Red Flags for Primary Teachers
27 Neurodevelopmental and Vision Issues that Affect Larning with Activities to Help
5 x 7.5", 142 pages
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Somewhere in the vicinity of 30 years ago, I sat on an imaginary front porch at a Lesley Kindergarten Conference Workshop with another conference participant as we visualized what we saw in our teaching futures and the future of education. My workshop partner’s name was Katie Johnson, author of Doing Words as well as More Than Words and Reading Into Writing. Over the years, Katie and I have stayed in touch, working on opposite coasts for the most part, often bemoaning trends in education that provide less and less time for truly child-centered teaching and learning.
Katie’s latest book, Red Flags for Primary Teachers, does comment thoughtfully about many of the developmental and learning issues children face these days. But the core content of the book is designed to provide dozens of specific activities and strategies from the field of vision and neuro-motor patterning that can make significant differences in the reading and writing careers of elementary school students. Katie does this in a no-frills, straightforward style based on what she has learned in her own classrooms and from experts who work with children outside the classroom. Reading this small gem of a book is like listening to a teacher down the hall share a great idea.
Although I often make the point that while education and society have changed dramatically in terms of expectations for children, their growth and developmental patterns are essentially no different from the way they were 50 years ago. Katie tells a starker truth. “American children lead restricted lives, constantly bound in car seats where they have to sit in one position for sometimes hours at a time. Most children don’t go out to play without adult supervision, even in their own yards…” “The bottom line—children are not the same as when I began teaching.”
Katie argues that children’s developmental vision and patterning skills are being impacted negatively by significantly increased screen time and a commensurate decrease in motor activity. Her book provides meaningful ways to address this crisis and is immensely helpful, not only for primary teachers, but for their administrators, for music and physical education teachers, for OT, PT, and dance therapy teachers, and for parents who want to know what’s best for their children’s brain and body development and their academic progress.
Pass it on!
from Yardsticks, Chip Wood's blog, December 10, 2012
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