Begin With the Brain: Orchestrating the Learner-Centered Classroom / Edition 2

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In this fully updated bestseller, seasoned educator Martha Kaufeldt helps teachers understand current findings in neuroscience research and apply them to all aspects of their classroom practice, from behavior management to curriculum design. Using what we know about optimal learning conditions for the brain, this ready-to-go resource provides practical guidance to new and experienced teachers on how to create a learner-centered classroom, including

Setting up a classroom

establishing routines and procedures

Fostering student's intellectual curiosity

Reducing learned helplessness in students

Developing student's respects for one another's cultural and educational backgrounds

Building a classroom community

Complete with clear explanations of relevant ideas in neuroscience, this field-tested guide will help teachers maximize student learning by making instruction compatible with how the brain learns best.

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Editorial Reviews

Barbara Clark
"Presents activities that are well chosen and described at a level of detail that will allow teachers to immediately try out the strategies in their own classrooms. Administrators in their role as instructional leaderwould also be well advised to read these ideas and strategies. If more classrooms reflected these ideas and used these strategies, education would not only be more effective and powerful, it would be a far more joyful experience for our students."
Janice Bradley
"A robust collection of strategies, tools, and suggestions from an experienced classroom teacher’s perspective that is linked to current understanding of research on brain-based learning. It is extremely practical for the practicing and preservice elementary teacher."
Leah Welte
"Teachers who intend to make a marked difference in their students' learning and lives will profit from reading this book. They will not only find the material useful, they will be gratified and strengthened in their commitment."
Ryan Coonerty
"Martha Kaufeldt's classroom was the most memorable of my life. Each day was an adventure. From field trips to class projects, we learned history, science, writing, and speaking in a way that used all of our five senses. I can honestly say that I wouldn't be doing what I am doing today—teaching and serving in elected office—without Mrs. Kaufeldt's unique and lively approach to education."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412971584
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 11/24/2009
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,289,586
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha Kaufeldt has been a classroom teacher for more than 20 years. Now an independent consultant, she works with school districts across the United States and Canada on developing brain-compatible teaching and learning strategies. She gives motivational presentations and dynamic workshops that address the fundamentals of brain-compatible learning theory and integrated curriculum for all grade levels.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

About the Author|xii

Introduction: Brain-Compatible Learning and Learner-Centered Education 1

1 Begin With the Brain: Interpreting Neuroscience Research 7

Three Key Elements of Brain-Compatible Teaching and Learning 11

1 Less Stress: Create a Safe and Secure Climate and Environment to Reduce Perceived Threat and Danger 11

2 Do the Real Thing! Provide Meaningful Multisensory Experiences in an Enriched Environment 12

3 Use It or Lose It! Actively Process New Concepts in a Variety of Ways to Assure Long-Term Retention 14

From Fear to Flow: Maximizing the Brain's Capabilities 17

2 Welcome Home: Designing the Learning Environment 33

Can We Do It? 33

Sense of Security From Physical Harm 36

The Basics: Lighting, Noise, and Air Quality 38

3 Meeting Students' Basic Needs: Building the Foundation for Learning 61

Basic Human Needs 61

4 Routines and Procedures: Organizing Systems for Orderliness 75

Your Assumptions Drive Your Classroom Systems 76

Classroom Standards and Courtesies 78

Creating Classroom Management Patterns 81

Designing Procedures 82

5 Building Community and Managing Conflicts: Orchestrating Positive Social Interactions 91

Welcome Aboard 93

Teacher Relationships 94

Teaching Prosocial Behaviors 95

Types of Groups 103

Managing Conflicts and Solving Problems 108

Preventive Strategies 110

Resolution Strategies 117

6 Making a Connection: Building Curiosity and Ensuring Engagement 131

Piquing Curiosity 133

7 Meaningful Experiences: Creating 21st-century Citizens 145

Authentic Tasks 147

Places to Start 149

Handling Bigger Responsibilities152

Decision-Making Possibilities 155

Kids'Social Action 163

8 Student Choice in a Learner-Centered Classroom: Orchestrating Opportunities 167

The Choice Challenge 168

Beginning Choice 174

Guiding Students'Choices 184

9 Setting Goals and Using Feedback to Reach Success: Self-Assessment and Learning Celebrations 191

Setting and Achieving Goals 192

Understanding Your Learning Preferences 208

Authentic Achievement 210

Learning Celebrations 217

Two Self-Assessment Checklists for Students 222

Epilogue 227

Bibliography 231

Recommended Reading 235

Index 237

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