Keeping the brain both relaxed and engaged is one way to help students learn. My previous post discussed breathing breaks as classroom brain breaks. However, as can happen in a classroom setting, or in any other learning environment, monotony, reduced stimulation and repetitive nature of information can lull the student’s brain and cause a lack of motivation to learn. How to solve this? In essence, the brain needs to be awakened as well as kept calm.
I have been writing about ways to help students and children self-regulate. If you remember, brain regulation is a key factor in a child’s ability to participate in a relationship and have the maximum potential to reason and learn. I have been extremely pleased to see the positive results of these types of interventions in the lives of our students at Lakeside. Because of these interventions, many of our students have new opportunities to listen, learn and grow. As teachers teach with effective educational methods, these brain interventions add to the overall environment of the classroom.
I have been writing about brain-based research, particularly with regard to children and students. Too often, our educational systems are not attuned and aware, and they may not have the capability to create positive, classroom learning environments. We know from current neuro-scientific research that brain states really matter when it comes to listening, learning, testing and completing tasks.
As I was walking in the hall of our elementary school at Lakeside, I overheard some 5th and 6th graders boisterously working through their recent assignment. Typically, at Lakeside we teach students with a variety of needs, and each student has a different perspective on his work. Some loudly talk about it. Some oppose it. Some quietly suffer through it. Some do not do it at all and may even leave the classroom to get some help with their day.
In my recent posts, I have been reviewing some of the neurological research on the impact of brain states. I have referenced the work of Bruce Perry and the Child Trauma Academy as my resource. Specifically, we have been discussing some of the changes that occur in the brain when children are in a variety of brain states.