When I say "project book" I mean it in the most positive of definitions. I read Brain Rules to gain new information about ways that I can be a better educator and to appease my general curiosity about new brain research. I wasn't disappointed on either score.
The book is divided into twelve rules:
#1 Exercise boosts brain power.
#2 The human brain evolved, too.
#3 Every brain is wired differently.
#4 We don't pay attention to boring things. (Teacher: take note!)
#5 Repeat to remember (Short term memory)
#6 Remember to repeat (Long term memory)
#7 Sleep well, think well.
#8 Stressed brains don't learn the same way. (Kids can't learn from teachers they don't feel safe around.)
#9 Stimulate more of the senses. (Come on teachers--jazz up those lessons!)
#10 Vision trumps all other senses. (Show, don't just tell; pictures are very important to learning.)
#11 Male and female brains ARE different. (Is it time to reconsider mixed gender classrooms?)
#12 We are powerful and natural explorers. (Can we reorganize our lessons to allow for more exploration and discovery?)
Each chapter contained both fascinating and thought-provoking information. Here are a few of my favorite tidbits:
- We must sleep on new information if we have any hope of remembering it;
- Emotionally arousing events tend to be remembered better than neutral events;
- No matter what teenagers appear to think or do, the brain cannot multitask
- Design lessons in ten-minute segments for maximum attention and retention.
- To improve chances of remembering something, reproduce the environment in which the information went into the brain.
- Smells have an unusual power to bring back memories (perhaps this is a huge untapped resource for educators.)
- We learn and remember best through pictures, not through written or spoken words.
I love it when teachers practice what they preach. John Medina actually puts his brain rules into practice on his website. I recommend, if you are interested in this information at all, that you visit his website and spend some time reading, viewing, and listening to more information about Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Babies! Go to the link here! Happy learning!