Books Are Made Of Paper

A study shows that toddlers are more interested in books than the same story read from an electronic screen, and are more interested in you when you’re reading from a book than a screen.

Researchers from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found parents and toddlers interacted more when reading print books together.

“Shared reading promotes children’s language development, literacy and bonding with parents,” lead author Tiffany Munzer, M.D., said in a news release. “… We found that when parents and children read print books, they talked more frequently and the quality of their interactions were better.”

Talk

A child in an environment with a rich spoken vocabulary will read better.

Using special eye-tracking technology, neuropsychologist Signy Wegener has established that when children hear a word, it prepares them to be able to read it later on.

I notice that the study involves words spoken by a person, not televisions or apps.

“The take-home message for parents is: ‘Talk to your kids. Try and use new and complex vocabulary. Take the opportunity to explain what that means during conversation or during shared storybook reading’…”

We talk all the time and I try not to adjust my language for the children so they get exposed to words they might not otherwise,” she said.

Experts Remain Puzzled

Doing philosophy makes kids better at math and reading.

Philosophical discussions about truth, fairness or kindness appear to give a small but significant boost to the maths and literacy progress of primary school pupils, although experts remain puzzled as to why.

Children in Montessori elementary schools are constantly talking about fairness and respectfulness simultaneously as they work on math and reading together.

No Not That Kind Of Spell

A new study has “discovered” what Dr. Montessori wrote about a century ago.

When inventing a spelling, the child is engaged in mental reflection and practice with words, not just memorizing. This strategy strengthens neuronal pathways so as the reader/writer becomes more sophisticated with invented spelling, she or he is developing a repertoire of more and more correctly spelled words at the same time. These words are stored in the word form area of the brain where the child can retrieve them automatically as sight words for reading and eventually as correctly spelled words for writing.

Memorizing a list of correct spellings does not help first-plane children learn how to spell. Correcting their spelling for them doesn’t help them learn how to spell. Letting them spontaneously learn how to spell is how they learn to spell.

Therefore, as a preparatory exercise, we offer to the child an alphabet which will be described below. By choosing the letters of the alphabet and placing them one beside the others, he composes words. His manual work is only that of taking known shapes from a case, and spreading them out on a mat. The word is built up, letter by letter, in correspondence with its component sounds. Since the letters are movable objects, it is easy to correct by displacement the composition which is made. This represents a studied analysis of the word and an excellent means for improving spelling.

It is a real study, an exercise of the intelligence, free from mechanism. It is not mixed up with the interesting exercise of the necessity for producing writing. Hence the intellectual energy devoted to this new interest may be expended without weariness in a surprising amount of work. — Montessori, M. “The Discovery Of The Child” p250, Kalakshetra