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Required Preparation for 

The Learning Brain: From Research to Classroom Practice

Download the FULL version of the assignment including readings


Pre-reading materials: In advance of your arrival, please read (included in the full pdf version via the link above):

  • Sylwester, R. (2007). “Chapter 2: Brain Organization and Development,” The Adolescent Brain: Reaching for Autonomy. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

  • Stix, G. (2011). “How to Build a Better Learner,” Scientific American, 30(2), 30 – 38.

Explore: Please explore the following website on the brain:

Take the brain tour on this website (Brain Basics, slides 1 – 7):

As you read the articles and explore the website, please consider the following questions:

  • In what ways would the study of brain research be of interest to a teacher?

  • What preliminary thoughts do you have about what a brain-friendly classroom would look, sound and feel like?

Please bring samples from your school:

  • One unit of instruction from your grade level. This can be in any curricular area and should include the concepts taught, assignments, activities and strategies used, and assessment methods/instruments.

  • Learning outcomes/standards and benchmarks (grade level expectations) for this unit.

Bring a laptop (REQUIRED):

  • Your course materials are electronic. Hard copies of the materials will not be available on site. Participants are required to bring a laptop computer with appropriate adapters and wireless internet capability to this course. If you are bringing a school laptop or one you are not familiar with, be sure to have the settings checked and be familiar with any passwords required to access wireless internet and to download software.

  • Download Adobe Reader XI now in order to be able to access your materials properly.

TC Connection: This is the online portal for everything related to your course. Become familiar with how to use it. You should have received an invitation to your class group. Refer to that email for more details.

Case Study:  In preparation for the reflection sessions in the afternoon, please bring a short written description of each of the following (half a page):

  • A description of a student who has experienced difficulty learning, including student learning needs and areas of difficulty

  • A specific lesson or curricular topic which you would like to enhance through the development of brain-friendly strategies

We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Ochan Kusuma-Powell and Kristen Pelletier