Why Do They Act The Way They Do?
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Why Do They Act The Way They Do?






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Why Do They Act The Way They Do? Why Do They Act The Way They Do? Presentation Transcript

  • Why Do They Act The Way They Do?
    Brain Research and the Middle Level Learner
    N.M.S.A. Presenter: Frank Kros, Upside Down Organization
  • About the Presenter: Frank Kros
    • The Upside Down Organization (UDO), a program of The Children's Guild Institute, is dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth through transforming organizational cultures. UDO provides child-serving organizations and professionals with cutting-edge learning experiences using the highly successful philosophy called Transformation Education and infuses its teachings with the latest research and insights from educational neuroscience. 
    • What is Transformation Education?Transformation Education (TranZed) is an organizational philosophy that creates a brain-compatible culture, emphasizing values, skills and beliefs necessary for a successful life. TranZed is different because it focuses on transforming how professionals think and act toward children rather than changing the children’s behavior. TranZed works because it harnesses an organization’s systems, staff, environment and curriculum to provide an enriched and effective milieu for educating young people.
  • Did you know?
    • …The brain is fully developed by age…….
    • 25
    • …Kids experience a second surge in brain growth during………
    • Puberty (ages 12-18 is a vulnerable period in the brain)
  • Let’s gain some context for our work
    Consider this: Sarah is a 7th grade student at Brain Based Middle School. She stayed up late last evening snacking in her room while reading and sending text messages to her friends. In school the next day one of her friends, Emily, told her to “mind her own business” and she couldn’t believe what she had heard. She quickly lashed out and told her to “shut her trap.” She then went to her next class and told 3 other girls that she couldn’t stand Emily and shared a personal secret that Emily had shared the night before. Her teacher reprimanded her for disrupting the class and by the end of the day all of her friends were mad at her. She forgot her books at school and couldn’t remember what homework she had. When she got home from school her mom asked how her day was she told her it was terrible and she hated school because all of the girls were so mean.
  • 4 Key processes or factors impact the adolescent brain
    • Blossoming
    • Happens twice in ones lifetime (once at age 2 during language acquisition, 2nd time during adolescence)
    • Overproduction of neurons
    • Eventually creates understanding of abstract concepts
    • Pruning
    • “Use it or Lose it”
    • Myelination
    • The coating of axons
    • Repeating information/practice, practice, practice
    • Hormones
    • Hormones for boys and hormones for girls
    • Overproduced neurons connect to the amygdala connect to axon which convert to electrical impulses (these send messages)
    • A blossoming brain can be described as a “million way map”
    It’s very fast and makes for “fuzzy” thinking
    This million way map is managing:
    Decision Making
    Social Cues
    Predicting Consequences
  • Share “Brain Based” connections: Talk to your neighbor
    How does this brain based learning apply to Sarah’s scenario?
    Have you ever witnessed a student trying to navigate their own “million way map?”
  • The Male Brain and hormones
    1000X over stimulates the amygdala (palace guard)
    Social realm comes first!
    With the stress response we become alert, solve or escape, or experience distress
    May see: aggression, territorial behavior, dominance, lack of impulse control, increased sex drive
    Can have periods of melancholy
    Dopamine-with significant drop may need stimulation or input (high risk takers)
  • Share male specific “brain based” Connections: Talk to the group
    Can you think of one of your middle level learners who fit this description?
    Would any of this information cause you to approach this learner differently?
  • The female brain and hormones
    Destabilizes the amygdala (palace guard)
    Changes neurotransmitter levels
    May see: amplification of emotions, increased stress and appetite, increased sex drive, moderate to severe depression (girls don’t understand that “it’s” normal)
    Body attempts to balance 5 hormones and results in some inconsistencies in behaviors
  • Share female specific “brain based” connections: Share with the group
    Can you think of one of your middle level learners who fit this description?
    Would any of this information cause you to approach this learner differently?
  • Other applications for educators
    Repetition, repetition, repetition
    Learning=Long Term Memory
    Stress in the brain interferes with learning
    Supporting students in navigating the social realm
    Help establish healthy work habits
    Teach Executive Function Skills
  • What is Executive Function?
    “Executive Function” is a complex construct that encompasses a variety of cognitive abilities including impulse control, strategic planning, cognitive flexibility, and goal-directed behavior. EF abilities empower us to delay gratification, anticipate consequences of our behavior, focus and concentrate on completing a task and utilize working memory to compare, contrast and select among different choices. In addition, executive function skills allow us to organize, plan and self-monitor our use of time
  • What can I do today, next week, next month?
    What is one way you could help students to LEARN skills in executive function?
    Impulse control
    Goal-directed behavior
    Anticipating consequences
    Concentration on task completion
    Compare, contrast, and select among choices
    Time management