Saturday, December 31, 2011

My favourite recipe : "Banana fritters" / "Pisang goreng"


Pisang goreng is a snack food mostly found throughout Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. It is usually consumed as a snack during tea time. I read somewhere that historically, it is introduced in 1511 by the Portuguese who had banana fritters as a breakfast staple. The Portuguese introduced flour for the first time into the Malay diet which enabled fritters to be cooked. 

Nowadays, you can get it almost everywhere by the roadside. The only thing that differs are the taste. You can even buy a pre-mix flour produced by Adabi. But most people prefer to mix their own batter. 

It is interesting to note that one of the popular ingredient calls for the use of kapur. It is also known as kapur makan or kapur sireh. It is a common ingredient in the preparation of traditional Malay kuih. Kapur functioned as thickener and is used to make fritters crunchy. Chemically, it is another from of calcium carbonate. Use is sparingly though; little can help build stronger bones but too much can contribute to kidney stones!

There are many variations of this recipe. Here are some of them.

What you need:

4 bananas (pisang raja is recommended)
1 tablespoon of rice flour
1 tablespoon of wheat flour
1 tablespoon of corn starch
Salt to taste
A pinch of powdered turmeric for colour
8 tablespoon of water (more if necessary)
1 pinch of kapur makan

What to do:

Sieve all the flour. Mix it all together until you get a consistency similar to evaporated milk. Dip banana in the batter and deep fry to golden.

Tips and secrets shared

Some like their fritters crunchy. The problem with most fritters are they tend to get soft when cooled. Few years ago, there was a controversy on the claimed usage of plastic bags which was added in the frying fat just to make it crunchy. I do not know whether it is true or not but I stopped my consumption of banana fritters then. Later, suspicion on such practice subsided and banana fritters is on the roll again. I guess, not every banana fritters seller in this world is sick-minded.

Here is tip from a makcik from Kelantan who sells banana fritters. She fries the bananas twice. Meaning, dip in the batter and then fry. After that, dip it in the batter again and fry for the second time. The result is a crunchy fritter!

Another recipe calls for the use of cooking oil in the batter. Mix a pinch of salt with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.   Mix wheat flour and rice flour together with the salty oil and mix water until you get the right consistency.

This next recipe calls for the use of biskut lemak or cream crackers! A stall owner uses this as her secret special ingredient. You need to crushed it finely and mix into the batter. I have not try it out myself tough.

The next variation also comes from another stall owner. In the usual mixture of wheat flour and rice flour, add in an egg and a little amount of hot oil. After we mix the batter, dip the banana and fry. Alternatively, you can use margarine to substitute the oil. The recipe for 1 bowl of batter calls for the use of 2 tablespoons of fat.

A friend whose mum used to sell banana fritters shared this recipe. Mix rice flour with an egg, half tablespoon of margarine, water and a pinch of kapur. The recipe guarantees crunchy fritters.

Another recipe is a family secret passed on to generations. The recipe calls for a mix of a pinch of kapur, salt, an egg, shredded coconut, rice flour and water. Dip banana and fry till golden.
Sometimes, adding an inviting aroma can help. One stall owner claims that she uses rose essence in the batter mixture to improve the aroma.

My mum goes the extra mile. She will wash the rice grains, dry it out in the hot sun and pound it until fine. That alone will take hours but the banana fritters gone in 60 seconds, ironic isn't it? But believe me, it does make a difference with fresh rice flour!

I believe that all tips and recipes above are practical and will yield different yet tasteful banana fritters. Do have a try and make necessary adjustments. Share with us your success stories!

As long as you do not mix plastic bags in the frying oil, I am all for goreng pisang!



Photo credit:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1039/546642934_f92187873b.jpg
http://micmic.store247.my/media/catalog/product/cache/18/image/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/f/i/file_66_2.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3061/2435403669_3d65379510.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_jTQNmLGBIFU/Rzm91QVKdpI/AAAAAAAABhA/qURnisPVZXQ/s400/crispy.gif
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ZGZ43TYaMrY/TEbquiMvRLI/AAAAAAAABho/kqm1fg-7XOg/s1600/DSC01611.JPG
http://www.singaporegrocerystore.com/2050-1518-thickbox/planta-margerine-1kg.jpg
http://www.rasa.com.my/images/glosari/KELAPA_PARUT.JPG

Penggunaan “Clip Art” dan Grafik untuk menambah baik P&P

Gunakan pautan di bawah untuk anda masuk ke laman-laman web yang menawarkan pelbagai “clip art” dan grafik pendidikan.
http://ginaotto.com/clipartgraphics.html

Salah satu dari laman sesawang yang agak popular ialah http://pics.tech4learning.com/
Berikut adalah maklumat pengenalan tentang Pics4Learning :

“Pics4Learning is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students. The Pics4Learning collection consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers. Unlike many Internet sites, permission has been granted for teachers and students to use all of the images in the Pics4Learning collection.”

 

saturn1_thumb neptune_thumb venus_thumb jupiter_gany_thumb
Dari kiri ke kanan : Zuhal, Neptun, Zuhrah dan Musytari
lionhead_thumb shark01_thumb tigerhead21_thumb whitefacedmonkeys_thumb
Dari kiri ke kanan : singa, jerung, harimau dan kera muka putih.
Semoga maklumat ini dapat memudahkan para guru dan adik-adik, menambahbaik pengajaran dan pembelajaran tidak kira di sekolah atau pun di rumah!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tip untuk ibu bapa menggalakkan anak mempelajari matematik

Kini, sudah menjadi satu trend untuk ibu bapa menghantar anak ke pusat pembelajaran mental arithmetic dengan harapan anak-anak mempunyai kemahiran menghitung dan seterusnya mendapat kejayaan cemerlang di dalam subjek matematik.

Namun begitu, selepas beberapa lama mereka mendapati anak mereka pandai mengira tetapi gagal menyelesaikan masalah berbentuk ayat dan gambar rajah. Lebih mendukacitakan, mereka juga gagal menyelesaikan masalah matematik yang berhubungkait dengan kehidupan seharian.

Matematik bukan hanya sekadar menghitung sahaja. Penguasaan mental arithmetic pula tidak berkait dengan kebolehan menyelesaikan masalah matematik sama ada berbentuk simbol, ayat atau gambar rajah. Sebenarnya, kebolehan ini boleh dikuasai dengan bantuan ibu bapa tanpa mengeluarkan wang untuk menghantar anak mereka mempelajari mental arithmetic.

Bagaimanakah caranya untuk ibu bapa menggalakkan dan membantu anak-anak mempelajari matematik di rumah?

Apabila kita menyelasaikan masalah tentang operasi tambah dan tolak, cuba kita perhatikan di tahap manakah anak-anak kita menghadapi kesukaran. Jika mereka tiada masalah menambah menggunakan angka kecil seperti 1, 2 dan 3, berilah latihan yang sewajarnya supaya mereka boleh menambah angka yang lebih besar seperti 7, 8 dan 9 dan sebagainya. 

Ini boleh dilakukan secara perlahan-lahan dan dengan cara latih tubi. Selepas beberapa lama, mereka pasti akan nampak corak atau pola matematik yang tertentu. Ini seterusnya akan menghasilkan pemahaman yang sewajarnya. 

Ibu bapa juga boleh menggunakan objek yang mudah didapati, murah dan biasa digunakan di dalam kehidupan seharian. Contoh-contoh objek itu termasuklah kayu aiskrim, butang, cawan plastik dan sebagainya. Ini akan memudahkan mereka melihat bagaimana operasi ini membuahkan jawapan yang sewajarnya.

Jika ibu bapa ingin mengetahui dengan lebih lanjut tentang cara-cara untuk membantu anak mereka, luangkanlah juga sedikit masa untuk merujuk kepada pelbagai sumber yang ada. Contoh sumber idea termasuklah dari internet. Gunakanlah kata kunci pencarian yang mudah seperti "fun maths learning", "maths at home" dan "hands-on mathematics". Ada pelbagai laman sesawang di dalam internet yang menawarkan idea untuk aktiviti matematik di rumah dan kebanyakannya adalah percuma!

Untuk pemilik iPad pula, ada pelbagai apps yang berkhususkan pendidikan matematik. Antara pilihan kegemaran saya termasuklah "Math Bingo", "Rocket Math" dan "Math Board". Carilah pelbagai lagi apps dan ulasan tentangnya di internet dengan menggunakan kata kunci "maths ipad apps".

Selain dari rujukan internet, ibu bapa juga boleh merujuk kepada pelbagai buku yang menawarkan idea-idea untuk membantu anak anda mempelajari matematik dengan seronok dan berkesan. Malang sekali dilihat bahawa sumber yang di dalam bahasa Malaysia sangat berkurangan. Walau bagaimanapun, usah gusar kerana buku berbahasa Inggeris yang bertemakan matematik boleh di dapati dengan banyaknya di kedai-kedai buku utama seperti Kinokuniya.

Ibu bapa juga boleh mencadangkan guru Matematik untuk mengendalikan bengkel pendidikan matematik untuk ibu bapa. Program yang juga dikenali sebagai family maths (matematik untuk seisi keluarga). Ini bertujuan memberi pendedahan kepada ibu bapa dalam membantu anak-anak mereka bukan sahaja menguasai matematik tetapi menggalak kemahiran berfikir di kalangan anak-anak. 

Saya pernah menghadiri sebuah persidangan untuk pendidik pada tahun 2009 di mana seorang pensyarah universiti di Western Australia berkongsi tentang kejayaan inisiatif ini. Apabila kita didedahkan dengan kemahiran untuk membantu anak-anak mempelajari matematik, ini akan sedikit sebanyak membantu anak-anak berkebolehan untuk berfikir secara kreatif dan kritis. Kebolehan ini seterusnya amat berguna untuk anak-anak kita untuk menyelesaikan pelbagai permasaalahan matematik yang melibatkan ayat, gambar rajah dan simbol dan bukan sahaja masalah yang melibatkan penghitungan.

Konsep bermain sambil belajar juga boleh dipraktikkan melalui permainan santai yang bertemakan matematik. Mereka bukan sahaja dapat belajar, berseronok dan memupuk semangat kerjasama tetapi yang paling berharga ialah peluang untuk bermesra dengan anda. Antara permainan yang menggalakkan aritmetik mudah ialah "Snake and Ladder"  dan "Ludo". Cubalah "Domino"  untuk pelbagai skil matematik dan penggunaan strategi dalam penyelesaian masalah dan cubalah "Monopoly" untuk melatih anak-anak dalam penghitungan wang. 


Jika anda ingin mengasah kreativiti anda, cuba hasilkan mainan berpapan atau board game anda sendiri dengan menggunakan bahan yang sedia ada. Ia tidak perlu rumit, apa yang penting adalah kriteria yang ditentukan untuk memenangi permainan ini dan bagaimana untuk mencapai kriteria tersebut. Ciptakan beberapa halangan untuk menambahkan cabaran dan keseronokan untuk seisi keluarga!

Akhir sekali, kaitkan matematik dengan kehidupan seharian kita. Ada pelbagai cara untuk kita "membudayakan" matematik di rumah.  Contohnya, ibu bapa boleh melibatkan anak-anak dalam menghitung semasa membuat pembelian di kedai, bersama-sama menghitung elaun dan perbelanjaan bulanan rumah, melibatkan mereka di dalam aktiviti sukatan semasa memasak dan bermacam-macam lagi. Satu lagi aktiviti yang mudah ialah mengisikan objek di dalam botol atau balang dan meminta anak kita untuk meneka berapakah jumlah objek atau berat botol itu. Aktiviti ini nampak mudah tetapi jika dijalankan dengan betul, ia dapat membantu anak-anak kita di dalam membuat anggaran  atau estimation

Aktiviti-aktiviti sebegini Ini bukan sahaja dapat melatih anak-anak membentuk pemikiran Matematik berdasarkan cerapan tetapi juga dalam mengenali pola dan membuat kesimpulan. Semua ini membawa kepada pendekatan dalam pemikiran Matematik.

Akhir sekali, marilah kita membuka pemikiran anak-anak kita dengan membawa kepada pendekatan yang lebih luas. Bersama-samalah kita elakkan dari persepsi matematik hanya terhad kepada nombor perhitungan dan kecemerlangan peperiksaan sahaja.


Photo credit:

http://technotip.org/wp-content/uploads/tips/maths/maths-problems-.gif
http://www.teachthis.com.au/images/uploads/products/watermarked/1253955392Maths-Problem-Solving-Cards.jpg
http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/cga/lowres/cgan1331l.jpg
http://s1.hubimg.com/u/638628_f260.jpg
http://i551.photobucket.com/albums/ii463/djtobey_album/math/toss-across.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1175/1339907948_d6532d4f26.jpg
http://www.iplaymathgames.com/math-games-store/images/math-games-with-cards.jpg
http://ipad.appfinders.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/154.jpg
http://a3.mzstatic.com/us/r1000/086/Purple/4a/31/db/mzl.kgzezebs.480x480-75.jpg
http://www.letstalktablets.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/giggle-ghosts-ipad-childrens-math-game.jpg
http://www.mediabistro.com/ebooknewser/files/2011/08/mzl.vxjzpauu.480x480-75.jpg
http://rainbowresource.com/products/015116.jpg
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FAO466VxL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg
http://teachers.scholarschoice.ca/images/products/25/Instant-Math-Games-That-Teach-Book-N5392_XL.jpg
http://www.education.vic.gov.au/images/content/studentlearning/parentchildrenactivity.jpg
https://www.hbe.com.au/workflow/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/250x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/e/y/eye0121.jpg
http://i1-scripts.softpedia-static.com/screenshots/Snakes-Ladders-Game-18246.png
http://www.dreamstime.com/ludo-print-gift-or-play-thumb4433972.jpg
http://www.blubrry.com/bdata/coverart/bethedomino.jpg
http://www.thinkgeek.com/images/products/additional/carousel/cd9b_nintendo_monopoly_new_inplay.jpg
http://www.funmathsgames123.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/board-game-book2.jpg
http://1st-kidsgames.com/images/float/math-fun-games.jpg
http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/IMG_0499.jpg
http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/hsc1946l.jpg


Thursday, December 29, 2011

7 tips to captivating landscape photos

Here are some tips on landscape photography from the landscape and adventure-sport photographer Tom Bol :


1. Consider 3 dimension image


Consider what Tom calls as visual handrail. This is done by considering all the things happening in the foreground that lead the eye to the subject on focus.


Give it three dimensions by having good foreground, middle ground and background. For an example, It is the blending of the foliage in the foreground, the mid-distance lake, and the distant cloud-shrouded mountains that give the photo its depth.


And as another example, when we envision a distant mountains, consider all of the things happening in the foreground that lead the eye to the mountains. It's about having lots of depth of field, and having elements front and center of your frame that lead you the background.


Two picture perfect landscape photos by Helen Nicholson, from dailymail.co.uk



2. Use wide-angle lenses


The majority of Tom’s landscapes are shot with a 14mm to 24 mm zoom lens at F16. That is the same as it would be on a 35mm camera because his Nikon D3s has a 35mm-size sensor. You would need an even wider lens to get the same effect on a camera with a smaller sensor.


Wide-angle lenses not only take in more real estate, they inherently keep more of the near and far in focus at the same time.


Waterfalls from basedigitalphotography.com


3. Keep still and stable


Reduce vibrations for a sharp focus image. Landscapes are all about getting sharp detail foreground and background, which usually requires a shutter speed on the slow side. Better still, use a tripod.


Vivid multi-coloured flowers amidst snowy mountains from naturedesktopnexus.com


4. Be patient for the right moment


When shooting at a lower shutter speed on windy days, the undulating objects in the foreground like flowers or trees in the distance can blur. Tom advices photographers to be patient. If not, Tom advices to look for things in the foreground that aren't in the wind, likes rocks, sand. Alternatively, you can speed up your shutter action.


Wildflowers from whatdigitalcamera.com


5. Let the water whirl


Streams and waterfalls often benefit from motion blur. If it's moving water, shoot in slow speeds to make the water look silky.



South Falls, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon from galerainwater.com

6. Work with available light


When you are not photographing the subject, you are photographing the light on the subject. How do you light distant peaks with your flash, when light is bad?


Tom advices to choose a little scene. For an example, choose a nearby interesting rounded rocks and seaweed that works great with available light. Alternatively, we can do something in post-production to make it interesting like increasing the contrast or adding shot sepia tone later in Photoshop.


St.Mary's Lighthouse in low light from billiecurryphotography.co.uk


7. Filter the light


There is no right formula for too much light or too little light. But if you want to chronicle your whole vacation, you can't just shoot at the "golden hour" at dusk and dawn. Tom feels that we capture some great images in full sunlight. A lot of times when oceans get penetration from overhead light it really changes the look. A circular polarizing filter can remove reflections from water and add rich texture to clouds, rocks and plants.


Comparison of photos with CPL from oneslidephotography.com


And the last words...


Do not feel bad if your first tries don't quite measure up. Although it can happen, great shots are seldom a matter of lucking into the right place at the right time, but are more often a matter of persistence.


Tom finalised by saying, "What separates the good landscape photographers and the best in the business, is the best will go to the most popular places, but they go back again and again until the conditions are right,"


Are you planning any vacation soon?



Based on the original article "Seven Tips to Better Landscape Photos" by Roy Furchgott, NY Times.


 

My favourite recipe : "Mi Bandung" / "Bandung Noodles"

There are so many variations of this favourite speciality. I tried a few and made some improvisations. It is very quick and easy to make too as most of the ingredients you should already have in your kitchen.

What you need:

1 pack yellow noodles (blanched with hot water)

100 grams medium-sized prawns

100 grams beef (sliced thinly)

2 eggs

2 tablespoons chilli paste

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon chilli ketchup

1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 onions (cut into 4)

4 red onions (pound)

2 cloves garlic (pound)

1 cube of chicken stock

Salt, pepper and sugar to taste

Vegetable cutlets (cauliflower, carrot, baby corns)

1 tomato (cut into 6 wedges)

5 cups of water

3 tablespoons of oil

Chopped spring onions and chinese celery for garnishing

Fried shallots for garnishing

Tofu, fried and cut into small squares for garnishing

Half-cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes as thickener (optional)

What to do:

1. Heat the oil. Fry the pounded red onions and garlic and chilli paste 

2. Pour in tomato puree, tomato and chilli ketchup, oyster sauce, soy sauce and cut onions. Stir well.

3. Toss in beef and pour in water. When the beef is cooked, you can add in prawns.

4. Pour in more water and let it boil. Toss in the vegetables and cube stock. Add in salt, pepper and sugar to taste. If you opted to use the sweet potatoes, this is the stage to mix it in.

5. Toss in the prawns. Put the eggs in and cook in slow heat. When the eggs are cooked and the gravy is thick, it is ready.

6. Serve with noodles and garnish well.

Estimated cooking time: 30 minutes

Estimated yield: serves 6 people

 

Also in Bahasa Malaysia

 

Apa yang anda perlukan:

1 pek mi kuning (basuh dan celur)

100 grams udang basah sederhana besar

100 grams daging (hiris nipis)

2 biji telur

2 sudu besar cili kisar

2 sudu besar sos tiram

2 sudu besar kicap cair

1 sudu besar sos cili

1 sudu besar sos tomato

1 sudu besar puri tomato

1 biji bawang besar (dibelah 4)

4 biji bawang merah (tumbuk lumat)

2 ulas bawang putih (tumbuk lumat)

1 kiub pati ayam

Garam, lada sulah dan gula secukup rasa

Sedikit sayuran yang dipotong kecil (bunga kobis, lobak merah, jagung kecil)

I biji tomato (dibelah 6)

5 cawan air

3 sudu besar minyak masak

Daun sup dan daun bawang yang dihiris untuk hiasan

Bawang goreng untuk hiasan

Tauhu goreng yang dipotong kiub untuk hiasan

Setengah cawan keledek, dimasak dan dilenyek (opsyenal)

Apa yang perlu dibuat:

1. Panaskan minyak dan tumis bahan yang ditumbuk dan cili kisar sehingga wangi.

2. Masukkan puri tomato, sos tomato, tiram dan cili, kicap dan akhir sekali bawang besar. Kacau rata.

3. Masukkan daging dan tuangkan sedikit air. Masak sehingga daging empuk.

4. Masukkan air lagi. Selepas mendidih, masukkan sayuran dan kiub pati ayam. Tambahkan garam, lada sulah dan gula secukup rasa. Jika anda menggunakan ubi keledek, masukkannya sekarang.

5. Masukkan udang. Pecahkan telur ke dalam kuah dan masak dengan api yang perlahan. Apabila telur sudah masak dan kuah agak pekat, kuah mi bandung anda sudah sedia.

Anggaran masa memasak: 30 minit

Anggaran hasil: 6 hidangan

 

Photo credit :

Nor Azhar Ishak Personal Photo Collection

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

12 Brain Rules by John Medina, a knowledge sharing

A great speaker and a funny one too!


Developmental molecular biologist John Medina admits that we do not know much about how aour brains work. In fact, if we ever figured out exactly how it did this, that would be a major achievement! 

In his book, "Brain Rules", he writes about how the brain works and how we can use ours better. He lays out 12 overarching principles or rules, that he believes can be applied to our daily lives to help us to better teach, learn, conduct business and parent. Medina decided to write his book as a way to apply what he says is grounded neuroscience with real-world applications.


Now became one of my favourite book

I had the opportunity to attend a lecture also known as "2011 Asia HRD Congress : Executive Workshop on 12 Brain Rules - The Forgotten Known Secrets to Survive and Thrive by John Medina last May 2011. It was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur. The workshop aims to give participants an in-depth understanding on how the brain works for impactful learning and development. By exploring and applying this practical approach, hopefully, we can achieve outstanding performance which enables us to survive and thrive in this ever challenging world.


The zombies of PvsZ food for thought!

John Medina, is on the faculty of the University of Washington Medical School's bioengineering department and directs the Brain Center for Applied Learning at Seattle Pacific University.

Interestingly, he quoted, "If you wanted to design a learning environment that was directly opposed to what the brain is good at doing, you'd settle on a traditional American classroom or one of those cubicles people have to work in." Unfortunately, this happens almost everywhere else in the world!

He went on to introduce his rule No.1 which is, "Exercise boosts brain power", and further explains that studies show that our brains still thrive on movement and that exercise boosts concentration and problem-solving. He lamented on lack of physical-education activities at schools, and calls for employers to encourage walking meetings!

Medina himself chugs along on a treadmill while doing computer work. The Harvard Business Review named his concepts for incorporating treadmills into the workplace as one of its "Breakthrough Ideas for 2008." 

John Medina also suggested that the paradigm might change if brain scientists started rubbing shoulders more with educators and executives.

In his lecture, he also advices participants that we should respect sleep, during which the brain does valuable processing; recognize the damage done by long-term stress and acknowledge that correctly timed repetition is key to lasting memory. 

I am a firm believer in multitasking. However in his lecture, John Medina debunked multitasking and claim it as myth. He further explains that multitasking robs focus, promotes inefficiency and causes mistakes. I was not very happy about this statement as my superbusy job requires me to multitask most of the time or else I am screwed. However, he gave a convincing example, talking on the cellphone while driving has caused tragedies by sapping focus and delaying reaction time.

Rule number 4 is "The brain does not like boring things" where he believes that the brain responds best to moving pictures, humourous and content that touches on emotions. It is interesting to note that that he writes for a layperson's ear even though his rules are based on studies that have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. That is what I call an examplary science communicator!

I also admired his energy, enthusiasm while he excitedly shared the wonders of the brain. He believes the brain pays sharp attention for only about 10 minutes at a time unless it is engaged on an emotional level. So after nine minutes of lecturing, he will introduce something, often a story that jolts listeners. It is his way to reboot attention spans and inject meaning before details.

I particularly like his take on teachers who inspire their students. He mentioned, "Students don't recall a teacher for being so organized. They remember the inspiring teachers. When you get that relational connection with a student, curiosity runs its natural course."


THE 12 BRAIN RULES

Rule #1 : Exercise boosts brain power (EXERCISE)

Our brains thrive on movement and exercise boosts concentration and problem-solving. 

Rule #2 : The human brain evolved, too (SURVIVAL)

Our ability to solve problems, learn from mistakes and create alliances has been the key to our survival and how we took over the world.

Rule #3 : Every brain is wired differently (WIRING)

What you do and what happens to you actually rewires it. No two people's brains store the same information in the same way in the same place. We actually have a great number of ways of being intelligent, many of which are not assessed in IQ tests.

Rule #4 : We don't pay attention to boring things (ATTENTION)

The brain responds best to moving pictures, humourous and content that touches on emotions.

Rule #5 : Repeat to remember (SHORT-TERM MEMORY)

You can improve your chances of remembering something if you reproduce the environment in which you first put it into your brain.

Rule #6 : Remember to repeat (LONG-TERM MEMORY)

Correctly timed repetition is key to lasting memory. Students should repeat and review what they learned 90 minutes to two hours later, and during school, not just at home.

Rule #7 : Sleep well, think well (SLEEP)

We should respect sleep, during which the brain does valuable processing. Taking a nap midafternoon can help make you more productive. One NASA study found pilots improved performance by a third after a nap of about 20 minutes.

Rule #8 : Stressed brain don't learn the same way (STRESS)

The brain is designed to combat short bouts of stress for an example, getting chased by a sabertooth tiger and not long-term stress that comes from an unreasonable boss or a chaotic home life.

Rule #9 : Stimulate more of the senses (SENSORY INTEGRATION)

Our senses evolved to work together. For an example, vision influences hearing and this means that we learn best if we stimulate several senses at once.

Rule #10 : Vision trumps all other senses (VISION)

Vision is our most dominant sense, taking up half of our brain resources. Consequently, we learn and remember best through written or spoken words.

Rule #11 : Male and female brains are different (GENDER)

Men's and women's brains are different structurally and biochemically. They also respond differently to acute stress. Women remember emotional details while men get the gist.

Rule #12 : We are powerful and natural explorers (EXPLORATION)

Babies learn through hands-on as they explore, theorize, test and conclude. Some parts of adult brains are just as malleable as the infants', so we can continue to create neurons and learn new things.

Note :

I will attempt to simplify my lecture notes one rule at a time with hope that you will also gain something useful for your life, work and family. For teachers, especially, I would like to attempt to give some practical ideas to be implemented in classrooms to enrich teaching and learning. Hopefully we will have an enriching 2012 and years ahead, so stay tuned!