Friday, April 14, 2006

Some Interesting Tidbits

The always interesting and informative Eide Neurolearning Blog has some recent nuggets relevant to teachers.

First is the finding that different types of memory differ significantly with age. For instance, 7-10 year olds typically excel in memory base on color, and are not as strong with memory based on position. They use as an example color strategies for spelling, which work well (when used in a well thought-out manner, and not just for visual effect), versus activities that use location of letters that are not as effective. Location works better for adolescents and young adults.

A second interesting post suggests that sensory classrooms are effective for different types of students, and that allowing kids to fidget in class can be used to one's advantage in learning. This makes me think of some schools which are getting rid of recess time, in order to have kids in class even more to work on material relevant to testing. Recess time is invaluable because students, especially in primary grades, naturally want to expend energy. Some amount of classroom time can be and should be tied into that energy, and can lead to effective learning experiences for many students. As with anything, these types of strategies have lmits as well. Not all kids learn best when physically active, and it is easy to overuse any one method/strategy as well. I am a fan of variety, where numerous learning techniques and strategies are used to keep students engaged and address all learning styles of individuals. It is good to see the research, though, that hopefully will be used constructively by teachers and staff developers, as well as teacher-training colleges.

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