Monday, October 15, 2012

Lesson Planning & Teenage Brain

Learning about how the brain works and how it controls our actions is fascinating. Adolescents go through a lot of brain development during school years, as teachers we have to plan our lessons to help shape their teenage brain. Creating enriching environments that foster critical thinking is very important, in addition a teacher should teach to multiple intelligence to reach every student. Repetition is a key factor to help the brain grow, "When a neuron receives a message repeatedly, the connection is strengthened". To help release good brain chemicals a teacher can motivate the students through various ways such as humor, kindness, giving students choices, and positive interaction with peers helps boost these good chemicals. To help students retain information, as a teacher I try to access their active working memory and their long term memory. Developing strategies to access these lanes of the brain is very important; a teacher can accomplish that through designing graphic organizers, encouraging peer collaboration, summarizing, repeating, and most importantly trying to make emotional connections with concepts. Emotional memory is "The most powerful memory. If it takes over, you lose logic". Playing music in the class is a teaching strategy that helps access emotional memory; moreover teacher enthusiasm and knowledge of students and their interests are very important.In my lesson plan I try to incorporate this knowledge and implement teaching strategies that support my students' growth and development. Engaging students in conversations and meaningful debates about concepts is a goal of mine when designing a Math lesson. Making connections with our surroundings through Mathematics is essential to access my students' brains and motivate them to learn. Repeating concepts, summarizing, using gestures, and creating a positive atmosphere through humor and kindness are my key factors when designing a lesson.

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