How Teaching Changes the Brain Air Academy High School January 4, 2012 Barbara A. Toney
Do you get sick of hearing: <ul><li>“ Why do I have to learn this” and “When am I ever going to use this?” </li></ul><ul><li>Coming up: The definitive answer to these questions that will stop them from asking them again. </li></ul>
Major concepts • Good, bad, short-term or long-term, something is always happening in kids’ brains. • The choices you make as an educator will be a major influence on students- _1_. • You can only make ___2___ when you are informed about which ones matter the most.
Old (outdated) Paradigm “ Our brains stay mostly the same. Except we lose brain cells every day.” (this is old and mostly wrong)
A New View of the Human Brain <ul><li>The human brain is __3__, not fixed. The brain (depending on your age) is: • making __4__ • adding __5__ • pruning __6__ • allowing __7__ • changing __8__ • re-organizing itself every single day! </li></ul>
Guess Which Factors Actually Change Our Brains? Bad moods Playing an Instrument Distress Daily Walks Learning Diabetes __9__ Gene Expression Trauma Watching TV Nutrition Hands on Science Exercise __10__ Medications Sleep
<ul><li>People = Shit by Slipknot Here we go again, motherfucker Come on down, and see the idiot right here Too fucked to beg and not afraid to care What's the matter with calamity anyway? Right? Get the fuck outta my face Understand that I can't feel anything It isn't like I wanna sift through the decay I feel like a wound, like I got a fuckin' Gun against my head, you live when I'm dead One more time, mother fucker Everybody hates me now, so fuck it Blood's on my face and my hands, and I Don't know why, I'm not afraid to cry But that's none of your business Whose life is it? Get it? See it? Feel it? Eat it? Spin it around so I can spit in its face I wanna leave without a trace Cause I don't wanna die in this place </li></ul>
<ul><li>People = Shit (Whatcha gonna do?) People = Shit (Cuz I am not afraid of you) People = Shit (I'm everything you'll never be) It never stops - you can't be everything to everyone Contagion I'm sitting at the side of Satan What do you want from me? They never told me the failure I was meant to be Overdo it - don't tell me you blew it Stop your bitchin' and fight your way through it I'M - NOT - LIKE - YOU - I - JUST - FUCK - UP </li></ul><ul><li>C'mon mother fucker, everybody has to die C'mon mother fucker, everybody has to die </li></ul>
__11__ Brain Chemistry Neurogenesis Cell Survival/Function __12__ Gene Expression Blood Flow How Teaching & Learning Changes the Brain
Nearly any kind of activity that boosts circulation also improves brain function and cognition Vaynman S, and Gomez-Pinilla (2006)
Neurogenesis (the production of brand new brain cells) is… <ul><li>Enhanced by: • Exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Complex Environments </li></ul><ul><li>New Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Prosocial Contact </li></ul><ul><li>Nutrition • Low Stress </li></ul>Reduced by: • __15__ • __16__ • __17__ • __18__ • __19__ • __20__ P.S. Teachers can influence many of these factors!
Time <ul><li>__22__ something is taught can be as important as __22__ is taught. </li></ul>
Primacy-Recency Effect We remember best what we experience first , and second best what comes last . BEM
Primacy-Recency Effect <ul><li>Prime Time 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Down time </li></ul><ul><li>Prime Time 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Teach new info when you have students’ focus. </li></ul>
Primacy-Recency Effect <ul><li>New info should be taught in Prime time 1 </li></ul><ul><li>It is important that only correct info be presented at this time. </li></ul><ul><li>The new material should be followed with practice during down time. </li></ul>
Primacy-Recency Effect <ul><li>Closure should take place during prime time 2. </li></ul><ul><li>This is the second most powerful learning position & an important opportunity to determine sense and meaning. </li></ul>
Retention varies with length of teaching episode <ul><li>More retention occurs when lessons are shorter. </li></ul><ul><li>A block containing 4 twenty minute lessons will be much more productive than one long lesson. </li></ul>
Prime Time 1 (First 15 minutes) <ul><li>Mr. X : “Today we’re going to learn the 3 rd cause of the Civil War and its relevance…. Before that, let me give back some homework, collect and go over today’s homework, collect the notes from Bill and Mary who were absent and get them caught up, take attendance, read announcements…” </li></ul>Mr. G: “Today we will learn the 3 rd cause of the Civil War and how it relates to current times. And here is the 3 rd cause.. (cause, examples, how it relates to previous..)
Down-Time (next 15 minutes) <ul><li>“ Here is the 3 rd cause…” </li></ul>“ Get into your discussion groups and discuss this 3 rd cause. What are similarities and differences compared to the first two causes…”
Last 15 minutes (Prime Time 2) <ul><li>“ OK, we’ve got only 5 minutes to the end of the period. You’ve listened well so you can do what you want quietly until the bell rings.” </li></ul>“ Take 2 minutes to review to yourself what we’ve learned about the 3 rd cause. Be prepared to share your thoughts with the class in a moment.”
Website http://www.barbaratoney.com This site is currently being rebuilt. Click on “articles” to access over 130 education articles written by me. The new website will have lots more informational material and should be up by the end of January.
Additional Workshops <ul><li>“ Teaching With the Brain in Mind” </li></ul><ul><li>Why Don’t They Remember What I Taught Them?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Killer Teaching” (in depth learning) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cooperative Learning” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Classroom Management” </li></ul><ul><li>“ How Poverty Impacts Learning” </li></ul>