True or False? The average adult brain weighs 10 pounds and uses 40% of the body’s oxygen. FALSEThe average adult human brainweighs 3 pounds and uses 20% of the body’s oxygen.
True or False? The brain needs 8 – 12 glasses of water a day for optimal functioning. TRUEThe brain needs 8 – 12 glasses of water a dayfor optimal functioning. The brain consists of78% water and it needs to keep hydrated.Dehydration is a common problem in schoolclassrooms leading to lethargy and impairedlearning. (Hannaford, 1995)
True or False? The brain is “hard wired” –what you were born with is what you have until you die. FALSE The reason we can learn new habits and skills that are not innate is the brain is “plastic” throughout life. Neuroplasticity is a characteristic of the brain that allows it to be shaped by experience. (Merzenich, et. al.)
Are kids today biologically different than 30 years ago? Consuming more additives
More exposure to drugs and use of medicationRestricted movement due tohours spent strapped in a car seat More sedentary entertainment with video games and television
Unhealthy living conditions due to limited resources of families and single parent households (lead paint) Less early motorstimulation from swings, see-saws, etc. due to safety concerns
The Brain Comes Wired for Sound!• Learning language is an early“test” of our brain’s learningsystem• At birth, we have equalpotential to learn any language• By 6 months, we begin to buildthe phonemes specific to ournative language based onexperience
Language Experiences by Group Words Heard Affirmatives Prohibitions per hour per hour per hour Professional 2153 32 5 Family Child Working Class 1251 12 7 Family Child Low SES Family 616 5 11 ChildMeaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children by Betty Hart & Todd R. Risley. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. (1995).
Language Experiences by GroupMeaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children by Betty Hart & Todd R. Risley. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. (1995).Estimated Cumulative Words Addressed Professional 45 Million Words to Child (In Millions) Working-class 26 Million Words Low SES 13 Million Words 12 24 36 48 (Age Child in Months)
90% of a young child’s knowledge isgained from hearing background conversation.
The Effects of Weaknesses in Oral Language on Reading Growth 16 High Oral 15 Language in Kindergarten 14 13 5.2 yearsReading Age Level 12 difference 11 Low Oral 10 Language in 9 Kindergarten 8 7 6 5 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Hirsch, 1996 Chronological Age
Growth of the Brain Occurs from the Inside Out and the Bottom Up • You are born with~100 billion brain cells • There are ~ 15,000 synaptic connections for each cell
Reading is Not Innate Language is natural….Reading is NOT• The human brain is not born with the insight to make sound-to-letter connections• Only through practice can the learning challenges of a written system be resolved
Reading: Mastering an Invented System Many Cognitive Skills Needed Word Word Text identification memory ComprehensionProcessing Short term rate memory Decoding Visual Phonologicalprocessing processing Text cat
•A few statistics Fifteen percent of the U.S. population, or one in seven Americans, has some type of learning disability. (National Institutes of Health)
• Children with learning disabilities are as smart or smarter than their peers. But they may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.• Learning disabilities often run in families (genetically-based).
The Learning Brain (Brain Plasticity) How are memories formed?• Conditions in the brainare dynamic. They changeand “rewire” at any age• The brain’s ability tochange, or be trained, isknown as brain plasticity• The brain can learn atany age, and certainconditions encouragelearning Neurons and Synaptic Connections
Not all great minds think alike!•Didyou know that Albert Einstein couldnt read until hewas nine?•WaltDisney, General George Patton, and Vice PresidentNelson Rockefeller struggled with reading into adulthood.•Richard Branson, Paul Orfalea (Kinko’s), Charles Schwab,Henry Winkler, Agatha Christie and many others have notlet their learning difficulties affect their ultimate success.
• Phonetic processing • Decoding • PhonemicIndependent Auditory awareness • Word attack skillsReader Comprehension Language Visual• Vocabulary and use of context• Understanding words in isolation • Sight word recognition• Using syntax (grammar) and • Able to quicklysemantics (meaning) within the read/recall these wordscontext of reading
What Can go Wrong?Phonological AwarenessDecodingFluencyVocabularyComprehension
ComprehensionPutting it alltogether tounderstand
FOUR MODALITIES (PATHWAYS) FOR LEARNING visualauditoryKinesthetic(muscle movement) tactile
How can you help?Explore the senses: Try teaching theinformation visually, verbally, andkinesthetically (with movement) and findpathway works best for your student. The moresenses, the more likely it is to be rememberedconsistently!
Make learning and studyinga rich experience involving all five senses• Hair gel •Rice• Shaving cream •Sand paper• Pudding •Play doh• Whipped cream •Sand• Finger paints •Cornmeal• Chocolate syrup •Carpet •Kool-Aid (dry)
Make it physical: Adding a physical activity suchas pacing, jumping, throwing a ball, or writingenhances the memory for many people. Typingor rewriting notes is a very effective memorydevice for people who need to learnkinesthetically.
What’s in The Bag?•Write a letter on the front of a bag•Place objects in the bag that beginwith that letter. Have each childreach in the bag and pull out anobject.•Talk about each item and see if weall hear the same sound at thebeginning of each word.
Tap light for each sound they hear in word...phoneme segmentation
The brain can literally grow new connections with enriched environmental situations. You can develop their pre-reading skills by continuing to read in order to develop vocabulary, print awareness, narrative skills, letter knowledge, interest in reading and the understanding that words are made of a number of sounds.Every thing you do can be essential “brain food” for the next generation to succeed!
Copy these sentences with your non-dominant handMy dog has fleas.Perhaps some peppers would perk you up.Theodore was flabbergasted at such apeculiar sight!Motor simulation
Once, many years ago, a rellifed came to the village.He stood in the village spuared and pleday and nagsUntil the podleo came to listen and to bance. A jollyduchuer danced with the niikniad. A small doyskipqed through the crowd with his bod nibbing at hisheels and yabbing loudly.After the rellifed stopped, the popleo, tossed conisInto his hat and brought him milk and cookies for histrouble. It had been a long, weary, bay and therellifed was gald of a rets in this pleasat villaqe.
In most polymers, like polyethylene and cellulose, themonomers are all identical. In other cases, such asproteins, different monomers may be combined.Although the amino acid monomers that make upproteins appear to be very different, each one has anamino functional group and an organic acid functionalgroup, so the monomers all link in the same way,forming a “backbone” of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygenatoms. A polymer with three amino acids is called atripeptide.**15% of one page in an 848 page chemistry text on whichstudents take an annual high stakes test (Tocci & Viehland,1996, p. 257).
One year of ascience textbook introducedmore vocabulary wordsthan an introductory class ina foreign language (Yeager, 1993).
Tips for Improving Reading Abilities• FIVE FINGER TEST: Have your student open the book and read one page. If he/she stumbles on five words, the book is above their reading level. • Practice with a safe “audience”
•Playboard games such as Scrabble, Scrabble Jr.,Scattergories, or Apples to Apples to increaseexposure to text in fun ways.•When reading with your student, take turnsreading a page or paragraph. If they stumble on aword, just give it to them!•Before bed, just read to them!
• As children are reading, encourage use of an eraser/highlighter/ruler to focus on the word they are reading.
• Use audio versions of books on tape for thestudent to listen to as they follow along in thebook.• Graphic organizershelp organizematerials andthoughts.
There’s an app for that!http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/tools/apps Apps for all ages and all areas of literacy!