CLICK TO VIEW NEWSLETTER
This newsletter is best viewed in HTML or you can view on our website:
http://newsletters.santacruzparent.com/Newsletters/view/February222013,330.html
Please add info@santacruzparent.com to your safe-senders list to ensure your newsletters do not get caught by email filters.

  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

February 22, 2013


Music Ability Helps Reading

Suki: Dear 20 year Old Self
Designing The Classroom To Enhance Learning
Start the Day With Exercise
This Week
Quilt Show! Traditional, Innovative, Modern - ALL Creative!
Click to view our Business Directory
 

(Photos General) GeorgeWashingtonLeader.jpgToday, February 22, thank you George Washington for your service to our country, for showing us that true leaders know when to walk away from power.

What do you look for in a school?

I loved going to school, being in school, going home and playing school.  I had four younger brothers to play school with and guess who was the teacher!  Think back to your favorite year in elementary school where the stage was set for your attitudes and success in learning.  I recall four memorable teachers in 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th grades.  Mrs. Robinson was a round, fearsome woman with thinning red hair who efficiently marshalled 30 4th graders into learning long division.  In 5th grade a soft-spoken and compassionate Mrs. Gambel introduced us to the logic of grammar, diagramming sentences, spelling bees, art and music -oh did I love the art and music!  We had music books full of classic Americana like "Red River Valley", "Oh My Darling Clementine" or "America the Beautiful" and got to paint seasonal scenes on our classroom windows. The only thing I remember about Mrs. Noonan in 6th grade was being scolded for yelling "Ouch" when my good friend Betsy Patchett stabbed my hip with a lead pencil.  I spent 7th grade giggling with friends and torturing Mr. Sadlon with impertinent questions.  It's no wonder that after the last two teachers and my growing boredom with school that my parents selected the private school path for 8th grade onward.  Think about what's best for your children!

A while back I stumbled upon a video of an inner city classroom in which young children were doing an impressive in-between lessons clapping-marching-song routine.  Now I cannot find it, but it has stayed with me, partly because current brain research confirms the correlation with learning, working smarter and exercize.  We include some history and a link to BOKSBURSTS for home and school!

I liked school well enough that I never thought about the fact that most classrooms confined us kids to four walls, desks in a row or clustered in groups of four, surrounded by bulletin boards and chalkboards.  That's just what classrooms were.  Recently I walked into a classroom that had all the typical paraphernalia, but there were several sections with varying homey touches like upholstered chairs, area rugs and lamps, warm lamps.  What an ambience of welcoming and warmth that classroom offered.

What are you looking for in a school? Excellent teaching, an individualized curriculum, teachers up on the latest science of learning, a warm welcoming environment --all are part of a good start. 

Parmalee

 

(Ads 2012) SpringHill_Kindergarten2012.jpg

  Music Ability Helps Reading

by Anne Lukits

(Graphics) MusicNotescolors.jpgPlaying a musical instrument from a young age appears to create new pathways in the brain that process written words and letters and may help children with reading disorders such as dyslexia, says a study in the journal Neuropsychologia. Musicians generally outperform nonmusicians on cognitive tests, but little is known about the effects of reading musical notes on the brain's circuitry as it relates to reading, researchers said.

Playing a musical instrument from a young age appears to create new pathways in the brain that process written words and letters and may help children with reading disorders such as dyslexia.

Fifteen professional musicians who had played an instrument since childhood and 15 control subjects who couldn't read music participated in two experiments in Milan. Subjects were 26 to 31 years old. In one experiment, subjects pressed a button if they recognized the notes E, F, G, A and B (mi, fa, sol, la and ti on the musical scale) which randomly appeared in 300 short musical scores flashed on a computer screen. In the other experiment, they pressed the button when they spotted the letters B, G, L, M and S in 300 randomly selected words. An electroencephalogram (EEG) measured brain-wave activity.

Musicians recognized notes significantly faster than controls and letters only slightly faster. Musicians made fewer errors in both experiments. But EEG results showed striking differences. In musicians, reading musical notes and words activated both the left and right sides of the brain, whereas in controls, only the left side responded to words and the right side to notes. Language is normally a left-brain function and music a right-brain function. The involvement of the right side in a typically left-sided function probably resulted from reading music, researchers said. Musical training may be quite helpful for children struggling to read, they said.

Caveat: The differences in brain activation may be due to the controls' inability to read musical scores, researchers said. Spatial abilities may differ between the two groups due to musicians' practice of reading music, they said. The study was small.

 

(Ads 2012) TriplePSeptember2012728.jpg

  Suki: Dear 20 year Old Self

(Photos General) SukiRedHead_138.jpg

(Photos General) 1984_SW__PortaitofaContemporaryYoungPerson-216x300.jpgI remember the day you knocked on the door of the artist. You were a college student, and you were taking a child language acquisition course. When the professor had given the assignment to find a child to observe, you asked, "How do I find a child?" The people you knew were little older than children themselves, and you didn't know anything about your professors' private lives. Your linguistics professor hooked you up with a family visiting from Great Britain, a psychologist, his artist wife, and their baby.
Portrait

 

[Portrait of a Contemporary Young Person by Robin Richmond]

 

You were uncomfortable meeting new people. You never told anyone that-it seemed so stupid that even having to make a phone call to a stranger made you break out in a cold sweat. You'd never learned how to ask for help, and always felt like there were rules that you didn't understand.

 

In response to this disconnected feeling you had, you armed yourself against the world. You wore unconventional clothing and got "half a haircut"-long on one side, short on the other. You conveyed a clear message that you were angry, unapproachable. After you broke up with a boyfriend, he told you never to stop being disgusted with the way things are-that, he said, is your best quality. (Good job breaking up with him, by the way!) ...Read more>>>

  Designing The Classroom To Enhance Learning

by Annie Murphy Paul

(Photos General) SchoolwithLamp1.jpgClassroom design can have a significant effect on students' academic progress, reports Adi Bloom in the Times Educational Supplement: "Academics from the University of Salford in Britain examined how much pupils' environment affects their performance, looking at whether certain types of classrooms encourage learning learning.

Their findings were published in the latest issue of the Journal Building and Environment.  Researchers examined the academic achievement of 751 pupils, studying in 34 classrooms across seven schools. Their observations found that 73 per cent of the variation in pupils' performance could be explained by environmental factors.


In fact, the difference between the academic performance of an average pupil placed in the worst classroom, compared with that of a pupil placed in the best classroom, was equal to the average improvement of a child during an entire academic year."


Here, some of the environmental factors that influenced students' learning:

• Classrooms that received natural light from more than one direction, and with high-quality electric lighting, benefited pupils.
• Design features that allowed pupils to feel a sense of ownership towards their classroom also helped them to learn.
Comfortable-and larger-desks and chairs were an aid to progress.
• Pupils benefited from a range of activity zones within a single classroom, allowing different types of learning to take place at the same time.
• Other factors were found to have such a detrimental effect on learning-for instance, noise and temperature levels-that they rendered all other factors insignificant.
• While stimulation was important, so was a sense of order. "Young children may like exciting spaces, but to learn it would seem they need relatively ordered spaces, with a reasonable degree of interest,' the researchers conclude." (Unfortunately, the article is not available online.)


Much of this is common sense, and yet many of the spaces that children learn in are far from ideal, so attention to the issue of design is clearly needed.


What about the spaces that your children or students learn in.  Do they resemble the ideal described by the University of Salford researchers?

  Start the Day With Exercise


(Photos General) Children_Exercize.jpgJohanna Seltz writes in the Boston Globe about an exercise program for kids called BOKS, which stands for Build Our Kids' Success: "The program started in one Natick elementary school in 2009, and since becoming affiliated with Reebok in Canton has expanded to 84 schools around the country, according to founder and executive director Kathleen Tullie.


The schools use 45-minute sessions to focus on specific physical skills, incorporating them in games, obstacle courses, races, and exercises. Each session ends with a brief talk about good nutrition. Evelyn Julian learned about the BOKS program through her job at Reebok and introduced it to her sons' school in Hingham. She was concerned that students had gym only once every six days and weren't getting enough physical activity. And she wanted to share the program her company was championing.


"The feedback I have received from some of the parents has been extremely positive,' she said. "My son tells me [that] after BOKS he feels like his brain is ready to learn in class. What more could I ask for?'"


Imagine if every child started the day with physical exercise-how much more relaxed and attentive they would be once school begins.


The BOKS program is powered by parents, teachers, schools and local volunteers. Our BOKS family grows by the day, and we are thrilled to touch so many lives. It is our firm belief that together, we can empower children to get fit for life. Join the movement for healthier minds, bodies and communities. Become a BOKSTAR!

Try BOKS Bursts' 2-5 minute physical activity breaks in the classroom, the bus stop, or the yard! Click here.

  This Week

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpg

(Ads) SantaCruzParentFacebook.jpg

 

Submit your event!


Check the Events Calendar for More Events!

 

(Graphics) SchoolHouseRed.jpg

School Corner

Spring Hill School K-8, Kindergarten Tour 2/27

 

Santa Cruz Children's School K-6, Open House 3/5

 

Chartwell & The New High School K-12, Dyslexia Simulations Workshop 3/13

 

Gateway School K-8, Open House 3/13

Parenting

Workshops!

(Ads 2013) CampusKids_BostwickJan2013.jpg

Welcome

New Businesses!

Music Preschool

(Photos General) MusicPreschool_boy-with-trumpet.jpg

Watershed Art

(Photos General) WatershedArt_Robin.jpg

Little People's Store

(Logos Business) LittlePeoplesStoreLogo.jpg

Midtown Montessori

(Photos General) MidtownMontessori_Collaboration.jpg

WOLF School

(Photos General) WOLF_KidswNewt.jpg

Like our newsletter?

(Photos General) Children_GirlwithDog.jpg

Tell a friend!

(Photos General) DogChowChow.jpg

 Quilt Show! Traditional, Innovative, Modern - ALL Creative!

Pajaro Valley Quilters
Over 400 quilted items on display
Feb 23-Feb 24 from 10am to 4:30pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free parking, Admission free - $8

Sat, 2pm Linda Schmidt, Speaker

12:30 Fashion Show.

Sunday: live auction -12:30; Opportunity Drawing - 4pm. 

Quilt Displays, Appraisals, Merchant Mall w/40 vendors, Children's Activities, Doll Display, Bargain Garden of quilt/craft supplies and more. 


Location: Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, 2601 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville Map
Phone: 831.724-5671 •website Watsonville

Back Then  and Now
click to view website
  Back Then and Now
Date:
view all details >>
     
Clam Chowder Cook-Off
click to view website
  Clam Chowder Cook-Off
City of Santa Cruz
Date: Every day (Feb 25-Feb 26)
Details: Join the fun and excitement as talented Chefs from throughout the West Coast compete for the glory of the BEST CLAM CHOWDER!
Special Instructions: Each Tasting Kit Includes 6 taste tickets, spoon, cup, and a People's Choice ballot.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Back Then  and Now
click to view website
  Back Then and Now
Date:
view all details >>
     
Back Then  and Now
click to view website
  Back Then and Now
Date:
view all details >>
     
Fungus Foray
click to view website
  Fungus Foray
State Park Rancho del Oso
Date: 02/24/2013 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Details: Slow down, get down and look around for fungus.
City: Davenport Phone: (831) 427-2288 view all details >>
     
Preschool Storytime
click to view website
  Preschool Storytime
Library Watsonville
Date: Every Tues and Th at 11:00am
Details: Story time for preschoolers at the library, Spanish or English
City: Watsonville view all details >>
     
Back Then  and Now
click to view website
  Back Then and Now
Date:
view all details >>
     
Back Then  and Now
click to view website
  Back Then and Now
Date:
view all details >>
     
Back Then  and Now
click to view website
  Back Then and Now
Date:
view all details >>
     
Back Then  and Now
click to view website
  Back Then and Now
Date:
view all details >>
     
Back Then  and Now
click to view website
  Back Then and Now
Date:
view all details >>
     
Back Then  and Now
click to view website
  Back Then and Now
Date:
view all details >>
     
Back Then  and Now
click to view website
  Back Then and Now
Date:
view all details >>
     
     
business directory | blogs | classifieds | contests | editor updates | families giving back
newsletter archives | parent chat | parent planner | parent perks | contact us
Stay Connected: Blogs Blogs | RSS RSS

You received this e-mail because you have signed up for our e-mail newsletters from our website.
If you received this message in error or you want to be removed from this exclusive mailing list just visit
the following link and follow the instructions. CLICK TO UNSUBSCRIBE
info@santacruzparent.com | Santa Cruz, CA