Three Brain Lessons

Why do classroom motivators lose their oomph?

 

Lesson 1:  Habituation:  Repeated identical stimulation produces immunity, habituation, to stimulation.  The prize that worked in September is dead wood by November.  Give away Snickers for good behavior and, before long, your kids will be throwing your rewards at each other.  Habituation to repeated identical stimulus is why video games employ levels.  Every new level is a new game, a new sequence of stimulations.

Explore  our 10 leveled, habituation defeating, Super Improvers Team.

 

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What rewards does the brain love?

 

Lesson 2:  Uncertain Reward:  Every game involves uncertain reward.  Roll the dice, shoot the ball, move the chess piece … the brain is thrilled because the outcome is unclear.  The nucleus acumbens produces dopamine, the brain’s intoxicating pleasure chemical, when we don’t know what will happen next.  Watch Dr. Paul Howard-Jones’ YouTube on uncertain reward here.

Employing dice and a spinner wheel, the Infinite Scoreboard activates the mesmerizing power of uncertain reward.

 

What’s the best, direct instruction technique?

 

Lesson 3:  The brain’s memory:  Astonishingly enough, there is no central memory area in the brain.  Visual memories are stored in the visual cortex; motor memories are stored in the motor cortex; auditory memories are stored in the auditory cortex and so forth.  The more memory areas employed in a lesson, visual, motor, auditory, the more neural connections are created, the more information is retained.

 Mirror Words, our direct instruction strategy, activates multiple brain areas, simultaneously.

 

 

Summing Up

Overcome habituation by using leveled, uncertainly rewarding games like Super Improvers and the Infinite Scoreboard … while activating multiple brain areas with techniques like Mirror Words.

 

To explore details of our approach, start at Beginner and climb toward Semi-Divine.