Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brain Talk

How I learned my new information:  This morning I was listening to a Joyce Meyer pod cast and I heard a piece of information that I thought really applied to educators.  I also feel that it was the main piece of information that I was supposed to hear from the discussion because shortly after the neuro-scientist stated the fact the video quit loading correctly and I had to just give up on hearing the end or I would have been late to school.

What I learned:  Anyway, she was talking about how the brain builds synapses and that the connections from new information are not applied to your brain until 4 days after the new information is learned.  So the quick response that we sometimes want from our kiddos is not even scientifically possible the day after we introduce a new concept. She also stated that if something is learned the wrong way by your brain it takes something like 21 days for your brain to reprogram the information and have it be readily available. 

How I'm going to apply it:  My principal had often cited similar information to me, but along the lines of it takes 100 times of practicing correctly to unlearn a mistake.  I really liked hearing the information in terms of days, because it made it more specific to me.  What I think I can do with this information is encourage my grade level team to not gloss over new concepts, that we deem as "easy".  No matter what the difficulty level, if it takes 4 days for our brain to readily process and apply a new concept we do not need to assess any sooner than that 4 days.  Also I am going to learn that even if I reteach and reassess a concept in a short time frame (which there are usually 2 days allotted for this in our pacing guides) I should check back in with the child close to a month later to make sure they are truly grasping a concept.  It may make a lot more work for me, but let's be honest I became a teacher for the kids.  If I'm not making sure I'm doing everything I can and applying my new learning to them then I am failing them.

P.S. I wanted to post a link to the video but the webpage is down at the moment, which may have started this morning when I was unable to finish my podcast.

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