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Ess webinar brain development wo answers

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  • Following Introductions. Good morning! I’m very excited to be here with you this morning discussing one of my favorite topics. How are you all doing this morning? I much prefer to be standing before a live studio audience so I can judge from your body cues whether I am making sense or not. I wish there was a webinar key for head nodding. Oh, I know, you can just text “nmh” in the comments so I know you’re with me. Ok. Well like I said, I have a preoccupation with brains. I remember the first book I read about how the brain works. I was in college and I was sitting on a bench outside the library reading this book called Teaching with the Brain in Mind by Eric Jensen and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. You mean to tell me that we actually know how the brain works, and despite this we continue to do things that are counter to these facts? Like did you know that teenagers are wired to not start functioning until later in the morning, no matter how early they go to bed, they won’t be fully functional until mid-morning. But our schools start early for teens so they can get out of school early for sports and jobs, and causing general anxiety for parents. So if we know this about teen’s brains, why don’t we start school later and let the younger children, whose brains are all fired up the minute their feet hit the floor, go to school first? As I read page after page of these fascinating facts, I remember thinking, “WHY DIDN’T I KNOW THIS?” As students walked by I held up the book and pointed to the page asking, “DID YOU KNOW THIS?” They of course avoided eye contact, and quickened their pace. I should also mention I was a 35 year old college student so they were probably wondering why was an old lady hanging out at the quad during the day. Didn’t I have a job to go to? After reading that book I was hooked. I began reading everything I could on brain development and brain-based learning and as I continued through school I ended up writing my master’s thesis on “Creating a Brain-based Learning Environment in a Family Child Care Setting.” At the same time I was writing my thesis I was also writing my first book, “Brain-based Early Learning Activities: Connecting Theory and Practice.” I do not recommend this approach for anyone.
  • Take chances and share what’s on your mind. It’s okay if you have an idea that might not be fully developed and you want to say it out loud to see how it sounds. I want everyone to feel safe and be confident that I their ideas and opinions will be respected and protected. If you need to excuse yourself from the webinar, we won’t know unless you put the phone on hold and your phone system has background music. I’ve been guilty of that before! If you need to step away, be mindful of how you leave the group. But come back! When I’m working from home I get so nervous one of my dogs will bark while I’m on the phone. So I try to put them far away from my office so if I am unmuted they won’t disturb the call. And sometimes, I suffer from allergies regularly and I’ll be the heavy breather on the phone because I don’t realize how noisy I am when I breath through my nose. Mute is my friend, however…. I am hoping everyone will feel invited to share. It’s hard when I’m on a webinar to not get distracted by all the competing things around me when I’m sitting at my desk. I could be playing solitaire, or surfing the web, or even playing Angry Birds on my iPhone, but I try to resist those distractions so I can stay focused and be present throughout the presentation. I’ve told you some of my distractions, what are some of your distractions? (answers….) Let’s all agree to resist those distractions and be present for the next hour and a half and focus on babies brains!
  • Brain development begins before birth, within a week of conception. During the prenatal period, brain cells are already busy sending and receiving sensory messages of touch, hearing and movement. The sense of taste, smell and sensitivity to light are also beginning to develop. After birth about a billion neurons and brain cells have been produced Additional connections form after the baby is born
  • An infant’s brain is programmed to preceive all the different sounds and speech patterns of all languages in the world; this is the result of one’s genes. But the brain’s wiring is shaped in response to the language or languages spoken in the home; this is the effect of one’s environment. Many of these connections help our brains become preprogrammed to recognize human speech and to distinguish between individual speech sound, to put words together to their meanings, and to understand the rules for ordering words in sentences. However, the language, dialect, and accent a child learns and the size of his or her vocabulary depends on environmental factors present during the early years of development.
  • Reading is a good way, but not the only way that children become literate. We talked about stories, also singing, listening to music and so on. Share a study that found that young toddlers of talkative moms averaged over 100 more words than young toddlers of non-talkative moms. The vocabulary of the talkative moms’ toddlers was more than doubles that of the non-talkative moms’ toddlers by the age of 2. Responding with concern and empathy to a crying infant tells him or her that he or she is important and that you care. These warm, caring responses create positive caregiving environment that supports the infant’s development of trust, security, and positive self-image. When infants play, they look, listen, touch, smell, and taste. They are moving their bodies and exploring the toys, people, places and objects in their environment. All of this is how they begin to experience meaning.
  • Young children need to have strong foundational skills that come before letter recognition. The best way to build these skills is through daily life. By telling stories, talking to the children in ways that introduce them to new words and more complex use of language, and reading aloud to them from books and printed pages so they get the connection between words on a page and spoken language. Flash cards for children so young are not effective in building toddler’s language skills. Their brains are not ready for rote memorization. Memorizing is often mistaken as learning. In fact, rote memorization is a lower level skill compared to skills developed through complex language use which emerges in the context of meaningful relationships that motivate communication of thoughts and feelings. Complex language use which emerges in the context of meaningful relationships that motivate communication of thoughts and feelings is what helps children succeed in school, and life.
  • The male and female brain have many differences, The male brain is slightly larger, even when considering the difference in body size between the sexes. The male brain also tends to use the left and right sides of the brain more independently. The female brain tends to use the two hemispheres of the brain in a more equal or integrated fashion. The corpus collusum which separates the two hemispheres is slightly larger and thicker in girls which is why they tend to be better at multi-tasking.
  • We can make this point clear right now. If were face to face I’d ask you to raise your hand if you have learned something new today. But I can’t see you so use the “raise your hand” button on the webinar interface. As we were discussing these true/false questions I was thinking about key words and elements that relate to brain development and the importance of relationships on brain development and early learning.
  • While there are windows of opportunity for optimal learning (like learning a foreign language earlier vs. later) the window never really closes. Does anyone know what it’s called when unused connections disappear? PRUNING: Pruning, refers to the loss of connections in the brain, and it is normal and healthy. It helps to streamline the functioning of the brain based on experiences that occur throughout our lives. Neural pathways that are used, and therefore needed, are maintained. Other pathways that we do not use, and presumably do not need, are discarded. For example, if a baby hears only her home language, then her brain strengthens the connections to the sounds of that language. At the same time, the brain eliminates the other connections that recognize sounds from other languages. This process of pruning takes place for all areas of development. Typically when pruning occurs in one area of the brain, new pathways are being regenerated in other parts of the brain. A teenager doesn’t need to navigate a skateboard anymore because now they are driving a car. The “how to ride a skate board” is pruned away to make room for “how to drive a car.” It’s not like you forget forever, but it’s not automatic if we don’t use it regularly.
  • Infants, toddlers and young children learn through their senses and hands on experiences. They need to be able to touch, taste, and move objects. The brain stores emotional memory first. A variety of negative experiences can influence brain development. During pregnancy, when the brain is forming, exposure to alcohol, drugs and nicotine can cause developmental delays and disabilities. Continued exposure throughout childhood to negative experiences, including child abuse and neglect, can cause the emotional memories of these traumatic experiences to be stored deeply within the neurological network. Children between the ages of 18 and 24 months are starting to “recognize and react to the sounds of language” (Maryland State Department of Education & Johns Hopkins University School of Education, 2010). That is why toddlers start paying attention to rhymes in songs and identifying sounds different animals make. Recognizing that a cow says “moo” and a dog says “ruff, ruff” is learning in context. Create a book about their child’s day that families can share at home with their child. Ask families to create a book about their child’s day at home that you can share in your program.
  • Babies and toddlers thrive when someone adores them, pays attention to them, and figures out and responds to what they are communicating. When parents or a consistent caregiver provides nurturing, responsive care, babies and toddlers feel safe, cared for and cared about. This helps them learn to recognize their own feelings and to care for others'. They develop healthy attachments to these caregivers which allow them to explore and learn from the world around them. Both the adult caregiver and the child enjoy their relationship, and that joy is obvious to an outside observer.
  • Relationships: The caregiving babies receive – touching, holding, rocking, singing and talking to – help build secure attachment. Secure attachments allow babies to explore their environments and learn. Experiences gained through these interactions and explorations stimulate the developing brain. Responsive Interactions: Very young babies can’t talk yet, and toddlers have limited expressive language. Their behavior and expressions tell us a lot, and they count on adults to use those cues to understand what they need. When adults consistently respond by meeting those needs, babies experience the safety and security that promotes healthy brain development. Respect: Treating babies as valuable individuals whose wants and needs are important builds the confidence, security and self-esteem that support healthy brain development. Routines: The predictable sequences of events that happen every day, in the same way help to build brain connections that support memory and organizational skills. They also create security by creating the sense of knowing what, how and when things will happen. Repetition: The brain grows in response to experience. The more often something happens, the stronger is the brain connection related to that experience. Reading the same stories, hearing the same songs, or going on the same walks stimulates the senses, muscles and skills involved in these activities and at the same time strengthens the related brain pathways.
  • Relationships: The caregiving babies receive – touching, holding, rocking, singing and talking to – help build secure attachment. Secure attachments allow babies to explore their environments and learn. Experiences gained through these interactions and explorations stimulate the developing brain.
  • Responsive Interactions: Very young babies can’t talk yet, and toddlers have limited expressive language. Their behavior and expressions tell us a lot, and they count on adults to use those cues to understand what they need. When adults consistently respond by meeting those needs, babies experience the safety and security that promotes healthy brain development.
  • Respect: Treating babies as valuable individuals whose wants and needs are important builds the confidence, security and self-esteem that support healthy brain development.
  • Routines: The predictable sequences of events that happen every day, in the same way help to build brain connections that support memory and organizational skills. They also create security by creating the sense of knowing what, how and when things will happen.
  • Repetition: The brain grows in response to experience. The more often something happens, the stronger is the brain connection related to that experience. Reading the same stories, hearing the same songs, or going on the same walks stimulates the senses, muscles and skills involved in these activities and at the same time strengthens the related brain pathways.
  • It’s hard to imagine that a little baby this young is starting to develop the skills necessary for school readiness. But in fact, it is this time that is ultimately more critical to start creating meaningful experiences for young children than waiting until they are sent off to school. There are many ways that caregivers and parents can support and create meaningful experiences for young children to give them the solid foundation for learning. Children between the ages of 18 and 24 months are starting to “recognize and react to the sounds of language” (Maryland State Department of Education & Johns Hopkins University School of Education, 2010). That is why toddlers start paying attention to rhymes in songs and identifying sounds different animals make. Recognizing that a cow says “moo” and a dog says “ruff, ruff” is learning in context. It is in this way that children form the neurological connections necessary for optimal development.
  • When we think about meaningful experiences, we need to acknowledge that what may be meaningful to one person may not be meaningful to another. Where we currently are in our lives, our past experiences, and individual temperamental preferences underline what experiences will hold meaning to us. Certain places, pictures, sounds, smells, and textures may bring up different memories for each and every one of us. Ok, so I am going to have you take a minute and think about what you think are meaningful experiences. What makes it meaningful?
  • We mentioned some of these- Interactions with someone important to use Emotional response- Met my needs- they need to speak to us in a personal way They need to be interesting to us Helped me Relevant to me and my life Taught me something Connected me to someone I know Engaged me.
  • Can anyone tell me a way in which this was done in their family?
  • Language is processed in the frontal lobe of the left hemisphere, where verbal information is processed into receptive and expressive language. Receptive language is the comprehension of information by understanding words and sounds, and it begins to develop at birth. Within months a newborn can tell the difference between a happy voice and an angry voice (based on tone, cadence and volume). Language skills do not automatically improve as a child ages; intentional effort is required to stimulate language development as the child grows. Expressive language is language and gestures used to communicate meaning. Around a year of age, children begin to demonstrate their use of expressive language, depending on what exposure they’ve had to spoken language. They learn expressive language by hearing speech, grammatical forms, syntax (sentence structures), pragmatics (meaning of the sentence depending on how it’s used), and rhythm. Children need to be read to often and given the opportunity to explore the written and spoken word. Modeling the behavior of a read and reading with children can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of literacy success. Sharing personal stories not only creates and oral history through generations, but helps children develop their own personal narrative. The more you include words and reading in children’s daily lives, the better readers they will grow up to be. (Read poem page 57 My Grandmother’s Stories if time permits) Suggestions: Create a book about their child’s day that families can share at home with their child. Ask families to create a book about their child’s day at home that you can share in your program. What are some other things??
  • Transcript

    • 1. Building Baby’s Brain: How Meaningful Experiences PromoteLanguage and Literacy Development Photo credit: Rubber Ball Presented by Nikki Darling-Kuria
    • 2. Objectives • Provide an overview of brain development. • Review the 5 R’s of brain development. • Discuss the effects of early relationships on brain development. • Discuss the importance of meaningful experiences in early language and literacy. 2Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 3. Ground Rules • Going out on a limb • Everyone is right, but only partially • What’s said here stays here • Do what you need to do-we’re adults • Silence background noises • Remain actively engaged and present 3Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 4. Building Baby’s Brain…What Do We Know? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 4Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 5. Building Baby’s Brain: True or False Question: Brain development begins at birth. Answer? Photo credit: Rubber Ball 5Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 6. Building Baby’s Brain: True or False Question: Babies are born with the ability to learn all the languages in the world. Answer? Photo credit: Rubber Ball 6Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 7. Building Baby’s Brain: True or False Question: Reading to newborn infants is the best way to help them learn to read. Answer? Photo credit: Rubber Ball 7Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 8. Building Baby’s Brain: True or False Question: Using flashcards with infants helps them get ready to succeed in school. Answer? Photo credit: Rubber Ball 8Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 9. Building Baby’s Brain: True or False Question: Boys and girls brain’s develop exactly the same. Answer? Photo credit: Rubber Ball 9Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 10. Building Baby’s Brain: True or False Question: The brain stops learning after age 5. Answer? Photo credit: Rubber Ball 10Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 11. Building Baby’s Brain: True or False Question: There are window’s of opportunity and if we don’t learn something during that window, the chance is lost forever. Photo credit: Rubber Ball Answer? 11Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 12. Key Ideas About Brain Development 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 12Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 13. Effects of Relationships on Brain Development Exposure to negative experiences influences the brain’s development. Photo credit: Rubber Ball 13Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 14. Effects of Relationships on Brain Development Babies and toddlers thrive when someone adores them, pays attention to them, and figures out and responds to what they are communicating. Photo credit: Rubber Ball 14Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 15. The 5 R’s of Healthy Brain Development • Relationships • Responsive Interactions • Respect • Routines Photo credit: Rubber Ball • Repetition 15Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 16. Building the 5 R’s to Support Healthy Development Strategies Parents and Professionals The R Strategies to Use With Parents Can Use with Young Children • Listen attentively. • Try to understand the meaning Relationships of behavior. • Comment on what the parent is doing well. • Show your delight in the child. • Seek to understand the • Have fun together. parents’ perspective. • Use words and actions to show your understanding of the child’s feelings. 16Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 17. Building the 5 R’s to Support Healthy Development Strategies Parents and Professionals The R Strategies to Use With Parents Can Use with Young Children Responsive • Ask the parent how you can • When a baby cries or a toddler Interactions help him/her. tantrums try to discover what might help – feeding, holding, • Share in parent’s soothing, singing, or letting the excitement. child have a minute to self-soothe • Empathize with parents’ are some options to try out. concerns. • Show your interest and delight in • Offer referrals for services what the child is doing. the parent is interested in • Meet the child’s needs for that your organization does feeding, rest, sleeping, diapering not provide. and play. 17Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 18. Building the 5 R’s to Support Healthy Development Strategies Parents and The R Strategies to Use With Parents Professionals Can Use with Young Children • Invite parents to share their • Make eye contact with children. Respect interests, hopes, goals and • Sit or squat at their level when values with you. playing and speaking with them. • Include parents in developing • Follow a child’s preferences. service plans for themselves and their families. They will let you know which foods they prefer, when they are • Ask parents to share with you full and which toys they like to what they know about their play with. children. • Offer a small number of toys • Find out about any family or that are matched to the child’s cultural celebrations that are interests and abilities. important to the parent. 18Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 19. Building the 5 R’s to Support Healthy Development Strategies Parents and Professionals The R Strategies to Use With Parents Can Use with Young Children Routines • Ask the parent to describe a • Establish routines for waking, typical day for themselves diapering/toileting, feeding, bathing, and their child. playtime, naptime and bedtime. • Ask the parent to show you • While providing routine care, laugh, how he/she carries out play, talk, and sing. Pleasurable caregiving routines such as interactions during caregiving diapering, feeding, bathing, routines helps build other R’s such nap and bedtime. as relationships, respect and responsive interactions. • Help the parent establish daily routines if such assistance is needed. • Be predictable in keeping appointments and following up on plans. 19Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 20. Building the 5 R’s to Support Healthy Development Strategies Parents and Professionals The R Strategies to Use With Parents Can Use with Young Children Repetition • Learning takes place over • Repeat the same words, songs, time. If you are introducing and stories to help babies learn. new ideas or skills, be • Provide repeated opportunities to prepared to repeat them. practice the same skills • Give parents time to repeat • Depending on the child’s new behaviors. It can take months for new behaviors to developmental abilities, replace old ones and become encourage repeated attempts to natural. do things like smile, reach, make sounds, talk, roll over, stand, walk, pick up small objects and play with toys. 20Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 21. Meaningful Experiences Build Language Children learn with their social context and their nurturing connections with parents and consistent caregivers. Creating meaningful experiences establishes the Photo credit: Rubber Ball foundation from which concrete learning emerges. 21Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 22. Creating Meaningful Experiences Photo credit: Rubber Ball 22Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 23. Meaningful Experiences Build Language Photo credit: Rubber Ball 23Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 24. Learning Within Social Context Helping children develop complex language skills is one of the most meaningful ways of passing on cultural and family beliefs and practices from one generation to the next. Photo credit: Rubber Ball 24Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 25. Developing Language and Literacy Skills For Life Receptive and expressive language skills children develop are dependent upon the exposure they’ve had to spoken language since birth. Photo credit: Rubber Ball 25Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE
    • 26. QUESTIONS? 26Copyright © 2011 by ZERO TO THREE