Saturday, April 4, 2015

Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites: Chapters 9 & 10 {Mnemonic Devices, Movement}




Happy Spring Break!

We are having a staycation 'round these parts - and honestly, I couldn't be happier.  Instead of rays - I'm hoping to soak up a lot of laziness, relaxation, snuggles & Netflix! 

I'm linking up with a fellow "Holly" over at Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten to discuss chapters 9 & 10.  These chapters were right up my alley because THIS is how I learn.  I might not be a graphic organizer kinda thinker slash learner - but mnemonics and movement...KA-CHING! 

Strategy 9:
Mnemonics

"Mnemonic techniques are time-tested activities that enable students to recall and use material without conscious efforts from the brain." {Mayer, 2003}

There aren't a whole lot of specifics {aside from those personal stories my teachers told about themselves} that I remember from my days in school.  I do, however, remember:









...and so many others!

One I STILL use today!



Just this year, I had one of our parapros say to me "I was working with some of your previous first graders and they shared with me how they will never forget how to spell the words "would, could, should"

Click to grab!

That just goes to show how powerful those mnemonics are!


Strategy 10:
Movement

Getting those kiddos moving is so important and that's what this strategy is all about!

"Any task learned when we are physically engaged in doing it remains in our memory for a very long time. {Allen, 2008}

"Because physical movement increases the energy of students, it, therefore, enhances their engagement." {Marzano, 2007}

"Movement not only enhances learning and memory but it also causes neural connections to become stronger." {Hannaford, 2005}

I could just keep pulling quotes from this chapter.  Movement is essential to learning in any classroom - young and old!  I've been Brain Breaking before "GoNoodle" even existed.  HA!
...but thank goodness for those folks at GoNoodle - why didn't I think of that?

Circa: 2013
I'm great at incorporating movement in the form of a brain break in my classroom - but where I'd like to improve is incorporating it into my actual teaching/student learning more often.

I'm sure you've heard of  Whole Brain Teaching.  I've read up on WBT quite a bit and after much hemming and hawing - it's not for me - not in its entirety, anyway {It's a little too robotic for me}.  There are pieces of it that I really like and believe in.  Much like mnemonic devices, I think involving movements as we learn engages the brain and increases retention of new concepts.  There are a few techniques that Whole Brain Teachers use that I use as well...

Blow it in Your Hand/Release - I'll have my students go eye-to-eye, knee-to-knee with one another and share their thinking.  Once they've firmed up their thinking I'll have them whisper/blow the answer into their hand and then release it - by saying the answer out loud.

Just the other day we were talking about decomposing numbers.  When we said "decompose means break apart" we pretended to break something apart with our hands.  The next time I asked them what decompose meant I had several that quickly made the motion.

There's a song we sing about living or nonliving things that we've been singing for years.  I wish I knew who originally wrote it but it goes like this...

Tune: Yankee Doodle

Living or nonliving things,
Now which one will it be?
If something is to stay alive,
It has some special needs.

Give it food and water,

And lots of air to breathe.
It also may need space to grow,
And sunlight for its leaves.

Each year my kiddos love singing this song and creating movements to go along with it.  When I give the test at the end of the unit - without fail, I see kids making the movements to this song and whispering the words when they come to the part of the test where they have to list things that living things need.

"The one most detrimental barrier to learning and recall of information may be a teacher's deliberate attempt to stop students from moving." {Jensen, 2002}

My goal is to incorporate even MORE movement into my teaching/student learning.  Here are a few bloggers who are Whole Brain Teaching gurus that I'm hoping to pull a few more ideas from.

Mrs. Shipley's Whole Brain Classroom

Whole Brain Teaching With Style

Teaching and Learning Together

I'm curious how you incorporate mnemonics and movement into your classroom?

If you are a Whole Brain Teacher I would REALLY love if you would share why you like it so much, how much you incorporate the techniques into your day, and anything else you might want to share.

Go check out Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections   and read what she has to say about these two strategies as well as what others have to say in the linky!



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