What does it mean to be right-brained? How about creative? Sees in pictures? Expert in visual-spatial relations?
Here are other ways students who are right-brained learn:
- They use feeling
- They are ‘Big picture’ oriented
- They understand symbols and images
- They love Philosophy and religion
- They easily grasp object function
- They dream up possibilities
- They will take risks
At Sophia Academy, we do our best to teach the way our students learn. Want to know and understand the relative scale of the earth-moon size and distance? We let others read about it in a book. We will “guess” which ball best represents the earth and the moon.
Once we guess and discuss, we need to see if we are right. We use the math we learn in the morning to help us figure out the diameter of each ball from the circumference that we measured. Which two balls have the ratio closest to that of earth and moon? It turns out it was the basketball and the baseball.
Then we have to figure out how far apart they are. If the earth is a basketball and the moon is the baseball, what distance best represents their true distance? After class discussion, we decided 3-4 feet. Were we right? Ask a Sophia Academy student for the answer.
At Sophia Academy, we understand that the brain is plastic. We can train our brains to think better, think faster, and make new connections. Research shows that certain activities actually lead to physical changes in the brain such as the growth of new brain cells and their connections in the very parts of the brain that are crucial to memory and typical learning activities.
Something as simple as positive self talk will cause the brain to grow. Students need to be trained to say: “I can do better.” Rather than giving up in frustration when work is hard, we encourage students to embrace potential failure as an adventure.
What else works?
- Trusting instincts–we encourage students to courageously speak out their first thoughts.
- Focusing on comprehension over speed–our Strategic Reading class gives students a wide choice of interesting material to work with while shoring up reading strategies and skills.
- Physical activity several hours after learning something new–walking fast, shooting hoops, races in PE class, skateboarding after school will all work to solidify the memory.
- Active kinesthetic learning: Whether they sing the math facts, act out the funeral scene from Julius Caesar or dance a poem, students at Sophia Academy are growing brain cells.
At Sophia Academy, we continue to search for new ways to fund research-driven strategies for brain growth. Whether using online websites based on Carol Dweck’s growth mindset or adaptive technology, we are pursuing brain growth for all our students.