Welcome to the October 2016 edition of The Learning Brain.

Learning doesn't happen without attention. I recall Dr Michael Merzenich, "the father of brain plasticity" once saying "attention must be paid" for learning to happen. In this edition you can register for a free webinar about attention and ADHD presented by leading USA attention researchers. 

For more on ADHD see Book of the Month.

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PS: As always get your free maths skills booster worksheets and other helpful free resources in the Newsletter.

What's On?


Webinar:  What Do You Need to Know About
Attention and ADHD?
Friday 18 November

A web presentation by two of the foremost attention researchers, live from the USA.

Dr David Rabiner, Duke University, and Dr Ed Hamlin, University of North Carolina, will help teachers and parents get answers to these questions, and more:

  • What can you do to help students who have attention challenges?
  • Is it really an attention problem? How do you know?
  • What can you - a teacher or parent - do to help?  
  • Can attention be trained?
  • What about medication and non-medication treatments for ADHD? 

Find out in this once only webinar presented by
Dr David Rabiner and Dr Ed Hamlin
No charge to attend

Register Here

What’s New?

70 Schools Can Qualify for Free Kiko Early Learning Program

kiko_ipad2.pngChildren from 3 or 4 year old pre-readers up to 6 or 7 year olds can make a great start on their lifelong learning journey by using Kiko’s Thinking Time to develop skills like reasoning, memory, inhibition and focus.

To celebrate his 70th birthday, LearnFast’s Chief Learning Innovator, Peter Barnes, is gifting a Kiko Term 4 licence for up to 10 students to the first 70 Australian and New Zealand schools/preschools who register.

Latest Research

Brain_image.jpgDriving or Talking?
The Brain Concentrates on One Thing at a Time

You’re driving to a new destination. And you’re in deep conversation with your passenger. Why is it you sometimes take a wrong turn?

It’s because your brain can’t cope with too many tasks at once. Only one sense at a time can perform at its peak, according to Swedish researchers. Their study, published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal, showed how listening impairs performance on visual tasks. Read more.

boy_uniform_sad.jpgEarly-life language stimulation, skills may prevent childhood depression

We know that children who are exposed to greater amounts of language and vocabulary will find it easier to succeed socially and academically when they start school. Now new research suggests that a deficit of early language exposure can contribute to children developing depressive symptoms as early as grade three. Read more.

The Learning Capacity Blog

3 Famous Neuroscientists:
How Brain Plasticity Helps Human Potential

“The science of neuroplasticity is slowly but surely transforming how we think about ourselves and our brains, and how we can build a stronger brain that provides us with a better life,” said Dr Michael Merzenich.

He was speaking in a roundtable discussion with Professors Eve Marder and Carla Shatz following the trio’s receipt of the $1million 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience. Read all about it here.


Free Download

Maths Skills Booster – September 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:

  • Brain_matter3.pngComplements children's learning
  • The easiness of just downloading a sheet and using it straight away
  • Consistent repetition and an increase in confidence.

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

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


Commonlit.jpgCommonLit - An Online Library of Free Literary texts

CommonLit is an online library of free literary and informational texts, designed to help teachers quickly locate leveled texts that fit into a lesson or unit, assess student understanding, generate discussion, and even pair the texts with other media, all in one free platform. It’s an ideal tool for grades 5-12 but would also work for advanced students in the lower grades. Find out more.

Taking_charge_of_adhd.jpgBook of the Month

Taking Charge of ADHD, The Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents
Russell A. Barkley

Taking Charge of ADHD by Russell A Barkley is a step-by-step plan for ADHD diagnosis and treatment. It covers behaviour management, strategies for helping children succeed at school and in social situations, and information on advances in research.

sit_with_us_app.jpgApp of the Month

Sit With Us

Sit With Us is a social networking app designed to promote kindness and inclusion in schools. Kids can use the app’s features to coordinate lunches with their friends. They can also volunteer to be Ambassadors for their schools and post open lunch events on campus where everyone will be included.