Welcome to the August 2015 edition of The Learning Brain.

This month you can get up to date on the emerging field of Educational Neuroscience, the convergence of knowledge from education and research about how our brains learn. See Book of the Month: “Mind, Brain, and Education”, a collection of expert views on the impact of neuroscience on how students learn maths, reading and other subjects, plus its impact on their emotions and creativity.

And read what Professor Michael Merzenich, neuroscientist, authority on brain plasticity, and Professor Emeritus at the University of California said to The Future Ways of Thinking conference at the Queensland University of Technology last week about brain training and education.
Kind regards,


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PS: Don’t miss the 7 tips to make neuroscience work in your school (you will need to scroll right down to the bottom of the newsletter).
PPS: Want more information about educational neuroscience? Then listen to Dr Martha Burns’ Podcast: The New Science or Learning.

Latest Research

Can we predict which kids will struggle with reading?

Imagine if we could test a newborn baby’s brain to screen for possible later reading difficulties when they go to school.

A child’s ability to connect sound to meaning is a key foundation for reading. Preschoolers who can match sounds to letters go on to read more easily.

Scientists are looking for ways to tell, as early as possible, when children are at risk for later learning difficulties so they can get early intervention. Read more.

What’s New?

Brain training exercises should be in schools: Dr Michael Merzenich

Neuroscientist, Dr Michael Merzenich, a pioneer of brain plasticity research and regarded by many as the “father of cognitive neuroscience”, told school principals and teachers at the Queensland University of Technology’s Future Ways of Thinking conference that brain training exercises should be used in Australian schools.

Dr Merzenich also said that brain training would soon become as common as physical fitness programs.

New MySciLearn Session Monitor App

The new MyScilearn Session Monitor App* – for iPad, iPhone and Android devices – helps educators more easily deliver the benefits of the Fast ForWord brain training and Reading Assistant online tutor programs to their students.Session monitor App

“It is great to be able to see what each student is working on
and who needs to be guided back on task”.

Teachers can use their iPad, iPhone or Android tablet or phone to monitor each student’s progress in real-time, seeing which program, exercise or reading selection a student is working on, as well as the number of exercises or minutes remaining in a session. They can even monitor students working in another classroom.

The Learning Capacity Podcast

The new science of learning. Teachers build brains

In this episode we hear Dr Martha Burns, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University, discuss the new science of learning. It involves neuroscience, and understanding individual differences in children. Most importantly, it’s that educators don’t just teach. They build brains. Listen to the Podcast.


Five Simple Memory Improvement Tips to Boost Brain Power

Memory loss can happen to anyone and at any point in life. According to scientific studies, it is possible to increase your brain capacity with memory improvement exercises. The whole family can benefit from these five simple memory improvement tips.

Maths Skills Booster – August Worksheets

We thank you for sharing all your positive feedback on the Maths Skills Booster. Comments like these are very encouraging:

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  • “It’s been great watching the kids’ confidence grow as they not only get more accurate but faster – thank you” (primary teacher)
  • “So far, it has proved invaluable for my sons confidence, concentration, ability to focus in all areas, especially all maths areas, not just times tables – thanks heaps!” (parent).

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

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

Book of the Month

Mind, Brain & Education by David A Sousa

Mind, Brain, and Education” edited by David A Sousa is a significant, informative book for all educators and parents interested in the rapidly emerging field of educational neuroscience.

David Sousa has put together contributions from 15 leading neuroscientists, educators and psychologists which explain how neuroscience impacts teaching and learning.

“Mind, Brain, and Education” includes chapters on the neuroscience of reading, maths, speaking, emotions and creativity, and how this science can be used in the classroom to improve educational outcomes.

Despite the list of academic papers at the end of each chapter, this is not a book filled with science jargon. It is written in plain, everyday language, making it easily readable for everyone.

What’s On?

National Literacy and Numeracy Week

National Literacy and Numeracy Week will be held from 31 August – 6 September 2015. This is the 17th National Literacy and Numeracy Week to celebrate the importance of literacy and numeracy skills in schools across Australia. Find out how you can participate here.

Learning Difference Conference

The Learning Difference Convention will be held on 27th & 28th August at the Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, Sydney.