Reading Phonics Games
Suicides, depression, and violence are on the increase in our public schools.
Only recently have we began to research the cause, and the findings are very revealing:
We recently saw a young boy (only a sophomore) from Corona Del Mar High School in California commit suicide. According to a now viral letter written by the high school principal of a neighboring school, a suicide note left alleging school pressures led to his death. It has given pause to the entire community, including school leaders and parents. How did we get here? We got here when we opened every conversation with our high schoolers about futures, goals, and achievements with the words: “I just want you to succeed (make money).” We should be using the words, “I just want you to develop your individual (God given if you will) talents ….to be who you were meant to be. ”
Depression and ADD
The school librarian in this link is right on. I worked as a professional tutor in the public school system. Many very bright hands on learners, and analytical thinkers do not learn from the method now mandated in the public school system. The conventional method (workbooks and lectures) don’t work for about 40% of the children. Those individuals who don’t learn with this method are treated like they are dumb, and feeling shamed, isolated, or worthless. So they were given to me to tutor.
Simply by using hands on learning methods (Whole Brain Teaching like Ring Around The Phonics), they quickly and easily learned. You should have seen the transformation once they discovered they could learn, and did not need to be drugged. We are overly concerned about “success” (making money in the workforce), and not concerned enough about developing a child’s natural individual talents. I witnessed countless teachers who deeply cared about the children, but their hands were tied by a bureaucracy that cares more about money than they do the individual child.
When Jacob Barnett was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism. Doctors told his parents that the boy would likely never talk or read and would probably be forever unable to independently manage basic daily activities like tying his shoe laces.
But they were sorely, extraordinarily mistaken.
Today, Barnett — now 14 — is a Master’s student, on his way to earning a PhD in quantum physics. According to the BBC, the teen, who boasts an IQ of 170, has already been tipped to one day win the Nobel Prize. (Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/11/jacob-barnett-autistic-14-year-old-nobel-prize_n_3254920.html )
Albert Einstein’s story is very similar. Gandhi failed at the career he was educated for, but he united a Nation.
How Did We Get Here?
Increasingly our children are suffering from depression, suicidal tendencies, violence, and anxiety. Guns or no guns will solve this. We allow the news media and emotions to divide us with gun issues. Focus on the kids and the issues they are facing, not guns.
Studies show that whole brain teaching (example: Ring Around The Phonics) improves brain health, and the ability to learn. Yet, many schools are failing children, because They are not using the Scientific research. Many educators now understand that each person prefers different learning (and teaching) styles. However learning styles are not written in stone. One can actually strengthen the less dominant learning (and teaching) styles. Why is this important?
According to the latest brain research: Learning is as natural as breathing. It is possible to either weaken or strengthen a child’s natural desire and ability to learn in different life situations.
Researchers, using brain-imaging technologies, have been able to find the key areas of the brain responsible for each learning style. They are also able to see the actual brain improvements.
Different learning styles located in the brain:
1. Visual/ spatial learners prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding. This style develops the occipital lobes at the back of the brain. Both the occipital and parietal lobes manage spatial orientation.
2. Aural learners (auditory – musical) prefer using sound and music. They have developed the temporal portion of the brain. The right temporal lobe is especially important for music.
3. Verbal learners prefer using words, both in speech and writing. This learning style is managed within the temporal and frontal lobes. Two areas called the Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas (in the left hemisphere of the temporal and frontal lobes.) are especially important.
4. Physical (Kinesthetic) learners prefer using their body (hands and the sense of touch). These children have a well-developed cerebellum and motor cortex which is at the back of the frontal lobe.
5. Logical learners prefer logic reasoning and systems. Studies show that these children have well-developed parietal lobes, especially on the left side of the brain.
6. Social learners prefer learning in groups, or with other people. These children have developed the temporal lobes.
7. Solitary learners prefer working alone, and using self-study. The frontal and parietal lobes, and the limbic system are very active with this style.
Important Studies On The Frontal Lobe
The frontal lobes play a very important role in regulating our emotional sates and judgments. It is the critical thinker…. the part of the brain that thinks about the consequences of an action. It is not fully developed until the mid 20s. Children who are hindered in developing this part of the brain, can exhibit serious emotional problems.
It was once believed that if you encouraged a person to express their angry emotions, it would “get it out / process it”. However a 15 year study of prisoners commissioned by the government, revealed something very different. If you got an angry prisoner to express his anger, he became angrier. It also revealed that if you educated him, you got an educated criminal….he did not rip you off with a gun anymore, he ripped you of with a computer.
So what did work in that 15 year study?
Developing the frontal lobe worked. How? It was discovered that even though we all have some degree of false ideas, criminals have more. For example: criminals (like many children) responded, “Well everyone is doing it”. The response from the psychologist was, “Well it depends on who your friends are. Mine aren’t doing those things.” In other words, to develop the critical thinking (frontal lobe). It means replacing a dysfunctional idea, with a functional one (“As A Man Thinketh”). A healthy frontal lobe helps one to override the execution of automatic behaviors. It overrides potentially destructive illegal or immoral behaviors that are sparked by emotional biases
Use it or lose it.
While it is highly important to provide plenty of opportunity to reach each child through their preferred learning style, it is equally important to exercise the whole brain…use it or lose it. Research shows that by involving more of the brain during the learning process, children remember and retain more of what they learn. According to Dr. Amen, whole brain teaching even improves the health of the brain (use it, or lose it). Help your child with games like Ring Around The Phonics.
Or read more:
SPECT Scan Of A Healthy Brain
The public school system uses mainly the “conventional method” of teaching: workbooks, lectures, flash cards, reading and multiple choice — sit down a desk type work. Not only does this not improve the health of the different parts of the brain, but it is a disaster for some children. For example: Very bright “hands on learners” (38 % of the population) are often labeled as slow learners, problem children, ADHD, or called dumb by their class mates. why? Because the conventional method does not work for them. As a result, they often become convinced that “something is wrong with them“. However give these children a hands experience (like our phonics reading game), and they shine.
Applications For Whole Brain Health And Development
So it has become evident that it is important not to just develop parts of the brain, but to develop the whole brain. Studies show that with whole brain teaching (involving as many of the senses as possible), children learn faster, and retain more. Dropout rates decrease by 90%, and the health of the brain is improved.
1. Frontal Lobe Learning ignored in today’s classroom
Emotions simply exist; we don’t learn them in the same way we learn telephone numbers, and we can’t easily change them. But we should not ignore them. Children can learn how and when to use rational processes to override their negative emotions, or to hold them in check by developing the frontal lobe area of the brain…learning that there are consequences to one’s actions. This part of the brain is almost totally ignored in today’s classroom setting.
2. Too much stress can cause learning disabilities
Learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat.
Emotionally stressful environments (for the educator and the student) are counterproductive because they can reduce children’s ability to learn. http://www.mayoclinic.org/stress/art-20046037
Learning is influenced by the natural development of the body and brain. According to brain research for example, there can be a five-year difference in maturation between any two “average” children. Gauging achievement on the basis of chronological age is therefore inappropriate, and counterproductive.
4. Make It Experiential (Hands On)
The brain understands and remembers best when facts and skills are embedded in natural spatial memory… we remember what we experience. This principle can be applied to every subject through games (like Ring Around The Phonics), activities and real life experiences: involving as many of the senses in the learning process as possible. This is particularly important for the “hands on learner“. Educators should not exclude lectures and sit down at a desk type work; but they should make them part of a larger experience.
5. Find The Individual Passions
Each brain is unique. Teaching should be multifaceted in order to attract different interests, and to develop the whole brain. Helping children find their passion is a major part of their future success.
6. The objective of brain based teaching is to move from memorizing information to experiencing information.
7. Empower educators to do whatever is in the best interest of each individual child. One size does not fit all.
- Even though these things have been recently learned by way of cognitive science’s brain scans, the method has been around over 30 years. It is known as “Total Physical Response“. Studies show that, with this method, children learn faster, retain more, drop rate decreases by 90%, and the health of the brain is improved.
2. For a real life example: “My Journey From Public School Teacher To Homeschooling Mom“: http://ringaroundthephonics.com/2017/04/11/homeschool-public-school-teacher/
3. Ring Around The Phonics is a reading game that physically involves the children as they learn. To you, the educator, the child is learning. But to the child, they are having fun. They literally beg to play
Reading Phonics Games blog post in Jacksonville, Florida.