Brain-Based Learning in Math

A Positive Learning Environment = Success

It's About Balance

Our brains learn best when there is a balance between comfort and stress. We need to be faced with some challenges so that our brain is activated by the emotions that the challenge give us, but we need a positive space to encourage the learning. If there is too much anxiety our learning process will shut down. Educators need to create an environment that provides a safe place for the learning to happen. With a motivational space our students can see a challenge yet be equipped to handle it with the support we provide.

Creating the Learning Environment

  • Use outdoor space (fresh air and sunlight will help refresh and engage).
  • Variety of work areas (desks, carpet, beanbags ... find the nooks and crannies of your classroom).
  • Personalized spaces (students need to know there is a 'home') they can call their own).
  • Available resources (setting students up for success by having all materials ready reduces stress).

Our Brain and Math

Our brains are amazing. When allowed the brain has a strong desire to create patterns and find meaning to chaos. This is why understanding how the brain works gives us such insight into our math program. If we want young minds to remember and understand facts, skills and concepts then we need to link them so the brain can bring order to them. This happens through physical experience. When 'learning by doing' the brain is immersed in the process and can connect the ideas to real-life experiences.

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Brain-based strategies in the classroom.

The following video gives a glimpse into a math classroom where the teacher uses physical movements to connect to what they are learning.
Brain-based teaching

Flyer created by Piper-Lee Blackey, January 2016