• The ABCs of Brain-based Learning

    Brain-Based Learning is a learning theory that is based on the structure and function of the brain. Once the brain is able to do its normal function, it continues to learn. According to research, however, some aspects of traditional schooling can impair the functions of the brain causing some destruction in a child’s ability to learn. A fun and less pressured education strategy will help promote better learning.

    Listed below is the ABCs of Brain-Based Learning which instructors can take note of to allow a fun-filled education among kids.

    A – Atmosphere

    A brain friendly environment is conducive to learning. Thus, it is important to make classrooms a relaxing place to study. For primary students you may use high-contrast colors such as red, orange, and yellow; whereas, for secondary students, less distracting colors, such as blue and green, are more advisable. The room temperature must not be too hot. You can open the window to allow some fresh air to get in or turn on the air conditioner to keep the room cool. Additionally, it’s a must to keep the classroom clean and tidy all the time.

    B- Brain Fitness

    Brain fitness refers to simple activities that can assist in the learning process, such as a morning exercise. Initiating and encouraging light workout, like simple sets of stretching, in the morning promotes good blood circulation and helps avoid drowsiness.

    C- Choice

    Provide your students sample situations that will allow them to exercise their judgment and make decisions. For instance, offer multiple forms of classroom tests or activities, such as collage, debate, painting, and many more. Instead of creating a seat plan, let your students choose their own seat that will make them feel more comfortable. In group activities, allow students to choose their own buddies so they can develop their social skills while making choices.

    D- Differences

    It is important to acknowledge that boys and girls have different ways of learning. While boys learn more kinesthetically, girls are more auditory. Make sure that your lessons can accommodate the different learning styles of boys and girls. Keep as much movement in the classroom and use manipulative objects to make your activities more fun and encouraging.

    E- Emotions

    Emotions motivate everything we do and impact the students’ behavior, thus it’s important to keep in mind that setting your students emotion to positive ones will go a long way for better learning. Some of the options you can teach include setting positive rituals, forgiving mistakes and giving room for students to make up, and allowing them to share experiences, stories, and many more.

    F –Fun

    Fun learning makes way for a better learning. You may inject fun in learning by using humor in the class and having student-friendly activities.

    G – Goals

    Help your students establish their goals. You can start by posting a Goal Chart in the classroom. Make your goal specific, attainable, measurable, and realistic.

    H – High Expectation

    Have faith in your students’ abilities and avoid setting very high expectations. Showing high expectations can put a lot of pressure on students’ learning.

    I – Interest

    Try to bridge the gap between boys and girls in terms of their interest in studies. Most boys noticeably love science and math, while girls have better aptitude in reading and writing. You can address your students’ differences by teaching lessons or sharing stories that combine their interests.

    J- Just like Home

    Make the classroom a comfort zone for students. Making them feel as if classroom is their second home will effectively aid in learning as opposed to establishing an overly strict and intimidating ambience.

    K- Kinesthetic

    Apply physical response strategy in classroom learning, such as providing hands-on manipulatives and allowing students to engage in researches and investigations that will encourage them to find solutions to certain problems.

    L – Lighting

    Lighting has a direct effect to the eyesight of students. Too much brightness and too much dimness can be stressful to the eyes. One good strategy to employ is to allow as much natural light to enter the room. You may also bring in lamps with full-spectrum light bulbs or replace fluorescent bulbs with UV or full-spectrum bulb.

    M- Music

    Consider the good effects of sound stimulation among students. According to studies, students may actually need sound to concentrate. So the next time you have classroom activities play music with quick tempo and a steady beat.

    N- Nutrition

    Poor nutrition can affect the student’s ability to learn and can impair mental performance and alertness. So it’s a good idea to encourage your students to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and have regular exercise.

    O- On-line Learning

    The World Wide Web provides a variety of educational tools that allow children to learn. Encourage your students to participate in some online learning activities that will further hone their skills, such as blogging instead of creating a traditional journal. You may also teach them to use new reading resources, such as Wikipedia to expand their knowledge.

    P- Patterns

    Patterns help students process information with more meaning and understanding. Provide hands-on activities where students can use building blocks, sewing, and or playing cards to create patterns. You can also group ideas, names, factual information, key ideas, and different subject material together.

    Q- Questioning

    Encourage your students to raise questions on areas or subjects that they do not quite understand. This will clear their minds from confusion and aid in absorbing new information.

    R- Rewards

    Rewards motivate children to do their best in their studies.  You can promote the concept of intrinsic motivation through various activities, such as role playing, skits, projects, and creative writing, and give rewards to the best performers. Acknowledge the best performing students in terms of their academic aspects in the classroom by creating a top 10 list.

    S – Seating

    Reduce classroom destruction by allowing students in the classroom to choose the type of seating arrangement that they prefer. However, be aware of students that are sitting at the back part of the classroom as they usually receive the least amount of attention.

    T –Technology

    Accept technology as an important tool to assist learning. Instead of relying on chalk boards make your lesson more interactive and fun by using acetate, Power Point Presentations, or video presentations.

    U – Use it or lose it?

    Not all students in the classroom have good memory skills. To develop your students’ memory skills, practice creative strategies, such as creating a rap, computer drills, songs, cooperative learning, and/or games. Similarly, presenting information in a variety of forms can help accommodate multiple learning styles.

    V- Video Games

    Video games have been one of the reasons why some students have poor concentration in their studies. But you can turn video games into a useful learning tool by replacing traditional activities and methods with video games that tie content to a digital environment. For instance, you may simulate video games such as “Call of Duty” and “Civilization” to examine history or the video game “Sims” to present students with ethical dilemmas and choice.

    W- Water

    Water makes up 80% of the brains content material. It is good to replenish the body’s fluid every day to allow brain to function well. Hence, you should encourage your students to drink plenty of water by letting them carry water bottles in the classroom. You may also place a water dispenser inside the room which your students can safely drink whenever they are thirsty.

    X- Xx and Yy
    Boys and girls have many differences, ranging from physical to emotional. Girls tend to be more sensitive than boys, but boy’s spatial reasoning tends to develop earlier than girls. Since girls are better in expressing their emotions, you might consider not assigning boys essay activities about “How do you feel…”

    Y- You can do it
    Encourage your students to accomplish things and get them involved in the community. Brain-Based Learning may take time, so be patient.

    Z- Zzzzs
    Encourage your students to get enough sleep – usually 8 to 10 hours as recommended by many health care professionals. Teach them to follow a sleeping routine at a reasonable time every night.

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