Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program www.rpdp.net The Impact of Environment on Learning Nine tenths of education is encouragement. ~~Anatole Frache~~ Read, Reflect, Connect Read through the activities on pages 5155; 68-96 and 157-165
Guiding questions: How do these activities connect to the 5 NEPF Teacher Standards? How can YOU use this activity in YOUR classroom? Think lesson plan Brain Class Mantra There is no learning without memory. Students make meaning by connecting to existing knowledge. Neurons that fire together, wire together.
Practice makes permanent! 5 Principles for Creating Brain Compatible Classrooms 1. Environmentemotion, motivation, collaboration--Pleasure 2. Coherenceconnections, meaning, patterns--Patterns 3. Timereflection, error correction, feedback 4. NoveltyMusic, games, movement 5. ChallengeQuestioning and choice
Think and Write. Write about a time when you were motivated to learn something. What did you learn to do? Why did you learn it? What motivated you? A Little Bit of Research B.F. Skinner Traditionally schools operate on
reward/punishment Use stimulus-response, behavior modification or assertive discipline Based on the belief that human behavior results from environmental factors If it werent for the reward, what we are teaching you would not be worth learning. --Eric Jensen Internal Control Theory William Powers, 1990s
Young children dont need to be rewarded to learn At any age rewards are less effective than intrinsic motivation for promoting learning Rewards for learning undermine intrinsic motivation When we offer a reward, we are killing off the interest in the very thing we are bribing them to do. If the learner is doing the task to get the reward, it will be understood, on some level, that the task is
inherently undesirable. Forget the use of rewards Make school meaningful, relevant, and fun. Then you wont have to bribe students. ~~ Eric Jensen, 2001~~ What happens outside of us has a lot to do with what we choose to do, but the outside event does not cause our behavior. What we get, and all we ever get, from the outside is information; how we choose to act on that information is up to us. ~~ William Glasser, 1990~~ We have four basic
psychological needs: Belonging and connecting Power and competence Freedom Fun All behavior represents our best attempt at
any moment to satisfy our needs. William Glasser, 1998 and 1 Physiological Need Must feel safe Energy is re-directedfight or flight Difficult to think or remember
Brain can not differentiate between emotional and physical danger Trusting student-teacher relationships are essential for learning. Bryk & Schneider What Motivates Us? Examine the motivators you have listed Identify/classify based on the four needs: Belonging and connecting Power and competence Freedom
Fun Are your needs being met externally or internally? Why? Remember: Behavior is always purposeful Internal control psychology asserts that all humans are motivated from the inside out. Therefore, the struggle is NOT how to motivate students to learn; it is in creating a classroom environment that focuses and
attracts students intrinsic motivation to learn. How a person feels about a learning situation determines the amount of attention devoted to it. ~~ Eric Jensen~~ RPDP Secondary Literacy Amygdala concept Located in
the Limbic System Critical for emotional memory Almond shaped Located near the Hippocampus
Reflective/expressive writing improves leaning and memory Writing about a problem helps rid our mind of upsetting thoughts and thus improves our ability to maintain and process information (Klein & Boals, 2001; Pennebaker & Seagal, 1999). Causes of Stress in Schools Peer relationships Text-taking anxiety and oral presentations Physical, clothing, language differences
No personal relevance Frustration due to previous failure and falling behind Sustained or frequent boredom Repeated Failure Fixed Mindset Beliefs
My intelligence and skills are predetermined, limited, unchangeable My efforts are fruitless Video games Goal buy-in Achievable challenge Acknowledgment of incremental goal progress The PULL is powered by Dopamine No significant learning occurs
without a significant relationship of mutual respect. The most mature person in any social setting is the one who is most adaptable to other peoples needs. John Dewey How students says they know a teacher respects themRuby Payne The teacher
Hey you. The teacher The teacher The teacher The teacher The teacher help. calls me by name, not answers my questions. cares about me. talks to me respectfully.
notices me and says, hi. helps me when I need Belonging and Connecting Create a positive climate attitudes are caught, not taught Positive feedback/recognition Celebrate diversity Display student work Establish a relationship with parents Cooperative learning The key process to educate now is autonomous and
competitive. It needs to change to be relational learning. Ruby Payne Light Bulb! Take a minute to jot down an idea, a thought or a connection Now, share your thoughts with a partner. Environment and Learning 1. Does social interaction affect learning in mice?
2. Does an enriched environment affect learning in mice? 3. Does exercise affect learning in mice? How much..? A students brain physically changes every day and their environment either enhances or impairs it. Rat studies have shown: Greatest gains3 rats in an enriched cage-- social interaction, play, exploration, physical and mental challenges
Medium gains3 rats in a small cage, no toys-social Low gains1 rat in an enriched cage No gains1 rat, no toys--isolated, inactive No gains1 rat in isolated cage watching those in the enriched cagepassive learning When cage conditions were changed, it took only four days for the rats brains to change. Enriched Learning Environments will grow new dendrites & strengthen synapses
Emotion Movement Peer interaction Reflection/Feedback
Meaningful learning Connections Challenge The Brain Can Be Rewired Until recently, experts have maintained the adult brain was immutable, hardwired. Research in the past few years has come to realize that adult brains retain impressive powers of neuroplasticitythe ability to change its structure and function in response to experience. When no transmissions arrive from the eyes in
someone who has been blind from a young age, the visual cortex can learn to hear or feel or even support verbal memory. Phantom limb experiences happen when nearby parts of the brain take over the areas of the brain originally assigned to the missing body part. A young man with his left arm severed just below the elbow could feel sensations in his missing fingers when stroked on parts of his face. V.S. Ramachandran (neuroscientist from Univ. of California at San Diego) concluded that the brain
reorganizes: the strip of cortex that processes input from the face takes over the area that originally received input from the now missing hand. Metacognition In a series of experiments Schwartz at Univ. of CA found that cognitive behavior therapy can quiet activity in the circuit that underlies obsessivecompulsive disorder, just as much as drugs do. When OCD patients were plagued by an obsessive thought, Schwartz instructed them to practice mindfulness meditation, the Buddhist practice of
observing ones inner experiences as if they were happening to someone else. Same thing happened at Univ. of Toronto with patients who suffered from depression. Meditation had the same effects on their brains as the antidepressant Paxil. The conscious act of thinking about our thoughts in a particular way rearranges our brain. Cerebellum
concept An exterior lobe Located in back of brain Means little brain in
Greek Coordinates movement & balance The Neurobiology of Stress Psychological stress is not always bad. When we are under-aroused, we usually lack the stimulation to perform optimally and boredom sets in. A chronically high level of stress damages brain cells. Moderate stressthe kind produced by reasonable
assignment deadlines, accountability expectation, and healthy competitionis just what the brain needs for optimal learning (Borell, et al, 1999; Clement & Chapouthier, 1998; Sheline, et al. 1999) Competence & Challenge Its a balancing act! RAS: Toggle Switch High Middle
Sleep (depression) Flight/fight Problem solving Relaxation Out of control In control
Off duty Carbohydrates Proteins Carbs/dairy Burnout! Achievement
Depression Extreme challenge Moderate challenge No challenge Learning only happens when the toggle switch is in the middle position.
Math Anxiety When people worry about math, the brain feels the pain Brain scans show that in those with high levels of math anxiety, the same areas of the brain that react when we feel pain, react in anticipation of doing math Activity is reduced in the cerebral cortex and increased in the amygdala The buzz in the fear center interferes with problem solving and critical thinking
So, what can we do? Spend 10 minutes writing about their fears before working math Have students reaffirm their self-worth by listing values like relationships with friends and family Have students list why they might do well rather than poorly By deliberately shifting their frame of mind, students can rise above their fears RAS
concept Receives all stimuli Control arousal Located at the base of the brain Decides
what to let in and what to block Examining your practice. In one week, how often do you use collaborative/cooperative learning? What is the upside? What is the downside? How do you address the problems? Why Cooperative Learning?
Stimulates higher levels of thinking Develops social skills Develops listening skills Encourages articulation of thinking Honors all learners
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Helen Keller Cooperative Learning continued.
Holds students accountable Helps students remember Allows students to make connections Allows student to see other perspectives Promotes deeper understanding It is social support from and accountability peers that motivates committed efforts to succeed. ~~David & Roger Johnson~~ Experts point to 5 characteristics that differentiate group work and
cooperative learning Interdependence among members Holds students individually accountable Promotes positive face-to-face interaction Builds communication and conflict resolution Encourages group processing; use reflections to become better team members
Preparing your students and your classroom Pairs and triads are easier than larger groups Group high/medium; medium/low 1 high learner to 2 low is best ratio Set up and discuss behavior guidelines and procedures/use a rubric/model/practice Self and group reflections: What contributions did I make? What could I have better? What worked well? What didnt? Why?
Use a timer and develop a signal for quiet Have a signal for your availability during group time Temporal Lobes concept Located on both sides of brain
Important for speech & sound In the left side resides Wernickes area Is one of the 4 lobes
Brain Interrupted The brain does NOT multitaskit parallel processes If you we do two things at once, both efforts suffer. Research has shown that the average office worker gets only 11 minutes between each interruption, while it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task.
Recent research has focused on the quality of work done during toggling 136 subjects asked to read a short passage and answer questions 3 groups: one with no interruptions, other 2 told they might be contacted for further instructions During the first test, group 2 and 3 were interrupted twice. During the second test, only group 2 was interrupted Group 3 waited but no interruption came
Predict the outcome During the 1st test groups 2 and 3 answered 20% less correct than group 1 During the 2nd test, the interrupted group performed under group 1, but this time only by14% During the 2nd test, Group 3 improved by 43% and outperformed group 1. So, it is possible to train yourself for interruptions, but trying to do more than one thing at a time will always decrease
productively and brain power. Exercise Boosts Brain Power Cognitive scientists found that the fittest kids in high school also scored higher on tests, even when factors such as socio-economic status were taken into account. Research suggests that exercise spurs growth in the hippocampus, leading to improved function. When new nerve cells form in the brain, their growth is accompanied by the creation of blood vessels. Researchers found that physical
exercise increased blood volume in the hippocampus, implying new cells were forming in this area. Studies with 3rd and 4th graders have shown that exercise also increases executive brain functions, and a variety of skills ranging from math to logic to reading. Once exercise stops, however, these effects decrease and eventually disappear.
A Brainy Environment The brain constantly scans the environment to make sense out of the world. Peripheral stimuli include everything from body language, to classroom climate, to physical environment, including dcor and orderliness. Charts, pictures, posters, word walls to smiling and nodding all contribute to learning. Self Reflection: Think of one way you can address peripheral learning. Share your thoughts with your group. The Brains Error Correction
Process When we make a mistake, two executive systems in the brains frontal region, the frontal eye field and the cingulated cortex, react, thereby helping us to correct the mistake. When we see and correct our own errors, we learn. Rather than simply pointing our mistakes, help learners identify where and how their logic became faulty. This is why self-assessment and reflection are powerful learning tools
Balanced Feedback Verbal feedback during and after a learning task are key elements in the error-correction process. However, feedback given continuously and concurrently during learning can impeded the process. Intervening too soon or too often in the learning process can undermine information acquisition and retention. How does this relate to your classroom?
Frequent Feedback of Incremental Progress Show achievable segments on route to final goal Students see the connection between practice and goal progress Students who recognize that their effort influences their success apply greater effort-growth mindset Analytic Rubrics-provide feedback about incremental progress-RubiStar
Progress graphs-www.onlinecharttool.com Can Optimism Change Reality? Study manipulated positive (smart and clever) and negative (stupid and ignorant) expectations of students while their brains were scanned and tested performance on cognitive tasks Responded differently to their mistakes Mistake followed positive words, saw activity in the Error Correction part of brain Brains that didnt expect good results just
gave up What is a sleeping brains favorite musical group (rock band)? REM What kind of fish performs brain operations? A neurosturgeon Cubing #1-Describe it: What does it look like? #2-Compare it: What is it similar to or different
from? #3-Associate it: What does it make you think of? #4-Analyze it: How is it made or what is it composed of? #5-Apply it: What can you do with it? How is it used? #6-Argue for or against it: Take a stand and
list your reasons. Learning is Connecting Brain seeks meaning by connecting to existing knowledgeinterprets new info based on existing patterns If there is no pattern waiting, new input is misinterpreted, rejected or disappears! Use multiple pathways-there is no all-purpose memory path Provide reflection and discussion
Prime the brain prior to asking students to do anyPriming learning means we show experience. students: 1) What they will get out of the experience (the objectives) 2) What they will encounter as they go through the experience (itinerary, structure)
The Power of Patterns Experts think in relationships, patterns, chunks Novices keep individual pieces Solid learning comes from when students make the connections, not when we tell them about them. Patterning Stages Short-term memory connects new to existing memorypattern matching (analogies)
Long-term memory connections are strengthened when new information is activated with stored information-(graphic organizers/compare & contrast) New applications of memory circuits extends isolated memory circuits into expanded patterns of concept networks (transfer) What happened? Your brain frequently activates the words, cow, milk and white The frequent activation of those bits of
information in a relationship (pattern) connected them into a strong memory circuitfastest retrieval Frequently experienced patterns trump new patterns What fires together wires together! What do You See? What do You See?
Optical illusions work because our brains use strong patterns to interpret input We perceive what the brain expects based on past experiences Brain Fact: Drill and Kill Isolated skill practice is contrary to brains instinct to preserve its energy No expectation of pleasure or purpose When students know information will be used to create solutions to problems that interest them or create products they want,
the brain predicts pleasure and applies itself to achieve the desirable goal. To Solve New Problems the Brain Must Recognize the Relationships Relying on memorized procedures/facts without understanding meaning wont work Must link through relationships or is not constructed into a concept network Input (questions, decisions) that do NOT match the way the input was taught/memorized, does not activate the
memory Give students time to discover the connections among isolated information Graphic Organizers Promote Connections Graphic organizers coincide with the brains style of patterning They consolidate and store information to help create meaningful and relevant connections to previously stored memories They allow students to make associations,
discover patterns, sort information, and store the new data as relational memories and long-term memories We file by similarities and we retrieve by differences Graphic Organizers Are intrinsically engaging, as they require students to interpret and interact with material Build patterning skills for short-term
working memory efficiency When students create their own categories the connection is increased due to personal relevance That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something youve understood all your life, but in a new way. Practice Makes Efficient fMRI studies during the learning of a motor movement (learning to play the piano) revealed that during these initial learning stages, a large portion of the brains
motor control region is activated. With practice and improved skill levels, smaller and smaller regions of the brain are activated during the piano playing. In professional musicians, only very tiny regions of the motor cortex are involved in their playing. Practice makes the neural networks more efficient; it takes less brain metabolism to carry out the same activity. Takes less brain energy and space Two Brains Playing a Computer Game
The Power of Prep-tests Students who take practice exams, pre-tests, or structured preparation courses significantly increase their actual test scores. Positive results are even more significant when students are motivated and experience success. Practice with format Converts information from short to long-term memory Lessens the brains fear or anxiety response Strengthens the neural connections that are
formed while learning and receiving feedback (provide immediate feedback on practice tests) A positive attitude alters the brains chemistry fostering the production of dopaminepropels optimism and noradrenaline, which provide physical energy and ultimately influences the activation of the frontal lobes. Hippocampus concept Greek for
seahorse Does not develop until age 3 Files semantic memories Used in long term memory
Novelty excites the brain! Ask students to think divergently: With a partner, work for 10 minutes and give me all the arguments against what I just taught you. Describe the object in 5 8 sentences without using a single adverb or adjective How are math operation signs like music? Use props/drama/skits Add music Teach backwards one day
Using Humor to Enhance Learning A good laugh is sunshine in a house. Physiological Benefits More oxygen Endorphin surge Sociological and Educational Benefits Gets students attention Creates a positive climate Increases retention
Improves everyones mental health Helps with management issues Making Learning Fun Make it fun and learning happens.
Integrate elements of curiosity and novelty Use movement Use learning games Be enthusiastic Appeal to their interests Although structure and routine are critical parts of a successful classroom, students thrive off of variety We tend to focus on knowing what. We need to focus on knowing how.
Learning follows the 70/20/10 formula: 70% of learning is doing, making and correcting mistakes, problem solving & inquiry 20% of learning comes from feedback, reflection and observation 10% of learning comes from formal training How does instruction look in your classroom? Too often in education we focus on the WHAT of learning rather than the HOW.
Teach a student HOW TO learn and they can learn for a lifetime! If we are intent on covering everything, we can be certain that most kids wont learn. We have to get them involved with learning; not just in the classroom, but in their homes and on their streets. ~~Howard Gardner~~
Processing Activity I used to think., But now I know.. Ticket Out the Door Ideas that struck you Questions you still have Thoughts, connections or Reflect on what we have discussed
today and Write about HOW you will use what youve learned. Brain Class Mantra There is no learning without memory. Students make meaning by connecting to existing knowledge. Neurons that fire together, wire together. Practice makes permanent!
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