Imagine. There are 3 days left before you take a major exam. Figures are jiggling on the page, your eyes are tired and your brain hurts. You say to yourself … there has to be a better way2learn! And you would be right.

For Better Ways you need to understand and be-friend your brain. It’s the most incredible word and figure processor, with something like 100 billion neurons, each firing about 200 times a second. And each is connected in synapse networks to around 1000 more. But it is not a machine; it has human needs, for basics like 7 hours sleep every night and 2 litres of water a day. To an extent, it even has human preferences too!

Take repetition. Opinions vary on how many times to repeat something new. A pre-school Head teacher in our interview (Media 2 or 3?) says at least 7 goes, before a young child has embedded a new word. The foreign language experts, Memrise, say 30 times. It seems logical, the more complex the topic the more times we need to go over it. However,  reading and re-reading is not the best way. Research shows that listening to spoken words, especially short sections with key words emphasised, is way more effective.

Our CRRACKLES approach goes through stages: –

C   Creative. Get Creative with the key words and concepts. Turn them into rhymes or mnemonics, draw them into shapes or colours … the more senses involved the better.

RR  Before you Repeat, invent Rhymes and rehearse with a beat or Rhythm. This kind of repetition is much more interesting & effective (a secret known to teachers 100 years ago!)

A  Be Active. Bring repetitive movement, of some parts of the body, into play with the rhythm. Work actions, like hammering, sawing, turning a wheel, stirring a cake mix,. All of those kinds of actions are good to ‘hammer’ in the learning.

C  Collaborate. We can’t always study within a group situation, but deeper learning tends to happen if there is a team element, leading to a group performance.

K Add more movement, such as hopping, skipping, jogging, jumping. Even the simplest, like clapping hands brings in the Kinaesthetic aspect to your learning.

LE  Learning is happening, on multiple levels.

S  Brought together in performance of a Story or a Song, or both.