Friday, 22 June 2018

The Neuroscience Behind Stress and Learning

Ivy berries look like pin cushions.

The Neuroscience Behind Stress and Learning
Judy Willis MD

The realities of standardized tests and increasingly structured, if not synchronized,
curriculum continue to build classroom stress levels. Neuroimaging research reveals
the disturbances in the brain's learning circuits and neurotransmitters that accompany stressful learning environments. The neuroscientific research about learning has revealed the negative impact of stress and anxiety and the qualitative improvement of the brain circuitry involved in memory
and executive function that accompanies positive motivation and engagement.

The Proven Effects of Positive Motivation
Thankfully, this information has led to the development of brain-compatible strategies
 to help students through the bleak terrain created by some of the current trends imposed
by the Common Core State Standards and similar mandates.
With brain-based teaching strategies that reduce classroom anxiety
and increase student connection to their lessons,
educators can help students learn more effectively.
In the past two decades, neuroimaging and brain-mapping research have provided objective support to the student-centered educational model. This brain research demonstrates that superior learning takes place when classroom experiences are relevant to students' lives, interests, and experiences. Lessons can be stimulating and challenging without being intimidating,
and the increasing curriculum requirements can be achieved without stress, anxiety, boredom,
and alienation as the pervasive emotions of the school day.
During my 15 years of practicing adult and child neurology with neuroimaging and brain mapping
as part of my diagnostic tool kit, I worked with children and adults with brain function disorders, including learning differences. When I then returned to university to obtain my credential
and Masters of Education degree, these familiar neuroimaging tools had become available
to education researchers. Their widespread use in schools and classrooms globally has yet to occur.
This brain research demonstrates that superior learning takes place when classroom experiences
are motivating and engaging. Positive motivation impacts brain metabolism, conduction of nerve impulses through the memory areas, and the release of neurotransmitters that increase executive function and attention. Relevant lessons help students feel that they are partners in their education, and they are engaged and motivated.
We live in a stressful world and troubled times, and that is not supposed to be the way for children to grow up. Schools can be the safe haven where academic practices and classroom strategies provide children with emotional comfort and pleasure as well as knowledge.
When teachers use strategies to reduce stress and build a positive emotional environment,
students gain emotional resilience and learn more efficiently and at higher levels of cognition.

Neuroimaging and EEG Studies
Studies of electrical activity (EEG or brain waves) and metabolic activity (from specialized brain scans measuring glucose or oxygen use and blood flow) show the synchronization of brain activity
as information passes from the sensory input processing areas of the somatosensory cortex
to the reticular activating and limbic systems. For example, bursts of brain activity
from the somatosensory cortex are followed milliseconds later by bursts of electrical activity
in the hippocampus, amygdala, and then the other parts of the limbic system.
This data from one of the most exciting areas of brain-based learning research gives us a way to see which techniques and strategies stimulate or impede communication between the parts of the brain when information is processed and stored.
In other words, properly applied, we can identify and remove barriers to student understanding!

The amygdala is part of limbic system in the temporal lobe. It was first believed to function
as a brain center for responding primarily to anxiety and fear.
Indeed, when the amygdala senses threat, it becomes over-activated.
In students, these neuroimaging findings in the amygdala are seen with feelings of helplessness
and anxiety. When the amygdala is in this state of stress-induced over-activation,
new sensory information cannot pass through it to access the memory and association circuits.
This is the actual neuroimaging visualization of what has been called the affective filter 
by Stephen Krashen and others. This term describes an emotional state of stress in students
during which they are not responsive to learning and storing new information. What is now evident on brain scans during times of stress is objective physical evidence of this affective filter.
With such evidence-based research, the affective filter theories cannot be disparaged as
"feel-good education" or an "excuse to coddle students" -- if students are stressed out,
the information cannot get in. This is a matter of science.
This affective state occurs when students feel alienated from their academic experience
and anxious about their lack of understanding. Consider the example of the decodable "books"
used in phonics-heavy reading instruction. These are not engaging and motivating. They are usually not relevant to the students' lives because their goal is to include words that can be decoded
based on the lesson. Decodability is often at the expense of authentic meaning to the child.
Reading becomes tedious and, for some children, confusing and anxiety-provoking.
In this state, there is reduced passage of information through the neural pathways
from the amygdala to higher cognitive centers of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex,
where information is processed, associated, and stored for later retrieval and executive functioning.
Additional neuroimaging studies of the amygdala, hippocampus, and the rest of the limbic system, along with measurement of dopamine and other brain chemical transmitters during
the learning process, reveal that students' comfort level has critical impact on
information transmission and storage in the brain. The factors that have been found to affect
this comfort level such as self-confidence, trust and positive feelings for teachers,
and supportive classroom and school communities are directly related to the state of mind compatible with the most successful learning, remembering, and higher-order thinking.

The Power of Joyful Learning
The highest-level executive thinking, making connections, and "aha" moments of insight
and creative innovation are more likely to occur in an atmosphere of what Alfie Kohn calls 
exuberant discovery, where students of all ages retain that kindergarten enthusiasm
of embracing each day with the joy of learning. With current research and data in the field
of neuroscience, we see growing opportunities to coordinate the design of curriculum, instruction, and assessment in ways that will reflect these incredible discoveries.
Joy and enthusiasm are absolutely essential for learning to happen -- literally, scientifically,
as a matter of fact and research.
Shouldn't it be our challenge and opportunity to design learning that embraces these ingredients?

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/neuroscience-behind-stress-and-learning-judy-willis

Turbo Charged Reading: Read more>>>Read fast>>>Remember more>>>Years later
Contact M’reen at: read@turbochargedreading.com

You can TCR software and engineering manuals for spontaneously recall – or pass that exam.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube



Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com       gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life.
http://ourbusinessminds.blogspot.co.uk/   takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others. http://mreenhunthappyartaccidents.blogspot.co.uk/      just for fun.


To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
                                                   The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

No. 1 Reason Practice Makes Perfect

This saddle fungus has never come back these last few years.

No. 1 Reason Practice Makes Perfect
The Brain Science of Muscle Memory
Christopher Bergland

My father was born the son of Montana missionaries in the 1930s. Becoming the Montana State tennis champion as a high school student was his ticket out of Glendive. He got a scholarship
to attend college, went on to Cornell medical school and became a neurosurgeon. 
He said, "Of this I am absolutely positive, becoming a neurosurgeon was a direct consequence
of my eye for the ball." This quotation sums up The Athlete's Way because it captures the parallels between sports and career that come into play for all of us. It also captures why I am so interested
in the link between brain science and athletics--and the link between 'practice, practice, practice' 
and success.
Although being a state tennis champion is technically what got my father a college scholarship,
that 'trophy' is secondary to everything else that he learned on the tennis court that stuck
with him for the rest of his life. His brain was rewired through his daily workouts. He was able to transfer his 'eye for the ball' into 'focus' and remain intellectually sharper than the rest.
His daily tennis practice gave him the physicality, dexterity, and stamina to be a world-class surgeon.
My father wanted me to be the next Björn Borg. I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed from a very young age. I wanted my father to be proud of me and I worked very hard on the tennis court. When I was growing up, tennis was our only real alone time and we played every Sunday. His coaching was based on an understanding that muscle memory is stored in a part of your brain called the "cerebellum" (Latin: little brain). My dad's mantra to me as a kid was:
"Carve the grooves into the cerebellum, Chris. Think about hammering and forging your
muscle memory with every stroke." The cerebellum is the #1 reason that practice makes perfect.
He knew from tennis and surgery that you had to do the same thing again and again and again
to hardwire it into long-term muscle memory that is stored in the cerebellum. I played tennis
for the first time in almost a decade a few weeks ago and was amazed how quickly all those years
of playing with my dad and the hours and hours of hitting a ball repetitively against a backboard came rushing back. It is exactly the same 'cerebellar' (pertaining to the cerebellum)
long-term muscle memory we refer to when we say: "It's just like riding a bike." You never forget how to do it once you've hardwired it into the skill center of the cerebellum through practice.
Before you read any farther, please watch this short 2-minute cartoon compiled by the DORE programs of the UK that brilliantly explains how the cerebellum relates to your cerebrum
when learning and mastering new skills. Video unavailable.

The word cerebellum was coined by Leonardo da Vinci in 1504
when he was making anatomical wax castings of the brain. The cerebellum is the size of a kiwi
and is tucked under the much larger cerebrum in the base of your skull.
The average cerebellum only weighs one-quarter of a pound but ounce-for-ounce packs a walloping punch. Although the cerebellum is only 10% of total brain volume it holds more than 50%
of the brain's neurons. Because of this disproportionate distribution of neurons my father
always said of the cerebellum, "Whatever it's doing, it's doing a lot of it." He was obsessed
with trying to unravel the mysteries of the cerebellum and passed that obsession on to me.
As a kid the word 'cerebellum' and 'cerebrum' seemed too complex so I coined the term 'up brain' for the cerebrum and 'down brain' for the cerebellum. I know that these terms may seem grammatically incorrect but they are a direct and cogent response to the terms 'left brain'
and 'right brain.'  In the 70s there was a lot of talk about the left brain being your 'intellectual' brain that was good with words and numbers; and your right brain being your 'creative' brain
that was good with images and art.
If pushed to categorize the cognitive differences between the down brain and up brain,
I would say that the up brain is the house of your conscious 'thinking mind' and the down brain
 is the house of your intuitive 'subconscious mind.' However, I am fully aware that dividing the brain and mind into a rigid dichotomy of 'down brain-up brain' is an oversimplification
and not 100% scientifically accurate. Nonetheless, I still find this split-brain model
a useful paradigm for facilitating self-understanding and improvement.
All parts of the brain work together in concert for everything we do. Assigning specific traits
solely to one hemisphere--or any portion of the brain--is generally considered to be 'bad science.' That said, I would still encourage you to use the terms down brain-up brain as a simple and visual way to categorize an aspect of your psychology when you are taking inventory of your mindset
and behavior. As a split-brain model it is helpful for isolating habits and character traits.
Once you have identified an area that needs work, you can then make changes that will maximize your potential and improve your performance in sports and in life.
For example: Arthur Ashe said, "There is a syndrome in sports called 'paralysis by analysis'." One helpful way to avoid being too 'analytical' is to tag that mindset as being too "up brain" or cerebral. If you are over-thinking things, your very large prefrontal cortex stored in the up brain
is getting in the way and blocking the more intuitive 'down brain' from working it's non-thinking
and completely fluid muscle memory magic.
The up brain is so big and so powerful that it is hard to turn it down sometimes. When you choke
in sport, or become over-excited, it is because your up brain is overpowering your down brain. Remember this visual and literally shift your consciousness away from the prefrontal cortex
by relaxing the backs of your eyes, taking some deep breathes and 'letting go.'
To create super fluid performance you need to seat yourself in the down brain which has –
practiced, practiced, practiced - and have your actions spring from there. 
I call this state of peak performance "Superfluidity." You become super fluid in sports - and in life - when you have freed up the working memory of your cerebrum to strategize and keep tabs on
the more cerebral aspects of everything that's going on while completely trusting your gut
and the intuitive powers of your cerebellum.
In closing, please watch this video of Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt
having one of the most incredible rallies in tennis history.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wS5GisEQ_j8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

This is Superfluidity in action! Listen to the rhythmic timing of Roger Federer's footwork
(he's in the white shirt.) The down brain is running the show for both of them throughout
the early part of the rally. They almost look like robots repeating the same motion again and again and again as if they are both hitting against a backboard.  It creates a trance like feeling
but the up brain is waiting in the wings and calculating when to make a break and begin to play
the game of chess necessary to win the point with a strategic and unexpected placement.
This video holds many clues on how to maximize the use of your up brain and down brain on and off the court. Watch it again any time you need motivation to stick with it and practice, practice, practice anything that you want to become world-class at.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201110/no-1-reason-practice-makes-perfect


Turbo Charged Reading:  Read More>>>Read fast>>>Remember more>>>Years later
Contact M’reen at: read@turbochargedreading.com

You can TCR specialist and language dictionaries that are spontaneously accessed.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube



Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com       gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life.
http://ourbusinessminds.blogspot.co.uk/   takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others. http://mreenhunthappyartaccidents.blogspot.co.uk/      just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
                                                   The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Stanch Kid’s Summer Learning Loss

Scabious.

Stanch Kid’s Summer Learning Loss
Written by Trudy M. and Edited by Elle Yi 

Most children look forward to summer vacation because it is a break from school and learning. Unfortunately, children can also experience loss of learning
if they do not continue to practice academic skills away from school.
The U.S. Department of Education estimates that children will lose as much as 25 percent
of their academic learning during summer vacation.
Many children exercise their bodies during the summer,
but it is also important for them to exercise their brains.
There are many easy ways for children to exercise their brains during summer vacation.
By practicing academic skills in the summer, children can avoid summer learning loss
and be ahead of their peers when they return to school.
 Here are six summer activities to help create smarter children.
These activities are appropriate for children of all ages,
and most do not require any special equipment or technology.

Reading
Reading is the foundation of all other learning, so it is important for kids
to continue to practice even when school is not in session.
Encourage your children to read for pleasure during the summer months
by signing up for a summer reading program at your local library.

Writing
During summer vacation, have your children keep a journal of their activities
or write fictional stories. Writing is a good way to exercise their brains
while encouraging them to use their imagination.
Help your children boost their vocabulary by teaching them
how to use a thesaurus or dictionary to improve their writing.

Cooking and Baking
Summer is a great time to learn a new skill.
Children of all ages can help with cooking and baking in the summer.
Not only is cooking a practical life-skill,
but it is also a great way to practice basic math skills in a real-life context.

Sports
Sports and other physical activities strengthen the body and the brain.
In addition, healthy competition can teach self-confidence and teamwork.
There are many summer sports available for children of all ages
including swimming, dancing, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, gymnastics and martial arts.

Gardening
Gardening is a wonderful summer activity to share with your children.
It helps them develop an appreciation for nature by teaching them
what it takes to make plants grow. Whether they prefer a flower garden or a vegetable garden,
this is a great way to get kids outside and enjoy the environment.

Board Games
In the summer, consider teaching your child how to play board games
that require strategic thinking, such as Chess.
Scrabble is a fantastic way for children to learn new vocabulary and practice spelling.
There are several versions of Scrabble to fit your family’s ages and needs.
Another educational game is Monopoly.
By playing, your kids can have fun and boost their math skills, as well.

Learning during the summer is easy with any of these activities.
All of these pastimes can help your child avoid summer learning loss
while having fun learning new skills or improving on the fundamentals
such as math and reading. Encourage your children to practice academics during the summer
so they can experience success when school is back in session.
Encourage your children to practice academics during the summer
so they can experience success when school is back in session.

About the author: Trudy M. works at The Growing Tree Academy located in Houston, TX. http://www.parentinginformer.com/stanch-kids-summer-learning-loss.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+parentingInformer+%28ParentingInformer+%29


You can TCR music, poetry or self development material for internal knowing.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube


Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com       gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life.
http://ourbusinessminds.blogspot.co.uk/   takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others. http://mreenhunthappyartaccidents.blogspot.co.uk/      just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
                                                   The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Everyone Is Talented In Their Own Way: The 9 Types Of Intelligence You Should Know

Bejewelled iris.

Everyone Is Talented In Their Own Way: The 9 Types Of Intelligence You Should Know
Lim Kairen

We always think of intelligence as one entity.
We think that scientists and academics are brainy and “intelligent” people.
But if we put them in a bank, they may be at a loss for words when speaking to customers.
And what about the misconceptions about people engaged in less intelligible jobs
such as waiting tables or telemarketing who are deemed “unintelligent? Try giving these people
an empty canvas and watch them create a masterpiece for you with just a pencil.
The point is, our perception of intelligence is skewed.
Everything that seems out of our reach is automatically deemed as intelligent
however on the contrary, according to psychologist, Howard Gardner, everyone is blessed
with multiple types intelligence. See the infographic below to have a better understanding.

The Science Behind 9 Types Of Intelligence
The 9 types of intelligence as theorized by Gardner in his book called Frames of Mind:
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences is a great tool to find your individual strengths and weaknesses.         And the scientific concept behind it is simple.
Gardner’s view on intelligence states that there are 9 abilities
that simply make us the intelligent beings that we are today
and these 9 are musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical,
 bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential.

Different Types Of Intelligence To Empower Learners
By learning the theory behind Gardner’s studies, we get to know ourselves a little bit better.               However, Gardner emphasised that by understanding our strengths,
it shouldn’t limit us through labelling ourselves to a specific intelligence. 
Instead, it should empower us to recognise our weaknesses as well as to improve them.

Understand Your Own Intelligence
Simply by  taking the test  based on the 9 types of intelligence,
you’ll be able to have a basic understanding of which intelligence you are strong at.
Take note that you should be providing your most honest answer
in order for the results to be more accurate.

Everyone Is Unique
So here below are my results that reaffirm that embarking on a writing career is a great choice
for me because I’m linguistically intelligent. It also indicates that I’m typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words as according to Gardner.
However, apart from letting me know about my strengths, it would also mean that
I’ve much work to do in other departments such as logic, interpersonal skills
and maybe on my visual ability to visualize better with my mind’s eye.
So why not give this test a try
and maybe it’ll just change the way you perceive your own unique intelligence forever.
http://www.lifehack.org/485552/temporary-headline-9-types-intelligence?ref=in_content_bottom


M'reen's results.
Your intrapersonal intelligence dominates your brain. You are extremely self-aware and reflective. You have a strong moral compass and passionate opinions on what you believe is right or wrong. 
You constantly contemplate life on a deeper level and take pride in expressing yourself
through creative processes.
This means that you also have very high levels of linguistic and existentialist intelligence.
You see life through a more intense lens than many people and this allows you to create
meaningful relationships in your personal and professional life.

Naïs Flament’s take on this result:  Interpersonal (People Smart)
Your most dominant intelligence type is interpersonal, or in other words... you are people smart! 
You pick incredibly well on social clues and you are fascinated to learn about new people
and cultures. Your strongest fields of study are in history, anthropology and psychology
- areas which study the human condition and social processes.
You also have strengths with your linguistic and existential intelligence. 
You are curious to read and learn about new things and you spend time pondering life
and trying to answer deep and meaningful questions.

Turbo Charged ReadingRead more>>>Read fast>>>Remember more>>>Years later
Contact M’reen at: read@turbochargedreading.com

You can TCR specialist and language dictionaries that are spontaneously accessed.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube



Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com       gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life.
http://ourbusinessminds.blogspot.co.uk/   takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others. http://mreenhunthappyartaccidents.blogspot.co.uk/      just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
                                                  The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Sunday, 10 June 2018

This Ancient Greek Technique Can Actually Double Your Memory, Say Scientists

Crainbill.

This Ancient Greek Technique Can Actually Double Your Memory, Say Scientists
Sherlock Holmes’ ‘Mind Palace’ is real, and it actually works.
Thomas Tamblyn

Trying to remember things can be difficult, we’re only human after all.
Well what if we told you that there was an ancient technique
that could effectively double your memory.
Researchers from Radboud University have found scientific proof
that by creating a fictional place in your mind and then ‘storing’ your memories inside it
you can massively increase your ability to remember.
If that technique sounds familiar than you’ve probably seen it being used in
the hugely successful TV show Sherlock. The detective uses his ‘Mind Palace’
to help piece together clues and remember facts with almost photographic precision.
Well it turns out that not only is a ‘Mind Palace’ a real thing,
but with enough training anyone can create their own.
After just 40 days of daily 30-minute training sessions, the researchers found
that individuals who had typical memory skills and no previous training
could effectively double the amount of words they could remember.
From remembering an average of just 26 words out of a possible 72
the researchers found that individuals could now remember on average 62.
“After training we see massively increased performance on memory tests,” says first author
Martin Dresler, assistant professor of cognitive neuroscience at Radboud University Medical Center.      “Not only can you induce a behavioral change,
the training also induces similar brain connectivity patterns as those seen in memory athletes.”
What makes this research so fascinating though is that it seemingly proves
that having an incredible memory isn’t necessarily tied to you as an individual.
People aren’t born memory athletes; they have entirely similar brains to us
but like all athletes they train incredibly hard.
The idea of location or image-based memory isn’t new; in fact it can be traced back to
the Ancient Greeks where the original idea is credited to the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos.
It’s also a well-documented memory technique used by world-class memory athletes
and as a recognised form of memory training.
What was missing of course was the hard-scientific evidence to back it up.

So how does it work?
The technique is actually remarkably simple.
In essence it’s based around the principle of creating a ‘place’ inside your head
that you can then travel around.
Within that space you then store the information that you want to specifically remember,
such as numbers, words or places.
Once the test subjects had mastered the technique
the researchers found that it didn’t require much more training to maintain the same level of ability.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/this-ancient-greek-technique-can-actually-double-your-memory-say-scientists_uk_58c11521e4b054a0ea6806b9

Turbo Charged Reading: Readmore>>>Read fast>>>Remember more>>>Years later
Contact M’reen at: read@turbochargedreading.com

You can TCR music, poetry or self development material for internal knowing.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube



Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com       gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life.
http://ourbusinessminds.blogspot.co.uk/   takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others. http://mreenhunthappyartaccidents.blogspot.co.uk/      just for fun.

 To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
                                                    The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”   

A simple idea to improve children’s written work

Broom looks like gorse to those just beginning to recognise bush flowers.

A simple idea to improve children’s written work
Deborah Sutton. Headteacher, Bassett Green Primary School

Our ‘Work Proud’ guidelines are giving students confidence in their handwriting.
Putting pen to paper should be a natural instinct for children by the time they reach Key Stage 3:
the gateway into articulating their thoughts, expressing complex ideas and answering questions
with confidence and fluency.

After four years working at a large secondary school in a pretty tough area, I'd seen four cohorts
of fresh-faced Year 7 children arrive and settle into life in secondary education.
It always surprised me that they seemed relatively lacking in confidence, particularly when it came to written work. A simple spelling mistake could cause a total meltdown out of the blue,
and torn out pages or screwed up worksheets were far too common for my liking.
This year, in my new role as headteacher of one of the largest feeder primaries, the penny dropped.
They had never been allowed to use a pen before.
Despite an elaborate system of handwriting schemes of work, certificates and pen licenses,
not one child in my current Year 6 was writing with a pen at any point.  
Handwriting, and indeed basic letter formation,
had lost its way after the early years foundation stage, and simply not been a priority. 
It was no wonder that no child ever achieved the complex criteria for a pen licence.
"We held a whole school INSET on handwriting,
and launched a school-wide handwriting font which is displayed in all classrooms."
Without basic training in letter formation and cursive script, our children are being limited
to printing for the rest of their writing careers.  If we don’t help them to develop the basic skills
 to write down their thoughts quickly and easily, we are limiting their communication for all time.
Imagine how difficult it must be to be thinking constantly about what the next letter looks like, 
rather than focusing on the content of the writing, or the great ideas that you want to express.
Having discovered this fundamental writers’ block, at our school we have produced
 ‘Work Proud’ guidelines to upgrade the quality of the children’s written work.
Drawn up by year teams, these aim to ensure high quality presentation across the year group.
Each reflects the stage of development and age-related expectations for those children. 

The guidelines include simple rules: in maths we write one digit in each square in our book;
if we make a mistake we put a single line through it and write the word again;
we always underline titles and then miss a line.
We held a whole school INSET on handwriting, and launched a school-wide handwriting font which is displayed in all classrooms. All staff are trying hard to model this font to children, either in their own handwriting, or by using the electronic versions that can transform a word document in one click!
None of this is radical or earth shattering; indeed, many schools will have had this in place for years.
There’s still some work to do in managing mistakes and building fluency, but we have taken steps
to give our children confidence in their writing, preparing the ground for them to be expressive, articulate writers for the rest of their lives. 

http://www.future-leaders.org.uk/insights-blog/simple-idea-improve-childrens-written-work/?gclid=Cj0KEQjw9tW5BRDk29KDnqWu4fMBEiQAKj7sp2L3ZkrFS5OlsCt0g7gIFZLAG2boDFQ201x2ZnmLQg4aAokB8P8HAQ


Turbo Charged Reading: Read more>>>Read fast>>>Remember more>>>Years later
Contact M’reen at: read@turbochargedreading.com

You can TCR software and engineering manuals for spontaneously recall – or pass that exam.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube


Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com       gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life.
http://ourbusinessminds.blogspot.co.uk/   takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others. http://mreenhunthappyartaccidents.blogspot.co.uk/      just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
                                                   The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”