March means basketball and those brackets we’ll soon be completing! Here at Orange Grove, we have been learning a different kind of bracketing, or compartmentalizing.
Webster's Dictionary defines compartmentalize as:
· To separate (something) into sections or categories
· To separate (two or more things) from each other
· To put (something) in a place that is separate from other things.
What does this mean in terms of supporting our students attain optimal learning?
It means teaching them to put aside thoughts that disrupt or inhibit the learning at hand. For example, while in math class, thoughts should be focused only on math, not an English assignment, the soccer game after school, or a video game. According to Marzano and Pickering, bracketing is a process of maintaining focus and attention by consciously blocking out distractions. They suggest doing this by first, recognizing when it’s time to pay attention, next acknowledging distracting thoughts and mentally framing or “bracketing” them, then finally, making a commitment to avoid thinking about the distracting thoughts. Examples of bracketing may include:
· Use self-talk. (“I won’t think about it now”)
· Designate a later time to think about it. (“I will think about it at the end of class”)
· Mentally picture pushing the distracting thoughts out of their head.
Have a conversation with your child about this valuable skill and give examples of how compartmentalizing benefits you in your daily life. Assisting students to compartmentalize their thoughts and focus only on what is before them will help streamline learning and focus.
As always, contact us for more information on this or any concern/question we can help you with.
Mary Brannen 6th grade Counselor
Caryl Altman, 7th & 8th grade Counselor
Source: Dimensions of Learning, Robert J. Marzano and Debra J. Pickering, 1997 McREL