Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Put Working Memory to Work in Learning

Working memory involves the conscious processing and managing of information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension. It has been described as the brain's conductor.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Strategies for Students With Scattered Minds

Imagine a team without a coach guiding players toward working together to execute a winning strategy. Imagine a company without a leader to make sure that employees across departments are equipped and organized to collaborate on continually improving products and increasing sales. Imagine a marching band without a drum major to lead musicians through their complicated maneuvers while staying on beat.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Positive Strategies to Avoid Stress, Anxiety, and Burnout

Teaching is important and rewarding work, but it can also be extremely stressful. Excessive stress may lead to burnout, which is characterized by exhaustion, anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed and isolated. Other common symptoms of burnout are a loss of creativity, good humor, patience, and enthusiasm for life all of which are crucial attributes for effective teaching.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Motivating Students to Read

Students travel at different speeds on the road to reading success. Earlier in my career as a teacher and school psychologist, I noticed that even on the first day of kindergarten the gap between the highest and lowest performers on measures of reading readiness and ability could be as much as six years. So differentiating instruction so that all students have the opportunity to use multiple brain pathways in the reading classroom throughout their school years is key to motivating them to read and improve.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Feeding the Teacher's Brain: Nutrition Tips for Busy Educators

Teaching is a cognitively complex profession. In the course of a single school day, an educator must make hundreds of decisions and respond quickly to the myriad unexpected turns that life in the classroom may take. In this high-energy job, it's essential to prime your brain and body with the right fuel.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Positive Brains Are Smarter Brains

Explicit instruction to guide students toward taking charge of their outlook on academic endeavors can lead to a more positive—and ultimately more productive—approach to learning. Applying metacognition to both the emotional and cognitive aspects of learning can help students steer their minds to make steady gains in developing their knowledge and skills.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Strategies for Getting and Keeping the Brain's Attention

The human brain has an amazing capacity to wield a potent cognitive strategy: selective attention. When we consciously focus our attention on something, we bring the power of the prefrontal cortex to this endeavor.