Brain Research

Collaboration, Adequate Time, Mastery

Effective Collaboration

Collaboration

"Two heads are better than one"

The research shows us that our brains want and need large amounts of info, and we can feed our brains through collaboration. When students collaborate with each other, they increase their knowledge base, and it is " an essential classroom structure in a bodybrain-compatible learning environment.

Curriculum Development

Collaborative content in the classroom should be set so that every person in the group must participate, that way it prevents one student from being able to complete the work alone. It should also engage all 19 senses, and be rooted in real life reflections. The content needs to build social/emotional skills as well as focus on the learning goals. The goal of the group should always be to produce work at a higher level than could be done at the individual level, this means the group should not just be a reason to work together socially, the focus needs to be on the learning content. Groups should be rotated regularly to increase the opportunities for social engagement, increase learning experiences, and prevent cliques. Groups can also be a great opportunity to explore new skills and explore special interests.

Adequate Time

It Takes Time

As teachers, we need to understand that it takes time for students to conceptualize what we are teaching them. "Simply put, physical growth-of the body or of the brain-requires time. Time to explore, time to reflect, time to act, time to evaluate, time to try again and again until we get it right, until we master the concept of skill to be learned." As teachers, we need to think about the schedule we are setting for the class, we need to ensure students are given adequate time with the material.

Curriculum Development

1. Chunking: Do not overwhelm your students with everything they need to learn in a day, instead, create meaningful concept chunks.

2. Plan ahead: Make sure you, as the teacher, are clear in what you want the students to learn, so you can present it in a meaningful clear way.

Instructional Strategies

1. Make sure you understand what prior knowledge students have, that way, you can plan enough time for learning and hands on work so students can move to understanding the concept.

2. Teaching time management should be an important part of teaching, helping students learn how to manage their own time will help them maximize their own learning.

3. Be open to feedback, take time for reflect on your own instructional strategies.

Mastery

Elementary Engineering: From Simple Machines to Life Skills

The Goal of Mastery is Achieving Competence at Navigating Through Life

The goal of teaching isn't a letter grade or percentage, it is giving students the tools in the classroom to solve problem they will see in the real world. We teach them something, not so they can perform on a test, but so they can apply it across the board. We should always try to teach in such a way to connect concepts to real life applications, that is what mastery really means.

Curriculum Development

1. Make it useful: Concepts should be taught in such a way that students understand the connection to applications outside of the classroom.

2. Use real world standards of mastery: what you teach and expect students to learn should be appropriate to their level.

Instructional Strategies

1. It is important to help students make the connection to a real world application. A concept should not be taught in a way that is only useful in the classroom.

2. Questions are good! Encourage dialogue and questions..but be prepared to answer!