Reading can be either a very rewarding experience or a very challenging affair for children. It is important that parents lay down the foundation for the enjoyment of reading early on in a child's life, so that the reading experience develops into a rewarding one. Even though Dr. James Zull, director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education, says " Neurobiology has no educational philosophy, and that is a good thing," certain key concepts present in progressive education are supported by neurobiology. According to progressive educational theory, positive experiential learning is a key to help a child learn. Neurobiology suggests that learning is the building of neuronal networks that fire together and create an impression of the new thing learned. If it's a positive experience, learning continues; if not, learning is hindered.
For example, for the majority of folks, the neural network or connections for ice cream, fire off with the neural connections for cold, as well as for sweet, and with the neural connections for fun times with mom and dad or neighborhood kids. All these neural networks firing together make for a positive experience in eating ice cream. If the "fun" network were absent, the experience would be negative and a child's association to ice cream would end up triggering a not-so-happy experience, which would lead to fear, which preps the brain against learning, albeit in this case, about ice cream making. And, so it is with school.
As a parent or teacher (and aren't all parents, teachers?), in order to increase retention of information, connecting pleasure with academic activities is imperative to preserve a child's enthusiasm for learning. Connecting reading with pleasure can be done early on by simply associating reading with happy moments. The most obvious activity is a parent reading a book or story to a child. However there is another happy memory of reading we can now give to children . . . pajama parties at the bookstore!
This summer La Canada preschools are hosting Pajama Parties at the local bookstore. The first one was hosted by the La Canada Flintridge Bookstore. Pajama clad children listened to Miss Debbie Bacino, director of La Canada Preschool, as she read various books from the store's collections. It is rumored that children enjoyed milk and cookies, as well. This was the first of four pajama parties to be held at the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse.
Tonight will be the second Pajama Party with stories being read by Miss Suzie (Suzie Johnson) , director of the Lighted Window Preschool.
The other parties will be on July 22nd with Miss Danielle from La Canana Community Preschool , and July 29th with Miss Marji from Parents and Teachers Preschool. The Flintridge Bookstore is located at:
964 Foothill Blvd
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011-3341
The Art of Changing the Brain by James E. Zull, professor of biology and director of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education at Case Western Reserve University.
Grace is a certified LearningSuccess ™ Coach and her virtual office is located at www.learningsuccesswithgrace.com
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