(A review of John DeLandtsheer’s course: The Brain Compatible Classroom)
John Delandtsheer began his career in teaching in California before transitioning into administration. As an administrator he spent hours learning, sharing, and implementing strategies in making his classrooms brain compatible.
This made his schools some of the top performing in the state.
Decades of experience in teaching and administration has given Mr. DeLandtsheer insight into the average american classroom.
Education is one of the few institutions in this country
that has gone unchanged for a hundred years
This leads to an antiquated method of instruction that often leaves students checked out and missing out on valuable life lessons. In The Brain Compatible Classroom course, Mr. Delandtsheer shows us how to look at our students in a different way – through methods that both research and experience validate.
I learned the six components of a brain-compatible classroom and, additionally, reviewed his five keys to a successful classroom.
The six components for a brain compatible classroom
- Brain Food: Impressing upon your students (and their parents) the importance of eating a well balanced diet.Research suggests that the “Caveman Diet” is really important for the brain. It is basically what our physiology needs. The rule of thumb for eating like this is to choose foods from the perimeter of the supermarket (dairy products, vegetables, fruits, etc.) and not foods from the aisles (canned, processed, prepackaged).
Generally speaking, the food that comes from around the market is going to be healthier than the food down the middle.
Allow children to drink water in the classroom. Water is essential because it oxygenates your brain. Bonus: coffee can help hyperactive kids focus and calm down.
- Pace: Instead of teaching to the bottom third, teach to the top third. Although No Child Left Behind ensures that we teach to the bottom third of our students, this approach just drags everyone down.One idea is to wait until a third are done with their assignment then collect papers and move on.
- Music: Play music in your classroom. If you don’t already know, music and math are quite intertwined. It makes you smarter in math.Avoid anything with lyrics (classical music is ideal) and stay away from jazz until later in the year. Mr. Delandtsheer explains this is because jazz is very complicated for the brain.
- Classroom environment: Consider the role of drama in your classroom. Research shows that the brain is very active when involved in a play. Children don’t have to be actors. Any part, even painting scenery or props, is beneficial for them. Drama is an incredible support system for the brain.
- Attention Span: Take “Brain Breaks”:*standing
*engaging in gross motor or fine motor movements.
These breaks will act as a “reset” for the brain. As a general rule, 3 minutes past the kids age is all a kid can sit still for before you have to change something.
- Stress: Children cannot learn if they are anxious. Try and relieve any fears they may have. For example, new students generally have a fear of not making friends. This can be solved by implementing a buddy system. Consider automatically assigning a new student, for at least a week, to a seasoned student in your class. They stick together during lunch and recess.By helping your students relax, you can relieve the fear of looking stupid. Talk to them, research shows kids learn from listening to your own mishaps and life stories.
Many kids struggle with fear of embarrassment. Nobody likes to be embarrassed. If a student disrupts the class, talk to them quietly about it.
Whoever does the work gets smarter
As a teacher and administrator, Mr. Delandtsheer has come to embrace the philosophy “Whoever does the work gets smarter.” He explains we may need to revisit the type of work that is required of students and how we view them in order for our children to succeed in the 21st century. Receive ALL of this when you buy the online course.
Overall, this course will help you make the transition with more detail on how to apply these concepts in your classroom. There’s more great information included in the course that you can use to see positive changes in how your students learn and the interest level in which they apply themselves.
Mr. Delandtsheer’s course also includes his “Five Keys to a Successful Classroom”
- Flexible Thinking
How you can get this course
If you would like to purchase this entire course, click here to go the course page, or call TAGT Learning On-Demand if you prefer to speak to someone: 512-677-9097.
You can also try it FREE by taking the free trial for teachers!