Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Stressed out brain is a brain that cannot learn!

A Stressed out brain is a brain that cannot learn!

Research shows how much stress affects a student's brain in the learning process.

Bad stress can affect a brain, negatively, long after it is initially felt. Sustained stress can damage the hippocampus, the part of the brain we use for learning and memory.

Good stress promotes learning by increasing the ability of the brain to absorb new information so challenges and deadlines excite neurotransmitters in the brain to create new memories, it also activates and strengthens the immune system.

Classroom practice can minimize stress and reduce the production of cortisol in the brain. One way is a practice of focused learning interrupted by 2-5 minute breaks to process the learning.  For young children, the focused activity should last no more than 10 minutes, for older students no more than 15 minutes and adults no more than 20-25 minutes. Processing the learning can include small group sharing of what students remember from the focused learning activity, or a small group using markers and paper to chart only images or pictures of what the students understand about the learning. Another way a teacher can reduce bad stress is by connecting new learning to what a student already knows.

Here is the link to the whole article:

How to reach every student brain?

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Faculty Blog

The Computer Lab belongs to everyone! 
Please remind students that if they bring something into the lab, such as notes, and pencils, these items need to be taken out when they leave. At the end of each day, I find these items as well as rulers, markers, headbands, and ponytail holders. Often notepaper or pencils are on the floor under the desks. Occasionally, a sweater or sweatshirt is left. If students pick up after themselves, then the lab will be usable for the next group of students that come into the lab. 

With the laptop carts in the lab permanently for the near future, it is more important that we all help keep the room clean since there are so many more people in and out of the lab each day. 

Mary Beth

 Open House
Weekday Open House, Wednesday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to Noon. Parent led tours will come through the classrooms to see ACS in action. Please ask one or two students to serve as ambassadors to welcome tours as they arrive and describe briefly what the class is currently doing. "Hi, my name is Vivek. Welcome to Mrs. Smith's 2nd grade class. We are working on math centers. My center is using an iPad application. Do you have any questions?" 


From Gary and Cecilia

Report cards are due Wednesday, Dec. 11. Please be sure to check for typos and comment on all aspects of "competent" students. Thank you for letting us know if you finish early so we can begin reading.

Gift exchanges: We do not have students participate in gift exchanges for the holidays.  It gets expensive for families with multiple children.  We can certainly express our friendship without store-bought gifts.

Holiday free dress: We will have our traditional holiday free dress for the students on Thursday, Dec. 19.  Please tell your students so everyone knows.

PLPs are coming up.  They will be due towards the end of January (the 20th). More detail to follow.