20 Techniques to Detour Around the Danger Zones: #4 Light Up Their World

A school system was in the process of building five new schools to house their increasing student population. Having read the research on the detrimental effects of fluorescent lighting, I shared with the architects rationales for including additional windows or a different type of lighting in the construction of these new buildings. The experts thanked me for my input but proceeded to include fluorescent lighting in plans for each of the five new edifices. 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…

Let Them Play!

Remember when you were little and you used to play outside for hours on end? Or maybe you’d be inside in a playroom pretending to be a teacher or an astronaut or a princess? When children engage in play, they’re do much more than entertaining themselves. They’re learning and growing; they’re turning into well-adjusted human beings. 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 Value of Building Relationships

Relationships are everything! Familial and friend relationships, workplace relationships, and spiritual relationships all make a tremendous difference in our lives.

When you look at the first chapter in my best-selling book on classroom management, Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Detours Around the Danger Zones, you will find that the first chapter is titled, “Develop a Relationship with Each Student.” Continue Reading…

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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The Power of Visualization

Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, stated the following: Everything happens twice – once in the mind and once in reality.  The once in the mind could be called visualizationVisualization has been defined as the use of mental images to influence bodily processes and is one of 20 brain-based strategies that enables human beings to remember what they are learning.

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Confidence: If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you’re actually right!

If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you’re actually right!

This thing we call confidence is often difficult for a parent to see in a child or for a teacher to see in a student.  We can even have a hard time seeing it within ourselves.  But it is not difficult to observe in sports, so I would like to use a sports analogy to explain the concept.
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