville Independent School District, North Richland Hills, Texas
“I work at an all at-risk public school, PreK-3rd grade. I currently teach 3rd grade and have implemented several brain-based strategies in my classroom. All my students have water bottles they keep on their desks and drink from regularly in order to keep from becoming dehydrated. At lunch, instead of grabbing one of the juice drinks, students will reach for the water bottles being sold. I use music as the students are coming in for the day to get them motivated and to prepare them for their lessons. We take regular breaks throughout the lessons to stretch, jog in place, and just to reenergize ourselves. We use the 10-2 rule- Ten minutes of instruction, 2 minutes of feedback either through partner discussion, drawing a picture of what was just taught, journaling, or group discussion. This has helped the students improve their memory by storing the information into long-term memory.
These are just a few things we do in my classroom. I cannot pinpoint just ONE success story because all the things we are doing are leading to more productive lessons and more engaged learners. Everything we have implemented has been successful. With at-risk students, they need all of these things to help them be more successful. Our students are sent to us from their home primary schools because they have been identified as at-risk. They are a grade or two grade levels below their peers at their home schools. By using small groups and implementing these strategies, I have seen students move from a Kindergarten/1st grade, non-reading level to on-grade level, 2nd/3rd grade in six to seven months.”
–Kim Brown, 3rd Grade, Scotland Accelerated Academy, 2004-2005 North Carolina Sandhills- South Central Region, Teacher of the Year
“Hoping to get more teachers to truly understand the value of brain-based learning, I offered an after school book study to staff using the text, Secrets of the Teenage Brain, by Sheryl Feinstein. As we read each chapter and discussed the information provided, we reflected upon the classroom and its application. Staff members could earn 1 semester of college credit through my assignments — perhaps the “carrot” of motivation! Fourteen comprised the class and the projects submitted had to reflect what they learned from the book.
One wrote “One Day in My Life” — a reflection of a teenager whose behavior modeled the thoughts of the text. One made a poster using the cartoon character of ZITS and showed the mind-flow thoughts of a typical teenager. Another created a three-dimensional “star” book that contained pieces of her life from youth through the teen years and how she progressed.
A librarian and her assistant created posters to hand in the library that revealed the stages of the teen brain and the behaviors associated with it. Another created a spiral, laminated packet of handy activities from Kagan to keep the lesson and class energized and at her fingertips each day.
All claimed it was the best, individualized staff development they have done in years. By them actually doing the tasks themselves, I know it will transfer into the classroom.”
–Pat Coon-Knochelmann, Ed.D., Instructional Specialist, White Oak Middle School, Cincinnati, OH
I received a grant to study music, math, and the brain. Some of your books, etc. gave me the idea along with a workshop I attended at a math conference. I purchased CDs, speakers for my computer, and books to read.
I know that emotional states influence learning, so I play the music as kids enter the room. Often, kids can be anxious about math, so this helps to calm them. At the end of class I sometimes play music while they are working on an assignment. I also play it when they are doing group work. The kids tell me it helps to keep them focused and it calms them down. I have now added Music in Math Class to my list of workshops that I present.
I taught my Algebra II & Trig. classes the quadratic formula song (to the tune of Frere Jacques). They never forget. I have kids contact me years later and tell me that in their college math classes they will sing the song to themselves and they recall the formula instantly. I have had numerous kids tell me this. Once my principal asked me what formula the football team was singing at break time! (The quadratic formula song!) Music in the classroom has been a shot in the arm for me and my students!”
–Gary Kubina, Citronelle High School, Alabama
“Thanks to what I had been learning about brain friendly instruction, my students’ classroom experiences have been rich, exciting and fun for me too! We wanted to flood the sensory pathways with enrichment! Memory pathways, emotions, pride and inter -community participation started with a unit in 1st grade on fish, their structure at different depths and temperature of water. After the students wrote in their journals about a “Fantastic Fish”, how it looked and where it lived, they drew their fish on a piece of cloth. We took the individual squares of cloth to the local senior center where the ladies stitched a most beautiful crib quilt. The quilt was given to a local two year old having heart reconstruction surgery. The total involvement in the project, from studying fish, to presenting the blanket and meeting the seniors allowed my students to be able to say upon the child’s death four months later, ‘I am sure glad we gave him something beautiful to love.’ What a life altering experience! Also…
I just completed another of my Brain Studies -Implications for Instruction courses. The next week I had one of the students in another course. She said she had taken the ‘Framing’, ‘Brain Gym’, and ‘wait time’ strategies into her 3rd grade class during the week and couldn’t believe the difference in on task work, community and disappearance of testing behavior! She was delighted!”
–Donna Starr, Starr Educational Services, Blaine, Washington