EBS-Brain-Based Learning

Brain-Based Learning

You may want to catch up on brain-based learning (see books at bottom of page), but this blog entry has a nice summation.

Engage students’ brain with these approaches:

  • Start positive and cultivate physical and emotional safety in the class

  • Inject suspense into your lesson. Try adding suspenseful pauses.

  • Movement activates the brain. Incorporate movements that support learning activities relevant to content.

  • Chunk learning to scaffold comprehension and processing

  • The new and unusual are of high interest to the brain. Create situations or demonstrations that break students out of their learning routine.

  • Take advantage of Think-Pair-Share type activities

True and False Stuff

Did you know that there are a ton of brain-based learning myths?

Bonus: See Brain-Based Strategies That Work

Think-Pair-Share Activities

Here are two of my favorite Think-Pair-Share activities variations. Learn about others.

Inside-Outside Circle

  1. Pair students up.

  2. Form one circle with students facing out (Inside Circle)

  3. Remaining students find and face their partners (Outside Circle)

  4. Pose a question and indicate what role each partner will play. For instance, “What are three ways to engage students' brains?"
    Inside partner speaks; outside partner listens.”

  5. Pause for think time.

  6. Switch roles—the outside partner talks; inside partner listens.

  7. After that, the outside circle rotates clockwise, and each student ends up with a new partner.

  8. Repeat process with a new question:
    "What is one way YOU start positive with your students?"

Sage and Scribe

Develop students' ability to explain concepts in a clear manner. Taking notes or detailing the process in writing also is a surface learning activity, great for introducing new ideas, skills.

  1. Students work in pairs. Designate one student as the sage (speaker), the other as the scribe (silent writer).

  2. Ask a question and allow a few moments for sages to think. For example: “Explain how concept mapping works.”

  3. When the teacher says “Begin,” the sage explains the process to the scribe.

  4. The scribe writes down the sage's spoken version of the process on paper (or types it).

  5. Once time has expired, sage and scribe switch places to respond to a new question. For example: "What is one way you can use bell ringers, or entry/exit tickets, in the classroom?

What's YOUR favorite
Think-Pair-Share activity
to engage students?