Brain Based Learning in Elementary Language Arts Classrooms Abstract Brain-based learning is a useful teaching method designed so that educators can better understand the young adolescents mind and apply this information into their classrooms, resulting in improved academics and emotional standings. English, or Language Arts, is one of the many subjects experimented in the efficiency of brain- environments maintain higher grade point averages, academic achievements, test scores, memory and a stronger bond with peers, including the teacher, in classroom settings due to concentrating tactics.
Many are convinced that this method is time consuming and adds on extra work for the instructor to comply to. The other side of the spectrum argues that although it may seem like much more work, brain-relevant learning has proven to be more effective and create a better student outcome along with a stronger classroom relationship. All brains and their many functions do not mature at the same time. Developmental skills are gained and conclude which abilities have been reached through the different stages of maturity such as, before birth, pre-school years, early elementary ears, late and elementary and middle school years.
The human brain is solely comprehended based off of maturation factors, which are mainly influenced in the “pre” years; pre-natal and pre-school (Kelly, 2011). The understanding of how the brain works and its functions is one of the primary factors in essentially being able to determine the methods to be used in educating elementary students. Brain based learning should be practiced in classrooms for it’s effective approach of improving students’ memory, creating a higher academic achievement level through the strong se of visual aids, senses, smaller classroom sizes and hands on activities.
In an infant’s developing mind, neurons compete to find a spot in the brain, attaching themselves to the pathways within the brain. These neurons are sometimes rejected, leaving no choice but to deteriorate over time as the other neurons begin their stages of maturity (Semrud-Clickmen, 2007). As brains continue to grow, motor and sensory skills begin to build up as visual and auditory systems begin to expand. When a child’s cortex and auditory system are ready, they can then begin to emerge themselves in learning how to read.
Reading directly correlates with being able to decipher between how sounds can have same or different tones, rhyming abilities and being able to apply what is taught towards knowledgeable understanding of problems (Semrud-Clickman, 2007). During the early and late elementary years, the fiber between each of the neurons, called myelin, grows and becomes more strongly connected to being able to compile memories and create connections towards learning skills and fundamental aspects taught within the classroom.
The individual begins to learn more academically as the neural pathway fiber grows and socially as utomatic responses towards the five senses increases one’s awareness (Semrud- Clickman, 2007). As students enter into their middle school years, individual thinking becomes increased in classrooms due to how the brain chemically recognizes what is something for a short-term sentence. Technology has played a major role in allowing doctors, researchers and scientists to examine the brain and all it’s many functions not visible from the exterior of the body.
Such types of advanced technology include a CT or CAT scan, MRI, PET scan, a magnetoencephalography; MEG, electroencephalography; EEG and an fMRI (Salkind, 2008). All of these strong types of machinery have successfully been able to view brain activity along with the electrical and hotspot activity by using magnetic fields, injected dye and electrodes to produce a high-definition image of the brain. For example, an EEG records the electrical activity in the brain whereas an MEG uses magnetic fields to faintly produce brain function as the effect is traveling within the brain (Caviness, 2008).
It is understood that brains change, develop and form at different rates how well a student is able to precisely understand the information being taught is displayed as the capacity that hat child can retain (Kelly, 2011). Teacher’s should enforce and demand that each student be given the same opportunities as others by understanding and applying brain-relevant techniques within their classrooms and ridding of previous one-size- fits-all standards. Just as each face, voice and body shape differ from one another, so do the brains that hold each of us together.
Time should be extended and granted towards classrooms by educators to support and provide advance academic pathways for their young learners to not only benefit their students lives but to mprove methods that actively push students towards their absolute highest academic achievement abilities. Evidence It is easy to state, “this method worked better than this one” and that “these results proved this hypothesis was more effective than this one. ” But, what is difficult to do is to provide the research and data behind the visible evidence, to explain why one method worked better than another method.
Luckily for the discussion on brain- based learning, many studies have and continue to be produced to one day fully be able to measure the best way to go about improving each child’s developmental earning process in the classroom. One technique that has consistently been advertised as a successful means for improving students’ academic levels is consistently smaller classroom sizes (Cartwright, 2012). Smaller, inviting, classrooms have shown more interaction between students and their peers along with their communicating more so with their teacher has increased, forming a comfortable and reliable network.
When a teacher has fewer learners, time is more likely to be accurately spent helping students rather than having some students fall behind and not be able to accurately assist them, as others seem to excel in their work. In one study observed by Bas. Gokhan, sixty students in two different sixth grade English classrooms participated in this experiment (2010). The English language has become one of the most recognized languages and is a vital structure to learn. One classroom held forty students as the other one held only twenty (Gokhan, 2010).
The purpose of this was to show the effects of brain-based education on student’s achievements and attitudes in a classroom of alternating sizes. Those whom were placed in the smaller class were proven to have higher levels of motivation and energy, had higher test cores and proved to be more successful in accomplishing short term along with long term goals (Gohkan, 2010). The students who were placed in traditionally instructed motivation to work and lower test scores. It is the educator’s Job to make sure that students receive the best quality education that they can possibly receive.
The best way to ensure this happens is by using brain-based methods, using hands on activities (Wilmes and Sumpter, 2008). This method uses visual aids, colorful spaces, music and sound, lighting, and even aromas Oensen, 1998). The brain is powerfully influenced by environmental nfluences rather than by societal influences. In the case of visual aids, it was proven through experiment that when 36,000 visual messages were displayed per hour, 80% of that information was absorbed.
Information that came along with the images was often memorized when the picture would appear again due to the contrast and coloring playing a major role in the enhancement of visual factors (Frey and Fisher, 2010) Other visual aids are having the teacher walking around the classroom during lectures, color-coding students materials and turning the lights off were noticed to ncrease classroom functions. Natural light opposed to fluorescent (traditional) lighting has shown to increase student’s ability to pay attention and focus on the task at hand, increasing attendance.
In one study performed, IQ’s were taken of several groups of children before being placed in decorated and non-decorated classrooms (Katt, 1997). Colors stimulate along with increase or decrease one’s optimism. When students were placed into light blue, yellow, yellow-green, and orange decorated classrooms they showed more energy and creativity along with higher testing IQ’s han the students who were placed into white, black and brown colored rooms (Katt, 1997). Music helps create a barrier between pleasure and dismay, allowing students become relaxed but still able to engage within a learning environment.
Music engages the entire brain improving human intellect, spirit, solace, Joy and provides many means of entertainment as it is universally understood (Campbell and Brewer, 1988). It appeals to the emotional elements due to music’s primary function in clearing “neural clatter. ” Sounds in classrooms help enrich and maximize individual capability along with communication among peers (Brewer, 1998). Rugs in small teaching spaces, tennis balls on the ends of chairs and tables, and headphones for online exercises are all ways to help create a quiet environment for those who need silence to focus (Windham, 2004).
Aromas are used to energize, set or change the mood of students and reinforce their memory by creating a welcoming, pleasant and instructional environment. Pleasant aromas improve functions by creating a well- balanced mix between being excited and ultimately calm (Campbell and Brewer, 1998). For instance, lemon and peppermint have been shown to increase the ttention of students and their productivity in the classroom, similar to how vanilla has been shown to calm students down after being out at recess or gym class (Hernandez, 2008).
Conclusion As newer technology becomes evident and researchers are able to more efficiently find ways to study and improve the brain and support or create ways to increase its functions, more tactics and techniques will be created to suit the needs. Many schools around the country have already begun reducing class sizes and abiding by brain-based relevant education regulations and have seen improving results. Brain- improve their attitudes towards the educational world as a whole.
Students should like to learn and with all the ways to create a more comfortable environment, they should be implemented and widely spread throughout the school system. As studies begin to become more in depth, brain-based learning will only continue to find more methods that help better education, newer studies should be performed as well as hypothesis purposed to revive growth on this subject. Brain-based learning has already been proven to show improvement in student’s futures, the positive ffects it has should be place within all classrooms it’s Just that not may people are aware of this useful teaching method.
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