2016 Brain Awareness Virtual Expo!

Indian Creek School (ICS) is part of a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. As an official partner of The Dana Foundation’s Brain Awareness initiative, we launched “Smarter Teaching, Better Learning: Neuroscience Research in Action at Indian Creek School” on January 5, 2015. This year, ICS is excited to continue the momentum as we celebrate Brain Awareness Week 2016! We all know that Indian Creek School is a “brain school.” Brain Awareness Week gives us the opportunity to highlight the neuroscience research that goes into the incredible teaching and learning that happens here every day! On this page, we will gather a collection of brain facts, neuroscience articles written by ICS faculty, informative videos created by students and teachers, and a gallery of brain-related student work.

Brain Rules

Indian Creek teachers study the Brain Rules, based on the book Brain Rules, by John Medina, and incorporate these neuroscience techniques into their lessons.  (Click on the image below to see how ICS incorporates the Brain Rules.)

Brain Rules Reference Guide from Brain Rules by John Medina

1. Exercise: Exercise boosts brain power.

2. Survival: The human brain evolved too.

3. Wiring: Every brain is wired differently.

4. Attention: We don’t pay attention to boring things.

5. Memory: Repeat to remember.

6. Sleep: Sleep well, think well.

7. Stress: Stressed brains don’t learn the same way.

8. Sensory Integration: Stimulate more of the senses.

9. Vision: Vision trumps all other senses.

10. Music: Study or Listen to boost cognition 

11. Gender: Male and female brains are different.

12. Exploration: We are powerful and natural explorers.

Looking for a “Brain Rules” refresher?  Let Mr. Langrick’s first through third grade students help you out (with a little help from some friends!)

“Teachers Use Brain Rules Too!” by Upper School teachers Mr. Monack & Mr. Szech! 

As we know, the brain is an amazing and mysterious organ. As we also know, the more we know about the brain, the better teachers and learners we become! Please enjoy this informative, entertaining, and just plain awesome video about how teachers use John Medina’s Brain Rules in their classrooms and in life to lead to better cognitive functioning.

All Kinds of Minds (AKOM) Neurodevelopmental Constructs

Indian Creek teachers are also AKOM certified and incorporate the neurodevelopmental constructs into their classrooms. These techniques result in a more effective educational experience for learners of all types.  (Click on the image to the right to see how ICS incorporates the AKOM constructs.)Let the Class of 2023 guide you through the constructs:

AKOM Neurodevelopmental Constructs Reference Guide 

Attention: Maintaining mental energy for learning and work; absorbing and filtering incoming information; overseeing the quality of academic output and behavior.

Higher Order Cognition (Complex Thinking): Understands concepts; evaluating products, ideas, and opinions; generating original ideas; applying logical approaches to complex problems.

Language (Understanding and Using Words): Understands incoming oral and written information; communicating ideas orally and in writing.

Memory: Briefly recording new information; mentally juggling information while using it to complete a task; storing and then recalling information at a later time.

Neuromotor Functions (Controlling Movement): Using large muscles in a coordinated manner; using finger and hand movements; coordinating muscles needed for handwriting.


Social Cognition (Making and Keeping Friends): Knowing what to talk about, when, with whom, and for how long; working and playing with others in a cooperative manner; nurturing positive relationships with influential people.

Spatial Ordering (Visual Thinking): Understands information that is presented visually (e.g., maps, graphs, symbols); generating products that are visual; organizing materials and space.

Temporal-Sequential Ordering (Keeping track of Time/Order): Understands the order of steps, events, or other sequences; generating products arranged in meaningful order; organizingtime and schedules.


Games! Games! Games!

by Indian Creek Lower School Director of Early Childhood Barbara Oglesbee

We know human beings have been playing games for thousands of years. Stone and shell game pieces have been discovered in caves as far back as 5000 B.C. Many cultures have used games to teach their children essential life skills of the group for even longer, such as native peoples of Maryland playing lacrosse to rehearse hunting skills. Teachers have used games in their classrooms for as long as most of us can remember. Often games have been used as a break, reward or diversionary practice, yet the use of games as an educational practice has been a common tool. As in many aspects of education, the study of neuroscience often confirms what we have already been doing in education and, perhaps more importantly, teaches us why the practice is effective and how we might expand its use. Wandering the halls of Indian Creek you will see evidence of game playing in all grade levels. Click here to read Mrs. Oglesbee’s article about the value of using games as an educational tool.

Amygdala for President!

Mrs. Pratt’s sixth grade Health students have created an entertaining and informative set of Brain Part Campaign posters. Each student was tasked with convincing their audience that their chosen area of the brain is the most important. Click here to view a gallery of posters, and let us know which campaign you think is the most convincing!

Butterflies in your Stomach???

Seventh Grade Lymbic System Emotion Art

Research shows that integrating arts into the classroom improves learning because more parts of the brain are used to process the information. Mrs. Pratt’s seventh grade Health students incorporated this neuroeducation technique into their studies of the Limbic System to create artistic depictions of emotions. Take a look at this photo gallery and see if you can guess which pieces represent: Furious, Relaxed, Excited, Violent, Sad, Angry, OCD, Hurt, Helpless, Peaceful, Depressed, Positive, Bright, Disappointed, Calm, Fascinated, Angry, Grateful, Happy, Devastated, and Confused.
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