Update on practice
This week being the first week of the school year in the Southern Hemisphere (Jan-Dec school year) I practiced my preaching and was heavy on the philosophy. My students completed a simple learning style test. We discussed how everyone is different and it went well.
Later in the week we had a great discussion on the inner workings of the brain when it came to processing information via our learning styles. I love how interested year 5’s are with the working of the human body. Then we talked about learning and how specifically it works in the brain referencing the neuoplasticity video I have posted in a previous article.
After some hearty and interesting discussions with my year 5’s I used one of my lessons I mentioned in an earlier post. Using this form: Learning dots I gave students a pattern to follow, say, green, black, blue, red, orange. Students had to put their finger on the dots in that order as fast as they could. I gave them one turn and asked how they went. Of course it was tough to start, then I gave them a second go, asked for feedback, then a third and then a fourth. After that we had a conversation about what was happening. One student replied “I can feel the wiring in my brain changing and getting faster” Of course with practice they all improved as the pattern became embedded in their heads. We then had a few more goes and finally a brief but rich discussion about how learning was happening in the brain.
Now here is the key! This experience I will use as a marker to draw on throughout the year as students struggle to understand concepts, reminding them that at first new tasks and ideas are difficult but with good practice you can lay the pathways in the brain.