Thursday, October 11, 2018

Angel Rodriguez, Brain-Based (BrainSMART) Teaching Graduate, Finds His "Dream School"

We were pleased to see Angel Rodriguez, who earned his Ed.S. degree in Brain-Based (BrainSMART) Teaching, featured in a recent article of The Gainesville Times, as he takes on the role of principal at Lyman Hall Elementary in Gainesville, Georgia.

Angel is quoted in the article as calling Lyman his "dream school." The majority of the students at the school are Latino, which reflects Rodriguez's own upbringing as a child growing up with parents from Puerto Rico and Cuba. Much of the student population is learning English as a second language and receiving free or reduced-price lunches, which is exactly the demographic that he wishes to serve.

Prior to coming to Lyman, Angel was an assistant high school principal with Gwinnett County Schools. He had experience in the elementary school level, and he told The Times: "In my heart, I always wanted to come back to elementary."

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Ann Arbor School References Our Work to Define Their Approach to Brain-Based Education

Clonlara School in Ann Arbor, Mich., references our work to help define “Brain-Based Education: An Overview of Research Supporting Clonlara’s Educational Approach.”

The school defined brain-based education “an approach that draws from the science of how the human brain learns naturally and aligns instructional strategies to support student learning at different stages of the brain’s development.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Vietnam Blog Highlights our "Driving Your Brain" Metaphor

It's exciting that the internet has extended the reach of our writings and research around the globe. We recently became aware of a blog, Educational Designing World, created by Huong Dinh of Vietnam, in which the topic of metacognition—thinking about one's thinking—is featured.

Ms. Dinh has worked for GreenViet, a NGO in the field of saving biodiversity and combating the problems of climate change and global warming. She has taken a master's degree program at the University of Oulu, Finland, with a "Learning, Education, and Technology" major to further her goal of becoming an educational designer focusing on environmental issues.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dallas School Highlights Our BrainSMART Strategies in Professional Development

Marcus’ and my professional learning strategies were featured in “The Weekly Armadillo,”  an online newsletter published by the Nathan Adams Elementary School in the Dallas Independent School District.

Quoting from one of our Edutopia blog posts, Inspiring Progress Toward Learning Goals, the excerpt drove home the point that, "By teaching students to monitor their thinking during learning by setting goals, applying strategies, reflecting, and adjusting, teachers will help them improve their learning ability."

The newsletter also drew attention to our strategies for “Goal Setting and The Brain,” which stressed the importance of setting learning coals; choosing the most effect learning strategies, reflecting on what you know and what you need to find out, adjust strategies accordingly, and learning from experience.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Our Work on Metacognition Is Cited in MultiBriefs Post by Sheilamary Koch

Our work is included in a blog post entitled “Preparing students for critical thinking: Incorporating metacognition,” which appears on the MultiBriefs website, a leading publisher of association-branded email publications.

Written by Sheilamary Koch, the post links to our thinking about how incorporating metacognition consciously in the classroom has been proven to promote the development a growth mindset while also empowering students to use strategies that will help themselves learn better.

The post recommends our process for introducing the term metacognition and explain what it entails in understandable terms for your students I am quoted in the post as recommending the use of the “Drive Your Brain” metaphor with younger students as a “concrete way to guide them toward thinking about how they can best learn.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Checkout My Interview with ASCD Radio

Research suggests that metacognition is key to higher student achievement, but studies of classroom practice indicate that few students are taught to use metacognition and the supporting cognitive strategies that make learning easier. Educators, you can teach metacognition to your students, so why wouldn't you?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Forgotten Secret to Leadership Success

By Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers

Note: This blog post originally appeared on the School Leaders Now website.

Follow these four guiding questions to improve leadership and student learning


Recent research by London neuroscientist Stephen Fleming indicates that metacognition—‘thinking about thinking’—is the forgotten secret to success across all domains. Educational leaders can use this powerful tool to question, monitor, and adjust their thinking in ways that help drive action toward achieving goals.

We believe that metacognition can be applied to school leaders’ support for teachers and teacher education and improvement. How? By providing opportunities for teachers to work together—and in effect think about their teaching and their thinking about teaching—to improve their teaching practice. By reflecting on best practices for classrooms together, teachers have a chance to become more effective educators, both individually and collectively.

During the past two decades of providing brain-based professional development and university graduate studies, we have seen that when teachers have opportunity for purposeful collaboration, they are more thoughtful, joyful, and resilient professionals.