Current standards in most states, said Glick, are not as rigorous as the Common Core State Standards and aren’t assessed at the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Glick said that with a greater emphasis on higher thinking levels, student brains will need new training to develop what she calls “superhighway thinking patterns.”

“Neural connections create thinking patterns,” Glick said. “Think of learning as a footpath in a forest. Before you learn, it’s nothing but shrubs and trees. Once you learn something, a footpath is created. Keep practicing this new learning pattern and the footpath becomes a road, eventually becoming a superhighway. This only happens with practice and application.”

Glick argued that students will need different ways to practice and new methods of application to succeed with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and their assessments, meaning teachers will need to implement different methods of planning, practice, and instruction that foster the effective development of neural networks.

(For more information on how CCSS differ from most current standards, visit

To help educators better “brain train” their students, Glick proposes these four methods, which she believes are the best mediators and best ways to formatively assess and instruct:

1. The use of cognitive markers for English Language Arts (ELA)

2. The use of text-dependent questions (ELA)

For example, in the slide below, cognitive markers can indicate thesis and thesis support. Text-dependent questions are questions that ask students to understand and explain the text as a whole.

(Next page: Math and the brain)