Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacherby Judy Willis M.D.
Pub. Date: 08/28/2007
Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development
Willis takes a
Drawing on her neurology expertise and classroom experience, author Judy Willis examined decades of learning-centered brain research to determine what information was most valid and relevant for educators. The result is a comprehensive and accessible guide for improving student learning based on the best the research world has to offer.
Willis takes a reader-friendly approach to neuroscience, describing how the brain processes, stores, and retrieves material and which instructional strategies help students learn most effectively and joyfully. You will discover how to captivate and hold the attention of your students and how to enhance their memory and test-taking success. You will learn how to know when students are ready for learning and when their brains need a rest. You will also learn how stress and emotion affect learning and how to improve student engagement. And you will find innovative techniques for designing assessments and adjusting teaching practices to ensure that all students reach their potential.
No matter what grade or subject you teach, Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning will enrich your repertoire of teaching strategies so you can help students reach their full academic potential.
Judy Willis is a board-certified neurologist and middle school teacher in Santa Barbara, California. She was in private practice as a neurologist for 15 years before going back to school to become a teacher. She has taught in elementary, middle, and graduate schools.
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Table of ContentsPreface
1. Memory, Learning, and Test-Taking Success
2. Strategies to Captivate Students� Attention
3. How Stress and Emotion Affect Learning
4. Assessment That Builds Dendrites
Afterword: The Future Is Now
About the Author
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Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher, is a gifted and welcome addition to the field of teaching. I purchased this book thinking I would use the book as a reference, but when I started reading, Willis's writing was so easy to connect with that I read the book cover to cover. This book should be on the shelf of every teacher.
I bought this book because I know there is a great deal of information out there claiming to be ¿brain-based¿ research or teaching strategies and I wanted to know what to believe. When I saw that the author was both a neurologist and a classroom teacher I hoped that the book would show me which research was valid and important. I was more than satisfied Do you know that feeling of trying to find a piece of the puzzle, when you are working with a child? If you could just find that last piece everything would come together and that child would be successful? Well, this book gives you the strategies to find that last piece. I thought I would use the book as a reference, but when I started reading Willis's book her writing style was so easy to connect with that I read the book cover to cover. It is the kind of book that you read, then are able to use the strategies presented. Then you continue on and practice new techniques. You might reread a chapter because you know that you are learning something valuable for children. It also confirmed that many things that I am presently doing are right on track. You know this author is writing for the purpose of truly helping children because you can feel her excitement when discussing brain based science strategies. Now that I know more about how the brain processes information, I feel more able to explain my teaching strategies to others. When I started teaching over twenty years ago I didn't think that words like ¿amygdala¿ and ¿reticular activating system¿ would be part of my vocabulary. Willis's book demonstrated the importance of teaching in sync with how these parts of the brain work. I know the educators who design curriculum and tests will read this book and realize that we can do more to motivate students and help them connect with the knowledge we can offer them. I see how these strategies also help to get student¿s attention and keep their focus. I highly recommend Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning for teachers, special education specialists, speech therapists, administrators, and resource specialists in all grades elementary through high school. The research is current and well presented and the strategies are coherently connected to the research. The ¿Gray Matter¿ sections go into interesting details about the structure and function of the parts of the brain involved in learning and the Glossary is comprehensive. This book really helped me find the missing pieces of the puzzle. That¿s what teaching is all about. Judy Gamboa Resource Teacher Marana School District Learning Disability Association of Arizona- Board Member-2006
I purchased this book to read as a class assignment. I initially selected it because it was short and there were a lot of other assignments. It turned out to be a great selection! Not only is it a quick read, but it is full of practical, easy-to-implement strategies for teachers. Although it is packed with brain research, it does not overwhelm you with difficult to understand terminology. I have recommended it to all of the teachers that I work with. This is a great book for any teacher who is serious about student success!