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Neuroeducational hooks

Engaging students to learn.


My way in Wonderland started with a presentation post that mentioned a journey of growth based on neuroeducation findings. Teachers need to know how the brain works in order to teach better. That trip has its first stop in this post. That's the reason why the keys to empowering classroom climate will be presented. What makes the students learn? As Francisco Mora affirms in his book Neuroeducación, curiosity, attention and memory must be given. What most influences to capture their attention is to connect the students emotionally with the contents. Hence his well-known quote you can only learn what you love. For this, pupils should always see the best version of the teacher bearing in mind the mirror neurones.

Our brain has a genetic memory and it is prepared for survival. Therefore, if our students feel emotionally attacked, they disconnect. Anyway, how can you activate that device of attention, emotion or memory? Raising up the dopamine (hormone of happiness) that is a central nervous system neurotransmitter that works in the learning process. Including how do we generate dopamine to get the student to enjoy and thus achieve their repetition.

There are different hooks (students interests, movement, social contact...) that we can use in our planning in a strategic way:

*Music: It has a great emotional component. How can we use it? For instance, playing the soundtrack of a movie before introducing the main content of the lesson. Or recording a short radio programme before starting the lesson as a routine, here you can listen to an example. Or singing a chant that includes the content to work, as the Grammarchants by Caroline Graham, as you can see in the video below:


*Art: A poster, a construction, a mural, the decoration of the classroom door, what we draw on the blackboard, an explanation using the visual thinking technique, and so on.

*Challenge: It involves overcoming yourself in these very competitive times. What challenges can I generate in my lessons? An escape room to review contents, for instance.

*Reward: When a student overcomes challenges and in return gets rewards, it is more involved in their learning process. Therefore, programmes such as Class Dojo work very well as an example of gamification in the classroom.

*Game: It's possible using games that involve movement or playing to learn vocabulary, that is presenting the contents through the game as the methodology of game-based learning proposes.

*Movement: This hook can be included in many original ways: through a dictation with a race, hiding the statement of an activity so that students have to find it... the point is to kindle the flame of creativity and imagination.

*Role-playing: A good way is to have our students interpret dialogues using the complement of a costume or to make interviews between them using a toy micro and they record the performance to feedback them and to allow them to watch themselves.

*Arrangement: How we distribute the classroom, the layout of its tables, the changes we make in it, adding plants or organizing it to generate positive synergies.

*Messages: The point is to focus on what words can generate excitement, mystery... just as the use of the slogans in the world of advertising.

*Storytelling: The narration of stories or anecdotes linked to the content, or a video with a story to introduce it. This is one of the most powerful hooks we can use to excite, to connect with students.


*Accessories: What props can you take to the classroom related to the topic that you are going to work on? One idea is to hide things in an envelope, to have a box closed on the table with objects, or covering the cover page of the tale that is going to be told them, so they should guess it.

The more hooks you use, the more dopamine your students will segregate, and consequently, the more they will learn. It's crucial to take them into account, vary them because students are different from each other. There are visual, kinesthetic, auditory... as it's known by Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. In addition, hooks must be placed strategically in each session, in each didactic unit.


In short, always being entrepreneurial innovators and keeping a playful attitude with the students.


See you the next trip,


Mireia

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Teacher's notebook

To take off a new trip, the trip of the new school year 2018-2019, you will need a suitcase. A suitcase full of enthusiasm where to organize the new course, noting your schedules, plans, calendar, meetings...
To facilitate the preparation of luggage, I put thisteacher's notebook in your hands. 
But be very careful, do not overdo the planning if you do not have excess baggage. And never forget what your Students' interests are and what is the perfect activity they are prepared to do from the take-off.
Have a good trip!
Mireia

Game based learning vs Gamification

Recently, listening to Juan Fernandez in his online Congress titled "Educational Revolution", a new concept has reverberated in my head: Game-based learning.
What is game-based learning? It is a way to take a traditional content but to teach it through experiences in a motivating activity. Using attractive scenarios, overcoming different challenges and acquiring positive and interesting involvements. Students learn from failing.
What's the difference between GBL and gamification? Gamification is the application of game principles to NON-game situations to provide desired behaviours through rewards, recognition and motivation.
Nevertheless, both of them have the same goal: to improve students commitment and engagement to make the learning experience more positive and enhance memory and retention.


Presentation

Welcome to Wonderland! A world of English teaching, plenty of innovative and creative resources for English and CLIL teachers. A world to increase your teaching growth and motivation.
In this blog, I will share with you a lot of materials, methodologies and ways to work on projects.  You will find a lot of tips to manage your classroom based on neuroeducation.
You will grow your competences throughout the reflections, videos, interviews, experiences, ebooks... that you will read here.
I will also share with you the contents learnt in my teaching trainings.
Are you ready for the journey?
Let's go there!!!

Mireia


Traditional British Games

Games are crucial at school, as neuroscience findings assert. Throughout games, there are countless skills that pupils develop such as:
-increasing their coordination -developing their creativity and flexibility of thought (conceive new ideas) -enhancing memory -improving coordination -strengthening social skills -promoting problem-solving skills -expanding attention and concentration

From the English subject, we can work on traditional British games as a part of the English culture.
The point is how to explain the game to facilitate students' understanding. To do so, a good option is explaining the game at the classroom using the blackboard and illustrating at the same time that the activity is described. This visual support help pupils to imagine the layout at the playground.
After that, it's necessary to choose "it". For that, using English counting rhymes, as you can read in the following example:
Eenie, Meenie, miny, moo catch a tiger by the toe if he cries, let h…

La Dansa de les Lletres

Encara recorde l'olor a gesmiler d'aquelles nits d'estiu quan jo era menuda i 'ma uela Maria' seia en una mecedora a la porta del carrer amb un conte a la mà. La meua germana i jo l'escoltàvem atentament amb molta admiració. El meu conte preferit era el de El gegant del pi perquè hi havia trossets on la narració s'aturava i totes a una cantàvem allò de "El gegant del Pi ara balla, ara balla, el gegant del Pi ara balla pels camins"...
'Ma uela Maria' era de les poques dones alfabetitzades de l'època i recorde que les altres dones del poble acudien a ella a demanar-li consell com a persona de cultura i altres perquè havien rebut una carta i necessitaven que ella els la llegira i donara assessorament.



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D'un temps ençà, resona en les nostres oïdes una paraula que sembla estar ben bé de moda: la neuroeducació. Que no és sino l'aplicació dels darrers estudis de neurociència aplicats a l'àmbit de l'educació…

Music, podcast, listening and MORE!

Throughout the school year, it arises the necessity to edit sound:
-to cut out a song for the Xmas concert -to prepare your own listenings -to record podcasts for your students -to edit a track with song and a voiceover for a performance -to create a radio programme to increase communicative skills in your lessons...
The best audio editor for the needs of a school, it is AUDACITY. The main reason is that it is free and multiplatform, so it is valid to download it for linux, mac and windows. It also allows us to manipulate all kinds of formats (.wav, .mp3...).
Whenever we create a project using audacity, it will generate two types of files, one that will be .aup, and also a folder with the same name.
The best point about this programme is that it allows us to cut, mute parts, generate or minimize noise, add an echo effect, mix several songs adjusting the transitions, make the audio fade away at the end...
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