What do I know about the teenage brain? Answer True or False 1. The brain is largely a finished product by age 12. 2. During adolescence, the brain is

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Brain Compatible Learning Strategies

1What do I know about the teenage brain?Answer True or False

1. The brain is largely a finished product by age 12.

2. During adolescence, the brain is becoming more efficient, but it is also losing some of its potential for learning.

The teen brain responds to stimuli differently than the adult brain.

Hormonal changes are responsible for teens emotional outbursts.

5. We notice depression and mental illnesses more during the teen years because teens are more dramatic.

2The teen brain reacts in the same way to emotional threat as it does to physical threat.The average teen needs more than 9 hours of sleep every night.The reason teens struggle to get up in the morning is because they dont go to bed until late at night.9 . The teen brain should stop every 10 - 15 minutes to process new information.10. There are no physical differences between kids of today and yesterday; only their attitudes have changed.


Learning Is Connecting4How are teen brains different?

5Neural Pruning Starts in the womb when neurons over populate Neural pruning ends around age 3Like pruning a tree; the strong surviveScientists see this happening again around 11More neural pruningover half by age 15

Use it or lose it!6

7Stop!Think of a teen you know.What does he/she spend most of their time doingreading, writing, studying, playing an instrument, playing a sport, listening to music, working, TV, movies, video games?How are they wired?

What fires together wires together.8Neural Pruning If neurons are not used at appropriate times during brain development, their ability to make connections dies.Stages of Brain Development Parallels Piagets StagesPiagets Four Stages of Child DevelopmentFour Stages of Brain GrowthSensorimotor (birth-2years)Large motor and visual systemPre-operational (ages 2-7)Language AcquisitionConcrete Operations (ages 7-11)Manipulate thoughts and ideasFormal Operations (ages 11-15)Higher-order thinkingOnly 50% of the adult population reaches the highest level of thinking. 9Whats happening with teens emotions?During puberty, hormones are releasedImpacts serotonin and dopamine levelsInformation is processed differentlyRely on amygdala rather than frontal lobesReact, dont processAn appetite for thrillsFewer frontal lobe functions -reasoning, motivation, planning, goal setting


11Too much emotion

Produces adrenalineProduces cortisol-stress hormoneEnergy is re-directedfight or flight Difficult to think and rememberBrain can not differentiate between emotional and physical dangerIf rejected, takes 32x before you feel safe


What emotion is this woman expressing?13The teen brain responds differently to the outside world.100 % of adults identified shockFewer than 50% teens saw shockTeens saw confusion, anger or fearTeens often see hostility where there is noneTeens read visual cues differentlyBoys were more impulsive14

Teens used less of the prefrontal region while more emotional regions were activated Studies by Yurgelun-Todd, Director of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroimaging, Belmont, Mass.15

16Stop!Write a 1 to 2 sentence summary of what youve learned. Use any 4 of these 6 words:

adolescentdendriteneural pruningdopamineamygdalafrontal lobe

Share with your neighbor17During adolescence mental illness can surfaceIn the 10th grade, 64% of boys and 89% of girls report being concerned about a friend who is depressed.Higher percentage teens used drugs and alcohol- irregular Dopamine levelsSchizophrenia & Bipolar Disorder is thought to be triggered during adolescence

18More Vulnerable to AddictionBrains tuned to be responsive to everything in their environmentwhy they learn easilyAddiction is essentially a form of learningAddiction happens faster and stronger A teenager who smokes pot will show cognitive deficits days laterAn adult returns to cognitive baseline much fasterTeen Drinking May Cause Irreversible Brain DamageCompared brains of heavy drinking teems with those who dontDamaged nerve tissue/dings in white matterAffects attentions span in boysComprehension and interpret visual information in girlsSeem to have higher tolerance for immediate negative effects of binge drinking-headaches and nauseaAbnormal functioning in hippocampusDumb Decisions!Risk assessment studiesWhen will you run a yellow light?Teens, when alone, reacted as adultsTeens, when with peers, showed risky behaviorImmature nucleus accumbens-motivationProne to engaging in behaviors with either high excitement or low effort factorEmphasize immediate payoff!21We need our sleep...Our brains review and sort material while sleepingInformation is stored and discarded Rats reconstructed their days in their dreamsStudies have shown sleepers perform better Teens need 9.25 hours of sleep; most get 7.5Teens Melatonin levels differ


23How does the teen brain learn best?Scientists saw more activity in the Cerebellumphysical coordinationUse movementUse emotionTake brain breaks20 minute maximum attention spanReview 10, 24 and 7Pause, reflect, discuss, connect

24Highly Effective Strategies for Todays Students:Arguing/Defending PositionProject-based learningNoveltyTechnology incorporationSelf-assessment in relation to goalCollaborationCONSTRUCTIVISMTraditional LearningConstructivist Learning Part to whole, emphasize skills Strict adherence to curriculum Rely on textbooks, workbooks Students are blank slates Teachers disseminate info Teachers seek correct answer to validate learning Assessment/Teaching separate Whole to part, emph. concepts Pursue student questions Rely on prim. sources, manip. Students are thinkers Teachers mediate, interact Teachers seek students knowledge to make decisions Assessment/Teaching are interwovenWhy cant they do it?Neural connections are developed through environment and stimulus

Experiences create neural pathways that determine how we will learn

We are all born with a brain,But the mind is developed.


28How Have They Changed?

Compare how todays children play to childrens play 20 years or more ago. How do your lists differ?

What impact do these differences have on the way our students learn?

How can we as educators address these changes?

29How Are Todays Kids Different?Change in dietDrug and medication useLess crawl-time and physical activitySocial/economic stability1960, 90% unwed mothers gave up their child/today, 90% keep themSchool budget cutsmusic, drama, art, PEThreat, stress, violenceTelevision and video gamesLess time in creative playLess interaction with adults/reading/discussion

30Writer, Mark Bauerlein, speaking about todays students surfing the Internet: Their choices are never limited, and the initial frustrations of richer experiences send them elsewhere within seconds. With so much abundance, variety, and speed, users key in to exactly what they already want. Companionship is only a click away.Why undergo the labor of revising values, why face an incongruent outlook, why cope with disconfirming evidence, why expand the sensibilitywhen you can find ample sustenance for present interests? Dense content, articulate diction and artistic images are too much....They remind them of their deficiencies, and who wants that? Confirmation soothes, rejections hurts. Great art is tough, mass art is easy. Dense arguments require concentration, adolescent visuals hit home instantly.

Stop!Find the Reaction Guide you completed at the beginning of this session.Check your answers.Do you have any questions?

32Ticket Out the Door

Ideas that struck youQuestions you still have

Thoughts, connections or suggestions33