Celebrate good times, come on!
Last week I attended a workshop called Brain-based Learning: Brain Power! with Deb Estes. The presenter was both funny and knowledgeable. She used the strategies she wanted us to use as she was presenting. But it was not demeaning the way it can be when adults are taught as if they are children. It was simply fun and informational.
The presenter offered lots of teaching ideas as she described the chemistry and biology of learning in the brain. I could not possibly include everything she discussed here, but I will tell you that costumes, toys and songs are not only entertaining. They are an important way to grab students’ attention and wake up the brain when it starts getting sleepy.
Certain costumes, toys and songs can act as memory anchors after students have explored a concept and made meaning of ideas. If not directly related to a new learning concept, they can be a way to build a positive classroom culture – as in the classroom “celebrations” offered by Dr. Jean at www.drjean.org.
My favorite part of our workshop was when the presenter asked us to stand up and belly laugh silently. You would think this would feel awkward, but the silence made it easier. And after a few seconds of fake laughing, you can’t help but real laughing. And then you start laughing harder because it so hard to laugh silently.
Our presenter said that the brain needs movement at least every 14 minutes in order to receive enough oxygen and glucose. So, go on! Get celebrating!