20 Techniques to Detour Around the Danger Zones: #14 Teach Your Rituals

In every school, there are teachers who very effectively manage students. At first, it was thought that those teachers had some big bag of tricks that other teachers didn’t have, which helped them to know just what to do in various situations. What the research is telling us is that effective classroom managers spend an inordinate amount of their time during the first few days and weeks of school establishing their expectations and procedures, in other words, their rituals. Continue Reading…

laughter, humor

20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain: #6 Humor

“Did you hear about the mathematician who’s afraid of negative numbers? He’ll stop at nothing to avoid them.”

If the math pun above made you laugh or even smile a little, it put your brain in a more positive state. Research tells us that jokes, riddles, celebrations, and other forms of positive interaction not only create a positive learning environment but may also facilitate learning itself.  Continue Reading…

Hug, Rock, & Love Your Children

I once heard a brain consultant by the name of Fritz Mengert say that if he had to choose between putting his grandchild in a day care center where teachers rock, hold, and hug children or one where academics are emphasized over all else, the decision would not be a difficult one. Continue Reading…

Read To and With Your Children

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss

A woman once asked Albert Einstein how she could make her son more intelligent. His response? Read him fairy tales. Continue Reading…

A Brain-Healthy Start

Success in school depends on many factors for students, but one of the most important areas that can be overlooked is proper physical health practices that encourage healthy brain development. The brain is a demanding organ. It comprises only 2% of the total body weight, but consumes 8 to 10 times more oxygen and glucose than any other organ in the body. If our bodies don’t receive the proper nutrition they need, the brain is the first to suffer.

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The Importance of Purpose

When students cannot see the purpose in a teacher’s lesson, they will often ask the question, “Why do we have to learn this?” This question makes perfect sense, since the purpose of the brain was never to make straight As or score high on a standardized test. The purpose of the brain is survival in the real world. So the question becomes, “What does this lesson have to do with my survival?”

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