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Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power.
The human brain evolved under conditions of almost constant motion. From this, one might predict that the optimal environment for processing information would include motion. That is exactly what one finds. Indeed, the best business meeting would have everyone walking at about 1.8 miles per hour.
Researchers studied two elderly populations that had led different lifestyles, one sedentary and one active. Cognitive scores were profoundly influenced. Exercise positively affected executive function, spatial tasks, reaction times and quantitative skills.
So researchers asked: If the sedentary populations become active, will their cognitive scores go up? Yes, it turns out, if the exercise is aerobic. In four months, executive functions vastly improve; longer, and memory scores improve as well.
Exercise improves cognition for two reasons:
Rule #2: The human brain evolved, too.
Rule #3: Every brain is wired differently.
Rule #4: We don't pay attention to boring things.
Rule #5: Repeat to remember.
Rule #6: Remember to repeat.
Rule #7: Sleep well, think well.
Rule #8: Stressed brains don't learn the same way.
Rule #9: Stimulate more of the senses.
Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.
Rule #11: Male and female brains are different.
Rule #12: We are powerful and natural explorers.
http://www.brainrules.net/the-rules, John Medina
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Continued (see Part I)
· Overschooled but Undereducated, John Abbott
· We Can't Teach What We Don't Know, Gary Howard
· Teach Like a Champion, Doug Lemov
· Finnish Lessons, Pasi Sahlberg
· Restitution: Restructuring School Discipline, Diane Gossen
· Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire
· The Disciplined Mind, Howard Gardner
· Whatever It Takes, Paul Tough
· The Book of Learning and Forgetting, Frank Smith
· The Tone of Teaching, Max van Manen
· Chain Gang Elementary, Jonathan Grant
· Making Learning Whole, David Perkins
· How Children Fail, John Holt
· Differentiated Instructional Strategies, Gayle Gregory
· Managing People Is Like Herding Cats, Warren Bennis
· Creating a Digital-Rich Classroom, Meg Ormiston
· The Virtual Student, Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt
· An Anthropologist on Mars, Oliver Sacks
· 21st Century Skills, Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel
· Pathways to the Common Core, Lucy Calkins
· Why Do I Need a Teacher When I've Got Google?, Ian Gilbert
· Tongue Fu! at School, Sam Horn
· A Place for Wonder, Georgia Heard
· What It Is, Lynda Barry
· The Death and Life of the Great American School System, Diane Ravitch, (@DianeRavitch)
· The Motivation Breakthrough, Richard Lavoie
· Teaching with Intention, Debbie Miller
· Zapp in Education, William Byham
· Heading for Home, Kent Stock
· The Read-Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease
· Now You See It, Cathy Davidson
· Spark, John Ratey
· How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
· Teach Like Your Hair Is on Fire, Rafe Esquith
· Make Just One Change, Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana
· Subtractive Schooling, Angela Valenzuela
· Coaching Conversations, Linda Gross Cheliotes
· Unequal Childhoods, Annette Lareau
· Fires in the Bathroom, Kathleen Cushman
· The Five Dysfuctions of a Team, Patrick
· Writing for Real, Ross Burkhardt
· The Courage to Teach, Parker Palmer
· Teaching as a Subversive Activity, Neil Postman
I would be remiss in compiling a list such as this without recognizing an author who has truly been an mentor to me. Allison Zmuda's (@compclass) Breaking Free from Myths about Teaching and Learning reminds us all of our responsibility to design lessons that spark students' imaginations. May this book list spark yours. Happy reading!
When the first edition of Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (CITW) was published in 2001, it gave the educational world unprecedented guidance for using research-based strategies in a practical way. Free from any one particular philosophy or program, this was one of the first books for educators that very simply said, “This is what works.” McREL's continued requests for training, services, and products based on this seminal work are indicative of its lasting relevance in the field.
Yet, what a difference a decade can make! Since that initial publication, our profession has been enlightened by the works of Carol Dweck, John J. Medina, Linda Darling-Hammond, Nancy Frey, and many others. We know more now about student motivation, providing feedback, the power of multimedia and images, and scaffolding learning that we ever did before. While we have been humbled by the success of the first edition of CITW, it became more and more apparent that the work was in need of an update as we helped educators learn the nuances of the nine categories of effective strategies. In addition to including emerging research in the field, we felt the need to make correlations with dynamic developments in educational technology and an increased focus on 21st century skills.
Perhaps our biggest incentive for rewriting the book came from our experiences in working with thousands of schools and districts on learning CITW. As we talked with educators and school or district leaders, we realized that there were parts of the first version of CITW that were confusing or unclear. For instance, the 2001 publication lists the strategies in order of impact on effect size, starting with Identifying Similarities and Differences and ending with Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers. This sent an unintended message to readers that those strategies listed at the top were of higher priority than those at the bottom. Countless times, we heard clients say they intended to focus on the "best" strategies that school year and, if time allowed, they would turn their efforts to the "lower" strategies. This was, of course, no fault of school leaders or educators; it simply reflected changes we knew we wanted to make.
Classroom Instruction that Works, Second Edition, addresses these issues and incorporates the best thinking on instruction from the past decade. For one, we created a framework to help educators prioritize the strategies as well as know when each strategy should be used when planning for instruction. We also reference how these strategies integrate with new technologies and 21st century learning. In the new research, the strategies have remained the same, but the findings and how we talk about them has changed. To that end, each strategy in the second edition of CITW includes the following sections.
Why this Category is Important includes findings from the new research and how these differ or are in support of findings from the initial meta-analysis.
Classroom Practice gives practical classroom recommendations as well as vignettes to help readers see the strategy in action.
Today's Learners outlines how these recommendations fit with 21st century classrooms, student-centered instruction, and modern technologies.
Tips for Teaching gives key points or take-aways from the chapter.
Classroom Instruction That Works, Second Edition, takes a classic publication on instruction and makes it fresh by drawing from new research, providing better organization of the strategies, and addressing its relevance to our classrooms today. The book will be available on January 16 from www.ascd.org. We look forward to hearing your feedback!
My son is a fifth grader now, dancing on the precipice between childhood (wanting to tell me every last detail about his day) and adolescence (where shrugging as he says, “nothing really happened”). He has seen over ten teachers or so in his career as a student, plenty of experience to develop his perspective about what makes a great teacher. That was the topic of our walk one afternoon, about two weeks after the start of school. As my son explained what he valued, there was such power and simplicity in his description. And what he said completely lined up with what we know about how people learn.
Imparting some basic knowledge about the brain and growth mindset can go a long way to improve both effort and achievement in your classroom. Judy Willis’ webinars, blog posts, and Ed Leadership articles are great resources for both you and your students. John Medina’s Brain Rules is a very accessible book that focuses on twelve rules that we need to know about how the brain works. Carol Dweck’s book entitled Mindset is another must read and certain passages can be excerpted for students.
I would love to hear your insight and ideas about how you teach students about the brain, the importance of relationships, and the role of failure as a natural part of learning.
For more information and ideas, check out my latest book: Breaking Free from Myths about Teaching and Learning (2010)