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Help train the brain

Helen and Marty Weiss

Some of the young people we see are described as willfully disorganized, too lazy to accomplish tasks or just kids with a bad attitude. Are they doing it on purpose or are they lacking the CEO (executive function) to direct their energies properly? Underachievers may actually be suffering from neurological abnormalities that lay off the CEO and relegate learning functions like memorizing, organizing and achieving a goal to a sporadic foray into academics.Dr. Anthony Bashir, a specialist in communications disorders at Emerson College in Boston describes the inability to think through the planning and understand the outcome of ones actions as future blindness. These people dont know how to judge the results of their actions basically a cause effect analysis. That CEO in the brain is off duty most of the time and learning isnt efficient or productive.Brains also have a CEO to direct and organize activities. Think about how you handle problem solving. Do you analyze the problem, prioritize the steps you need to take, organize the way you go about solving the problem or do you just attack is all in a kind of scattered hap-hazard blunderbuss of activity? You can be extremely smart but go nowhere in life because your CEO doesnt have the ability to plan and organize your time, initiate projects and complete them. Current brain research gives us a picture of how many of us may think and act. The young person who does well in school, gets good SAT or ACT scores goes off to college and falls apart in an unstructured situation is often a victim of poor executive function. Brain training may require exercises in learning Cause and Effect, setting priorities and choosing outcomes. Exercises in problem solving, sequencing steps in a task to be performed, recognizing and playing out scenarios of cause and effect are extremely helpful in getting youngsters into a concrete mode of introducing them to the concept of executive function. If you dont study for this exam tomorrow, what are the possible consequences?If you dont wash your basketball outfit for school tomorrow, what will happen?If you have five assignments to do how do you pick the one to work on first?If you go out to the movies tonight, when will you complete those five assignments?If you spend time on the chat room when will you do you household chores?All of these alternatives pose choices that have to be made. How you make those choices will affect much more than your classroom conduct tomorrow. One failing grade when averaged with other passing grades lowers the average considerably. You may be able to afford that poor choice once but how will it affect your grades, your GPA and even your college or vocational choices? Add to this the newest discoveries in the area of neurological health. Students who have often been the subject of research into how learning occurs need to be given brief lessons on the anatomy of the brain. Exercising the brain for neurological health is the name of that lesson and all youngsters and adults should know and understand the value of these exercises.Aerobic exercises increase the number of blood cells while non-aerobic exercises requiring brainwork increase synapses. However when you combine aerobic and non-aerobic exercises you are affecting the workings of both blood vessels and synaptic connections. The child who becomes a sedentary couch potato, television watcher and videogame player may not only become overweight but also cause his or her brain to be underutilized. Among the newest discoveries in the area of neurological health are the facts that understanding the workings of the brain often enhances a students motivation to learn. Many students have been the subjects of research into how learning occurs and a few months ago neuroscientists actually went into schools to give local youngsters brief lessons on the anatomy of the brain. Exercising the brain for neurological health should be the focus of lesions in Study Skills.All youngsters and adults should know and understand the value of these kinds of exercises. You only get one chance at school and so many outside influences can interfere with your motivation to learn. Understanding how the equipment works will help youngsters know how they learn and do not learn.

For further information contact: Helen Ginandes Weiss, M.A & Martin S. Weiss, M.A. – Learning Consultants: e.mail: eduworks@chaffee.net – P.O. Box 38, Twin Lakes, CO 81251 (719) 486-5800


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