I blog on Brain-Based Learning, Metacognition, EdTech, and Social-Emotional Learning. I am the author of the Crush School Series of Books, which help students understand how their brains process information and learn. I also wrote The Power of Three: How to Simplify Your Life to Amplify Your Personal and Professional Success, but be warned that it's meant for adults who want to thrive and are comfortable with four letter words.

Brain Hacking 202: Making Sense Out Of Nonsense

By Oskar Cymerman   |   @focus2achieve   |   BAm! Radio Network EdWords Blogger

We make sense out of the world around us by forming connections in our brains. The more of these connections (information chunks) we have, the easier it is for our neurons to form new connections and understandings. Some concepts presented to young minds in schools are so new that they struggle with the initial understanding.

It is important for parents and teachers to be able to explain that this lack of understanding is NOT A RESULT OF BEING DUMB, which is a common stigma facing learners of all ages. Rather, the information does not make sense, because the needed neural network, the "chunk," hasn't had the time to fully form yet. 

We also need to tell our students that if they keep practicing, recalling, and using the information they will indeed grow the necessary neural structures. If they don't give up on learning tough concepts too quickly and we don't give up on them they will MAKE SENSE OUT OF NONSENSE.

Chunking Infographic

Chunking Infographic

Much of the information is inspired by what I learned from a Massive Online Open Course or MOOC through Coursera and University of California, San Diego named "Learning How To Learn" developed by Dr. Barbara Oakley. I strongly encourage you to watch her TEDx Oakland University Talk on "Learning How To Learn." In my infographics, I combine what I learn with personal experience as a middle school and high school teacher to make K-12 learning accessible to all students.

If you find the information in the infographic useful, consider buying "Crush School: Every Student's Guide To Killing It In The Classroom", which is a book I wrote to help students learn more efficiently and effectively using proven research based strategies.

Thanks for reading/looking and I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share it with other educators and especially young learners who can greatly benefit from this information. They might even like it. I will feature the fifth infographic: "Brain Hacking 203: Hack Your Mental Library" in my next NEWSLETTER, so please SIGN UP if you would like to receive some tips on how to help your students improve comprehension of difficult and abstract concepts.

And Remember: You have the power to change the world. Use it often.

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