zzzzzs

Z is for Zzzzzs Zip Up Memories

It’s interesting to me that we rarely talk about sleep as is related to learning other than to notice when a student is cranky and indicates they didn’t get enough, or a parent asks how to get their child down at night, or a student falls asleep while working.  What I hadn’t known until recently…

Yes I can

Y is for “Yes I Can” Yields Success

Believing that you can accomplish something is a critical part of doing it.  If you don’t believe you can do something, then you are very unlikely to actually do it.  As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re RIGHT!”   Yes I Can IS a Growth Mindset  …

x is for excitement

X is for eXcitement eXcels Learners

Excitement as is related to learning is defined as a heightened state of physiological arousal exemplified by an increased heart rate and blood pressure, and higher emotional and attention.     What many educators are not as aware of is how excitement can be harnessed to accelerate learning, and how Montessori educators have built-in mechanisms…

W is for Worked Examples Work Wonders

When a teacher demonstrates how to do a procedural task, like a math problem, going through the sequence of steps to the solution, this is known as a worked example.     Worked Examples Work   Our daughter learned to play the guitar primarily from watching Youtube videos!  This is a perfect example of how…

V is for Visualization

V is for Visualization Validates Ideas

Visualization relies on humans unique ability to harness their imagination and create a representation of an abstract idea.  There are many permutations of visualization, yet I’m going to focus in on the strategies known to enhance learning.   Visualization is a Spatial Representation   External visualizations help learners process information.  Think about how quickly learners…

U is for Undoing

U is for Undoing Uncovers Misconceptions

Sometimes the process of learning involves unlearning mistaken understandings and correcting misconceptions.     Undoing Errors May be Less Necessary in Montessori   Montessori environments are unique learning places in which to make mistakes. Our youngest learners rely on hands-on didactic materials in which they gain impressions of concepts including identifying mistakes when the error…

T is for Teaching

T is for Teaching Targets Learning

George Bernard Shaw couldn’t have been further from the truth when he wrote, “ “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” In fact, teaching assists you in acquiring “chains of connected ideas” that deepen your understanding of the material at hand!   Teaching is a Set of Conditions   When asked why I shifted…

S is for self-explanation

S is for Self-Explanation Serves Learning

You might have heard that really smart people talk to themselves.  Wonder why? It might be because they use a neuro strategy of self-explanation that serves their learning and improves comprehension!     Self-Explanation is Self-Instruction   Self-explanation is simply a method of self-instruction of talking through a procedure or making connections of what is…

R is for Rewards

R is for Rewards Recoil Learning

Rewards can shape behavior by providing incentives for performing certain behaviors.  Use of extrinsic rewards, such as money, gold stars, or candy, can have unintended consequences.  These include reducing performance by singularly focusing effort on the reward, or making behavior dependent on receiving a reward rather than increasing or enhancing understanding.   Rewards are Either…

Q is for Questions Quicken Learning

As a Montessori Upper Elementary guide of 9-12 year olds, I swear, my students likely thought I didn’t know anything!  I was always asking questions and when an inquiry came my way from a student, whether or not I knew the answer, my response was usually, “I’m not sure, let’s go look that up.”  What…