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  1. 1. BOOM Brain Owner's Operating Manual Christopher Rappleye Katie Voss MICDS
  2. 2. Why Ninth Grade? “Ninth Grade: The Most Important Year in High School,” By Michele Willens, The Atlantic November 1, 2013 Concerns Public School situation BUT… “More and more of us are realizing that it’s the make or break year for many 14- and 15-year- olds. It’s a time when the cognitive, emotional, and physical are all coming together. The schools are likely new environments, and the students have more autonomy and more homework.”
  3. 3. Initial impulse: certain students… • The flashes of insight – Real! – Yet…production problems grades do not reflect intelligence – Lack of consolidation of insights (no memory) – Leading confidence problems – Something more than preferential seating and time and a half? – And what about these other kids? • How can I be the teacher who reaches these students?
  4. 4. 25th Learning and the Brain Conference 2010: “USING BRAIN RESEARCH to RAISE IQ and ACHIEVEMENT” IQ? • Crystalline Intelligence and Fluid Intelligence Memory and Attention : Judy Willis • Reaching Attention, Attitude/Behavior, Develop Memory – Attending to attention, emotion and reward • Stress, Attention and Induced Executive Function problems – Mimics EF problems – What is stressful? fear, boredom, frustration, (SLEEP!) – AMYGDALA: FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE, SEX » ODD » ADHD » Social Anxiety, OCD…. » Increased-”sexualization”
  5. 5. Emotional Basis of Learning • Simple strategies for engagement, but begin with EMPATHY • John Medina (Brain Rules) –Best Predictor of Effective Teacher • It’s not just about “feeling good” – It’s about real rigor – Performance and Achievement – Production – Intelligence
  6. 6. Increased Demands on Everyone’s Executive Function • Executive Function: George McCloskey •Production Vs Intelligence •Tests that are Executive Function traps •Delayed Development (30%) •What Works in terms of intervention
  8. 8. Each person’s executive issues are different…
  9. 9. “Cerebrodiversity” • EF and ADHD are not synonymous terms; rather ADHD is a condition involving EF deficits in just 4!: • Focus/Select, Sustain, Inhibit, Modulate – Why each ADHD is different • Time to wrap our minds around the idea of “Cerebrodiversity” • Each brain is unique, presenting unique opportunities and challenges
  10. 10. What Works? • Verbal/Language Building – Teaching them to name • Leveraging Self–Realization (self awareness, self analysis) to affect Self-regulation • Cognitive Behavior Therapy – It’s about the controlling your story and stories are powerful tools for self-regulation • Mindfulness-based practices – Physical, meditation, awareness • Modeling how we grapple with Executive Function
  11. 11. Attending to Attention, Emotion, Memory • Attention, Emotion, Memory: Stress effects – Stress awareness – Effective Stress Regulation • Teaching students awareness, reflection and responsibility – Not just “Oh well, I am wired this way” but… – “Because I am wired this way, I need to…(?)
  12. 12. Mindset (Dweck) • Simple but powerful idea • Theory of talent or Intelligence… – Entity (Fixed) – Incremental (Growth) • Your Model of intelligence has measurable affect of your achievement – Independent from intelligence! – High Growth Mindset out learn
  13. 13. Struggled with this transition… • MICDS – Jk-12 environment – Influx (5th), 7th and now 9th grades – Transition from MS to US Expectations, Resources – Playing a different game (students with high executive function, or with lots of scaffolding so dysfunction or weaknesses do not show up) have always succeeded before, but now – The game was…how to get an “A”…. “how many points is this worth.” – Increased Cognitive and increased demands on EF circuitry. – And increased stress, which leads to Executive Dysfunctions that mimic learning Style diagnoses
  14. 14. Previously. . . • Cross curricular efforts • Relevance? • Follow through? • Buy in…? • What is making the difference here? • Relevance • Follow through • Buy in…. • How did that happen?
  16. 16. Learning is making CONNECTIONS through BEHAVIORS
  17. 17. As we learn…. • Neural Networks • One neuron to another: “Long Term Potentiation” • “Neurons that Fire together Wire together” • Curiosity  Challenge  Practice/Repetition • + REM SLEEP: consolidation of learning • Slow Wave REM (late in the sleep cycle) • +Nutrition! • High Fructose Diets • Omega-3 • Learning… • Not just “facts,” not just “skills” as simply conceived • Behaviors: “Executive Functions” • Directive capacities of the mind: initiate, inhibit, sustain, shift, modulate..etc • “Immature Brains”: ADHD, ADD, etc…
  18. 18. “The Knowledge” Current Biology 21, 2109–2114, December 20, 20112011 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2011.11.018
  19. 19. Learning  Brain Growth
  20. 20. Metacognition: Thinking about thinking but ALSO…Thinking about FEELING • Matter of “maturity” as “more wiring” – Not So simple… – Pruning and Be careful what you rehearse…
  21. 21. Stress and Performance/Learning
  22. 22. DISTRESS: Chronic and Acute Stress • Inhibits Uptake of Information (focus/attention) • Inhibits Recall of Information • Inhibits Higher Order Thinking • Primes Addiction Networks Same LTP of Dopamine Pathway as Addictive Drugs • Arteries… • Immune System Suppressed • Not just a matter of “THROWING THEM IN THE DEEP END” • Induces Symptoms of Learning Disorders…
  23. 23. And so, “BOOM” • 9th Grade: increased DEMANDS on EF • Increased INDEPENDENCE • Technology: – Ambiguous • Connecting and Disconnecting – Kaiser Family Foundation Study (2010) • “Today’s youth pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into 7 and a half hours spent in front of screens” • An increase of 2 1/4 hours between 2004 and 2009 “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds” • And SO… – Independence, Expectation of US life, Resources… – BOOM!
  24. 24. (boom)
  25. 25. Where did BOOM come from? What is BOOM? Where is BOOM going?
  26. 26. “Changing Lives. Changing the World.”
  27. 27. “Academic work is the most difficult or stressful part of my school experience.”
  28. 28. “I get between 4-6 hours of sleep a night.”
  29. 29. 32% “I’ve neverhad a conversation with an adult at school about handling stress.” “I’ve had one conversation with an adult at school about handling stress.”
  30. 30. Brain Owner’s Operating Manual
  31. 31. How do your choices, attitudes, and habits affect you as a learner?
  32. 32. Brain Rules Brain Basics Habits and Attitudes Study and Research Skills Brain Owner’s Operating Manual
  33. 33. anticipation perseverance engagement awareness reflection
  34. 34. Brain Rules Search Strategies Evaluating Websites Selecting Resources Taking Notes Citing Sources Presenting
  35. 35. “I am more aware of the importance of managing my time.” 84%
  36. 36. 83% “I have a better understanding of how to manage stress.”
  37. 37. 88%“I have a better understanding of how my habits and attitudes affect how I learn.”
  38. 38. Be a Mind, Brain, and Education Scientist.
  39. 39. Give students opportunities to think and talk about their own learning.
  40. 40. Share your own habits and learning practices with students.
  41. 41. Build a team.
  42. 42. STUDENT CLASSROOM WORK Question: How do we make this knowledge and these understandings relevant to our students…right now?
  43. 43. English 9: Crossing Thresholds— Maps of Transformation • What are the “maps” or mental models we’ve created, and where do they come from? • How do these maps and models encourage or inhibit growth? • How do they affect our perceptions and actions? How do they change? • What is the role of storytelling in shaping these models and our lives?
  44. 44. USE of EF to discuss literature • Below is a list of some of the Executive Functions along with a brief description and an example response using a detail from the novel. Your task is to find and list (implied or explicit) examples of the following EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS in action or in dysfunction from Lord of the Flies. Find one or two examples of each. The Five Executive functions we will be looking at are PERCEIVE, FOCUS/SELECT, SUSTAIN, INHIBIT and MODULATE. • Perceive—The Perceive function cues the use your senses and imagination to take information in from the external environment: it tells you what to notice (e.g. “This door handle is hot.” “The fire alarm is going off.” She looks unhappy.”) In other situations, PERCEIVE function cues your “inner awareness” for mentally tuning into perceptions (e.g. “Oh wow, I am Hungry!” Or, “I am tired!”), your emotions (“Oh wow, I am angry!” or “I am sooooo happy right now!”), your thoughts, (e.g. “I have a great idea!”), or actions (e.g. you notice that you are slouching) as these are represented “in the mind” or in the body. • EXAMPLE: Jack is especially good at tracking pigs and noticing small signs that indicate where they have gone. During the hunt on page 134 he is the first to find the drop of blood that indicates where the old sow has passed. During the hunt he has a strong ability to cue the PERCEIVE function.
  45. 45. MINDSET and Tragedy • How does a person with a fixed mindset feel about failure, and why? • Find 3 examples of failure in the book and explain how Okonkwo feels about them, citing evidence from the text. • What prevents Okonkwo from benefitting from Uchendu’s lesson and learning from his time in exile? • Does Okonkwo have a fixed or growth mindset? Find evidence to support your position.
  46. 46. We re- read Lord of the Flies Summer Reading Essential Question Skills & Literacy
  47. 47. Students will: • read with a pen/pencil in hand and mark the text for patterns beyond the plot level, including character and thematic development, repeated patterns of imagery, and connections with previous texts • be able to correctly infer action and how action relates to interior mental states of the characters (theory of mind) from challenging texts
  48. 48. All of this Habits of Mind stuff • Applies to YOU, the teacher too – MINDSET? • Growth or Fixed (yourself?) • ALL your students? • How do people talk about kids in your school? – How do YOU? –Stress (and self-regulation) • Administrators and the mental health of their faculty –Knowing your EF strengths and challenges • Modeling • Owning and honoring your own “cerebro-diversity”
  49. 49. For more information, contact Chris Rappleye On twitter @christopherdr Katie Voss On twitter @micdslibrary
  50. 50. Images Buzzard, J&J. "Squared Circle Firework." Flickr. Flickr, 4 July 2009. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. <>. Deeplifequotes. "Don't Practice Until You Get It Right." Flickr. Flickr, 29 Oct. 2012. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. <>. Geekgirly. "You Are Here." Wikimedia Commons. MediaWiki, 15 Feb. 2008. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. <>. Joyce, Mitchell. "Meditation." Flickr. Flickr, 28 Aug. 2009. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. <>. Key, Derek. "Window and Clock, Musee d'Orsay." Wikimedia Commons. MediaWiki, 10 Apr. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. <,_Mus%C3%A9e_d%27Orsay_10_April_2013.jpg>. Underminingme. "Distraction." Flickr. Flickr, 21 July 2008. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. <>. Zenino, Christine. "Dog Sledding." Wikimedia Commons. MediaWiki, 30 Jan. 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. <>. Zinkova, Mila. "Reflection in a Soap Bubble." Wikimedia Commons. MediaWiki, 26 Mar. 2008. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. <>. **All images licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License**