This week I think Twitter was very helpful to bring everything together. There was just so much reading. I felt like there wasn’t enough time to absorb everything. Teresa and I hosted Twitter and she made a great suggestion to split it. She did the brain articles and I did the poverty articles. This gave me a chance to really read the poverty articles and focus on them. It made me not feel so overwhelmed with the reading. Later I was able to go back and read the brain articles.
Catherine posted a really great summary of brain-based learning. I was struggling to come up with such a concise summary. She pointed out some of the things that I found really interesting. For example, how genes for behavior and learning can be turned on or off. She also talked about how IQ can be changed. Before this week I didn’t realize how much teachers and others could affect a person IQ. I knew IQs weren’t fixed, but I didn’t realize IQ could be changed by as much as 20 points or more.
Teresa talked first about safety. I think this is a great point to bring up and I am so glad she wrote a lot about it. Safety is our number 1 priority. This means that as teachers if we don’t make our classroom feel safe we will never get students to where they need to be. Teresa tied everything together very nicely. Differentiation and brain-based learning go together because we cater to what students need in both approaches. If we add PBL to the mixture we are working to develop higher-order thinking which is a skill students will need no matter what their future holds.
This week for my blog post I was really happy with the articles I found. Twitter came through for me again. I read through my Twitter feed and found 3 articles that related to what we were talking about this week. I really liked one article that talked about a fixed mind-set and a growth mindset. These were not terms thrown out in the reading this week but describe exactly what the author was talking about. We as teachers need to be positive and show students hope. Improvement is possible and that is all we can ask for as teachers.