Welcome to the December 2017 edition of The Learning Brain News.

The school year is over. Congratulations to all the dedicated educators and parents who have worked all year for our children.

Have you heard about positive education? Watch the short video which explains what it is. You'll be hearing a lot more about this in 2018.

This edition is packed with activities for the holidays including boredom busters, craft ideas, local library story times and even maths worksheets. It's all free.

Best wishes,

Devon NL signature jpeg..jpg

Devon Barnes
Learning Brain News

PS: Read how you can now get The Learning Brain News on your iphone or Android device via the free Schoolzine App. See instructions below.

What is Positive Education?

Positive education logo3.jpgIt's a different way of teaching and learning based on the strengths of every individual student and teacher. This is what some education experts are saying:

"Positive education is the intersection of traditional education and the building of well-being." Professor Martin Seligman.

"An absolute game changer and it's going to have a major impact on society". Dr Suzy Green.

"It's really about bringing out the best in all children". Dr Scott Barry Kaufman. Learn more. Watch this short video.

Reading aloud.jpegLatest Research

Reading Information Aloud to Yourself Improves Memory 

A recent study found that speaking text aloud helps to get words into long-term memory. Dubbed the "production effect," the study determined that it is the dual action of speaking and hearing yourself that has the most beneficial impact on memory. Read more.


Old couple looking camera with tablet pc in their hands-114897-edited.jpegLearning and Staying in Shape Key to Longer Lifespan

A major study of the genes that underpin longevity has found that education leads to a longer life, with almost a year added for each year spent studying beyond school.

Other key findings are that people who give up smoking, study for longer and are open to new experiences might expect to live longer.
Read more.


Schoolzine2.pngWhat's New

You Can Now Read The Learning Brain News on an App

Download the free Schoolzine App to access the current and past Learning Brain News at any time.

Go to the App Store or Google Play, download the App, select 'New Subscription', 'Australia', 'NSW', and search for 'The Learning Brain News'.



Online Survey on Green Puzzle on White Background..jpegThe Educator Evidence-Based Decisions Survey Results

During Semester 2, this year, educators from Australia and New Zealand participated in a survey to explore how they make decisions about sourcing teaching materials, programs, technology and pedagogy.

Many thanks to those that took the time to provide some valuable insights. Read the report.


What's On?



open book with 3d metal human brain inside pencil light bulb as concept.jpegThe New Science of Learning for Struggling Readers

This webinar is a must-see for everyone interested in how neuroscience is impacting education. See the latest research on how the brain is organised (or not) for reading, and what’s happening with your struggling students. 

You'll learn how the science of learning has guided the development of technologies like Fast ForWord to improve the underlying memory, attention, and processing abilities struggling students need for success. Watch it now.

The Learning Success Blog

Ekamai International School: Building English Language Brains Fast

The Ekamai International School in Bangkok was close enough to visit when the LearnFast team was at the Educating with Neuroscience 2017 Asia conferences in November.

This Seventh Day Adventist school has over 1,300 K-12 students who come from 33 different countries and English is typically not their native language.

We were intrigued to see the focus of Ekamai school’s leaders on the importance of English. Students can’t miss the prominently displayed signs proclaiming:

Be competitive Globally2-357722-edited.png

Smiling student standing in a woodwork class and holding a driller-051152-edited.jpegCareers Guidance for Secondary Students

Apprenticeships & Trades - a Good Way, and Maybe Best for Many

Career councillor Gordon Doyle has written a thoughtful article pointing out that a university course may not be the best option for everyone.

Read his advice here, which explains the benefits of apprenticeships and trade training.

Free Download

Maths Skills Booster – December Worksheets

Highly intelligent little boy in the classroom standing on a stepladder to reach a complex mathematical problem on the blackboard that he is busy solving.jpegThanks again for sending through your Maths Skills Booster feedback. It is always great to see how students are benefiting from this simple tool. Here are a few of the comments we received last month.

  • The tips have been very helpful. I also like the jumbled chart because it lets me know that they comprehend the work and are not just memorising.
  • Very motivating.
  • I like the way they want to go back and practice anything they didn't get the first time.
Ready for your new set of Maths Skills Booster Worksheets? You can download the December worksheets here.

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

Tensed boy sitting with stack of books against black background-693509-edited.jpeg18 Signs that May Indicate your Child has Dyslexia

Are you a concerned parent wondering if your child may have Dyslexia?
Are they a slow reader? Do they struggle to sound out words, or randomly guess words when reading?

The 18 questions on the checklist will enable you to consider if your child may need a professional assessment or help.

Raising Human Beings.jpgBook of the Month

Raising Human Beings - Creating a collaborative partnership with your child

Raising Human Beings explains how to cultivate a better parent-child relationship while also nurturing empathy, honesty, resilience, and independence.

It offers a detailed and practical guide for raising kids in a way that improves communication, and helps kids learn how to resolve disagreements without conflict. Read more.

App of the Month

Interactive Telling Time app.pngInteractive Telling Time

Interactive Telling Time provides children with a variety of different games and activities to practice the important skill of telling time. It includes 9 fun and interactive clocks that come with movable hour and minute hands. The app also helps children distinguish between AM and PM.

Interactive Telling Time is great for kids from ages 3 to 12 and comes in 5 difficulty levels.