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Engage the Brain -- 20 strategies!!

I had a rejuvenating Friday!!  I was fortunate enough to attend an all day conference with Marcia Tate....educator extraordinaire and author of Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites:  20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain.

Marcia is an AMAZING speaker and I drove home filled with inspiration and excitement about using her 20 strategies with my students (my brain continued to process the information as I slept last night...just like Marcia said it would....interesting dreams)

I also learned tons about my own brain, and the "secret" to longevity.  Marcia said to only share it with people that you truly I am going to share it with all of you!!  Here it is....

I know, right?!!  Simply perfect words of advice!

You probably already use many of her suggested 20 strategies....and you will find nothing new about any of them.  However.....just because I know the right "moves" as a teacher, doesn't mean that I consistently use them.  Marcia Tate's workshop was a "punch in the face" reminder for me that if my students are not learning the way I teach...then I need to teach the way that they learn!  Here are Marcia Tate's 20 strategies for engaging the brain:
Marcia outlines these strategies in her many books, if you'd like more detailed information about each. She asked our group to choose two of the strategies that we would like to really focus on over the next 28 days (that's how many times you need to do something before it becomes a habit).  I have chosen Music and Movement.  Marcia told us that when we learn things with music and movement, the learning becomes embedded into the long-term memory.  That is so TRUE!!  I can remember the details from certain movies because of the music that was playing in the background (Think about Titanic)!!  When I taught first grade, I used music and movement ALL THE TIME, because my firsties DEMANDED it!!  However, I will admit that I use these two strategies a lot less now that I teach third grade.....ridiculous, I know!!  So, I am committed to finding ways to integrate music and movement into my lessons over the next 28 days!!  I am very excited about it.  I would LOVE to hear your great do you integrate music and movement into your lessons?

I learned about an app that can actually turn your words into a song.  What?!!  Yep....its true.  The app is called Songify, and you just talk into it and then choose a "beat".  It turns your words into a really fun song.  You already know where I'm going with this, don't you?  Think of the possibilities of using this in the classroom:  multiplication facts, main idea/details of a story, classroom transitions, characteristics of quadrilaterals....the possibilities are really endless!! 
We are currently learning about polygons and quadrilaterals in our class.  I am already thinking of ways that students can use their own body movements along with music to remember all of that vocabulary (parallel, congruent, perpendicular.....)!  

 I created some great visuals (another brain compatible strategy) to use with our unit....check it out:

Love and peace,

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