Monday, November 8, 2010

Brain Based Research in the Classroom

I’ve heard a lot about brain-based research, but haven’t really puzzled out what it might look like in the classroom. Then I read a blog that suggested Kenneth Wesson.  
Evidently he is a brain researcher and a Science teacher. (college)
I’ve gone through some of his slides. I’ll share a couple of interesting points, but I don’t want to be rude and share too much when you can easily go to his site and look at them yourself.
More brain cells must fire actively to keep the body still than are required for movement.  Keeping the brain’s inhibitory neurons active requires more concentration of valuable brain resources than executing physical movements.  When cognitive energies are diverted from learning to keeping still, we need to decrease our expectations for learning outcomes
•A 5th grade class in Charlotte, NC -  increased attention spans and facilitated good posture. The classroom - a sea of motion - children bob and weave, sway and bounce their way through lessons perched atop fitness balls.
•A Mayo Clinic study found that these balls burn calories, attacking the growing problem of childhood obesity. Fidgety students or those with ADD/ADHD have an outlet for their excess energy. Concentration increases and physical conditioning is improved because of the work involved in staying on top of the ball.
• Studies show more time spent on task and less time squirming while students sat on the balls, “People are not meant to sit still.”

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