Tuesday, July 30, 2013

AGC Institute

So, this past week I spent 3 days at Access to the General Curriculum Institute at Region 4 in Houston. I walked away was some really good information and I thought I’d share it with you.  One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Marcia Tate and her session was Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites.  I thought this was a fabulous session, not only was it good information, but she’s very entertaining.  Basically, her session was all about brain research and how the brain works best.

Here is a list of the 20 strategies to use to take advantage of how the brain learns best.

  1.   Writing- when you write something down, you are more likely to remember it better than just hearing it. 
  2.  Storytelling-students are more likely to remember something if you tell a story (I LOVE to tell stories!) & I’ll give you an example below on how to use storytelling.
  3.  Mnemonic Devices or Acronyms- You know these, educators use them all the time. For example, ARD (admission, review, dismissal)  
  4.  Visuals-students learn better if they can see instead of you explaining it.
  5.   Movement-get the students up and moving. Remember the attention span of a child equals their age. (If they’re 7, then they can only sit & listen for 7 minutes)
  6.  Role Play-have students act out what they’ve learned.
  7.  Visualization 
  8.  Metaphor/Simile/Analogy
  9.  Cooperative Learning
  10. Music- music helps energize, relax, set the daily mood & stimulates the brain.  It can also be used to review content.  Rocknlearn has several CDs that review just about any content using rock, rap or country/western songs.
  11.  Graphic Organizers
  12.  Drawing- I used this strategy when I read the book Wonder this year.  If you haven’t read it, you MUST!  Anyway, there’s a part in the story where the sister describes what the main character, Auggie, looks like. So, I read it aloud once, told the students to get out their notebooks & draw what they picture in their head as I read the description again.  AMAZING!  
  13.   Humor-What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.  Incorporate jokes/riddles that pertain to what you are teaching or just do it to get a good laugh before the lesson.
  14.  Discussion
  15.   Games-My students LOVE games…who doesn’t?! After you’ve taught a skill, play a game of jeopardy or whatever!
  16.  Project Based Learning
  17.   Field Trips
  18.   Manipulatives
  19.   Technology
  20.  Work Study-This is more appropriate for students in high school
Ok, here is an example of one of the strategies.  Let’s say you are trying to teach the students the 7 continents.  Tell them a story to help them remember.  So, here’s the story…

There once was a man named North. His last name was America. He fell in love with a beautiful woman named South. They got married and she took his name so she became South America. They honeymooned in Europe. This couple was blessed to have four daughters whose names all began with the letter A. Their names were Africa, Antarctica, Asia and Australia. The End.

Using this same objective, you could incorporate movement too.  After they’ve learned the continents and you’ve shown them on the map, then make the students become the map of the world. Use masking tape to divide the room in half (this being the equator) Split the students up into small groups and assign each group a different continent. Then the group has to decide where in the room they’ll stand.

If you’re interested in seeing her in action, then click on this link to view a short video.

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  1. Thanks for sharing, Jen!! Awesome strategies!!


    1. Thanks! There's more that I need to post, but I tend to procrastinate too much!