Categories
Games Reading

Adding ABCs

The Dr. Seuss ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! is a fun tongue twister to read to Fleur.

Since she is starting to read, I wanted to help associate the letters with things more… tangible.

So, when it returned to a bedtime reading staple the other day, I included her name in the appropriate letter. She commented about it, so the next time I included her cousin. She commented about both.

Now, I as I read, I am trying to anticipate the next letter and include for her a person’s name in the appropriate letter. The reaction tells me she is engaged more than when I read it without the personal connection.

Hopefully, that game is the kind of brain game appropriate to staving off my own impending dementia? I’m multi-tasking reading and also searching for names.

Categories
Mathematics Reading

Spatial ability can influence verbal ability

As a child, I loved LEGOs and spent hours upon hours building with them. We got Fleur Megablocks early and she aspired to build towers taller than her. I tried getting her in Duplos (toddler LEGOs), only to find her interested in the Minifig(ure)s. For the past 6 months she has really been interested in Magna-Tiles to build zoos for toy animals and houses for her Minifigs.

Coincidentally, she has also had a verbal explosion about the same time.

And I’ve run across a study looking at bleed over affects spatial ability into the verbal domain. These are older students, getting new lessons on spatial ability who then showed skill gains in verbal reasoning backed by changes in the brain through longitudinal fMRI scans.

The more students improved on spatial scanning and mental rotation, abilities that are specifically theorized to support mental modeling, the more they improved on verbal reasoning, and improvement on spatial scanning mediated the association of the spatial curriculum to improved verbal reasoning.

Robert A. Cortes et al. Transfer from spatial education to verbal reasoning and prediction of transfer from learning-related neural change. Science Advances, 8, 32. 2022. https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/sciadv.abo3555

This might be something akin to findings that students who struggle with reading find word problems more difficult, so improving reading also improves math ability. The mental modeling aspect is truly fascinating.

The SAT wants verbal and math to be separate things, but we keep finding that they are subtly linked.

Categories
Parenting Reading

Reading to dolls

I stumbled across the cutest of scenes. I went looking for Fleur because it was too quiet.

She was in her room with the Olivia book between her and Cora the doll. While not yet able to read, she does have it mostly memorized and was telling it to Cora.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

She also will offer to read to us. Usually they are her favorites, so she basically memorized the story.

What amuses me most about her play reading is the made up parts. There is a slight pause where she realizes she doesn’t know and composes something to go with the picture. I can see why she picked it.

It reminds me of how the brain fills in the gaps for memory retrieval. If the actual memory has pieces missing, it finds relevant information and inserts it into the recall. The problem is that is what gets remembered in future retrieval instances. This is what distorts recall such that eyewitness testimony can be manipulated by police or lawyers.

Categories
Parenting Reading

Five Books a Day

Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to, a new study found.

This makes sense to me. Keep in mind this is a number over what kids whose parents do not regularly read to them. The more one reads the more exposure. More exposure improves vocabulary by tuning the brain in this critical period to the acquisition of it.

At these volumes, variety is needed to maintain novelty and stimulation. That means a personal library probably is not going to cut it unless you are wealthy. Fleur has a couple hundred books already. I expect her to have a healthy library. But, we will need to supplement with the library or hanging out in a bookstore.

Libraries also have programs for encouraging reading. A thousand books seem to be the target for the programs I see. But, I think that is the kid reading not being read to.