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Exchange today unveiled two new Exchange Essentials on "Implications of Brain Research." In the first of these Essentials, Pam Schiller offers these strategies for early childhood programs to take advantage what we now know about brain development:
Events that are accompanied by intense emotion are more easily recalled.
Use laughter, stories, and music when introducing new information. For example, if you are teaching a lesson on farm animals, start by singing "Old MacDonald Had A Farm."
Offer many different opportunities for gathering and processing information. For example, when studying zoo animals, you might want to take a field trip, read a book, shape animals from clay, classify the animals, make up zoo stories, and so on. You get the picture.
Our bodies release chemicals when under stress. Positive stress increases adrenaline, negative stress increases cortisol. Both chemicals act as memory fixatives. Novelty creates positive stress, because when a situation is different from existing patterns the learner is challenged.
Teach a lesson outside. Switch places with another teacher one day. Work puzzles upside down. Change your room arrangement. A typical preschool classroom is a good example of novelty because we change activities frequently.
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