Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Brain Smart Strategies

Welcome to Day 2 of my Disability Awareness Unit!

In Day 1, I exposed my students to different Learning Styles and “Brain Smarts." The following lesson reviews this information, while showing students how to apply the "smarts" to their advantage within the classroom.

Day 2: Brain Smart Strategies 

Objectives (Students will be able to):
·      Review the learning styles and "smarts"
·      Brainstorm, discuss, and determine learning strategies for various "smarts"
·      Within groups, create strategy posters for the top three "smarts" to display

Anticipatory Set:
·      For today’s Quick Work, students are given this worksheet to review the "smarts" in context.
·      To complete this sheet, students are allowed to use their index cards with the "smarts" and symbols from Day 1's activity as a tangible vocabulary bank.
·      When I created this sheet, I purposely made sample sentences that were true to the students discussed in them and actually inserted the kid’s names in the sentences. This made the activity even more engaging and motivating, as the kids were excited to find their name and read about their friends! When Quick Work time was up, we reviewed and discussed the answers. 

1.     On Day 1, we determined via a class tally the top 3 "smarts" of our class. This year, they so happened to be "Number," "Music," and "Body Smart." I divided the kids into 3 groups, with each group representing one of these "smarts."
2.     When in groups, students were instructed to brainstorm on chart paper "Brain Smart" strategies and tools that can make learning easier. As a model, I give the example that a "Body Smart" student may ask to hold a kosh ball in class to release energy. Or a "Number Smart" student may like to always count how many pages they have left to read in order to read at an appropriate pace.
3.     I decided that I really wanted these posters to be displayed in my classroom so that we could refer to them as needed. When groups were finished, I allowed them to type their posters and decorate their final copies.
4.     Students then presented their posters and they were displayed in our room. 

Tip: If possible allow other professionals in your building to attend your lesson and run a group. My Vice Principal, whom was a former Psychology major, did just this. The students loved the interaction, while our VP enjoyed the opportunity to assist students in understanding and helping themselves!

Join me next time for Day 3 of my Disability Awareness Unit: Teaching IEP’s!


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