How We All Learn


Print out and put in the front of your notebook these points about how you and all of us learn.


  1.  Your brain was born to learn, loves to learn, and knows how to learn.
Practice requires making mistakes, correcting mistakes, learning from them, and trying over and over, again and again.
Making and learning from mistakes is a natural and necessary part of learning.

2.  You learn what you practice.

3.  You learn what you practice because, when you are practicing, your brain is growing new fibers (dendrites) and connecting them (at synapses).  This growth of dendrites and synapses is what learning is--a physical change in your brain.  Just as when you lift weights, you grow stronger muscles--when you practice what you want to learn, your brain grows more dendrites.

4.  Learning takes time because you need time to grow and connect dendrites.

5.  If you don't use it, you can lose it.  Dendrites and synapses can begin to disappear if you don't use them (if you don't practice or use what you have learned).

6.  Your emotions affect your brain's ability to learn, think, and remember.

Self-doubt, fear, etc., prevent your brain from learning, thinking, and remembering.
Confidence, interest, curiosity, need to know, etc., help your brain learn, think, and remember.

7.  Remember:  you are a natural-born learner.

These are Rita Smilkstein's "Major Points about Learning" as taken from her book We're Born to Learn:  Using the Brain's Natural Learning Process to Create Today's Curriculum, published by Corwin Press, 2003.

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