Welcome to the June 2015 edition of The Learning Brain.

We all know how much better we feel, and function, after a good night’s sleep. And how it is difficult for children to learn if they come to school without proper rest the night before.

Now, research has shown how important it is for students to sleep well to consolidate what they have learned during the day and prepare their brains to learn exceptions to a general rule. See Latest Research for how teachers could structure lessons which involve a general rule and exceptions to it – such as how the rule for pronouncing CH applies to church and chest but not to chorus and chef.

Also this month: Dr Martha Burns on the latest neuroscience research about working memory, attention and autism.

Kind regards,

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PS: Free download – How to select a neuroscience program: features, similarities and differences in Arrowsmith, Cogmed, Fast ForWord Feuerstein

Latest Research

New Information Absorbed Best After A Good Night’s Sleep

New research shows that proper rest, after learning a new concept, is critical for successful learning. It also suggests that exceptions to a new concept should not be introduced until children have consolidated the standard rule after a good night’s sleep.

What’s New?

What’s the Latest in Neuroscience, Working Memory, Attention & Autism?

At a recent neuroscience conference in the USA, Dr Martha Burns gave a wide-ranging talk summarising the latest neuroscience research about learning and learning disorders. She related the latest research findings to how the Fast ForWord & Reading Assistant programs improve language skills, reading and learning capacity for many children.  Read more.

Free Download

How do you select the right neuroscience program?

Are you thinking about using a neuroscience program in your school to improve student learning capacity and also help students with learning challenges?

There is so much to consider. Which programs? Which students? How to schedule in the school timetable? Teacher and other resources needed?

To help you think through these and many other questions, we have created a neuroscience comparison table. Get your free copy here.

Book of the Month

A Framework for Improving School System in the Twenty-First Century

This book by educator, Dr Owen Roberts seeks to describe and inspire new ways to think about school system improvement that is sustainable and innovative. Jamaican born, Dr Roberts has spent 38 years working in the British and USA school systems and has drawn from this experience to challenge the status quo and offer creative ideas to make all school systems deliver better outcomes for students, teachers and their communities. Read more.

What’s On?

School Holiday Programs – Lindfield Speech Pathology & Learning Centre, Sydney

Lindfield Speech Pathology & Learning Centre offers weekly social skills programs and school holiday groups. The July 2015 holiday groups offer social skills development for Pre-schoolers to Year 3 and literacy skills development for primary students. Contact Lindfield Speech Pathology or download the registration form here.

Positive schools

The Positive Schools Mental Health & Wellbeing Conference is on in Melbourne on 4th & 5th June and in Sydney on 11th & 12th June, 2015.

Questions and Answers

Do you have questions about your child or students? Email us

Questions: Thank you for the maths skills booster. I have printed all the worksheets out and my son has been doing them for about 1 month. The problem is he never gets them correct, he gets different wrong answers each time. I stopped giving him the jumbled worksheets and just printed out the multiplication tables 0-12. That worked for 1 week, with him writing out the incorrect answers 3 times each. But then when we went back to the jumbled worksheets, we were back to square 1.

Any suggestions, or should we give up on maths, as it must be bad for his confidence to keep getting mistakes. What do you think?

Answer: Firstly, you are not alone. We have had quite a few parents whose child has been struggling. The two largest challenges parents may have helping their child with maths are:

  1. Dealing with their own memories of doing maths at school – or not.
  2. A sense of urgency: wanting the child to be better, too quickly

Here are 8 steps you can use to help with the LearnFast Maths Skills Booster sheets and some important tips for parents and teachers including:

  • Never lose faith in a struggling student
  • The key is that in the end, it takes as long as it takes
  • It’s mostly about helping you have positive conversations around numbers with your student.
  • So take your time, celebrate often and build confidence.

Read more.