Reading and the Brain A User’s Guide Grades 7-12 Developed by Ida Hatley, Judith Lerner, and Sara Buckerfield
Why am I here? Shouldn’t I already know how to read by now? How can I be smart and still have a hard time with reading? Why is it twice as long as a regular English class? Why does the teacher want me to read the same words over and over? Why do some of the activities seem like they’re for little kids? Why should I do it? Has anyone with a big reading problem ever been a success?
You are not alone. About one in every four students in middle school and high school has a difficult time reading and understanding their books.
Cambium Learning, Inc. Scientists have been working to understand why some students can’t read well.
This is an fMRI machine. Scientists use it to see how the brains of different people work when they are reading.
Cambium Learning, Inc. The test doesn’t hurt and there are no needles or side effects.
Cambium Learning, Inc. This is an fMRI image of the brain of a good reader reading words. Arrows point to the red parts of the brain that are working the hardest.
Cambium Learning, Inc. Because of the new fMRI technology, scientists have discovered that the brains of struggling readers and the brains of strong readers work differently.
Cambium Learning, Inc. Brain researchers have discovered that the brains of good readers and struggling readers work differently. The brains of both readers look structurally normal. The differences are in the way the brain communicates. The instructional strategies of Language! are so intense, it can rewire the brain.
Cambium Learning, Inc. These differences DO NOT have anything to do with intelligence or a hole or defect in the structure of the brain.
Cambium Learning, Inc. The brains of good readers and struggling readers both look structurally normal. The differences are in the way the brain communicates.
Cambium Learning, Inc. Warning! The next slides are not of fMRI images-- instead they’re really actualhuman brains!
Cambium Learning, Inc. These parts are working when a good reader is reading: word analysis area word form area word analysis area
Cambium Learning, Inc. This part is doing most of the work when a struggling reader is reading: word analysis area
Cambium Learning, Inc. Furthermore, struggling readers use different circuits and pathways to read. The wrong part of the brain tries to do the job of reading. So it takes the person much longer to read!
Cambium Learning, Inc. Struggling Readers Checklist Reading is hard and rarely fun. Reading is hard and rarely fun. Spelling is terrible. Spelling is terrible. Handwriting might be sloppy. Handwriting might be sloppy. Answering the questions after you read is really difficult. Answering the questions after you read is really difficult. Reading out loud in class is your worse nightmare. Reading out loud in class is your worse nightmare. What’s a student to do?
Cambium Learning, Inc. PRACTICE READING! fMRI brain images show that the brain learns by practicing. It can actually get “rewired”! The same way you practice to: learn a dance move learn a dance move kick a soccer ball kick a soccer ball play a musical instrument play a musical instrument shoot a basketball shoot a basketball
Cambium Learning, Inc. With the right intervention class and practice, your brain begins working— all the right parts! So roll up your sleeves and get to work!
Cambium Learning, Inc. And Remember to Hug Your Teacher! And Remember to Hug Your Teacher! “Teachers can do what neurosurgeons cannot by causing neural systems to become altered and more effective by the correct application of evidence- based intervention programs.” -- Sally Shaywitz, M.D Spring, 2006
Cambium Learning, Inc. What are the parts of the Language! reading program?
Cambium Learning, Inc. Phonemic Awareness Recognition of sounds in words Manipulation of sounds in words Even in high school, phonemic awareness must be present for a student to read well. Watch Phonemic Awareness in Action: www.teachlanguage.com/PA_drills/ Password: language
Cambium Learning, Inc. Phonics The link between the sound and the letter. Failure to understand the link between sound and letter is the most robust predictor of reading failure.
Cambium Learning, Inc. Decoding The ability to sound out words The ability to sound out words Allows a person to read any unfamiliar word, not only words that have been memorized. Allows a person to read any unfamiliar word, not only words that have been memorized. Note: The brain can not hold in memory all of the words in English.
Cambium Learning, Inc. Fluency Training Fluency is the speed and accuracy in which you read. Fluency is the speed and accuracy in which you read. To improve in fluency you have to practice….A LOT! To improve in fluency you have to practice….A LOT! Speed Matters!
Cambium Learning, Inc. More parts of LANGUAGE! Spelling Spelling Vocabulary Vocabulary Grammar Grammar Reading Comprehension Reading Comprehension Speaking Speaking Writing Writing
Cambium Learning, Inc. That’s a lot of activities...that’s why Language! takes up so much of your school time every day.
Cambium Learning, Inc. There are lots of famous and successful people who have struggled with reading. You might have heard of some of them...
Cambium Learning, Inc. Albert Einstein: Regarded as the most important scientist of the 20th century
Cambium Learning, Inc. Thomas Edison: American inventor and businessman
Cambium Learning, Inc. Nelson Rockefeller: Businessman, Governor of New York and Vice-President of the United States
Cambium Learning, Inc. Dav Pilkey: Children’s book author
Cambium Learning, Inc. You WILL learn to be a better reader! You can get there—it just takes longer. Language! will help.
Cambium Learning, Inc. References Shaywitz, S. (2003). Overcoming dyslexia: A new and complete science-based program for reading problems at any level. New York: Random House. Shaywitz, S. (2003). Overcoming dyslexia: A new and complete science-based program for reading problems at any level. New York: Random House. Wolfe, P. & Nevills, P. (2004). Building the reading brain, preK-3. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press. Wolfe, P. & Nevills, P. (2004). Building the reading brain, preK-3. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press. Greene, J.F. (2005) LANGUAGE! The Comprehensive Literacy Curriculum. Longmont, Colorado: Sopris West. Greene, J.F. (2005) LANGUAGE! The Comprehensive Literacy Curriculum. Longmont, Colorado: Sopris West.