Learning About Our Brains

Mrs. Earles came to teach us about self-regulation today. How does our brain work? There are 100 billion neurons in our brains and they are really powerful. They carry messages in our brains. Our neurons connect to each other and make paths as we learn things. If you practice the new things you learn, the connections become faster.

It was hard to count to 10 when we first started learning, but now is easy because we have practiced. A baby has 100 billion neurons, but they haven’t made connections yet.

A baby’s brain changes, grows and makes connections. That is called Neuroplasticity.

Self-regulation involves three parts of your brain. The prefrontal cortex (in the front of our brain…about the size of a fist) is the thinking center. It helps us learn, pay attention and make decisions. The hippocampus (right  behind our ears) is responsible for storing all of our memories, kind of like a filing cabinet. The amygdala (in front of our ears) is like the security guard of our brain. It helps to keep us safe. We remember the words fight, flight or freeze when our amygdala works for us. 

Our brain takes in information from our five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. When we are feeling happy and calm, our amygdala relaxes. If we are stressed or afraid, our amygdala tells our brain that we need to fight, flight or freeze.

What can we do if we have a reaction to a stressful situation and our amygdala is giving us false information that we should be stressed or scared when we really shouldn’t? We can practice self-regulation.

Next time Mrs. Earles will teach us about zones of regulation.

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