ELC students explore brain plasticity

Learning about brain plasticity in the ELC

In Gan Gefen, we have been learning about the brain over the last couple of weeks. Reading the book, ‘My Fantastic Elastic Brain’, we discovered how our brains grow and stretch when we face new experiences and learn from our mistakes.

Different areas of the brain are responsible for different abilities, like:

Amygdala- The smallest part of your brain. Controls your emotions

Pre-Frontal Cortex- It lets you make plans and decisions

Hippocampus- It works as a filling cabinet to help you store and find memories

Cerebellum- helps your muscles to coordinate your movement and your balance

We learn about the brain to better understand how it grows connections and makes new pathways (neuroplasticity) when we keep practising, as well as acknowledging that we are in charge of our emotions so that we can work towards managing them positively and being in control of them.

Through ongoing discussions, we identified basic emotions such as happy, sad and angry, and descriptive ones like lonely, worried, frustrated, excited and surprised. The children reflected on an experience where they had that emotion and what they did to feel better.

We also discussed what it means to have a growth mindset (pipe cleaner thinking) and a fixed mindset (popsicle stick thinking).

What Is a Growth Mindset?

A growth mindset is a belief that one may develop skills through deliberate efforts and tangible actions. This mindset sees intelligence and talent as qualities that may be improved over time. Children with a growth mindset understand that obstacles are vital in learning. These failures allow them to work harder, helping them stay motivated and try again.

We spoke of a magical word- YET- to add to the end of our sentences when we cannot do something YET. For eg; I can’t read YET or I can’t ride a bike YET. So although we cannot do something YET, we can keep practising and not give up!

Sali- I can’t do shoelaces yet

Olivia- I can’t swim yet

Yarden- I can’t drive car yet

Millie- I can’t scooter very well yet, but I’ll keep practising so I can get better

With our growth mindset, we have been practising and working hard on our self-help skills, as well as building on our gross and fine motor skills.

Lisa Lu
ELC Teacher