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If your teacher uses Accelerated Learning you learn to use your brain. You learn by seeing, hearing and doing. I like the doing bits best, because I’m a doing person. I like body maths and role-play in science. It makes things sink into my brain much quicker than just listening to the teacher.’  Arvind, age 10.

 

Nicola describes her first book The ALPS Approach’ as “the book I wish I’d read when I first started teaching". Her second book, 'The ALPS Approach Resource Book' is the practical handbook that she wishes had been available as she progressed through her career.  It took her fourteen years in the classroom to develop the techniques that she describes in these books, which pull together Nicola's extensive teaching experience with Alistair Smith’s research to translate the theory into the practical. As a package, they call it the ALPSmethod™ of teaching.

 

It is hard to think of any way of learning that is not ‘brain-based.’ However, it is often difficult for the teacher in the classroom to know how to put the theory of brain-based learning into practice. ALPS draws upon examples from many different schools and classrooms. It uses the organizing metaphor of learning being a lifetime journey into the Alps. Below are the basic principles of teaching the ALPS way.

 

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Create the right environment for learning – this is called ‘Base Camp’

 

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Build self-esteem in the learner so that he or she wants to learn.

 

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Set clear and ambitious targets – these are your signposts for the journey.

 

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Use and teach memory mapping techniques.

 

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Use VAKplus to present lessons in visual, auditory and kinesthetic form.

 

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Develop the New 3Rs; Resourcefulness, Resilience and Responsibility.

 

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Be aware of the different forms of intelligence as you plan and deliver lessons.

 

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Use rhythm, melody and rhyme to consolidate learning.

 

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Use RAP- recognition, affirmation and praise - to motivate learners.

 

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Teach relaxation techniques and use music to enhance learning.

 

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Teach children to be metacognitive – to understand how they learn.

 

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Plan for regular brain breaks to maximize the use of time.

 

 

The books explain how to do all these things in detail, but if you want to find out more, click on the hyperlinks above. There are no hard and fast rules about how to begin to work using the ALPS approach. Simply try out aspects that appeal to you, and gradually work with colleagues to develop systems that work in your individual circumstances. Watch the progress of the children in your class accelerate!

 

If you want to read what children say about learning with ALPSmethod™, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Nicola J. Call