Every now and then I do a survey. For example, five months ago we did a survey to find out what you thought about lesson planning. Two great things came from the survey. First, we learned a great deal from your thoughtful comments. We used your comments to put together something amazing for each of you. Therefore, the second goodie is that, although only one person (Ginna Myers) won the grand prize, everyone has won something of great value.
In fact, it might be the single most important gift I could ever give you… and it’s FREE (free is good)!
For years, I have pushed a more thoughtful approach to teaching that combines the power of emotions, movement, music and the development of cognitive capacity. But the challenge to use a more brain-based approach is in the proper planning, sequencing and execution of the processes.
Why is this planning so important?
If you’re doing the wrong thing in teaching, kids lose out and either they don’t change or they change for the worse. Kids can change more quickly than you ever thought. A recent study at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive Thinking by Dr. Draganski and colleagues stated, “…we demonstrate significant gray matter volume increases in frontal and parietal brain areas following only two sessions of practice…” (Taubert, et al. 2010).
This is crazy good!
This stunning discovery that our brain can actually change its shape within days or weeks in response to certain mental and physical stimuli is dramatically different from the “old school” fixed mindset that change happened after months or years (or, not at all.) We now know that just doing complex thinking can literally add gray mass to the brain (Aydin, K., et al. 2007). But how do we get kids to be doing the complex thinking required for high performance learning? Read more