How to Best Teach and Learn? Brain-Research Based Strategy for Uncertain Times

Updated: Oct 28


For Teachers:


  1. Begin with believing in your students. Today’s kids are very bright. They can do wonders. Providing small challenges is a good way to activate the brain.

  2. To teach a skill start by giving specific instructions. When the students practice let go, so the skill becomes intuitive. Think of how a 2 years old child learns language. Everything mingles in his/her mind. Sometimes they focus on a certain rule until the whole interconnects.

  3. Diversify teaching strategies. Appeal to multiple senses. Show a colorful painting. Listen to a stimulating video or music. It will internalize skills and reactivate the creative mechanism that flourished when the children were toddlers, to deepen learning and to invite insights.

  4. Start the lesson with a riddle or a visual. It will help students glide into learning better than if you ask them how they feel.

  5. Researches about learning styles focused on students’ preferences. For example, a child would rather learn by hearing, but maybe reading would deliver better understanding. We cannot accommodate learning to each child’s preference. And students had better enhance all their learning skills. So, the best strategy is to make teaching diverse.

For Learners:


  1. Believe in your self. You can do wonders. Open-up. As a toddler you learned your mother tongue without any teaching. You asked questions. Your parents’ eyes glowed at the genius ideas you came up with. You can deepen you learning now to start draw on insights and ideas fresh as you once did.

  2. Divide your challenges into small tasks. Remind yourself to turn on brain each time. You can do that by gently pressing a finger to a spot high in your forehead.

  3. To prepare for a test focus on the subject. For long term learning – diversify the mini-subjects or exercises (One about a triangle and one about a square).

  4. Tests today require implementation. Questions invite you to make connections. So, before using your marker read the paragraph once again. Find the key sentence. Make sure you understand. After reading the whole chapter, go through what you have highlighted. What keywords are repeated? What is the basic idea? How do the basic idea and keywords relate to those in other chapters? This method will help you make connections to answer interesting questions.

  5. Space your learning sessions – Studying every day for one hour is better than 7 hours the day before test.

5 Last tips to improve learning:


  1. Take care to sleep well.

  2. Eat healthy.

  3. Do sports. (Stay with me. That was the easy part.)

  4. Leverage your working memory. It can hold few details for seconds. Collect pieces of data into groups. Even give them a name, to better store them in long term memory. To remember information, think of something impressively visual it relates to. This method will help retrieving the details when needed.

  5. Are your worried friends will make fun of you for putting too many efforts into studying? Learners nowadays are experiencing a motivation crisis. Is studying considered the direct path to popularity? Think about it some. Learn for yourself. Seek to understand the world to grow into it focusing on your special gifts. That way, you will gain your friends’ respect.

Learning is intricate work. It's a habit.

But once you get the hang of it, it flows,

like these flowers I drew last week.



References:


The Great Courses: The Learning Brain, Professor Thad A. Polk PhD Carnegie Mellon University, 2018. Link!



I know teaching and learning are overwhelming challenges these days. For a simple, creative and helpful teaching practice you are most welcome to check out the Raising Creative Thinkers Academy The Academy offers:


Basic plan - workshop recording + 6 simple implementation tools (25$)


Prime plan - Same workshop recording + 15 tools and resources (75$)


New offer: Explore, Grow and Inspire (55$)


Align Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) with CCSS (Common Core State Standards) by arising curiosity for science in language arts lessons, building motivation for science education. In the meantime, help children treasure literature and art by nurturing their love for nature. Promote the 4 c's (critical and creative thinking, communication and collaboration) by this bundle in class and/or online.


​Exploring the world around us and the world within us - Bring nature to life and instigate enquiry. Help students discover scientific phenomena, nature and environment by Raising Creative Thinkers' literature weaved with art that children love. Invite learners to express ideas in conversations or in writing based on questions Google cannot answer and surprising prompts provided in the PDFs.


Use these resources to nurture and guide project-based learning. In the process, foster social-emotional skills, amplify students' individual strengths, and promote language proficiency. Students love elevating their own ideas into writing tasks shining with grammar and vocabulary excellence.


Growing as 21st century teachers - New methods might seem intimidating at first. This bundle includes product training and helpful tools, making teaching simple and fruitful. Learn to identify students' unique gifts to respond to personal interests and needs, promoting equity.


Inspiring creative learning experiences - Make learning fun and relevant for today's students, providing opportunities for comprehensive understanding and original applications of content.


Grade level: K-8, primary, elementary, special and gifted education.


Contents:


Three Raising Creative Thinkers books in PDF format:

  1. ​Creative Children Like the Animals of the World - STEAM learning materials for a whole year.

  2. The Raising Creative Thinkers Series: Problem Solvers, Conflict Managers and Communicators - Guide students to solve problem creatively inspired by a story of a dispute in the animal world solved by the birds' king. Then promote creative problem solving while introducing structural coloration.

  3. Anti-Bullying STEAM Curriculum - Some lessons are best learned from nature. Build students' prosocial behavior based on a food chain story.

Product Training which includes a stimulating workshop recording + implementation tools:

  1. Creative Environment Check-List - What to focus on to build a creative and safe environment in class.

  2. The Pearl Expressions for Creative Conversations - Sentence starters to help students communicate and express.

  3. Project-Based Learning, Reviewing Progress and Creative Problem-Solving Kit - a coloring pages kit to help students develop products and to assess students learning.

  4. Identifying Gifts and Fulfilling Potential Kit - Deepening the understanding of each student's interests and needs to promote individual creative potentials.

  5. The Stone-Heart and The Tree-Heart Instant Meditations coloring pages - Recharging to engage students in creative teaching.

Bonus - PDF of the The Raising Creative Thinkers Guidebook -

Tips and Inspiration + an appendix offering immersing lessons plans about:

  1. ​Heavy and Light in Science and in art

  2. Heat

  3. The greenhouse effect

  4. Energy

  5. The center of gravity

  6. The handicap principle.

Raising Creative thinkers' resources are based on conversations with Dr, Moshe Rishpon, who established the Clore Garden of Science and The Science Oriented Youth Department in The Weizmann Institute, Israel. This is a pioneer program in science education and a leader of this field worldwide. Director, Michelle Korenfeld, is a lifelong creativity educator, 21st century curriculum developer, facilitator, author, poet and painter.


Teach Best 2020-1 - Exclusive research-based strategy blog posts subscription supporting in times of change. Already available:

  1. ​Creative strategy to teaching in an environment of stress, changing demands and multiple roles

  2. From Coping with Change to Becoming Change Agents – Strategy for Educators

  3. Creative Students – What, Why and How?

  4. Supporting human relationships in distance learning for less anxiety and a more meaningful education

  5. Managing Group Project-Based Learning Successfully In-Class or Online by awareness to CPS Styles

  6. How to Engage Students in PBL - Creative Problem-Solving Preferences as Keys for Collaboration.


Good luck,

Michelle Korenfeld

The Raising Creative Thinkers Academy!




© 2017 by Michelle Korenfeld, Raising Creative Thinkers.