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Brain Research and Education

Ameina

I was just reading an article on how it is important for teachers to know the structure and make up of the brain in order for us as teachers to better be able to adjust our teaching in order to benefit our students and help them to learn. It states that teachers should be aware of the two distictive types of memory (Precedural and Declarative). The article advises that teachers become familiar with the brain, its parts and its function.
What I would like to hear is whether we teachers should rely solely on the parts of the brain to influence our teaching? Should we look to appeal to different parts to teach specific lessons? Should we now design a course at Teachers Colleges specifically related to the brain and its role in Education? Im looking forward to reading your comments.

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Brain Research

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I like to keep updated on brain research as well. As you stated,the research usually states what most already do in the classroom. But, at times, it is important to check the validity of the "research" as well.

I agree with Rebecca, reading

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I agree with Rebecca, reading how students process sounds and letters helped me understand how a "computerized" program would help. Before reading this article, honestly, I was very hesitant on sitting a child in front of a computer to help in his/her reading ability. But I must admit, this is something I would look into for struggling readers after reading the brain research. As a previous first grade teacher, I must admit when those low readers don't take off as quickly as the others, I am looking for All sorts of ways to jumpstart their reading.

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I have never heard of the Fast Forward program but it sounds interesting.

A class on brain research

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A class on brain research would be helpful. I would like more information on the Fast Forward program.

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I too read the article you refer to, and was intrigued by the idea of a somewhat personalized computer program teaching struggling readers. I have not seen the program in action, but would like to. Much as I would love to be able to provide for all of my students' needs, with 28 students and only one teacher, I know that just isn't possible. If technology can help me to provide a better learning environment for a child, it seems foolish NOT to check it out. Of course, the human interaction between a child and his or her teacher is still vital, but the novelty of a computer program could capture a child's interest and increase feelings of success.

Is there anyone who has tried the Fast ForWord program? What was your experience with it?

Molly

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Thank you for the information. I will google and see what I get.

Molly

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Thank you for the information. I google and see what I find.

Rebecca

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I don't know a lot about the program. What I have read talks about letter recognition, just looking at two letters and identifying the corrent one. I am sure there is more to it than that. I notice though that Molly W. has a child that has used the program at school. She might be willing to tell you more about it.

Fast ForWord

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I taught at a school in Texas three years ago that had this program. All my students were given an initial test through the Fast ForWord program and given a numerical score. The students with the lowest numerical score were chosen to participate in the program. The students with lowest scores were my students who were low achievers in my classroom. They attended the lab for an eight week period for 90 minutes each day. The program consisted of game-like exercises, including nonverbal and verbal sound discrimination, phonological processing, vocabulary recognition, and language comprehensions. The program advanced on to more complicated exercises as the students progressed eliminating frustration within the students. They were not present for a large portion of instructional time, but at the end of the eight weeks, I did see progress in all areas of Language Arts and Reading with the students who attended the program. This is program that I wished we had at my current school because I have students in my class right now that could possibly benefit from such a program.

More info on Fast ForWord

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At my school, Fast ForWord was not the responsibility of the teacher. We had a paraprofessional who ran the Fast ForWord lab daily. The only equipment I saw in the lab was the computer (program already installed), headphones and a microphone. The program takes the students out of the regular classroom setting for approximately 90 minutes each day for eight weeks. This program was developed based on brain research. Whether or not this is a fad to use brain research based programs rests on the shoulders of us, the educators.

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