Brain-based learning is based on brain function principles that can help you optimize brain function in favour of your education.
Educators practising brain-based teaching can help students effectively learn with simple principles that greatly impact students' knowledge and understanding.
Here are a few brain-based teaching strategies that can be incorporated into daily classroom routines.
Start the day on a positive note
A positive environment acts as a powerful force for students. They feel safe and comfortable, which adds to their learning experience. Educators must work on creating a positive classroom environment for students where they feel safe, heard, supported, encouraged, and comfortable enough to learn and express themselves. A morning ritual to welcome students by starting the day with a "thought for the day" can greatly impact how students' perspective toward things during the day. Starting on a positive note and helping students maintain that positive attitude might not come immediately but put it into action and be consistent. You and your students will experience the difference.
Make space for "turn and talk" time
Students retain information better when they comprehend their understanding practically. Letting students speak about what and how much they have understood can help them process and retain the information. Educators must provide this chance to students where they explain their understanding of the topic and their thoughts in their own words to the class. Implementing "turn and talk" time in the classroom can be done as a warm-up activity right at the beginning of the class or the last activity before you wind up your class. You can try both strategies and pick the one where you find students engaging more. Students can share what they've just read and understood, discuss ideas and clarify problems. Practising this regularly will also help you have a knack for your student's individual learning needs. You can also use this activity in your virtual classrooms, as most video conferencing platforms offer the raise hand feature that can help you start or end on this note.
Add visual elements
What you see is what stays with you. Visual memory is the most effective of all. When students learn through visuals, they retain the information better. It's easier for students to absorb and recall information by seeing things. You can integrate visual elements in the forms of animation, presentations, short videos, or other visual elements that can enhance the students' learning experience.
Teachers conducting virtual classes can easily incorporate visual elements as digital learning systems makes way to add visual elements. Think of providing additional video content complementing the learning material or breaking up your slides with a short animation of Gif that captures students' attention and interest. This will allow you to add engagement to your class and content equally. Simple and small ways like this effectively make virtual learning fun and hold students' interest in a remote environment.
Check out this video highlighting practical brain-based teaching strategies every educator can incorporate for effective learning and teaching experience.
Use learning chunks
Breaking large lesson units or modules into small manageable chunks can help students benefit from understanding and comprehending their learning easily. Also known as bite-sized learning, it helps students identify keywords, retain information better from phrases, and comprehend their understanding of their words easily. The learning material becomes manageable in small chunks, and the big lesson or the large unit isn't intimidating for students. Educators can also consider breaking down their instructions into smaller, manageable learning pieces. Working through lengthy instruction or processes can be challenging, so consider helping students understand everything thoroughly with small manageable bite-sized learning.
Get some movement
We are aware of how physical activity helps in brain function. Similarly, brain beaks are important for effective learning. Make way to get some movement in your students, and it will definitely improve their brain activity. You must have seen students become fidgety, irritated, or tiresome when stuck on desks for a long time. You must break this long sitting pattern and get your students up and moving to perform well and function effectively. Brain breaks are important and easy to implement in any classroom, whether conventional or virtual. Engage students by asking them to stand where they're located and help them do some on-spot stretches and exercises. You can demonstrate them virtually or in class and get them to follow you.
How do you practice brain-based strategies? Share with us in the comments section below.