Learning comes in various forms, and it’s up to teachers to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Some students learn through visual stimulation, color schemes that seal knowledge in the brain.
Other students need to learn through audio, sounds that penetrate the tissue under the skull. And some students are strictly kinesthetic learners, movements that communicate lessons through tactile acts. It’s a balance that can often require a combination of all three in any classroom full of students.
The hard, fast rule, according to brain-based learning expert John Le Tellier, is there is no comprehension without picturing.
Local teachers spent part of this week getting energized about the upcoming school year, which for most schools kicks off Aug. 30, by attending a quantum learning seminar.
Nearly 80 educators attended the three-day session in Clancy, sponsored by the Prickly Pear Co-op and Montana City School, that provided teachers with ideas, strategies and techniques to help them become better teachers.
“I’m hoping (teachers) will walk away with effective teacher moves based on what we know about cutting-edge brain research,” Le Tellier said.
Moves mean specific actions, like changing instructional position, using music or reinforcing content. And, they work for any age group from preschool to college.
First-grade teacher Lora Griffin says every time she attends she learns something new and even applies the techniques with her two daughters at home.
This isn’t the first time Le Tellier worked with local teachers, and he’s worked with many Montana teachers over the past few years. He’s also trained teachers at hundreds of schools across the country about the connections between learning and the brain and strategies to encode long-term memory. The former teacher and principal is the founder of the Colorado Neuro-Learning Center in Denver, where he worked with students with brain injuries. It was through that work that he made discoveries he now shares with educational communities to enhance academic performance.
This was the third workshop for Whitehall teacher Linda Blomquist, who describes it as a motivating way to begin the school year.
Today’s world is a competitive global market. Blomquist says not a second can be wasted in the classroom since other countries attend school for 250 days compared to Montana’s 180.
Through the workshop, she learned different ways to deliver information.
“I believe in this program,” Blomquist said describing it as an awaking for the year. “It develops your confidence for the classroom.”
Sandee Badger, a fifth-grade teacher in Clancy, says she uses many of the quantum learning concepts with her students.
“I haven’t found anything as current, as applicable and as relevant as this,” she said.
Steve Connole, principal at Montana City School, says the training is valuable.
“I just think it’s a great opportunity for our staff because it’s an opportunity to learn more about how they learn and how kids learn,” he said. “It’s not necessarily things that are covered in college training.”
Connole says the concepts are tied to best practices in teaching.
“It’s all about people and our teachers are the key to the success in helping our kids learn more,” he said. “It makes a great difference and helps them improve their teaching.”
Vaughn Kauffman with the Prickly Pear Co-op says it’s one of the few trainings where people return to their seats before the breaks are over.