Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Unleashing the Power of Positivity in Your School

A positive community of educators within a school has a powerful effect on the students who learn there. Individually, teachers contribute to that positive environment by exhibiting and modeling an optimistic outlook and can-do attitude. An understanding of the role that emotions play in learning can lay the foundation for positive and productive interactions with students, colleagues, administrators, and parents.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

BrainSMART Goes to Another European Country: Poland’s SYGNAL Magazine: An Interview with Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers

Dr. Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers were pleased to be interviewed for Poland’s Sygnal Magazine by reporter Agnieszka Korcz. The interview means even more since Conyers and Wilson, co-founders of BrainSMART, recently visited Poland and met such lovely people there.
Here is a transcript from that interview:

1. Donna, you and Marcus created a new process of learning for everyone: for children, students, teachers, and all educators. Your BrainSMART program does a great job with important concepts in education. Tell me, please, what was your inspiration for this program?

Donna Wilson: BrainSMART began in 1998 with a mission to support educators to teach and lead so students globally become more effective learners, thinkers, and communicators. Our inspiration comes from the many teachers who tell us how much they have learned through our approach. There is overwhelming evidence that the single most important school-based factor influencing student achievement is the effectiveness of the classroom teacher. Within any school district with a common curriculum, the teachers who are more effective instructors produce higher levels of student learning. We are committed to supporting educators by sharing the research, theory, and strategies teachers need to continue enhancing the effectiveness of their instruction so that they can experience the thrill of seeing their students achieve at higher levels. We love hearing their success stories!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Transform Teaching With the Diffusion of Innovation

Effective teaching is a continual work in progress. As educators, we adapt our practice each year to a new group of students, each of whom brings a unique blend of strengths, challenges, and experiences to learning. We adopt new curricula and apply new standards and mandates. We are always on the lookout for new approaches and strategies demonstrated by educational research to work in the classroom.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Inspiring Progress Toward Learning Goals

The topic of metacognition can seem quite abstract—a complex concept for students to embrace. But it is worth the effort to develop a metacognitive mindset in setting goals for learning and in monitoring progress toward achieving those goals. For teachers empowering students to think about their thinking with the aim of improving learning, it can be truly inspiring when they see the resulting changes in students’ motivation, resilience, and learning gains.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Putting 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.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Strategies for Strengthening the Brain's Executive Functions

Earlier in my career as a teacher and school psychologist, I assessed, diagnosed, and helped to create interventions for children and youth who had difficulty with their executive functioning. Today as teacher educators, we are pleased that our graduates are increasing students' cognitive, metacognitive, and executive functioning in classrooms around the world (as just one example, Texas teacher Diane Dahl blogs on teaching metacognition).

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Brain Movies: When Readers Can Picture It, They Understand It

The images that form in your mind as you read—we call them "brain movies"—can be more exciting and memorable than a Hollywood film. More to the point for teachers, guiding your students to visualize as they read is an engaging and enjoyable way to boost comprehension and retention.