Welcome to the April 2016 edition of The Learning Brain.

This month we have 3 articles that may help you if you work with children on the spectrum.

You can also get 4 free resources this month – a working memory quiz, new Maths Skills Booster worksheets, a “speaking kindly” classroom poster and a brand new emotion recognition & expression App.

Plus, we have found a neuroscience based program for 3 – 6 year olds for learning six important social, emotional and cognitive skills. See Kiko’s Thinking Time in What’s New.

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PS: LearnFast needs more people in our Lindfield office. See below, do you know someone like that?
PPS: The Educating with Neuroscience Conference 2016 is on Friday August 26th.

LearnFast Expands – More Passionate People Needed

Do you know someone like this?

  • Has teaching experience
  • Is passionate about learning and education
  • Is a great communicator – oral & written
  • Enjoys autonomy in a team environment
  • Lives within easy access to Lindfield, Sydney

If you do, please ask them to contact us, because LearnFast is expanding.

Latest Research


Sounds Can Help Develop Speech in Children with Autism
Education and physical activity slows brain aging

Want a younger brain?

Then you should climb more flights of stairs or complete more years of education.

This is the finding of a new study from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

The researchers found that brain age decreses by 0.95 years for each year of education. And if you climb a flight of stairs every day, your brain age becomes younger by 0.58 years. Read more.

Brain Connectivity

Children with sensory processing disorder have altered pathways for brain connectivity

Pathways for brain connectivity are different in children with sensory processing disorder (SPD). This is the finding from a study of 40 children with SPD.

They were compared with a control group of typically developing children.

The researchers say up to 90% of children with autism also have atypical sensory behaviours. Learn more.

Serena using KikoLWhat’s New?

Kiko’s Thinking Time

Make learning fun for 3 to 6 year olds.

New fun app for preschool & kindergarten – based on neuroscience.

More than just a game, Kiko’s Thinking Time builds 6 key skills critical for learning and socialisation.

Children play it on iPad or other tablets. Learn more.

Learning Capacity Podcast

The Learning Capacity Podcast

What happens if your working memory is weak?

Students with poor working memory find learning much harder, says Mimma Mason. Mimma is the Cogmed Manager for Pearson Australia. She spoke to the Learning Capacity Podcast about working memory and how we can develop it.

Listen to Mimma explain how a good working memory is critical for students.

Working Memory

BrainQuiz: Could your child have working memory issues?ong Term Stress Erodes Memory

Working memory is an executive function skill that is key to learning and everyday life. If you suspect your child might have working memory issues, this quiz may give you some solid clues.

Free Download

Maths Skills Booster – April Worksheets

Thanks again for sending through your Maths Skills Booster feedback, it is very encouraging. Here are a few recent comments:

  • Seeing progress, gaining confidence.
  • The explanation about creating habits to understand the relationships between numbers which leads to speed for other areas of life.
  • Repetition, well structured worksheets arriving monthly and the thrill of improved scores and timing. Thanks heaps.

Ready for your new set of Maths Skills Booster Worksheets? You can download the April worksheets here.

Did you miss out on the original Maths Skills Booster? You can get it here.

Free classroom poster: Words can hurt … or heal

Hurt or HealTeaching kids how to speak kindly to one another can be challenging. We are Teachers has put together a list of phrases and strategies your students can use when they’re talking to their friends.

It’s also a great starting point for classroom discussions about using kind, helpful words to build people up, rather than hurtful words that tear them down.

Autistic Brain Temple GrandinBook of the Month

The Autistic Brain – Thinking Across the Spectrum

In The Autistic Brain Temple Grandin offers her own experience as an autistic person alongside remarkable new discoveries about The Autistic Brain, as well as genetic research.

She also highlights long-ignored sensory problems as well as the need to treat autism symptom by symptom, rather than with an umbrella diagnosis.

She argues that raising and educating children on the autistic spectrum needs to be less about focusing on their weaknesses, and more about fostering their unique contributions.

App of the Month

Lets Face It
Free Autism App: Emotion Recognition and Production

Dr Paula Tallal, a founder of Scientific Learning Corporation, shared this app with us. Her colleagues at the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center built the Let’s Face It! Scrapbook App for children on the autism spectrum.

It allows the iPad’s camera to take pictures and videos of the child’s friends, family and classmates. Then it labels and organises them into albums that provide content for the Let’s Face It games.

Looking for a Solution for your Child’s Learning Difficulties?

Sally Wilcox shares how her son overcame his writing challenge

Sally Wilcox noticed that Mac, her grade 5 son, was frustrated with writing and spelling. In Mac’s words it was simple – he hated writing.

She recalled he had problems as far back as grade 1 when he found it hard to follow instructions. Mac had an auditory processing disorder and Sally knew she needed to do something about it. When Mac started to use neuroscience programs, things began to improve.

Mac’s reading, writing and academic results improved. And his supportive teacher, who understood auditory processing disorder, also helped. Mac became more confident and willing to try new challenges. Read the story here.

What’s On?

Conference for Principals and Teachers

Educating with Neuroscience 2016

Improving Brains for Learning

Melbourne, Friday August 26th. 

Find out how educational neuroscience is:

  • Providing teachers with new tools
  • Improving learning outcomes for students
  • Changing how schools boost learning across all subject areas.

Presenters include overseas neuroscientists and local educators. 

More details and registration soon.