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Collaborating with experts to support schools and deliver professional development, ensuring the success of all students.



VT-HEC Preview – Building Reading Brains

The Science of Reading: Language, Print and the Brain

The VT-HEC is very excited to be bringing Donna Coch Ed.D from Dartmouth College to Montpelier, VT on December 9 to talk about reading and the brain. In this interactive workshop, we will explore the reading brain from the perspectives of education, psychology, and neuroscience. We will examine scientific evidence related to developing a brain that can read, from visual processing of letters to making meaningful connections to what the reader already knows. As Donna describes the day:

My overarching goal is to help the audience think differently about reading, and I borrow from all kinds of research about reading to tell an evidence-based story that I hope will be both familiar and new – familiar enough to build on a common foundation, and new enough to support deeper reflection on practice. I don’t believe that neuroscience studies can tell teachers what to do in their classrooms, but I do believe that neuroscience studies can provoke teachers to think about what they do in their classrooms, and what their students are doing,  in new ways.

Learning to read is an amazingly complex task that requires the development, interconnection, and coordination of multiple skills and neural systems. A theme throughout the day will be the remarkable plasticity of the human brain: educators and students together are literally building brains that can read. We will also consider children who are struggling to develop these skills and systems.

Donna Coch, EdD, is an Associate Professor in the Education Department at Dartmouth College. In her research, she uses a noninvasive brain wave recording technique, in combination with standardized behavioral measures, to explore both what happens in the brain as children learn how to read and how the fluently reading brain works. She teaches classes on the reading brain and atypical developmental pathways. A goal of both her research and her teaching is to make meaningful connections among mind, brain and education.

If you are involved in teaching literacy from pre-k through grade 5, are parents  of young or elementary-aged children or working with students who are struggling to master literacy skills, you won’t want to miss this informative and exciting learning opportunity.

For more information and to register go to: vthec.org

Early Childhood Education: An Economist’s View

Is High Quality Early Education a Good Investment?

We have often heard educators say that it pays to invest in early childhood development, but what would an economist say about  early childhood education as a public investment? In his article, “The Economics of Inequality”, economist James Heckman explores that question, not just from the moral equal opportunity viewpoint, but also from the perspective of investment return and the factors that will be most effective in increasing the productivity of the American economy. (more…)

Helping Students on the Autism Spectrum Meet Common Core ELA Standards

Struggling Learners: Helping Students on the Autism Spectrum Meet Common Core ELA Standards

This is a summary of an article which explores the challenges that students, who may be quite bright but are on the autism spectrum, may have meeting the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. The authors believe this process will go more smoothly if educators and parents have a good understanding of three important psychological theories and develop classroom strategies to support students with these deficits.  The theories covered here are: Theory of Mind, Central Coherence and Executive Function. (more…)

Taking a Break After Reading Helps Long-Term Recall

Research on the brain and learning has shown that a change of activity can help the retention of new learning.

This effect was demonstrated again in a recent study from the University of Edinburgh.  Not only can this be used in formal learning settings but students, teachers and the rest of us can all utilize this effect to help us become better learners.

http://www.spring.org.uk/2012/08/memory-enhanced-by-a-simple-break-after-reading.php

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