Here’s What’s Inside

Did You Know?

3 Little Known Facts About the Adolescent Brain.

Dos and Don’ts

For Teaching Adolescents.


About Secondary Students

Social Emotional Learning

The adolescent brain is incredible, but also incredibly misunderstood. When secondary educators better understand cognitive development during adolescence, they will discover the answers to these common questions:

  • How should I address disruptive behavior?
  • How do I help my struggling students?
  • How do I engage and inspire teens?
  • How can I help my students be self-motivated?

The last question is especially important in periods of remote learning, which is likely to continue in some form during the 2020-2021 school year.

Self-directed learning requires the cognitive skills of goal-setting, focused attention, and perseverance. These are executive function skills, and the prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain responsible for fostering them.

The prefrontal cortex develops during adolescence and may not fully mature until one’s mid-twenties.

Meanwhile, the amygdala, which is the area of the brain responsible for impulsivity, desire for instant gratification, and reward-seeking, is firing on all cylinders during adolescence. As a result, adolescents’ brains lead them to seek risks in order to secure dopamine-fueled rewards.

Self-motivated learning, then, requires an adolescent to power up their still-forming prefrontal cortex while satiating their hyperactive amygdala. One tool that does both is Elements I


Elements I, the innovative addition to Fast ForWord Literacy for secondary readers, leverages this knowledge about the adolescent brain by simultaneously strengthening executive functions and providing the rewards and immediate feedback to satisfy the dopamine reward system.

Download Your Free Guide to the Adolescent Brain