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Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 64

Employing Brain Research to Inspire Instruction


"Teachers who are new to brain-compatible teaching are often in awe of how the brain remembers, and of how many different memory systems there are," explains BrainLady" Marilee Sprenger. "Although many brain-compatible principles are followed instinctively, once teachers know why and how the principles work, they are much more likely to use those principles again."

Sprenger provides staff development that translates and applies current educational neuroscience and memory research to benefit schools. In meeting with teachers around the world, she notes that they are most surprised by the depth of research available, and by the fact that most school districts are not taking advantage of the research.

"Educators want to know how to get the information out to school boards, administrators, and parents," Sprenger says. "The most effective way I know of is to use the applications of the research and model them for others. Talking to administrators and requesting professional development in those areas is another path teachers might take. Showing others how successful the strategies are is what makes the difference. Walk the walk, and soon others will follow."

Sprenger finds that teachers are always concerned about attention and motivation. They need and want to know about the latest research into the brain and its functions. For example, Sprenger cites current research on the reticular activating system (RAS), the brain's first filtering system, which suggests that students' brains have changed. According to Sprenger, students have been overexposed to emotionally-laden messages that bombard them on a regular basis. From computers to videos, MTV, and other technology, fast-paced messages have become the norm. "That overexposure has changed the reticular activating system, the brain's first filter," Sprenger observes.

Read the full article on Education World


Peaceful Playgrounds
Inspires Active Play

Peaceful Playgrounds (PPP) is a school-based physical activity program for k-6 students that can be implemented during recess and after school. Research has shown the students involved in the program show an increase in physical activity level, a decrease in bullying, and decreases in playground injuries. The program recommends transforming playground blacktops and fields into play areas for different age groups with activities such as tetherball, wall ball, and Frisbee golf.

Peaceful Playgrounds addresses a number of national standards as identified by Action for Healthy Kids Goals:

  • Provides daily recess periods for elementary school students, featuring time for unstructured but supervised active play.
  • Encourages the use of school facilities for physical activity programs offered by the school and/or community-based organizations outside of school hours.
More than 8000 schools across the nation are in various stages of implementing Peaceful Playgrounds. Its rapid expansion suggests that the approach is both practical and a realistic intervention for schools interested in this cost effective childhood obesity intervention that gets kids moving.

Read more about this program at: Peaceful Playgrounds.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

Wellness News
Future of Abstinence Education Uncertain Critics of abstinence-only education are gearing up to challenge federal funding for these programs.

How Far Should Rules to Curb Online Bullying Go? The suicide of a Missouri girl who had been severely harassed on MySpace ignited a movement to clamp down on cyberbullies. But restrictions on online speech raise difficult Constitutional issues.

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