Welcome to the October 2018 Learning Brain News.

Read the latest research about the effect of screen time, sleep and physical activity on learning, and how even very young children can identify bullies.

If you have students or children trying to figure out a career direction after high school, see the article ‘Career Guidance for Secondary Students’.

Also this month, we feature a learning support teacher’s story, ‘Remedial Reading on Steroids’ (you can read it or listen to her tell her story on the Learning Capacity Podcast).

Best wishes,


Devon NL signature jpeg..jpg

Devon Barnes
Learning Brain News

PS: Don’t miss Dr Martha Burns’ Dyslexia webinar. See details and registration below.

Positive Education

Episode 85How to Use Strengths & Positive Psychology in Teaching - Penny Nesbitt

Should we concentrate our teaching on trying to improve where students are performing badly, or focus more attention on helping them build on their existing strengths?

It shouldn't be an either /or choice. But according to positive psychology expert, Penny Nesbitt, working on a student's natural strengths will be more rewarding for both the student and their teacher. Read more.


Latest Research

kidscomputerLess Screen Time, More Sleep and Physical Activity for Better Thinking

A study of more than 4,500 children aged 8-11 years has found limiting screen time to less than two hours a day, plus sufficient sleep and physical activity is associated with improved language abilities, executive function, attention, working memory and processing speed.

But the study’s authors cautioned as it was an observational study, they could not establish the underlying causes of the cognitive improvements, and the self-reported data and could be subject to bias. Read more.


3D person pushing another isolated over a white backgroundBully or Leader? Even Infants Can Tell the Difference

Children as young as 2 years old can already distinguish between leaders and bullies, according to new research from the University of Illinois.

Infants understand you have to obey leaders even when they are not around; with bullies, though, you have to obey them only when they are around. Read more.

Close up of businessman hand holding brain in palmWhat's New?

Working Memory May be More Flexible than Previously Thought

Researchers report working memory doesn’t have fixed limits, as previously believed, it adapts itself to tasks currently being performed. Read more.

What's On?


Dyslexia Webinar

What’s the latest scientific research about Dyslexia? What are the early warning signs? How can you help learners with Dyslexia?

Dr Martha Burns provides answers in a free webinar. Register here

The Learning Capacity Podcast artworkThe Learning Success Podcast

Remedial Reading on Steroids - A Learning Support Teacher's Story

The Learning Capacity Podcast artwork Learning support teacher, Moya Gibb-Smith has used most of the well-known remedial reading programs to help her students who were struggling to learn to read. While she said they all had merit, there was one program that stood out for her. "It was like doing it on steroids. It was just so much quicker, so much more effective". Read more.

Careers Guidance for Secondary Students

connectHow to Make Career Decisions at the End of Secondary School

Senior secondary students around Australia have done the Trials for the HSC, VCE and other State based credentials. Often results are not as good as students hope.

If so, how best to respond to the disappointment? Read more.

The_Role_of_Working_Memory_eBook.20162Free Download

The Role of Working Memory eBook

Could your child have a working memory problem? Maybe they're not learning as well as you think they should. They’re falling behind classmates or not able to follow instructions because they cannot remember what they were told.

A good working memory is vital for your child’s learning success learning.

Download e-book "The Role of Working Memory".

Dyslexia empowermentBook of the Month

The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child's Confidence and Love of Learning

Social and emotional supports can be just as important as academic interventions for students with reading difficulties. Ben Foss, a graduate of Stanford University and successful inventor, describes his own struggle with dyslexia and the social and emotional effects of it in his book, The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan.

He includes advice on how teachers can focus on students’ strengths (and not just their weaknesses). Read more.