Raise test scores while restoring the joy of both teaching and learning.
Learn the “how to’s” we’ve all been waiting for. They are ALL right here.
These extremely practical tools teach us HOW TO calm students down, perk students up, and increase:
- Focused attention
- Persistence and task completion
- Self-regulated learning and adaptive behavior
- Executive function and cognitive control
- Confidence and initiative
These evidence-based tools decrease:
- Text anxiety (all anxiety)
- Impulsivity and distractibility
- Apathy and anger
- The need for behavioral redirection and discipline referrals
These time-efficient tools are an effective and immediate response to so many issues affecting classroom and school-wide morale, such as:
- The effects of stress and trauma
- Mental health issues (i.e., suicidal ideation, cutting)
- Peer conflict and bullying
- Teacher burnout
- Aggression and violence
How is Brain Charge (BC) different from the other programs out there?
- BC is NOT mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or physical exercise, though it certainly appreciates and takes from the best of these approaches
- It is NOT affiliated with any controversial entity, label or practice
- Once learned, the use of the tools of BC can be kept very private, allowing both teachers and students to regulate themselves without any shameful consequences
- The tools of BC are scientifically proven grounding resources that shift the all too prevalent “no brain state” into a “yes,” that quickly reset the jumpy, inattentive nervous system into a focused state of mind and body, ready for learning, and capable of excellent behavioral standards.
- BC is clearly created and designed by someone who has worked for decades in the very real trenches of public, as well a private, education.
Brain Charge: The K-12 Curriculum by Dr. Reggie Melrose brings much-needed self-regulation to schools and includes:
- 30 Lesson Plans
- The DVD Documentary of the curriculum in action
- Explicit Scripts
- Quick Tools
- Detailed Diagrams
- Helpful Resources (Websites, Books, Audio)
- Black Line Masters
- Individual or School License*
Use by multiple educators within a school requires a school license [+$100]
Brain Charge will help you understand the effects of stress on a child’s brain, learning and behavior. Learn how to offset these effects with simple strategies that work. This curriculum is full of easy to follow step-by-step instructions to facilitate the implementation of the 200+ page document into your working environment.
About the DVD Documentary
Enjoy Reggie at her best in this 1 hour documentary for parents and educators intent on giving their children the tools they need to finish the marathon of education with their love of learning intact. Understand the effects of stress on your child’s brain, learning and behavior. Learn how to offset these effects with simple strategies that work.
*This product is for an individual(1) use of this curriculum by a single educator and his or her students. To gain the privilege of implementing a multi-educator curriculum within your school, please purchase Brain Charge: The K-12 Curriculum (School License) which contains the required site license and multi-use permissions. Please respect copyright laws.
The “60 Seconds” Toolkit
Decreases Anxiety and Increases Achievement
Regalena Melrose, Ph.D.
This is a controlled field study of the outcome effects of a sensory-based toolkit called 60 Seconds on North American public school students and educators. Two hundred fifty nine (259) participants utilized the toolkit a minimum of one time for 60 seconds. The results indicate a reliable and significant treatment effect following its first use for the majority of participants. Effectiveness was found at immediate, weekly, and monthly follow-up assessments for the eight months participants were assessed. At each juncture of assessment, participants reported significant improvements in perceived stress, anxiety and/or achievement. These results support the effectiveness and reliability of 60 Seconds to decrease perceived stress and anxiety in public school students and educators, as well as increase achievement in public school students. Future controlled trials of the toolkit are invited.
Keywords: sensory-based; stress; anxiety; academic achievement; brain; test scores; self-regulation; sensory awareness; grounding; support; breath; visualization; noticing; Brain Charge.
This is a study examining the effectiveness of 60 Seconds, a sensory-based toolkit included in Brain Charge: Sensory Awareness for Student Achievement (Melrose, 2012), the K-12 Curriculum. 60 Seconds was designed for use in academic preparation, including test taking, to decrease anxiety and increase achievement. Current neuroscience identifies the experience of heightened stress as a significant interference to the capacity of students and educators to perform their best in school. Based on current neuroscience, 60 Seconds, a sensory-based right brain intervention, was utilized with both students and educators in order to reduce the effects of stress on the more academically oriented left brain. Soothing the stressed brain and autonomic nervous system in a sensory way increases self-regulation and frees the left brain’s more neocortical functions of focus, concentration, and cognitive flexibility (Melrose, 2012).
The participants were 259 volunteers from two cities in two countries, Montreal, Canada, and Long Beach, California. The study involved 10 different cohorts in four different schools, one elementary, one middle school, and two high schools. Cohorts were assessed in various ways: in large and small groups of adult educators, a mixed small group of middle school students together with educators, classrooms of students at the second, fourth, seventh and ninth grade levels, individual high school students receiving counseling from the school psychologist, as well as a group of elementary students with learning disabilities in a special education classroom.
The first cohort included 101 adult public school educators who were introduced to 60 Seconds as a group by the examiner.
The second cohort included a mix of adult educators and middle school students, with a total of 8 participants.
The third cohort included 21 ninth grade students in a general education history classroom in a suburban public high school.
The fourth cohort included 13 students in the same suburban public high school receiving individual counseling from the school psychologist for social-emotional issues that regularly interfered with their capacity to remain focused in class.
The fifth cohort included 24 second-graders in an inner-city public school whose test scores on statewide examinations were compared to those of a comparable control group.
The sixth cohort included 28 fourth-graders in the same inner-city public school whose test scores on statewide examinations were compared to those of a comparable control group.
The seventh cohort included 24 special education students, in grades one through five, at the same inner-city public school who learned 60 Seconds from their resource teacher in a small group setting.
The eighth cohort included 7 adult educators of a suburban public high school who met as a group voluntarily to learn more about 60 Seconds.
The ninth cohort included 8 adult educators of an inner-city public alternative high school who learned 60 Seconds while participating in their regularly scheduled weekly staff meeting.
The tenth and final cohort included 25 seventh-grade general education students from a suburban public middle school who went to the library to learn 60 Seconds from the librarian.
Design and Procedure
Before the toolkit was introduced to participants, data was collected with either a 10-point Likert-type rating scale to assess levels of perceived stress and tension or a classroom behavioral checklist to assess frequency of needed redirection. After pre-toolkit data was collected, all participants received an experiential introduction to the 60 Seconds toolkit, either by this examiner, their teacher, their school counselor, their librarian, or the school psychologist. The examiner, teacher, school counselor, librarian, or school psychologist guided participants through 60 Seconds by modeling and giving verbal direction for a total time period of 60 seconds. They then collected post-toolkit data immediately, as well as in the weeks and months following the use of the toolkit.
The toolkit consists of five sensory tools: grounding, support, breath, visualization, and noticing. “Noticing” involves utilizing the essential skill of sensory awareness – the ability to become aware of the sensations of the body while focusing on the use of the tools of grounding, support, breath, and visualization.
The first cohort of 101 educators was mandated to attend a full day of professional development with the examiner in the gymnasium of a public elementary school. They voluntarily filled out the 10-point Likert-type rating scale before and after experiencing 60 Seconds. They reported current sources of stress as cell phones vibrating, having to attend a day of professional development unwillingly, and having monitors around the room watching for participants trying to leave the training early. On average, the cohort reported moderate levels of stress and discomfort (“5”), though some reported little to no perceived tension and stress (“1-4”) and others reported more extreme levels of perceived tension and stress (“6-10”).
The second cohort of 8 adult educators mixed with middle school students met at a table in the library of an inner-city public middle school. The group voluntarily rated their perceived current levels of stress and tension on the 10-point Likert-type rating scale before and after their first experience learning and utilizing 60 Seconds.
The third cohort of 21 suburban public high school students in a general education history class was assessed for frequency of need for behavioral redirection. The classroom teacher collected baseline data for three months, then taught 60 Seconds to his students and led them through the toolkit at the beginning of each period thereafter. The teacher continued for another two months to collect data on the frequency of need for behavioral redirection post-60 Seconds.
The fourth cohort that included 13 suburban public high school students receiving individual counseling from the school psychologist for social-emotional issues rated their perceived levels of stress and tension on the 10-point Likert-type rating scale before and after learning and practicing 60 Seconds with the school psychologist throughout the school year.
The fifth cohort of 24 second grade inner-city public school students practiced 60 Seconds daily with their classroom teacher at the beginning of each school day and again before taking tests. After utilizing 60 Seconds throughout the school year, the students’ test scores on statewide assessments were compared to those of a control group from the same school and grade that did not learn or utilize the toolkit.
The sixth cohort of 28 inner-city public school fourth-graders practiced 60 Seconds daily with their classroom teacher at the beginning of each school day and again before taking tests. After utilizing 60 Seconds throughout the school year, the students’ tests scores on statewide assessments were compared to those of a control group from the same school and grade that did not learn or utilize the toolkit.
The seventh cohort that included 24 inner-city public school special education students, grades one through five, learned 60 Seconds from their resource teacher in a small group setting. Their fall test scores were compared to their spring test scores after learning and practicing 60 Seconds daily for three months.
The eighth cohort of 7 adult educators at a suburban public high school met one time as a group voluntarily to learn more about 60 Seconds. They were guided by the examiner who modeled 60 Seconds while instructing the educators on how to utilize the toolkit in the moment. The educators rated their perceived levels of current tension and stress before and after learning the tool and using it for 60 seconds.
The ninth cohort of 8 adult educators at an inner-city public high school volunteered to learn 60 Seconds from this examiner during one regularly scheduled weekly staff meeting. Participants rated their perceived levels of current stress and tension before and after learning and using the toolkit for 60 seconds.
The tenth and final cohort that included 25 seventh grade general education students at a suburban public middle school went to the library on six different occasions to learn and practice 60 Seconds with the librarian. The students’ classroom teacher rated the students’ levels of expressed stress (i.e. “squirreliness” versus “calm and focused”) on the 10-point Likert-type rating scale before and after the students were with the librarian.
Sixty-four per cent of the first cohort of 101 adult educators mandated to attend a full day of professional development with the examiner in the gymnasium of a public elementary school reported a positive effect of 60 Seconds after just 60 seconds of being guided through the toolkit. This 64% of participants reported between a 10% and 70% decline in perceived current stress and tension with an average reported decline of 20%.
The second cohort of 8 adult educators mixed with middle school students who met at a table in the library of an inner-city public middle school reported an average decline in perceived current stress and tension of 20% after just 60 seconds of learning and utilizing the toolkit.
The third cohort that consisted of 21 history students in general education at a suburban public high school improved their need for behavioral redirection significantly: their frequency of need for mild to moderate behavioral redirection from the classroom teacher declined by 87%. On average, pre-60 Seconds, students required 47 verbal redirections per month. Post-60 Seconds, on average, students required 6 verbal redirections per month. Their frequency for severe behavioral redirection in the form of an office referral declined 100% from, on average, three incidents per month pre-60 Seconds, to none post-60 Seconds. Additionally, on one occasion, 17 students from this class rated their perceived levels of stress and tension on the 10-point Likert-type rating scale before and after their collective use of 60 Seconds. On average, after utilizing the toolkit for 60 seconds, they reported a 20% decline in perceived stress and tension with a corresponding 20% increase in calm and focus.
The fourth cohort that included 13 suburban public high school students receiving individual counseling from the school psychologist for social-emotional issues reported the same 20% decrease in perceived levels of current stress and tension after 60 seconds of use with the toolkit. They also reported improved feelings of calm and focus post-60 Seconds.
At the end of the school year, when assessed for proficiency on state-wide tests of achievement, 80% of the fifth cohort, the second-grade classroom of 24 students, was either Proficient or Advanced Proficient in Reading and Writing compared to 68% of the control group, a comparable second grade classroom that did not learn and practice 60 Seconds. In addition, when assessed with timed tests on math facts, 100% of the 60 Seconds second-graders were at or above proficiency as compared to 82% of the control group.
At the end of the school year, when assessed for proficiency on state-wide tests of achievement, 84% of the sixth cohort, the fourth-grade classroom of 28 students, was either Proficient or Advanced Proficient in Reading and Writing, compared to 59% of the control group, a comparable fourth-grade classroom that did not learn and practice 60 Seconds. In addition, when assessed with timed tests on math facts, 90% of the 60 Seconds class was at or above proficiency compared to 76% of the control group.
At the end of the school year, when assessed for proficiency in math facts, the 24 special education students in grades one through five demonstrated no observed benefit from 60 Seconds with addition: 92% were either Proficient or Advanced Proficient in both the fall and the spring. With subtraction, however, end of the year scores advanced 20% from 69% in the fall to 89% in the spring, and multiplication scores improved from 61.4% in the fall to 76.8% in the spring.
The eighth cohort of 7 adult educators from a suburban public high school who voluntarily met as a group to learn 60 Seconds reported an average decline in perceived stress and tension of 20% after just 60 seconds of learning and utilizing the toolkit.
The ninth cohort of 8 adult educators at an inner city alternative public high school who voluntarily learned and used 60 Seconds at one of their weekly staff meetings reported an average decline in perceived stress and tension of 20% after 60 seconds of using the toolkit.
The tenth and final cohort of 25 seventh grade students who went to the librarian to learn 60 Seconds were rated by their classroom teacher as becoming up to 70% more calm and focused after practicing 60 Seconds. They were evaluated on six different occasions by the teacher before and after 60 Seconds, and were found, on average, to exhibit a 35% improvement on behavioral expression. Whereas the teacher rated her students on the 10-point Likert-type scale as moderately to severely (“5-10”) “talkative and squirrely” before 60 Seconds, she reported them after 60 Seconds as “engaged, focused, and discussing appropriately in partnerships (“1-3”).” In fact, the classroom teacher said to the librarian after the students returned to her room, “I don’t know what you’re doing to my students, but please keep doing it!
The positive effect of 60 Seconds in both small and large group settings suggest the usefulness of the toolkit in staff meetings, classrooms, and group counseling settings as preparation for more pleasant and productive work/study periods. The preliminary evidence presented here strongly suggests the usefulness of the toolkit in reducing perceived stress and increasing focus for both adults and children. May this article serve as an enthusiastic call for future research.