Welcome to the February 2018 Learning Brain News.
I hope you all had a satisfying break over the holidays.
Now school has started again for another year in Australia and New Zealand, my wish is for all students to enjoy school and to progress towards their potential. And for all teachers and parents to feel their students are making progress.
The Learning Brain News is written to help teachers, parents and their students navigate through the multitude of learning challenges school can present.
This month you can read new research about exercise and learning, watch a webinar on how to help struggling students, and learn more about the importance of social skills, plus much more.
Learning Brain News
PS: Make sure you take a look at the short video about Positive Education. You will be hearing more about this and the power of using a strengths based approach to education.
Dr Peggy Kern, from Melbourne Graduate School of Education, discusses barriers you might encounter if you want to introduce a Positive Education/Strengths approach in your school. Watch the 2 minute video.
Exercising at Own Pace Boosts a Child’s Ability to LearnPhysical education teachers may need to review their teaching strategies following new research from the University of Sterling, UK. Researchers report children are more attentive and have improved memory when they exercise at their own pace, rather than embark on exhausting exercise. Read more.
Researchers found that teens who spent a lot of time in front of screen devices - playing computer games, using more social media, texting and video chatting - were less happy than those who invested time in non-screen activities like sports, reading newspapers and magazines, and face-to-face social interaction. Read more.
Computers are Getting Close to Being Able to Read Human Brains
It may sound like sci-fi, but mind reading equipment is much closer to becoming a reality than most people imagine. Researchers used a magnetic resonance machine to read participants' minds and find out what song they were listening to.
Leadership and Classroom Secrets to Help Struggling Students Achieve
On Friday 9th February LearnFast presented the live webinar "Leadership and Classroom Secrets to Help Struggling Students Achieve" hosted by educational expert Dr Eric Jensen. If you missed it you can access the recorded session from our Free Resources page.
In this webinar you will discover how learning environments and different teaching strategies impact brain development, and what school leaders and educators can do to help students of poverty catch up to their peers.
The Power of Thought: Updates in Brain Plasticity - Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne: May 2018
Norman Doidge will explore some extraordinary advances made in the last 2 years in clinical applications of neuroplasticity, including the first reversals of dementia symptoms. Learn more.
The Learning Success Blog
Students with Better Social Skills Achieve Higher Test Scores
Children who are co-operative, socially responsible and helpful in kindergarten achieve higher scores on reading, writing and numeracy tests in primary school, compared with children with less pro-social behaviour.
This is the finding from a 5-year study of more than 52,000 kindergarten students from nearly 2800 schools. The study was led by Dr Rebecca Collie at the University of New South Wales School of Education.
Test scores from the children’s NAPLAN (Australia’s National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy) in 2012 and 2014 were compared for four different social and emotional behavioural profiles observed when they were in kindergarten. Read more.
Careers Guidance for Secondary Students
The 2017 New South Wales Higher School Certificate (HSC) results were released on 14th December. For those who wish to attend a university in 2018 – or perhaps 2019 if they take a gap year – the ATARs (Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks) were released the following day.
For many, their efforts and high hopes will have been rewarded. For others, feelings approaching despair in some cases! Career Counsellor Gordon Doyle says, more than once I have answered knocks at my office door, fielded phone calls, text messages or e-mails saying something along these lines: “I didn’t get the ATAR I need to get into my course. My life might just as well be over!”
But there is always a way! Read Gordon's advice here.
Thanks again for sending through your Maths Skills Booster feedback. Some of you mentioned that left handed people were finding the worksheets difficult to use so we've modified them.Ready for your new set of Maths Skills Booster Worksheets? You can download the February worksheets here. (They are now easy for left-handed students to use too!).
Did you miss out on the original Maths Skills Booster? You can get it here.
13 Free Teacher Downloads for Back to School
Downloadable and printable back-to-school resources from Edutopia.
2018 Teacher Calendar for the Classroom
Get your free printable 2018 calendar for your classroom from We Are Teachers.
Behave - The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
The celebrated neurobiologist and primatologist, Robert M Sapolsky, has written a landmark, genre-defining examination of human behaviour, both good and bad, and an answer to the question: Why do we do the things we do?
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Learn more.
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