Children use all of their senses to understand their surroundings.
Everything a child sees, hears, touches, tastes, or smells builds background knowledge for attaching future learning.
The brain is constantly sorting information, deleting information, and adding new information. As the child learns something new, the brain attaches this new learning to the background knowledge. If the new knowledge doesn’t fit, the brain changes to add the new knowledge.
Everything a child does or witnesses affects their development. There are positive experiences that include family with involved parents…
Positive experiences at school with teachers and friends…
Positive social experiences…
Then, there are the negative experiences that affect so many of our children today. With economic times being rough on many families, some children are experiencing being homeless…
Some children witness parents using and abusing legal and illegal drugs. Some children suffered drug abuse while in the womb…
Children from low SES backgrounds are usually not exposed to many opportunities such as going to museums, zoos, libraries, vacations… These opportunities create background knowledge for developing good reading comprehension skills. These children usually come from single parent households. These children do not have a lot of exposure to books and are not read to very often. The parents are not usually very well educated and are working several jobs just for survival.
Accelerated periods of development are known to happen between the ages of two to five years and once again during puberty. (Anderson, Anderson, Northam, Jacobs, & Catroppa, 2001; Dawson & Guare, 2010; Zelazo & Muller, 2002)
A student’s SES has an impact on the development of their executive function. It has been shown that students from low SES tend to have less well developed executive functioning skills by kindergarten when compared to their counterparts with higher SES backgrounds. (Neuenschwander, Rothlisberger, Michel, & Roebers, 2009)
Children use different reading strategies to decode words and understand meaning. These strategies change as the child practices reading and gets older. (Lindberg, Lonnemann, Linkersdorfer, Biermeyer, Mahler, Hasselhorn, & Lehman, 2011) The development for decoding words is different for each age and skill level. It is important for educators to understand this as they teach reading. Administrators need to understand this as well.
All children learning to read fluently use the same cognitive skill components to develop reading fluency regardless of opaque or transparent orthography. (Vaessen, Bertrand, Toth, Csepe, Faisca, Reis, & Blomert, 2010)
Failure to understand or develop any phonemic skill will result in difficulty in fluency and understanding in reading. These skills include the ability to break words down into segments and sounds and then put them back together again. It also includes being able to put words in correct order in a sentence and letters in correct order in a word.
These abilities change to phonological memory abilities by the end of first grade.
Certain executive functions are developmental and come with time and maturity. Other executive functions depend on the child’s environment and experiences to properly develop. The family SES also plays an important role in the development of executive function in children.
fMRIs show that as the SES level of the child increased, the brain behavior decreased. These results imply that the responsiveness of the visual-orthographic region of the brain is impacted by the child’s environment including the literacy makeup of their environment and by the child’s own phonological skills. (Noble, Wolmetz, Ochs, Farah, & McCandless, 2006)
Smartboards, iPads, iPods, laptops, desktops just to name a few. New technologies create learning opportunities that allow students to learn anything from or about anywhere in most places in the world. Students are able to collaborate with other students living in other cultures.
Teachers need to be prepared to continue to meet the technological needs of their young students. It has been found that students using computer assisted instruction do better on phonics based reading instruction than students not participating. Later studies also confirmed the same results. (Cassady & Smith, 2005; Macaruso, et al., 2006; Mitchell & Fox, 2001)
Schools in the United States have become very multicultural over the years. Many schools have more than two languages other than English being spoken by students. It is important for teachers to get to know the culture and language of their English Language Learners. This will help the teacher better understand how to prepare lessons that are individualized for each student.
Schools are becoming more multicultural each year. Students learning a second language may make many errors as they translate from one language to another in speaking and writing. Errors in sentence structure, translation, and verb tense can happen. These errors in translation are known as “interference.” These errors should be corrected immediately to prevent misunderstandings when learning English.
Studies have shown the importance of using both methods to support each other in developing vocabulary skills of ELLs. (Silverman & Hines, 2009)
Cognitive and Educational Neuroscientists studythe how the brain develops and learns. These twoscientists work to help teachers understand howchildren learn.These scientists examinethe physical aspect of the brain as well as theinner workings of how the brain functions todifferent things such as reading and speaking.
Technology is constantly being updated andpushed into the schools. Teachers need to knowhow technology affects learners.
Second Language learners are in almost everyschool in the U.S. Regular education teachersneed to understand how to teach ELL studentswhen in a regular classroom
Children learn from theirexperiences in the worldaround them…
Studies have shown children from poorbackgrounds have a more difficult timeacademically than children from more affluentbackgrounds. (Campbell, Pungello, Miller-Johnson, Burchinal, &Ramey, 2001; Martin, Ramey, & Ramey, 1990)
The developmentof neural networksin young childrenis important asthey learn to read,write, orunderstandnumbers.
The skills used forreading are the sameregardless of theprimary language of thechild.
Children of all languages must develop a verbalworking memory to be able to use andunderstand phonemic awareness skills.
A student’s readingskill can bepredicted when inkindergarten byobserving theirphonological skillsduring this timeperiod. (Nithart,Demont, Metz-Lutz,Majerus, Poncelet, & Leybaert, 2011)
All children developexecutive functioning and usethe same types ofphonological awareness skillsto develop and processreading.
A child’s SES plays a vital rolein the literacy development ofthe child…
There has been a bigpush for educators touse as much technologyin the classroom aspossible
Technology allows students to work with otherstudents and professionals around the worldwithout leaving their classroom.
Students are entering school with technologicalskills using smartphones, iPads, laptops, etc.
Teachers should take extratime to learn about the manycultures and languagesspoken in their classrooms.
U.S. schools are servingmany students that arelearning English as theirsecond language.
Computers offersecond and thirdlanguage learnersopportunities todevelop theirlanguage skills ininstructional orlearning scenarios.These scenariosprovide practice inspeaking the newlanguage whilelearning the newculture. (Allard, Bordeau, &Mizoguchi, 2011)
Computer instruction and otheruse of media should support reada louds to build oral vocabularyof English Language Learners.+
Cognitive and Educational Neurosciencesare important contributors to the field ofeducation. The more we learn about howthe brain develops and learns, the betterprepared we can be as educators.New technology provides supplementalways to reach each student at their owndevelopmental levels.
Technology, if used correctly and with a purpose,can have a strong, positive effect on students.Second language learners can use technology forbuilding vocabulary and reading skills. This use isnot limited to only ELLs. Children from low SESbackgrounds and struggling readers are able touse technology to help improve their readingabilities also.
I will apply my new learning as anELL/kindergarten teacher by including moreindividual computer time for building strongerreading skills and vocabulary development. Thiswill supplement the oral reading of storiesalready being done in the classroom.I will also try to increase the amount of positiveexperiences within the school day. I will stress tomy parents the importance of early experiencesfor their children.
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