The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Brain Based Teaching


Brain Based Teaching

A group of educators interested in maximizing student potential through the use of brain-based teaching techniques. Teach to the way the brain learns best!

Members: 138
Latest Activity: Feb 29

Discussion Forum

Google collaborative maps

Started by 7mrsjames Feb 27, 2012. 0 Replies

Hello fellow educators!  If you could spare a few minutes for our Food technology class- we are studying the changes in Food habits over the last 200 yrs of Australian history. If u have a google…Continue

Tags: map, Collaborative, Australia, foods, Staple

Teaching Metacognition: Be a guide on the side...

Started by Diane Dahl. Last reply by Maria R. Diaz Nov 19, 2011. 4 Replies

In her book, Wiring the Brain to Read: Higher-Order Thinking for Reading (2010, p. 9), Dr. Donna Wilson says, "While some teachers may see their role as the 'sage on the stage,' teaching students to…Continue

Tags: metacognition

Increase Study Skills and Test Performance through Predictions

Started by Diane Dahl Apr 17, 2011. 0 Replies

Making predictions utilizes the higher-order thinking skills of our frontal lobes.  Teach students the metacognitive power of predictions to ensure interest, motivation, as well as current and future…Continue

What does the research say?

Started by David Wees. Last reply by Sue Hellman Apr 2, 2011. 3 Replies

I'd love to know more about what the research says on how the brain works when learning is happening. I've been using some simple examples with my students that I know, and I'm finding it really…Continue

Tags: research

Comment Wall


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Comment by Diane Dahl on June 18, 2015 at 9:04am

Check out this list of Brain-Based Learning resources on Edutopia. Excellent!

Brain-Based Learning Resources

Comment by Glenn Whitman on January 29, 2014 at 12:22am

For those interested in connecting research in how the brain learns with their teaching practice, check out this fun video from The CTTL that published Think Differently and Deeply.

Comment by Donna Wilson on January 24, 2014 at 5:04pm

Teaching Children to Think About Their Thinking—and to Think More Positively


Of all the things we aim to teach children, guiding them to learn how to learn should be near the top of the list. Diane Dahl's blog post above connects metacognition to the topic of reading which is so important. 


When teachers offer explicit instruction on strategies and skills to puzzle through problems and approach a learning challenge from a different angle, for example, their students are learning the benefits of reflecting on and regulating their thinking. These strategies can then be applied to improve such skills as reading comprehension and math problem solving. By applying these lessons, children become more self-directed learners—or as we like to say, they learn to “drive their brains.”


There’s a fancy word for thinking about your thinking with the goal of improving learning: metacognition. This concept is at the foundation of the Thinking for Results approach that is taught in graduate degree programs with majors in Brain-Based Teaching, offered online through Nova Southeastern University.

We are always excited to discover and share research about metacognition, including recent findings that everyone from preschoolers to adults may benefit from learning to think about their thinking. Educational researchers have found that children as young as ages 3 to 5 can learn problem-solving strategies that may help them succeed at school.


Our approach encompasses 25 teachable thinking skills, or “cognitive assets.” I’d like to focus on just one of those skills in this post, that of practical optimism. Children of all ages can be guided to take an approach to life that focuses on taking practical positive actions to increase the probability of successful outcomes. In our recently published book Flourishing in the First Five Years: Connecting Implications from Mind, Brain, and Education Research to the Development of Young Children (by Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers, Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2013), we offer several ideas for guiding young children to develop an optimistic outlook:


[Developing and maintaining an optimistic outlook will help young children be more open to undertake learning challenges and persist through obstacles and setbacks to achieve mastery. Through these strategies, you can guide children to embrace positivity in their learning endeavors and relationships with others:]

  • Seek out and share examples of positivity in action. The story of The Little Engine That Could is a classic example of an engaging character who persists in her efforts to accomplish a difficult task all the way to success!  
  • Model optimism through persistent effort, and applaud the outlook when children exhibit positivity in their playtime and learning activities and when interacting with peers.
  • Provide children with opportunities to achieve mastery. Plan learning activities in manageable steps, and celebrate small successes on the way to achieving a big goal.
  • Emphasize and model positive emotions and experiences. Educational research shows that parents’ and teachers’ expectations and the examples they set have a powerful influence on how children learn. (adapted from p. 65)

If you are keen to learn how to help youth learn to be more effective listeners (another of our cognitive assets), visit my blog at

Comment by Donna Wilson on August 29, 2012 at 10:30am

We have just been at the New York Academy of Sciences and Aspen Institute Brain Forum 'Cracking the Neural Code'. There Fred Gage, a leading expert on adult neurogenesis, was thrilled to hear that we begin our graduate studies with research showing that adult brains can create new cells. We shared that as educators learn that their own brains have tremendous potential both to create new connections and produce new cells across their lifespan, they are further inspired to enhance their own learning. As some of our teachers have said, "You can teach an old dog new tricks!" Marcus also explained to Fred Gage that after he had shared this research and some learning strategies with his own mother, that she began taking art classes in her 70s and through hard work with an excellent teacher has had her work featured in an international art publication. Gage then said "Give my congratulations to your mother!" We thoroughly enjoyed the conference! For more check out my blog at 'brainsmartu' or facebook at 'Brainsmart' 

Comment by Jennifer Berryhill Carroll on August 29, 2012 at 8:38am

As a gifted education teacher I am always researching the latest information concerning brain based teaching. Glad to find you here. I'm looking forward to participating in this group!

Comment by Glenn Whitman on July 18, 2012 at 9:28am

Our Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning ( has a specific focus on linking educational neuroscience with instructional practices. Check out our blog: We look forward to being part of this PLC. I just got back from the Lausanne Laptop Institute in Memphis that had a number of sessions touch on the impact technology, the 1:1 laptop environment, has on how kids learn and and what educational neuroscience is saying about the impact on the brain.Check out its Twitter feed at #li12.

Comment by Diane Dahl on January 18, 2012 at 8:13pm

Welcome Miss L, we're glad to have you here. Your blog looks great, I'll spend some time reading through it!

Comment by Miss L on January 18, 2012 at 2:02pm

Just joined The Educator's PLN and this group on the recommendation of a fellow educator on Twitter. I look forward to networking with all of you and learning some great things!

Comment by Donna Wilson on December 29, 2011 at 5:03pm

Diane, I am delighted to read your story of success discussing the use of the young chlidren's curriculum Thinking for Reading. You are such an inspiring teacher! Specifically, you are giving your students a gift that keeps on giving, not only in the short term, but as they continue grow into independent life and work in the 21st century. As you know so well, the cognitive skills you are teaching your students will assist them to learn not only academics, but job and life skills/strategies as well! All the best to you as we enter new year 2012! 

Comment by Diane Dahl on December 29, 2011 at 4:53pm

New blog post on how teaching thinking skills saved my sanity!


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Dorothy Hastings posted a blog post

10 Exciting Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Kids

Mother’s Day is the one time of year dedicated to what our mom’s do for us. There are many things children can make for their moms that don’t require long hours. Other than taking her for a dinner and a memorable family trip, there are many small and inexpensive things you can do to show your love and respect towards her. A little time and creativity are all you need.Here are 10 exciting Mother’s Day gift ideas for preschoolers. Choose any one of them and let him/her express the love towards…See More
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Dorothy Hastings posted a blog post

Why Enrolling Your Child in a Childcare Center Matters

Most children experts opine that sending your tiny tot to childcare is the best thing to do, especially if you and your spouse both work. If you are unsure if you should enroll your child in a childcare center, here is why you should!Safe Haven: It’s natural to worry about your child. A daycare offers a stable and safe environment for your child while you are away from home. Daycare may also be a lot less expensive than paying for a babysitter who you may not even know!Schedules Become More…See More
Dorothy Hastings commented on Daisy Hastings's blog post How to deal with a teenager
"A nice post! A satisfying read. Include all when our child becomes a teacher, we must behave like friendsof them, understand their situation and should keep calm."
Daisy Hastings commented on Daisy Hastings's blog post The first day at school. How to help your child to adapt
"Yes, as for me on the impression of the first day depend whole future study."
Daisy Hastings commented on Daisy Hastings's blog post Homeschooling: Pros and Cons
"Happy that it was helpful :) Thank you Dorothy"
Dorothy Hastings liked Diana's blog post Be Honest With Yourself and Your Kids Will Follow

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