Your brain is a lean mean music machine!
There are multiple parts of the brain that like to get in on the dance. And the Mighty Amygdala is no wallflower. The amygdala has three layers of cells. The top layer picks up its cue from smells, seeing faces, and sounds - especially the sounds of music, happy music! This feeds directly into our emotional response.
Music can generate an atmosphere of well-being and positivity. It can calm and relax. It can spark the flow of ideas and creativity. It can focus and target brain waves for concentration.
Experiencing music together creates a sense of group cohesion.
Music becomes even more uniting when we add collective movement to the rhythm and beat, like snapping fingers, clapping hands, or tapping feet together. Adding movement (TPR - Total Physical Response) also ignites neuroplasticity across the group.
Bring on the music… but use it intentionally.
Choose the tune to set the tone...
This month we’re diving deeper into the mysterious, marvelous brain! Our goal is to teach students the research behind neuroplasticity and generate their belief that “My brain can learn!”
Our tip for this month is to share with your students the Why behind your teaching practice. Oftentimes, this is all a reluctant learner needs to get hooked into all this “color-coded-singing-moving-around-the-room-stuff”. This is particularly true for older students. Here are 3 brain tips and how they relate to teaching with Project GLAD® strategies.
Pictures make a difference
Concepts are more likely to be remembered and recalled if taught through pictures in addition to their corresponding words. This is known as the Pictorial Superiority Effect. Pictures are superior to words when it comes to the response time for recognizing information. If the image moves, the information is retained even longer.
In Project GLAD®, all our teaching that...
The T-Graph for Social Skills and its companion, Team Points, are a foundational strategy to foster positive interdependence for student teams. The teams don't earn anything extrinsic for having the most points. There are no pizza parties, candy, or stickers. The points themselves ARE enough extrinsic motivation to create the intrinsic motivation we want to see in our teams for pro-social behaviors.
The emotional reward of earning points for demonstrating our focus social skill creates a metacognitive barometer for the student. "If we do ____, then ____ happens."
But, let's be honest here.
Does any routine stay fresh and exciting for the whole year?
We are approaching the time of year most teachers have a pretty smooth running ship. Heads up! There will be times, such as returning from winter or spring breaks (or a pandemic closure), testing season, or the end of the year in sight, and many of us need to take some time to review...
Literacy Awards reinforce the Three Personal Standards. They motivate students, provide immediate feedback, and build on language, literacy and content matter. Layers upon layers of support!
One common worry when teachers start using scouts with Literacy Awards is a fair and equal distribution of awards. Because Literacy Awards are so motivating in changing personal behavior, teachers are tempted to make sure everyone earns the same number of awards daily.
We have seen teachers overcompensate by creating tracking systems for who has earned an award. This is time consuming and not necessary. You have too much on your plate to add a Literacy Award checklist!
Another frequently asked question about Literacy Awards is…
Teaching the routine...
The start of the school year is upon us and you will have, undoubtedly, seen your class list by now or you may already have met your new class. Unfortunately, a ritual that plays out in classrooms across the world on the first day of school is that teachers unintentionally mispronounce students’ names. The familiar scenario is the teacher mangles the name or doesn’t even attempt it and will try to cover by saying something like, “I’m not sure how to say this”, or laughing at themselves for the mistake. The student will then either try to correct the teacher, will say nothing, or will offer a nickname or Anglicized name as a replacement. The teacher internally breathes a sigh of relief that Eun Kyung can be called Sally, and everyone moves on. But has Eun Kyung moved on? What’s happening inside her head right now?
A simple act like not being able to pronounce a name may seem innocuous to us but can have devastating consequences for students. In...
A number of years ago, I called my teaching partner and excitedly told her I was down at Pike Place Market in Seattle, and I found a treasure trove of postcards with historical images of Native people. I was buying them all up and we had a ready-made set of images for our upcoming Native American unit. I was so excited!
It happened to be December 31st.
Her reply was not as enthusiastic. “I thought you were calling to invite me out for New Year’s Eve, but you’re calling to talk about Picture File Cards?”
Ok, I’m kind of a GLAD geek, I have been for years, and am proud of it! I will also disclose that this conversation happened in the early years of my teaching career in the days before Google images and the one-button print and done! But there are many of us out there who still go “old-school” at times to find images for picture file cards, either as a preference or because of printing limitations.
The weather is warm, the flowers are blooming. That means it's assessment season! Sorry, you'll never look at spring the same way again.
Whether gearing up for a classroom-based assessment or one that is more formal, teachers usually ask,
"Does the GLAD® model include any strategies for summative assessment, or to help students prepare for summative assessment?"
The Graffiti Wall is just such a strategy! We don't often have time to model it in a training, so if you haven't seen it yet here are some tips.
Ever feel chatty when you’re happy? Or so angry you just want to yell? Ever talk late into the night with the love of your life? Or have sadness so deep words are lost in the swell?
Emotions are the language of the heart. They release, captivate and invite us to speak. In so many ways it is the overflow of the heart from which we speak… or are silenced.
Safety and stress produce and repress language. This is particularly true for those attempting to communicate in bi and multilingual settings. When we’re stressed, we all tend to revert back to what we know. Imagine trying to learn a new language, personally, in the midst of a pandemic. And then trying to communicate only in that language. It’s like trying to diet in the midst of a pandemic. Just too much!
And yet, that’s exactly what our emerging bi and multilingual students have been expected to do all year long. Our language learners deserve a standing ovation and our deepest...
The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and hope is spreading all around us. Yes, it's spring!
This year, we needed the signs of new life that spring brings more than ever.
Whether your students are in the classroom or joining you from home, consider all the ways you can bring fresh life into their daily learning experience. Perhaps you'll adopt a class bunny (for the courageous!), plant seeds, or go on a geometry treasure hunt in nature.
Some of my favorite writing lessons came from taking students outside in the spring to observe and write about the growing flora and fauna. One spring we fit all our writing standards into an insect unit. We wrote insect poetry, scientific journaling on the butterfly life cycle (watching pupas emerge in the classroom), creative writing inspired by Chris Van Allsburg's, Two Bad Ants, and of course our very own entomologist reports on each student's insect of choice.
Those of you already teaching with GLAD® strategies...
Over the past year we all had to pivot our work and discover innovative ways to use GLAD® strategies online. Just like you, we've experimented with a number of online tools to deliver our instruction to students without diminishing the rationale and power of GLAD®.
A tip when creating a digital activity is to ask yourself,
If the later is true, then it's not the tool for you. Keep looking for a way to deliver your GLAD® instruction that retains the language development aspects of the model.
Many of our initial ideas were scrapped, but we persevered, found work-arounds for app limitations and gleaned great ideas from others along the way. And we're still at it - continually developing new ideas to take us forward into hybrid learning!
We've highlighted a few online tutorials in...
Get ready to enjoy your monthly momentum boosts and skill builder tips!