Neuroplasticity and Practice Blaze the Way for Learning Success
Published: May 26, 2015
Scientists now know that the brain is pliable like plastic and can continue to grow new cells throughout an individual’s lifetime. We have the power to remodel and improve our brains!
Neurons are capable of connecting to other cells as they blaze new neural pathways in the brain. Neuroplasticity defines the ability of the brain to restructure itself based on repetitive practices, if done correctly. This brain plasticity will occur only in an attending or focused brain, making paying close attention to what you are doing a requirement to successfully drive and strengthen neurologic pathways.
Neurologist and educator Judy Willis advocates that, "Practice makes permanent. The more times the network is stimulated, the stronger and more efficient it becomes." She also believes that presenting material in a way that allows children to see relationships between concepts allows them to become more successful in storing and retrieving information for the long term than when performing rote memorization.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 60% of K-12 school-aged children are reading below the level of proficiency needed to read the classroom text book. These students can learn to read, and all we have to do is learn how to present the correct information more effectively.
We can help children learn by understanding that:
- The brain can change, and it can change the function of old cells
- Focused practice will strengthen the cell pathways
Using what we have learned though brain research, the process of metacognition, and language development, we can help more students reach a higher level of reading proficiency at a faster rate.
GrapeSEED developed methods for instructing literacy based on what we now know about the brain and wiring neurons. With correct lesson presentation and focused attention, students reach new levels of achievement. The repeated exposure to songs, stories, chants, big books, poems, and action activities keeps children engaged and focused while blazing those new neural pathways!
Daily oral language practice during lessons stimulates the neural network, promoting language and literacy development that will continue with the children as they grow.