Brain Friendly Learning

Grant High School – Brain Compatible Practices

PHYSICAL
•  Encourage the use of personal water bottles and healthy snacks in the classroom.
•  Water is essential to support all learning and essential for the electrical transmissions that take place within our
nervous system, making us more ENERGETIC!
•  Research has shown that dehydration causes higher salt levels in the blood which in turn raises blood pressure
and stress. Also, since the brain is made up of more water than any other organ in the body, dehydration takes a
toll quickly, causing a loss of attentiveness and lethargy.

PHYSICAL
•  Incorporate regular, quick breaks into lessons/the classroom.
•  Research has suggested that the brain can only absorb about twenty minutes of information at a time. Therefore
by planning structured movement during lesson time it allows students to have a break and move around.
•  Movement increases the amount of oxygen in the blood stream and hence helps to improve concentration and
readiness for learning.

PHYSICAL
•  Incorporate movement into the learning program.

•  Movement increases blood flow to the brain, which can stimulate thinking and learning.
•  Activities that incorporate movement can be used as a ‘brain break’ for students during lessons.
•  Regular physical activity is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle.
•  Incorporating movement into the delivery of a topic can provide students with an enhanced understanding of the
topic.
•  Variety is the spice of life (and the spice of lessons)!

EMOTIONAL
•  Establish positive and meaningful relationships in the classroom.
•  Establishing positive relationships with students creates a comfortable and safe environment where students and
teachers are able to teach and learn effectively.
•   It is widely acknowledged that boys, in particular, learn the teacher rather than the subject.
•  Set tasks and activities can be created specifically to enhance the learning of the individual.
•  Students are more likely to interact positively with a human being than with a job title (i.e. The Teacher).

EMOTIONAL
•  Provide a safe, supportive and positive learning environment.
•  Students who feel safe have ‘room’ in their brain to learn.
•  It helps to help maintain intrinsic motivation to learn and produce quality work.
•  People, not just students, tend to resent being managed by someone else, but they enjoy working with excellent
leaders. Effective teachers are excellent leaders.

EMOTIONAL
•  Regularly revisit important routines and information.

Students  learn  most  effectively  through  either  repetition  or  through  making  an  emotional  connection  with  the  subject
matter. When important information and routines are regularly revisited, students are given the opportunity to consolidate
their knowledge of these.

INTELLECTUAL
•  Explicitly teach students about the brain and how they learn, including H.O.T.S.

Brain knowledge
•  Students can optimize their learning, especially at critical times.
•  Students should understand how their brain is constructed and how it functions and changes.
•  Students should learn how to protect their brains from accidental damage and the consequences of some brain
modifying behaviours.
Higher Order Thinking Skills
•  Thinking skills help people make sense of a world of increasing, information, complexity and change.
•  Thinking skills help us to make better and more responsible use the resources around us to enrich our lives, live in
harmony with others and the environment and contribute positively to society.
•  People with good thinking skills see more options, make better decisions and generally live happier, healthier and
more fulfilling lives.

INTELLECTUAL
•  Provide opportunities for peer teaching to occur.

Peer teaching:
•  can be used in a wide variety of contexts and for both content instruction and the development and practice of new
skills
•  embraces and incorporates differences in students’ strengths and learning styles
•  engages students in their learning and gives them a sense of ownership
•  encourages the development of teamwork and communication skills

For those doing the teaching, peer teaching:
•  allows intellectual, social and personal growth; students develop their awareness and empathy of others
•  is empowering; students increase their sense of mastery and self-esteem
•  consolidates learning

For the person being taught, peer teaching:
•  allows some students, particularly those with low academic achievement and learning difficulties, to engage more
effectively with their learning

INTELLECTUAL
•  Ensure learning is relevant; include some fun and hands on activities.

Students  learn  most  effectively  through  either  repetition  or  making  an  emotional  connection  with  the  subject  matter.
Teachers can provide opportunities for students to make these emotional connections by: incorporating fun and movement
into  lessons  through  games  and  activities;  making  subject  matter  relevant  to  students’  lives  where  possible;  allowing
students to engage in hands on activities and experiences.

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