Thursday, March 10, 2011


Middle Matters invited a medical student to teach us about the brain and to help us to understand the parts of a sheep's brain! Afterwards we had some big questions!

How do you learn best?
What is the most amazing way you have learnt something?
Can you give us some good ideas for experimenting with the way we learn?


  1. Interesting question. I like to watch someone do something and then have a go myself. I don't think I have really learned it until I have actually tried it out personally.
    It was interesting when we were in the Computer lab, trying out the new games, some people liked to read the Instructions on the games, when others, just jumped in and tried to learn it without the instructions.
    What did you learn from dissecting the brains?

  2. Personally, I always learn best by doing things. I hate reading instructions or listening to long explanations. I prefer to get started and try the new task!

    Mrs Yore

  3. That's a great question and sometimes it might depend on what I am learning. A little background information is often helpful to me to get me thinking and then if someone shows me what to do and guides me through when I have a go, that helps. I need to repeat things a few times before I get the hang of it.
    I really enjoyed learning about the brain and then listening to you explaining the parts as you dissected it. There were so many difficult terms to remember. I was amazed that you did remember. I have honestly forgotten some. Guess who will have to rely on you to help me?

  4. Firstly brains! I am sure it will live in the minds of the children for some time ...
    I like conversation and words. I am not very keen on practical, fiddling about! No brains for me.
    What's the most amazing way I have learnt? Sharing ideas with really talented people. There are giants that walk amongst us and it's just a joy to be share the air they breathe. Motivated people are often very motivating.

    Get two mirrors and ask an individual at each mirror to follow a pre drawn wiggly line on a piece of paper, that they follow it (drawing on it with a pencil) in the mirror, a sentence carefully but only looking in the
    mirror. Then choose a couple of people to give one person lots of encouragement and pick fault with the other. Let people experience the different roles. As an adult I was shocked how the words of support and discouragement made such an impact.

    I think you will find that a supportive, positive atmosphere is MORE important to learning than you know it is already.

    Mr E

  5. What a wonderful learning opportunity. You are lucky to have teachers who organised this for you. I am wondering if I would be allowed to do this with my class in the UK?!
    Miss Martindale (Teacher from England, UK)

  6. Wow, what a cool experiment.

    I think we learn from others. This especially true in a classroom, having conversations, demonstrating and even arguing about something helps us learn something new. Then you pass the learning on.

    When you are able to teach someone something new you must have learnt it. Think about maths- If you can show a friend how to do it you must have learnt it!!

    Mr Thurlow

  7. Great questions Middle M.
    I definitely need someone to show me and guide me through new learning and then I need to have a go myself and then I need lots of practise (I'm a bit slow and steady like the Tortoise!).

    I always admire people who quickly grab new learning and take off with it - it really is a talent I think.

    I remember learning how to ride my bike - first someone showed me, then I had a go (and ran into a tree - ouch!) and then I had to practise. I did feel very proud when I finally mastered the skill.

    I love visiting your blog and joining in your interesting conversations!
    Mrs Kennedy

  8. This is a really interesting question Middles. I like to think about my new learning and then go and practise it. Also I like to learn things by myself but sometimes it is important to learn with others. I think I like to work alone because then I can be sure I understand things -being on my own gives me time to think about things. I must say that you all work really well with each other and I like observing you working together.
    Mrs Mac

  9. I definitely learn by doing. I have very few instruction manuals that have ever been opened!(Occasionally, as the very, very last option, I might open a manual to the trouble shooting section to solve a problem!) Sometimes I find it helpful to work through new learning with somebody so that I can talk through any problems or things I don't understand. Do you like working with others when learning new things?
    Great blog Middles
    from Mrs Swann

  10. Hi Middles, I definately learn best by doing. When I physically see something, I find it easier to remember because I can then picture it in my mind!

    I love your blog Middles! Keep up the great work. -Pauline

  11. What an amazing experience Middles - to be able to handle sheep's brains in class!
    I think my learning style is to watch others and then to have a go at something myself. I also like to ask questions when I'm not sure. I also like reading instructions and trying it myself.

    Ms Scott

  12. I can't believe you got to dissect brains in grade 3/4, I did not get to do anything like that until I was in high school. It looks like you had fun and are learning lots about the brain and how we learn.

    Fiona (Amber's mum)

  13. Hi
    Thank you very much for visiting our blog - you are lucky to have a grant to help with your photography work; I hope you have fun deciding how to spend it!

    You asked how many children we have in the school - the answer is 11. We are aged from 5 to 11.

    I know that learning from each other is very important for us; sometimes people assume it is just the younger ones who learn from the older ones but that is far from the truth. Everyone is encouraged to put forward their ideas and often it is an idea from a younger one that can spark one of the older ones to new thinking and lead them to come up with new ideas or a plan.

  14. Hi Marg Yore,

    Thanks so much for your comment on my blog!!

    I think it's great that you take your students to sing at a nursing home!!
    Last year I went to New Zealand on a choir trip and one of our performances was at a nursing home. They were such a great crowd that we had our best performance and made our principal and teacher cry!! :D

    Thanks again,
    Millie :D

  15. Hi Marg! Thanks for your comment on my blog!

    Yuk! I think that would be quite the discusting lesson, disecting a sheep's brain but what you would learn! I think it is fantstic! One class in our school did the exact thing one year! I remember helping the teacher carry the brains to the classroom!

    Keep up the fantastic work!

  16. I love learning about the brain. It feels a bit squishy doesn't it??
    Ask me about 'Brain Gym' to get both sides of your brain working, so you can learn well.
    I learn best by being shown and doing it, so i am a mixture of a 'visual' (seeing) learner and 'kinesthetic'(doing) learner!
    See you soon
    from Mrs Bellesini :)

  17. Wow, what a fabulous learning experience. I'm going to share this with my class tomorrow. Thank you for posting this!
    I am a visual learner, so I learn best by watching. But I'm a little kinesthetic I like to try things out when learning.
    Sounds like you have a wonderful class!
    Mrs. Dahl
    Oklahoma, USA