Welcome to the July 2017 edition of The Learning Brain.

I hope you are all enjoying the school holiday break. I'm using the time to catch up on some reading, including new research about stress, social skills and learning. Look out for an update in the August edition.

In the meantime, at the end of the newsletter, you can see how the 81 webisodes in the Social Express program can help children develop social & emotional skills.

And this month there's a focus on breakthroughs in brain scanning and autism research.


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PS: PS: Only 4 weeks to go to the ENS 2017 Conferences in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland. If you haven't registered yet, you can via the 'What's On' section below.

PPS: For educators: see What’s New for the “The Educator Evidence-based Decisions Survey".

What's On?

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The “Movement” Brain and its Impact in Learning

CherylChia.pngCan movement and exercise be used to build greater brainpower for learning in your students?

Join Cheryl Chia, a paediatric physiotherapist, at the ENS 2017 Conference to learn about the connection between the body and the brain and how it impacts attention and the way we learn. Discover how the senses can affect behaviour and learning.

Plus, hear the evidence from research studies on the positive relationship between movement and exercise, and cognitive abilities in children.

Register Now

ENS 2017 Conference is now an endorsed provider of NESA Registered Professional Development in NSW

We are pleased to announce that the Educating with Neuroscience 2017 NSW Conference has been endorsed as a provider of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional Development. Attendance will contribute 5.5 hours towards maintaining your Proficient Teacher Accreditation.

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Register Now

Latest Research

Studies Link Nutrients to Academic Achievement in Pre-Adolescent Children

Vegetables.jpgResearchers can look into your eyes to determine whether you’re getting your lutein, a pigment found in green leafy vegetables that is known to accumulate in the brain.

Two new studies find that children with higher lutein levels in the eye tend to do better than others on tests of cognition and academic achievement, even after accounting for other factors known to influence academic performance such as IQ, gender, body composition and physical fitness. Read more.


Brain image.jpgBrain Scans May Forecast Autism in Babies

A new study shows that brain function in infancy can be used to accurately predict which high-risk infants will later receive an autism diagnosis.

Using machine learning techniques that identify patterns in the brain’s functional connections, researchers were able to predict with greater than 96% accuracy whether a 6-month-old infant would develop autism at 24 months of age. 



What's New

How do educators make decisions?

Online Survey on Green Puzzle on White Background..jpegFind out from The Educator Evidence-based Decisions Survey.

This survey is feedback from educators in Australia and New Zealand about how they make decisions when considering an education program or intervention.

To learn about educator decision-making, just complete the survey (it will take you about 2 minutes) and tell us where to email your copy of the results.


Brain scan MRI.jpgSee the world's most detailed scan of the brain's wiring

Scientists at Cardiff University have produced the world's most detailed scan of the brain's internal wiring. It reveals the fibres which carry all the brain's thought processes.

Doctors hope it will help increase understanding of a range of neurological disorders and could be used instead of invasive biopsies.

The Learning Success Blog

The Learning Success Blog Autism & Fast ForWord123: What a Difference a Few Months Make

brother-sister-enjoying-pillow-fighting.jpgIn the Rethinking Learning Blog a mother of a 9-year old autistic boy wrote how the Fast ForWord123 programs have improved his expressive language skills, listening skills, ability to follow directions, conversation skills, desire to interact with others, social skills and reading comprehension.

The mother, who calls herself by her blogger title, 'Mama Woz' says, "the progress he’s made in the 3.5 months since starting Fast ForWord has been truly exponential". Read her story, courtesy of the Rethinking Learning Blog.

Free Download

Maths Skills Booster – July Worksheets

Thanks 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 joy in the faces of children when they realise how quickly and solidly their scores have improved and they have learned their tables. This is then resulting in better understanding and results in their maths work at school. Yeehah!!!! THANKYOU".
  • School girl learning to add and writing on the board - isolaed.jpeg"We are only just starting and we are all going to do it as a family. Even our parent brains need the exercise".
  • "Having a resource to turn to when I want stimulation for activities".
    Ready for your new set of Maths Skills Booster Worksheets? You can download the Julye worksheets here.

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


16_Learning_difficulties_terms_ebook_cover.png16 Terms to Help you Understand your Child's Learning Difficulties - ebook Download

If you have a child with language challenges, reading problems or learning difficulties, and you have sought help from their teacher, speech pathologist or other learning professionals, you may have heard some unfamiliar terms.

This free eBook covers 16 common terms used in discussions about learning difficulties. Once you understand these, you should be able to have more productive discussions with your child's teacher or therapists.

NeuroTribes.jpgBook of the Month

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

What is autism? A lifelong disability or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius?

Author Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. Read more.

codebot.pngApp of the Month

Lightbot: Code Hour

Lightbot: Code Hour uses educational gaming technology to guide students through the concepts of using computer programming and coding to solve animated puzzles.

Each self-paced exercise gives students hands-on experience creating and testing basic computer coding commands. The exercises help students learn basic coding while boosting cognitive thinking skills.