Primary Chalkboard: Brain Breaks
Showing posts with label Brain Breaks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brain Breaks. Show all posts

Executive Brain Function in the Primary Classroom

Friends~Executive Brain Function!  I know, I totally thought what in the world is that when I heard it the first time too!  But, as teachers we are masters of this and don't know it.  

Let's back up a bit. Many of you don't know that last school year,  I made a MAJOR change in my career and moved to a brand-new Brain Based charter school Bradford Preparatory School! (No building in place=pulling a wagon to school each day until our mobile units were placed on site after a month of school!)  Also, moved to first grade after 8 years in 2nd grade.  So a new school and new grade and a totally new out look on education! 

It was a CRAZY school year but it turned out to be the very best thing I have ever done!!!

Back to EF!  Once the school year ended,  I was asked to compile some information about Executive Function and what a Brain Based classroom looks like. I have spent my summer reading and meeting with one of the founder's of the school.  What did I discover?  I have been tapping into EF in my classroom for years and never knew it.  I just knew that certain things worked. 

Below is a great introduction video of what Executive Function is and how it relates to our primary classrooms.  
I love how this video talks about EF being like an air traffic controller in the brain.  When I watched this,  I totally began to have a different outlook on how students function in the classroom and how I should react to their behaviors.  

It is easy to see students that are struggling with behavior as making that "CHOICE" but truly much of it is about their delay in brain development. 

That is true for students struggling with learning concepts or staying organized.  Things that would drive me crazy like messy desks or forgetfulness,  I am finding are just delays in their EF development.  

So, exactly what is Executive Function? 
In a nutshell, EF is 
~Being able to focus, hold, and work with information in mind, filter distractions, and switch gears 
Not an easy task for many learners!

 How does it relate to our classrooms? 
 I am going to bullet the functions for you and also show how you are already helping to support EF in your classroom! 
~Goal Setting
~Planning & Strategizing
~Sequencing and Ordering
~Task Initiation
~Working Memory
~Time Management
~Task Persistence
~Emotional Regulation
Goal Setting: Hello??? Our Data Binders and Behavior Plans
Planning and Strategizing: Student Conferences Classroom Jobs and Morning Meeting
Sequencing and Ordering: Music/Chants, Visual Cards and Posters, Classroom Schedules, and Color Coded Groups
Task Initiation: Must Do Activities and Daily 5 Choice
Working Memory: Chants/Songs, Visuals, and Review
Time Management: Visuals, Timers, Posted Times, and a Predictable Schedule
Task Persistence: Routines and Class Pledges
Emotional Regulation: Behavior Expectations, Whole Brain Rules, Cool Down Areas, Character Ed, Brain Breaks and Fidgets

Below are some of the resources that I have been reading and watching to help you on your journey.  
I am totally not an expert but I am loving the new light EF is shining on me as a teacher. 


I sure hope this post gets you thinking about your students and how you are already doing AWESOME things in your classroom to support their Brain Development.  I also hope this post sparks your interest a bit and drives you to research ways that you can make your EF in your classroom even better.  (That is where I am at right now!) 

Advent Calendar - Day 9 Gifts and Grabs!

8. MORE. SCHOOL. DAYS!  But who's counting, right?

Nicole here, from Mrs. Rios Teaches, and it's my day to share some holiday cheer with you.  :)

I am going to come right out with it y'all.  Monday was rough!  The kids were just having a hard time focusing, and I saw so many behaviors that we had worked so hard to control, popping out all over the place.

But, then I talked to my teaching buddy from across the hall, and it was the same thing over there. Down the hall in Mrs. S' room?  Ditto!  It was unanimous!  We were all struggling with the "pre-Winter Break Wiggles."

So, I figured we may not be the only ones.  Below are two FREEBIES that I came up with to help my class stay on task, and off of Santa's Naughty List.

The first gift targets MOTIVATION!  It is a Classroom Behavior Poster!  I created these as a spin off of my Editable, Differentiated Behavior Cards (Winter/Christmas Theme).  I just have  a student color a box when, as a class, they are on task and working hard.   Use it to motivate your class to focus on your group goals! Motivate them to fill up the chart in order to earn privileges, treats, read alouds, class party, or let's face it...whatever it takes! I've made one Holiday-ish, and the other more Winter themed, so that everyone can find one that works for them! Click on the images below to download your classroom posters.
The second gift targets MOVEMENT!  The kids need an appropriate way to release their excitement, tension, nervousness, or whatever it is that makes it so hard for them to sit still, and focus, at this time of year. This pack contains easy activities that gets kids moving and working together!

So hopefully, those help you get through December, and for my Deal, I am already thinking ahead for January.  

So, I have one more goodie for exclusive deal for you to grab! I have my favorite non-fiction pack, Polar Bear Plunge! on sale for 50% off, for today only! (Deal ends 9:00 p.m. PST 12/9/14)  Click on the image below to snag your copy!
Hang in there! And don't forget to check back tomorrow!


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