After learning more and more about the research behind cross-lateral exercises for the brain, I've become convinced that our students need to be activating the right hemisphere of the brain in math class.
The proven benefits of communication between the two hemispheres of the brain include focus, learning, memory / retention, and even relaxation.
Doodling and coloring in a left-brain oriented class like math encourages this communication across the corpus callosum, the bundle of nerve fibers that divides the two hemispheres of the brain.
An added bonus is relaxation. Just like in the new adult coloring book therapy trend, these doodle notes can help to decrease math anxiety.
Benefits of the "Doodle Note" Strategy:
Added bonuses include:
- relaxation and decreased math anxiety
- super engaged students
- excitement about "customizing" the page (They LOVE doodle days!)
- an end result that they want to pull out, show off, and reference as a study tool as much as possible because they are so proud of it
- stronger retention, leading to higher test scores
- brain boosts in other areas, such as creativity & problem solving
I've got free downloads for you to try to see how amazing these are at keeping students focused and engaged. The right brain / left brain crossover is so important in math class!
Why Visual Note-Taking Works:
This principle is called Dual Coding Theory, and is one of the biggest reasons that the doodle note strategy leads to stronger retention of lesson material.
Learn More About the Brain Benefits:
First, check out these two articles on Dual Coding theory, which supports this approach to teaching by blending text and images through visual note taking. It turns out that this is a more accurate theory than the popular "learning styles" philosophy.
Dive in to learn about why learning styles are not actually such a valid theory to teach from, and how to use dual coding, which brain research points to as a stronger model of how student brains process information:
Click the images for links!