October 14, 2012
I shared my observations about the Spanish presentations I was able to watch. Students were both brave presenters and polite, focused listeners. Discussed how note-taking can act as a focusing tool for listening if your attention as drifting. Transitioned to a brief 10 minute note-taking exercise. Reviewed all of the difficult challenges note-taking presents: practicing transitions between listening, watching, writing, thinking and participating.
I presented a brief explanation of what is cognitively happening in the brain when we take risks and engage in difficult work. Similar to working out the body, where stress on muscles breaks the muscles down and the body responds by rebuilding with bigger/better muscles, the brain responds to intellectual challenge by building increased synaptic activity between brain cells. This increased connectivity between brain cells has a direct impact on... creativity, problem solving, memory access, and processing speed. These changes can sometimes have an impact on aspects of our lives in the future... self-confidence, happiness, and/or success (defined in many different ways).