Learning & Brain: Deeper Learning II

LeeAnn Nickerson, Ed.M.

Deeper Learning: Success for all by differentiation


  1. Eric Jensen, Deeper Learning

The working question: What’s In It For Me?
To dive deeply into current content areas and process content in ways that enable meaningful, deeper meaning.

Answer 4 big questions:
1. Why facilitate deeper learning?
2. What is deeper learning?
3. How do we organize time for deeper learning?
4. How do we differentiate these deeper learning strategies to meet all students needs within daily lesson plans?

Processing the Learning Deeper:
Domains for elaborate & effective processing:
1) Awareness
2) Analysis to synthesis
3) Application
4) Assimilation

Learning is not in the presentation of content, but rather during the processing of that content!

We are all born with the ability to process, but we need to develop and enhance it. We have to work with students deliberately to help them learn to process more effectively and efficiently.

Processing: The consolidation and internalization of information by the learner in a way that is both personally meaningfull and conceptually coherent. It is the path to understanding and not simply the path to memory.

Processing: allows neural networks networks to consoldate, and makes physical changes in the brain; information has opportunity to become meaningful and transfer to long term memory.

Brain can only pay attention for so long. Learners construct meaning, both personally and socially. Processing allows for all the participants to make meaningful the information. There is a limited space in the hippocampus — the field of memory or the working memory. So submit information in small chunks, and then give them a chance to process it.

Exercise: Create a simile – “PRocessing is like ____ Organizing a Library ___ because it’s setting information into order on shelves so that other users can find that information later.

Exercise: Do an energizer activity designed to move the body and push dopamine and natural stimulation to the brain. Energizers for lower, middle and upper school

Four Types of Processing

1) Awareness: Consciousness of what’s going on; variations: retrieving, observing, recognizing, recalling, defining, explaining, identifying, remembering, understanding, describing.
2) Analysis to Synthesis: Wholes to parts and parts to whole; separating or combining knowledge and ideas in order to see parts from whole and whole from parts. variations: ordering, synthesizing, summarizing, regrouping, integrating, matching, rewording, error correction, investigating, describing, associating, estimating, idea to example, interpreting.
3) Application: Practicing, doing or using what was learned to benefit self, community, or world. variations: decision-making, problem-solving, generating and testing hypotheses, adapting, transferring, predicting, elaborating, creating, applying, inventing, associating.
4) Assimilation: Heart of content: internalizing the information personally. Making personal connection. variations: absorption, incorporation, digestion, integration, reflection, perspective taking, monitor process, empathizing, efficacy, reviewing importance, emotional response, motivation, efficiency.

Book: The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown… framing five facts in terms of the ‘most important thing’

QuickDraw – present the information visually

Simile Summaries: – _________________ is like _____________________, because _______________________________.

Door pass: “your ticket out of here is to explain _______________________________________. Put it on this index card before you leave.”

SPINNER = build a spinner with eight categories: give example; summarize; create a simile; explain how it relates to you; create-a-question; free choice; most valuable piece of information; additional information. Everyone spins first and has time for thinking, and then answers after some thought.

Gel Boards. surface for writing, reading, drawing thinking.

HAS Synopsis – Do an H Diagram, create an Analogy (“x is to y is as p is to q”), and write a simile (“X is like Y because __________________”) Explain one concept three ways.

T diagram – Two concepts in the horizontal at the top, types of comparison in the vertical.

Text-Marking: ?= question I have; C=Confused about text; ?A Question for author; Circle = what’s the word? ★ = Very important; ☺ = I agree; ☹ = I disagree; ! = this is amazing!

Stop’n’Think: Five boxes, 4 questions. Read small chunk of text, answer box 1 question. read chunk of text answer box 2, etc. Synthesize Boxes 1-4 in Box 5.

Processing Notebook: Left side of a pair of pages for processing (webbing, mindmap, picture, feeling, summary, qustions answered, most valuable info, reflection, meaningful sentences); right side for note-taking: outline, keywords, quotes, paragraphs, content, definitions

Exercise: STOP-SAVE-START. When I think about this issue, I’m going to “stop doing this”, I’m going to “keep doing this” and I’m going to “start doing this”.

Exercise: T.E.L.L.Thankful for (who helped you? was a good book involved? did an author touch you? did another student give you feedback? Did you learn something amazing?); Evaluate (did you understand, how well did you do? what questions do you have? What do you need more help with?); Learned (what did you learn? did you learn a new social skill? new words? new connections? a-ha moments? facts or skill sequence?); List plan of action (new goals? Any apologies need to be made? How can you deal with this situation better tomorrow? What learning do you want to do now?)

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