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Five easy ways to boost children’s spatial skills

Medical X-Press – Kym Simoncini And Tracy Logan

“When we read maps, pack the car for holidays, assemble flat-pack furniture or cut cake into equal slices, we use spatial reasoning skills. These allow us to mentally manipulate objects or think in a way that relates to space and the position, area, and size of things within it. Not only is spatial reasoning an important skill in everyday life, it is important in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related careers. And it is never too early for children to develop and enhance their spatial skills.” (more)

‘Teachers are brain engineers’: UW study shows how intensive instruction changes brain circuitry in struggling readers

The University of Washington – Kim Eckart

“The early years are when the brain develops the most, forming neural connections that pave the way for how a child — and the eventual adult — will express feelings, embark on a task, and learn new skills and concepts. Scientists have even theorized that the anatomical structure of neural connections forms the basis for how children identify letters and recognize words. In other words, the brain’s architecture may predetermine who will have trouble with reading, including children with dyslexia. But teaching can change that, a new University of Washington study finds.” (more)

How language shapes our perception of reality

Fast Company – Vivian Giang

“Does an English speaker perceive reality differently from say, a Swahili speaker? Does language shape our thoughts and change the way we think? Maybe. The idea that the words, grammar, and metaphors we use result in our differing perceptions of experiences have long been a point of contention for linguists.” (more)

WHO to classify ‘gaming disorder’ as mental health condition

CNN – Susan Scutti

“Watching as a video game ensnares their child, many a parent has grumbled about “digital heroin,” likening the flashing images to one of the world’s most addictive substances. Now, they may have backup: The World Health Organization is set to announce “gaming disorder” as a new mental health condition to be included in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases, set to release Monday.” (more)

How instruction changes brain circuitry with struggling readers

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“The early years are when the brain develops the most, forming neural connections that pave the way for how a child — and the eventual adult — will express feelings, embark on a task, and learn new skills and concepts. Scientists have even theorized that the anatomical structure of neural connections forms the basis for how children identify letters and recognize words. In other words, the brain’s architecture may predetermine who will have trouble with reading, including children with dyslexia.” (more)