Learning and the Brain Part 2: Postgame

In the second of three evenings devoted to the adolescent brain, Director of Learning Heather Clayton focused on what makes learning effective and how we and our children learn best.

Below are excerpts of Heather’s talk, including a section on what the research says, a chance to find out what multiple intelligences you possess and a few highlights of SMUS differentiated learning. Also, SMUS parent Tracey Hagkull recaps what she took from the session.

If you have any feedback or would like to suggest topics for future lectures, please email [email protected]

What does the research say?
Listen to Heather talk about a few giants of brain research and how their work informs current practice. Heather refers to the Differentiation of Instruction chart (click to view) during this excerpt.
What does the research say?

What are Multiple Intelligences?
Listen to Heather explain one of the tools used in teaching to help reach all students. Download and fill in the chart below to find out what your multiple intelligences are, too!
Multiple Intelligences
Intelligences graph

How is brain research applied at SMUS?
SMUS leads the way in incorporating the latest research and best practices throughout all three schools. Heather highlights a few examples in the following audio clip.
What SMUS is doing

Appendix: More examples of differentiated learning at SMUS

  • Grade 8 student Kennedy Aragon-Scriven writes about hands-on math lessons
  • Take an audio trip to hear students talk about how they communicate their needs to teachers
  • See digital art student work on VoiceThread, a collaborative multimedia slideshow that allows students to navigate slides and leave comments in five ways

Preparing Students for Lifelong Learning
by Tracey Hagkull, SMUS parent

In the second of Heather Clayton’s Brain Research series our director of learning definitely practices what she preaches. She shares how current research is integrated into the education of our children and she models many of the research based teaching and learning strategies currently in practice at SMUS.

Beginning with the evolution of current educational beliefs moving on to brain research and how it impacts differentiated instruction, focus is placed on teaching as learning, “meaning making” and retention. Ultimately the teacher is seen as motivator and connector while students are guided and encouraged to learn through critical thinking and problem solving. To meet the various learning styles of students, Heather outlined the variety of strategies that are utilized in the SMUS classrooms. As parents, it is important to understand our children and how they learn to better guide and support them. Heather provided a lot of information that very much promotes this.

As a post-graduate health education student, it is very encouraging to note that this educational direction is current best practice and is in keeping with the post secondary education system. SMUS provides wonderful preparation for our students as they become lifelong learners.

While the sessions do build on each other, they also provide valuable information in isolation so do not hesitate to join in the next session. Thank you Heather for another interesting and informative session.

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