Renascence School Education News - private school

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How music class can spark language development

Medical Xpress – Staff Writer

“Music training has well-known benefits for the developing brain, especially for at-risk children. But youngsters who sit passively in a music class may be missing out, according to new Northwestern University research…”Our results support the importance of active experience and meaningful engagement with sound to stimulate changes in the brain,” said Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory…Children from families of lower socioeconomic status process sound less efficiently, in part because of noisier environments and also due to linguistic deprivation—or not hearing enough complex words, sentences and concepts…Music training may be one way to boost how the brain processes sound…”(more)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Baby Brains

The National Geographic – Yudhijit Bhattacharjee

“In the late 1980s, when the crack cocaine epidemic was ravaging America’s cities, Hallam Hurt, a neonatologist in Philadelphia, worried about the damage being done to children born to addicted mothers. She and her colleagues, studying children from low-income families, compared four-year-olds who’d been exposed to the drug with those who hadn’t. They couldn’t find any significant differences. Instead, what they discovered was that in both groups the children’s IQs were much lower than average. “These little children were coming in cute as buttons, and yet their IQs were like 82 and 83,” Hurt says. ‘Average IQ is 100. It was shocking.'”(more)

Monday, December 15, 2014

We learn grammar before we start talking

Basque Research – Javier Urtasun

“Months before enunciating their first words, babies focus on acquiring language. Moreover, the process is different depending whether the infant is part of a bilingual environment or is immersed in a single-tongue one. These are some of the conclusions that have been drawn from two research studies on the effects of context on language perception and production carried out at the BabyLab of the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL), in the city of Donostia-San Sebastian.”(more)

Prenatal Exposure to Household Chemicals May Reduce Kids’ IQ

Pysch Central – RICK NAUERT PHD

“A new study finds that children exposed during pregnancy to elevated levels of two common household chemicals had a significantly lower IQ score than children exposed at lower levels.”(more)

The Myth of the Brain Game

The Atlantic – VENKAT SRINIVASAN

“Puzzles designed to sharpen mental acuity may not actually do much to improve memory or intelligence in the long run.”(more)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

5 Workouts for Your Brain This Winter

The Huffington Post – Kayla Matthews

“Winter weather doesn’t just affect your physical health — it can affect your mental health, too. We may feel more tired during winter because we are exposed to less sunlight throughout the day, which can have a significant impact on how fatigued and drowsy we feel.”(more)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Bilinguals More Efficient at Higher-Level Brain Functions, Study Says

Latin Post – Nicole Akoukou Thompson

“Bilingual people are more efficient at higher-level brain functions. New research suggests that those who speak two languages likely have the “bilingualism advantage,” meaning that they’re more efficient at language processing and other tasks. The “bilingualism advantage” has long been assumed to enhance an ability to differentiate between important information and non-important material, stemming from how bilingual individuals process and practice language. And those assumptions have been proven to be true…”(more)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

7 Benefits Of Being Bilingual or Speaking More Than One Language (Besides Being More Attractive)

Bustle – Amanda Chatel

“…speaking more than one language is also awesome for your brain. Studies have shown that speaking more than just your native tongue is a great way to exercise your brain and keep it in tiptop condition, especially if you consistently switch between the languages throughout your entire life. It’s never too late to learn a second language, and since December is National Learn a Foreign Language Month, there’s no time like the present. In case you needed any more convincing, here are seven benefits — both scientific and anecdotal — of speaking more than one language.”(more)

Students design website to teach cursive

The Day – Joe Wojtas

“In most schools, the teaching of cursive writing along with subjects such as Latin have become extinct. But not at St. Michael School in Pawcatuck where both subjects are still taught…The St. Michael Angels robotics team explained how research shows that cursive writing improves brain development and fine motor skills while allowing students to read primary source documents, whether its the original version of the Declaration of Independence or a handwritten diary or ship’s log.”(more)

Season of Giving: What Are You Getting for the Baby on Your List?

The Huffington Post – Matthew Melmed

“This month marks the beginning of the season of merriment and wonder. It’s a time to be reflective, a time to be with friends and family…And, let’s face it, it’s also a time when we give and receive lots of gifts. While many will buy toys or clothes for the babies and toddlers in our lives, there is another important gift we should be giving: the gift of a strong start…First and foremost, babies and their parents need the gift of time to begin the relationship that teaches babies how the world works and how they are valued…Critical wiring and learning is taking place inside a baby’s brain from day one. Their brains are making trillions of connections — or synapses — during this time. If the inputs they are receiving from their environment while these connections are being made are healthy and positive, good things happen.”(more)