BrainQUEST: A Brain Awareness Extravaganza

On Saturday, March 9th, the elementary gifted program is hosting an event we call BrainQUEST: Explore Your Amazing Brain! At our local mall. Each gifted classroom is hosting a different station with hands on activities about the brain. The stations include Nifty Neurons – kids learn about neurons and make a model of a neuron, Your Amazing Brain – kids learn about the parts of the brain and make brain hats, Can You Believe Your Eyes – kids learn about optical illusions and make a flip book, Listen Up! – kids learn about the importance of following directions and have to build a Lego construction following verbal instructions, Do You See What I See? – kids make inkblots and decide what they see in their pictures, The Nose Knows – kids match up vials containing different scents, Do the Stroop! – kids do the stroop test to see how the brain deals with conflicting information, Daily Doozies – kids complete brain puzzlers to keep their brains sharp, Memory Maters – kids complete a memory game, Let Your Fingers Do the Looking – kids identify mystery objects using touch. Also a local hospital has a display about the importance of diet, exercise, and sleep to keep your brain healthy, and biology majors from a local college have a display of different animal brains. Whew! It’s going to be a busy time! We have a program where students must complete 6 stations to receive a brain goodie bag filled with brain pencils, brain erasers, a brain stress ball, a brain coloring book, brain stickers, a brain button, and free coupons to things in the mall. Next week I’ll have lots of pictures to post showing everything from the event, so be sure to check back.
That’s all for today! Remember to always Keep ’em Thinking!
Susan Morrow

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Brain Awareness Week Activities

This year the gifted specialists are teaching a unit on the brain.  It has been so much fun!  Students have learned about different types of intelligence, basic brain biology, neurtransmission, and how emotions, diet, sleep, and exercise affect learning and memory. To kick off National Brain Awareness Week which is March 11-17th, 2013, the gifted students will be sponsoring a huge Brain QUEST at a local mall on the Saturday, March 9th.  Each gifted classroom will have a different interactive exhibit.  Some of the exhibits include making models of neurons, playing memory games, doing the stroop test experiment, making optical illusions,  identifying smells,  and making brain hats.  One of the gifted specialists showed me the game Operation Brain Surgery by Milton Bradley which she got at a yard sale for $2.00.  It was missing some of the parts, but all we were interested in was the head.  We’re going to use it at the exhibit on touch.  You see the head has an opening at the top which you put your hand through to feel objects which are placed inside.  So, to teach about the sense of touch at our Brain QUEST exhibit, we are going to place various objects into the head and students will have to use the sense of touch to identify them.  One head won’t be enough for our exhibit, so I starting researching the game online and of course I discovered it is no longer being made.  So, my next step was Ebay!  There I found one of the games also missing some parts, for under $10.00, so I snatched it up!  I’m hoping to find one more at a great deal so we will have three for our exhibit.

I think there are all sorts of ways you could use this head in your classroom.  One idea is to have a center called What’s on You Mind? and inside you could have journal prompts such as Wondering questionsWhat if? questions, or Would You Rather? questions.   Students could stick their hand into the head and pull out a prompt and complete it in their journals.  A great idea for those early finishers. Well, that is all for today!  Always remember….

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