A Quick Overview of the Brain and Limbic System

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Within our brains is a region that manages emotions called the limbic system. In a typically functioning brain, the limbic system works in concert with the prefrontal cortex which is often thought of as the regulatory area of the brain.  When working in concert (and in the absence of serious danager), the limbic and prefrontal cortex of the brain allows us to manage and control our emotionsWhile these systems don’t always work perfectly together (you still lose your cool from time to time) overall everything stays in check.


For certain brains (and people) things don’t work as smoothly. Instead of the coordinated interplay between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex, the limbic system takes over, limiting the control of the frontal lobes (rational decision region). For kids (and adults) who have difficulty with their behavior, this is the problem they face.  They experience strong emotional reactions from their limbic system, without the prefrontal cortex management, and 'over react'.  



When you students have difficulty regulating their emotions, time for learning is lost.  

However, all is not lost.  A brain can be taught new skills!

New neural pathways can be created in the brain. The more we repeat a certain behavior, the stronger the corresponding pathway in the brain becomes. Convesely, when we learn a new skill, the more attention we pay to it and the more we practice it, the easier it is to do.


Goal Directed Behavior is behavior that leads to attain,ment of a specific goal or outcome. In school, the overall goal is learning.  There also are smaller goals for students throughout the day.  This means that your students need to be emotional regulated throughout their day.  In order to remain regulated, it is necessary for your students to understand and manage their emotions. You can teach them how to regulate their emotions and make good decisions. When they are emotionally regulated, they are Ready2Learn.

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