Boosting Your Child’s Brain Power: How Brain Research applies to Early Learning


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Slides from 2011 Preparing Your Child for Success seminar hosted by The Bear Creek School annually in Redmond, WA. Slides are excerpts from the presentation "Boosting Your Child’s Brain Power: How Brain Research applies to Early Learning" by Tressa Parker, Early Childhood Division Head at The Bear Creek School.

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  • Boosting Your Child’s Brain Power: How Brain Research applies to Early Learning

    1. 1. Boost Your Child’s Brain Power: How Brain ResearchApplies to Early Learning Tressa Parker The Bear Creek School
    2. 2. How is Your Child’s Brain Like a Garden?
    3. 3. Rich Soil Need a healthy foundation for learning and memory building Cerebral Cortex—higher cognitive processing Low stress—better learning Enriching environment = thicker cortex Plasticity is the ability to rewire the brain with nourishment
    4. 4. Becoming a Master GardenerTip #1: Fertilize  Children’s brains are engaged when they are actively involved in their learning  Capture attention  Three dimensional experiences  Music, rhythm, and rhyme  Learning activities  Dramatic play  Talking is like fertilizer for neurons
    5. 5. Pruning Neurons that are not used are pruned away and die off From age 4-10 the brain is very active, learning which connections to keep and which to discard Learning a musical instrument or foreign language is much easier during this time
    6. 6. Becoming a Master GardenerTip #2: Use the Right Tools  Create a nurturing and mentally stimulating environment  Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep  Provide a variety of opportunities  Exercise
    7. 7. Branching The brain can sprout new dendrites— grow new connections between neurons Enrichment brings increased branching of dendrites During the first 10 years there is much dendrite growth
    8. 8. Becoming a Master GardenerTip #3: Provide a Trellis  Activate prior knowledge  Use the five senses  Create emotional memory—Release of chemicals ―marks‖ the experience as meaningful  Help your child look for patterns  Read, read, read!
    9. 9. Deep Roots  Long term memories—years to create  Attention  Review  Repetition provides fixative  Vision  Most powerful of the senses  10% oral information remembered  65% remembered if add picture  Visual sense—takes up half of brain resources
    10. 10. Metacognition: Thinking About Thinking Organizing and retrieving information Reflecting on learning Understanding that learning changes the structure of brain Emotional regulation Effective use of praise
    11. 11. Effective PraiseFixed Mindset Students Growth Mindset StudentsBelieve Intelligence is set Believe Brain is like a muscleGoal To look smart Goal To learnMistakes Proof they have lost Mistakes Problem to be their giftedness solvedChallenge Fearful: To try and Challenge Excited: See as fail = no longer smart opportunity to learnDifficult Task Give up Difficult Task Work harderPraised for Being intelligent Praised for Effort, process, persistence
    12. 12. Becoming a Master GardenerTip #4: Water Appropriately  Use specific praise –focus on qualities or achievements that your child can control  Talk to your child about how working harder makes his/her brain stronger  Show empathy
    13. 13. The brain is wider than the sky. Emily Dickinson I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfullymade; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
    14. 14. Resources Brain Rules, John Medina. Seattle, WA: Pear Press, 2008. Brain Rules for Baby, John Medina. Seattle, WA: Pear Press, 2010. Education on the Edge of Possibility, Geoffrey and Renate Nummela Caine. Alexandria, VA:ASCD, 1997. Endangered Minds: Why Our Children Don’t Think, Jane M. Healy. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990. Magic Trees of the Mind, Marian Diamond and Janet Hopson. New York: Dutton, 1998. Mind, Memory, and Learning, Pat Wolfe and M. Sorgen. Napa, CA.: Author, 1990. Teaching with the Brain in Mind in Mind, Eric Jensen; Alexandria, VA:ASCD, 1998. The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn, Alison Gopnik, Ph.D., Andrew N. Meltzoff, Ph.D., and Patricia K. Kuhl, Ph. New York, William Morrow and Co., 1999 Whats Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life, Lise Eliot, Ph.D. New York, Bantam Books, 1999
    15. 15. Websites     