Archive for January 2010

Potential for Learning

Jan 22nd, 2010 | By

It has been said that the potential for learning takes place when three conditions exist: things are noticed; specific attention is given; and sustained focus/attention occurs. (Source unknown) Visual Phonics hand shape cues and/or written symbols can be used to make individual letters and “chunks” stand out so that they are more noticeable. Once the letters or chunks of print are more noticeable, specific attention can be given to the letter-sound connections in order to reduce or eliminate confusion about the sound(s) the letters represent. The visual-kinesthetic features of the Visual Phonics hand shape cues provide strong learning channel inputs that help to “map” sound to print and facilitate focus & attention on specific letters or chunks. With sustained focus on & attention to the correct sounds that the letter(s) represent, the potential for learning and retention of that learning is enhanced. A higher frequency of “correct trial learning” also leads to more stable skill retention and retrieval.



The Movement-Brain Connection

Jan 16th, 2010 | By

Movement is the only thing that unites all brain levels and integrates the right and left hemispheres of young learners. Neuroscientists have discovered that the brain’s cerebellum, involved in most learning, operates at a high capacity during times of movement. Neuro-imaging studies have also shown that activity in the cerebellum is significantly reduced when people are in a negative state of mind – the result of stress, worry, or anger. © 2010  Dave Krupke  All Rights Reserved



It’s All in the Noticing

Jan 16th, 2010 | By

Over a century ago, there was a great piece of scientific wisdom from the Dore Lectures on Mental Science by Thomas Troward, who stated: “The law of flotation will not be determined by the contemplation of the sinking of things but by contemplating the floating of things which floated naturally, and then intelligently asking why they did so.” Moving that same line of thinking into education, a universal wisdom about learning results – “The law of successful learning will not be determined by the contemplation of the failure of things, but by contemplating the learning of things, and then intelligently asking why.” A great deal of successful teaching has to do with what and how teachers “notice” the outcomes of their well planned lessons and carefully chosen words (sometimes not so carefully chosen words). Educators must “notice” and comment on what is “right” more than noticing and commenting on errors and mistakes. This also applies to parents. We must be mind “full” of what “is” . . . and mind “less” of what “isn’t”. Many years ago, research shown that the ratio of negative-to-positive comments in American homes was greater than 10:1, which is 10 negative comments for every positive [...]



Teaching & Learning Routines

Jan 16th, 2010 | By

Some thoughts on routines: žDaily routine of review – tailored to what needs to be learned or reviewed . . . involves teacher & student use of hand shapes along with visual display of written symbols associated with print žOnset-rime pattern routine – Gentry’s “hand spelling” žCoding routines – “tricky parts” – teacher or student-led žDifferentiating – “This is how it sounds . . This is how it looks.” žSyllable type recognition – melding sound to letter patterns ž ž ž



Brains and Reading

Jan 16th, 2010 | By

Our Brain – a Pattern Synthesizer Brains love patterns and repetition, and are hard-wired to copy. Our brains actively search for patterns to categorize, organize, synthesize information, code them into memory, and then retrieve them. Language is full of patterns, including rhymes, syllables, words, sentences, songs, and poems. Language also has patterns of sound, known as alliteration. Phonics is the patterns of print. As there are many phonics “rules”, it isn’t necessary to memorize the rules but to recognize the patterns and apply them. . Richard Gentry (Breaking the Code, 2006) states that “the brain of a literate person has an enormous capacity to sort through the thousands of letter combinations on a page of print and find the regular patterns within it by chunking. . . . The reader/writer/speller must learn to chunk strings of letters into discernable patterns . . . Without recognition of the patterns, skilled and automatic reading cannot happen.” . In a 2008 article in Educational Leadership – “Why Phonics Instruction Must Change”, Jeannine Herron states that “early instruction determines how the brain organizes itself for reading . . .  and “for most children, the first experiences with letters and words dictate how the brain [...]



Dave’s Favorite Photos

Jan 16th, 2010 | By
Dave’s Favorite Photos


Too Much Screen Time: Cultural Changes Which Affect Reading

Jan 15th, 2010 | By

By Dr. Ann Harvey, Associate Professor of Reading, Western New Mexico University Young children spend much time in front of a screen.  Whether it is a TV screen or a computer screen, there seems to be one result:  the child’s near point vision development suffers.  Even the American Academy of Pediatrics has noticed the problem because they have recommended that no more than one to two hours of quality TV, video, or internet be viewed each day for older children and no screen time should be given to children under the age of two.  Beginning readers need to have all the physical benefits of learning to read with minimal effort.  Since 80% of information gathered is visual, this is an important aspect of learning.  Having both eyes move, align, fixate, and focus as a team enhances the ability to interpret and understand the potential visual information that is available.  Extra effort spent on getting print in focus should be used on comprehension efforts. An emergent reading assessment measures problems with eye movement, as well as cognitive, motor, social-emotion development and concepts of print.  The information that follows will offer simple remediation efforts to correct delay in the eye movement development. [...]