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Physical Movement Deepens Learning

Posted by on Jan 25, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Physical Movement Deepens Learning

“Accompany abstract ideas with physical movement and the abstract ideas go in deeper and stay in longer.” ~Douglas Gerwin, PhD

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Teachers spending out of pocket for supplies, projects and field trips

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in News | Comments Off on Teachers spending out of pocket for supplies, projects and field trips

Teachers spending out of pocket for supplies, projects and field trips Compiled by Nicole Shepard For the Deseret News Published: Thursday, May 8 2014 6:45 p.m. MDT Updated: Friday, May 9 2014 10:42 a.m. MDT On average, public school teachers have spent almost $500 out of pocket on their students so far this year, a 25 percent increase from 2010. A problem once associated primarily with inner-city schools, the seemingly scant school budgets are proving insufficient for the needs of students in suburban and rural areas as well. “A major driver of these out-of-pocket expenses: Education spending has remained relatively flat in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, which means education funding hasn’t kept up with inflation.” German Lopez of Vox.com reported. According to a study by the National School Supply and Equipment Association, 92 percent of teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies, while 85 percent buy instructional materials for their students. The NSSEA’s study also found that teachers are “the primary source of funding for classroom projects” and pay for 77 percent of classroom supplies. All this spending adds up to an estimated $1.6 billion a year nationwide. “What other profession do you know where professionals have to use their own money to do their job properly?” Janet Fass, spokeswoman for the American Federation of Teachers, said to ABC News. “Do engineers [or] accountants spend their own money? Why should teachers when they are far lower paid than other professionals?” With educational professionals making thousands of dollars less than the average American, this sacrifice for students can take a significant portion of their monthly income.  Read More…...

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10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in News | Comments Off on 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’m calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years. Following are 10 research-based reasons for this ban. Please visit zonein.ca to view the Zone’in Fact Sheet for referenced research. 1. Rapid brain growth Between 0 and 2 years, infant’s brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010). 2. Delayed Development Technology use restricts movement, which can result in delayed development. One in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement (HELP EDI Maps 2013).   Read...

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All Work & No Play…

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in News | Comments Off on All Work & No Play…

All work and no play . . Is not good for the developing brain, says psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld Neufeld is against four-year-old kindergarten. He’s also against five year-old kindergarten. And possibly even six-year-old kindergarten. Unless, of course, kindergarten is all about play and not at all about results. Neufeld is co-author of the 2004 book Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Matter, which argued that parents who relinquish the parental role too soon prompt children to turn to peers for their attachment needs, sometimes with disastrous results. “It takes six years of ideal conditions where a child gives his heart to his parents,” says the Vancouver-based Neufeld. Neufeld knows he’s slogging into a political mire. Ontario is implementing all-day four-year kindergarten. Last October Charles Pascal, Premier Dalton McGuinty’s special adviser on early learning, acknowledged that implementation might have challenges, but things would work out “if people keep a focus on what’s best for kids and families.” On the other hand, critics have pointed out that in Finland, one of the countries whose students are among the highest-ranking performers in international comparisons, students don’t start formal education until they’re seven. In Canada, Neufeld finds it worrisome that even though children are going to school younger and being educated more intensively, children are less curious in Grade 12 than they were in kindergarten. “Society is increasing expectations. Parents need to be the buffer,” says Neufeld, who has addressed the parliaments of European nations on early education and is scheduled to go to Brussels next fall to talk to the European Parliament. What’s the answer? Play, says Neufeld. And extended families. Preschoolers have fundamentally different brain wiring and need to be free of consequences and “attachment hunger,” says Neufeld. Germany, where the word “kindergarten” was coined more than 150 years ago, mandated play-based preschool education about a decade ago. Play helps children build problemsolving networks. At four, five, even six, children are not ready to learn by working because the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain where a child is capable of mixed feelings, is still under construction. “It only gets wired at between five and seven years of age,” says Neufeld.  Read...

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Adequate Napping in Childhood…

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in News | Comments Off on Adequate Napping in Childhood…

Adequate napping plays key role in memory, learning development: study Skipping nap time can be detrimental to early childhood memory development according to a new study. Rebecca Gómez of the University of Arizona presented her new work on how sleep enable babies and young children to learn language over time at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society annual meeting in Boston today. “Sleep plays a crucial role in learning from early development,” Gómez says. Her research, part of a symposium on sleep and memory, examines how infants can recognize similar instances and apply previous knowledge to a new situation. Language examples include learning the same letter in different fonts, or understanding the same word said by different people. Gómez’s work found that infants who napped were better able to apply previous lessons learned to new skills. In one study Gómez played infants an artificial language and tested whether the children recognized the new vocabulary after being awake or taking a nap. Babies who napped were able to apply the language rules they learned prior to napping and use them to recognize brand new sentences in the novel language. The study also examined the relation of memory to sleep in preschoolers who it found were better able to retain what they had learned after napping. “Preschoolers with more mature memory structures do not appear to form generalizations during sleep; however, naps appear to be necessary for retaining a generalization they form before a nap,” Gómez says…  Read...

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Sesame Street Workshop/Imua Rehab Services

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in News | Comments Off on Sesame Street Workshop/Imua Rehab Services

In January of 2014, we delivered 400 kits to Imua Rehab Services that were created by Sesame Street Workshop that included 2 booklets each entitled Eating Well on a Budget and Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me. The project objectives included: Empowering children to make healthy choices regarding diet and dental care, and educating adults to have a “can do” attitude where food and their children’s health are concerned. Sesame Street Workshop picked up the entire tab, and Imua Rehab distributed them in conjunction with their annual Sesame Street retreat!

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