Tuesday, March 05, 2013


My favorite article from this week of Neuroscience in Education: Braining up Your English Lessons was “How the Memory Works in Learning” by Judy Willis. The most interesting section of this article was entitled “Memory is Constructed and Stored by Patterning.” This article is written especially for educators.

One point the author stressed in this section of the article was the need to link new information to prior knowledge. Taking a pre-quiz, making a prediction, or brainstorming about the topic may all be methods of setting up the connection between old and new information. If we consider this EVO session, one of the first tasks in week one was to take a neuromyths quiz.

In this section of the article, Willis also claims that teachers should work to make links between information clear. One practical suggestion she makes is to use graphic organizers. The classic K-W-L chart comes to mind because it includes the following three columns: what I know, what I want to know, what I learned. In my class, I like to use a variety of graphic organizers, such as time lines or charts, to analyze reading content.

The last point from this section of Willis’ article that caught my attention was the importance of reflecting on experience. In both this EVO session and in my classes, learners write reflections on each topic. Through writing, students can clarify their understanding and draw connections between their experiences.

Throughout all of these activities, peer and teacher feedback also play an important role!

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