Monday, February 19, 2018

A Skill Strong Readers Share

Students in classrooms across the United States spend an estimated 85 percent of their school day on assignments that require reading texts. A key difference between students who can read well and those who cannot is the ability to use metacognition.

Metacognition can be regarded as a conversation readers have with themselves about what they are reading. Metacognitive readers enjoy reading because they can find meaning in texts and think deeply to comprehend what they’re reading.

Those who have not yet learned to be metacognitive often have trouble reading fluently and comprehending what they read.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Powerful Way to End the School Year

One of our strategies that teachers enjoy using at the end of the school year is a practical, easy-to-use tool we call Celebrating Learning With Year Mapping. This activity gives your current students a chance to feel good about what they’ve learned and provides incoming students an opportunity to see real evidence that they can be successful learners in the coming school year. And it gives teachers a chance to enjoy seeing students share what they’ve learned and to internalize their successful teaching.

Several elements of this strategy make it a powerful way to end the school year with a positive experience, often much needed after testing is over and as a busy year comes to an end. With prompted recall, each student can remember learning events that mean the most to them. Year-end mapping utilizes the power of positive teacher-student relationships as well as personalized learning, summarizing, group learning, and organizing information graphically.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Guiding Students to Be Independent Learners

It’s estimated that students in the U.S. spend nearly 20,000 hours experiencing classroom education by the age of 18, and that much of what is taught is forgotten within a short time. And there’s little evidence that they know how to apply effective learning strategies when they arrive at college.

In essence, many students have not learned how to retain and apply knowledge. Fortunately, current research offers fascinating insights about the brain’s capacity to learn at higher levels when effective learning strategies are used.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Our Latest EdWeek Commentary Highlights an Underappreciated Strategy: Teaching Students About How Learning Changes the Brain

Marcus and I had an opportunity to stress the importance of teaching students about their brains and learning when responding to a question for Education Week as a part of the popular Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo.

The question for this blog post was: "What is an instructional strategy and/or teaching concept that you think is underused/underappreciated in the classroom and should be practiced more widely?"

In our response, we pointed out how teaching students about their brains can have a transformative impact in the classroom, but unfortunately the knowledge about how brains change during learning is traditionally not taught.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Celebrating BrainSMART’s 20-Year Anniversary: Teachers Speak


Therese Reder has changed the way she teaches courtesy of principles she has learned since completing the BrainSMART program.

Understanding the body-brain connection, she makes sure that students have the opportunity to move during the day to enhance their learning ability.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Celebrating BrainSMART’s 20-Year Anniversary: Teachers Speak

The BrainSMART program has been excellent for teachers as well as for school administrators who are looking for principles to enhance their staffs’ professional and personal development.

Retired principal Priscilla Bourgeois and teachers in her parish had a positive experience using the program to bring out the most in educators and students. Here is her description of her BrainSMART experience.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Marcus Describes Link Between Learning and Exercise in Motiv Running Article

Marcus was the expert voice in an article entitled "Learning on the Run," which appeared on Motiv Running, a website dedicated to helping runners of all levels run better, reduce injuries, and live an active, outdoor lifestyle.

The article described the University of Oregon's "Run with a Researcher" program, which highlights the connection between running and learning. Marcus confirmed the powerful connection between movement and learning, pointing out that the brain's central processor of learning and memory—the hippocampus—is larger among people who exercise regularly.