1.On a recent
afternoon, a 10-yearold girl with long, blond, curly hair, gave UW researchers a
peek inside her ______________.
on her back inside a machine that looks like a big doughnut, Shelter
Gimbel-Sherr read individual letters presented on a video screen and then wrote
the one that would come next in the alphabet on a special pad. All the while a
scanner generated images of her ________________________.
3.They are at
the forefront of what kind of brain research?
childhood, a complex blending of genetics and early experiences — good and bad —
wires the brain’s cells and regions together, forming what?
extraordinary flexibility during children’s first five years primes them for
learning about their world, but it also makes them vulnerable if they don’t get
and Patricia Kuhl, who codirects the university’s Institute for Learning and
Brain Sciences, are two of the prominent researchers at the UW exploring how
children’s brains develop for _____________.
discoveries already are helping parents — and schools and preschools —
8.But they are
building on other studies that show teaching 4- and 5-year-olds to write and
name the letters of the alphabet improves what?
9.What is the
10.What kind of pre- and post-tests do
Berninger and Richards give the children?
children with language-learning disabilities read and write, those tasks
brain has an estimated ____ billion neurons, which can each have as many as
________ to _______ connections with other neurons.
parents/caregivers strengthen those connections?
have even one adult spending time with them like that can form those
connections, regardless of ________________________ and ______________________.
preschool be about?
Class Discussion Questions and Essay Prompts:
·Have you studied much about your brain in school?Why or why not?
·Are you interested in learning more about it?Why or why not?
·Did your parents/caregivers read to you as a young child?
·Did you enjoy reading?Do you
enjoy reading now?Are your answers
the same?Different?If different, what changed?
·How important is reading and writing to a person’s success in life?
That’s because our brains aren’t naturally wired for reading and writing
(or multiplying and dividing). Infants aren’t born with the neural pathways
needed for those skills.
·Were you surprised that infants aren’t born with the neural pathways
needed for skills that are so important in school, college, work?Why or why not?
Our capacity for learning lasts throughout our lifetime, so it’s not as
if a window of opportunity slams shut on a child’s fifth birthday.
But we don’t learn all things equally well at all ages, and that brain
circuitry becomes harder to change as children get older. So it’s better to get
it right the first time, when efforts to strengthen weak connections stand their
best chance for success.
·Do you agree or disagree with this?Why?
Berninger and Richards’ prior research showed that after dyslexic
children received specialized reading and writing instruction, those brain
differences often disappeared and their reading and writing improved.
Now they want to explore those changes in more detail to see if
computerized reading and writing instruction can “normalize” not only the
activity of different parts of the brain, but the connections between them.
“It’s not a fancy toy or a television set; it’s you
and your time,” Kuhl said. “Your kid’s brain is not a turnkey system; it really
does require you to talk and play and challenge cognitively.”
“Reading is magic.”
·Is reading magic?What do you
·How do you view reading and its importance?
Is brain research in the field of education important?Why or why not?
Newspaper-related CBA activity:U.S.
How the United States government interacts with the world affects people across
the globe.Analyze and evaluate the
causes and effects of US foreign policy on people in the United States and
across the world.
Using The Seattle Times e-edition, find an article from this week that deals
with world politics or foreign policy.
What are the main points of view from someone living in that particular country?How is that “view” similar and different than your own opinion, regarding
the specific issue the article is discussing?
·Why is it important to
study and learn about foreign policy?How does it help you understand the world we live in, using current
issues and events?
Civic Minds in The Seattle Times is posted to the Web on Friday. Please share
the NIE program with other teachers. To sign-up for the electronic edition of
the newspaper please call 206/652-6290 or toll-free 1-888/775-2655.