Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Whole Brain Teaching Glasses

Have you discovered your whole brain teaching glasses? I realised I had my pair on when I recently attended a professional development day on spelling. The presenter was fantastic, and the information shared was both encouraging and challenging. At no stage did the presenter talk about whole brain teaching or any other form of whole brain approach. What did happen was that I was seeing things differently because of my new whole brain teaching glasses. I don't recall exactly when I got them, but I think it has been a gradual process over time and now they are firmly in place. 
I first realised my glasses were on when I started relating things that were happening to my knowledge of how the brain learns. The presenter was vibrant and enthusiastic about the topic. Ah! she got me, and my prefrontal cortex had decided to buy into what she was saying and my visual cortex was watching her move around the front of the room with ease and my Wernicke's area was involved in comprehending what was happening. My limbic system was engaged as I was enjoying the session. Before long we were sharing thoughts with a partner and now my Broca's area was involved as I talked my thoughts about spelling. Next thing I know we are doing an acitivity and moving around and now my motor cortex was involved.
Learning about the brain and how it works in relation to learning has helped put those glasses on. This new knowledge and my new whole brain teaching glasses helped me get the most out of the day. The thing that really helped put those glasses on was particpating in an Action Research Course on Whole Brain Teaching. As part of this course we had to read the text "How the Brain Learns," by David Sousa. This book helped me put theory behind what I am doing and helped it all become more meaningful. My new glasses helped me look forward and think of new ways to work on spelling that will be more challenging and engaging for the students I teach.

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