My Special Needs Network

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Clever Comprehension Strategies That Work!

I am a fan of Eric Jensen’s work /research on how the brain learns.  One of his blogs gives 10 Quick Tips on how to keep students engaged in learning throughout the day.  Tip #2 for example recommends getting students out of their seats every 8-15 minutes for mini energizers as these movement breaks help bump up the release of chemicals in our bodies (Cortisol, Dopamine and Norepinephrine) which help boost memory formation. (For easy, fun stretch breaks, check out Busy Body Exercise Cards).

 Tip #10 talks about spatial learning which utilizes more than one area of the brain to help with retention. It involves mentally picturing a concept and then associating a part of the room/environment to correspond with it.  For example, visualizing cumulus clouds in one corner of the room raining heavily.  For recall later such as during a test, looking at or picturing this part of the room will help trigger the memory/ understanding of the cumulus concept that these clouds=rain. Perfect for general education and easily adapted for students with special needs, Jensen’s blog is entitled Ideas for Getting Better Buy in and Learning and should be a must read for all teachers (and parents!). What are your favorite strategies for boosting learning/memory and comprehension?

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Comment by Cecilia Cruse on May 22, 2012 at 5:38pm

Great suggestions! Love the TaeBo moves. These are great for motor planning. Keep up the creative ideas!

Comment by Kelli McCoy on May 21, 2012 at 10:31pm

I'm big on Jensen's tip #2, although I didn't know where it came from until I just read that. I get the kids up as often as possible -- probably every 10-20 minutes. We do class "cheers" that involve standing up and sitting down, modified moves from TaeBo that get the kids crossing mid-line, any rote-memory or repetition we do with claps, stomps, hitting hands together, etc, and sometimes we just move to a new location in the room.

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