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Think about your brain… “It is essential to note that enrichment effects on the brain have consequences on behavior. Parents, educators, policy makers and individuals can all benefit from such knowledge.” (Diamond)
The Brain Craves Novelty Jensen recommends contrast in learning. Contrast can be offered in the form of student choice/option menus, differentiation and etc. A practical approach would be to provide students with multiple exposure to one concept.
Use Positive Affirmations “Our daily and hourly life experiences, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors can modulate both gene expression and neurogenesis in ways that actually can change the physical structure of the brain….The science of hope suggests that hope, affirmations, prayer, celebration and expressions of gratitude may do more than make you feel good; they may be changing your brain ( which in turn supports different behaviors). This includes the possibility for us to make even more brain cells (neurogenesis) than normally would be predicted! When we say hope changes the brain, it’s becoming backed by science more than ever before.” (Jensen 122-123)
“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose. “-Woody Allen Humor enhances alertness and memory by increasing the flow of neurotransmitters. Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system.
According to Jeff Anderson… “Since the brain searches for patterns, it is the English teacher’s job to expose students to stylistic and syntatic options multiple times, in multiple ways, to constantly expand on what and how our kids see.” (52)
Create an editor’s checklist Use butcher paper to create this semi-organic visual aid that students can refer to regularly. Capitalization Dialogue Check Homophones Apostrophes Commas Sentences > Run-on? Fragment?
Model writing for your students “Oh my darling, oh my darling, Clementine.” The song of Quick Draw McGraw lingers it’s melancholy lyric through my mind. I am that brave white horse who, along with my constant companion, Baba Loo, fights crime in a dusty, desert town rife with bandits determined to disturb my peace. When the going gets really tough I conjure up my alter ego, El Kabong. Instead of a six-shooter I have my trusty six-string. The delightfully off tune twang is strong enough to take out even the most evil law breaking villains.
Quick Write… Today is cartoon character day. Describe your favorite cartoon character and what you would do if you could be that character for one day.
Express Lane Edit Express- Lane Edit Shopping List (items to “check out”) Run on sentences Sentence fragments Receipt
Cash in on your receipt… The task of editing is not so daunting if students know that the final result is rewarding. Provide access to alternative publishing: Wordle Wallwisher Glogster Voicethread
Review often and make review an ongoing part of what you do. Wall charts can be interactive and provide a constant visual reminder Daily Grammar Practice Writing Portfolios Writer’s Notebook
Provide Opportunities for Feedback Minute Paper What is the most important thing that you learned in class today? What is the main unanswered question you leave class with today?
Works Cited Anderson, Jeff. Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage and Style into Writer's Workshop. Stenhouse , 2005. Diamond, Marion Cleeves. "Response of the Brain to Enrichment". New horizons for Learning. 4/1/2010 <http://www.newhorizons.org/neuro/diamond_brain_response.htm>. ensen, Eric. Enriching the Brain: How to Maximize Every Learners Potential. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006. Krause, Jerrol. "Cool Brain Facts". Amen Clinics. 6/18/2010 <http://www.amenclinics.com/brain-science/cool- brain- science/cool-brain-facts>. Menguin, Jeff. "Brain Friendly Teaching Strategies". Jeff menguin Seminars and Workshops. 6/14/2010 <http://jeffmenguin.wordpress.com/resources/tips-for-teachers/brain-friendly-teaching-strategies>. Turner, Kerry. "10 Easy Revsion Activities with Web 2.0". Kerry Turner. 6/15/10 <http://kerry.turner.wordpress.com/kerry-turner/10-easy-revision-activities-with-web-2-0/>. Zull, James E.. "What is "The Art of Changing the Brain?"". New Horizons for Learning. 4/1/2010 <http://www.new horizons .org/neuro/zull.htm>.