The Developing Brain
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Bestseller!

The Developing Brain
Birth to Age Eight



© 2008 | 144 pages | Corwin

"This tool shows how classrooms can differentiate instruction, spend time on what really matters, and make sure that all children are making progress. I love the practical applications for each age level and what teachers can do to support optimal learning in their classrooms. Fantastic!"
—Stephanie Malin, Elementary Instructional Coach
Beaverton School District, OR

"The author has managed to untangle a very complex topic and make it applicable to everyday learning and teaching. The continuous application of research to learning is a strength of the book. A true gift to a broad band of educators."
—Laura Linde, Literacy Coach
Hoover Elementary School, North Mankato, MN

Finally, a book for early childhood educators that combines child development and brain research!

How can early childhood teachers, administrators, and parents translate discoveries on early brain development into strategies that nurture cognitive growth? Synthesizing information from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and child development, The Developing Brain offers brain-compatible teaching practices that are linked to NAEYC principles for working with young children.

Best-selling author Marilee Sprenger covers the basic structure, vocabulary, and current research on the brain from an early childhood educator's point of view and provides an abundance of illustrations and descriptions. This user-friendly guide includes:

  • Background information on brain development from birth through age two
  • Scenarios and snapshots of each year from age three through eight
  • Reproducible developmental checklists
  • Over 100 brain-based activities for classroom or child care settings

Through an understanding of the phases of language, motor, and social development at each age level, educators can create enriching educational experiences that enhance children's growth and foster an enduring love of learning.

 
Preface: You Don't Know Jack!
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction
What Is Best Practice?  
Brain-Compatible Teaching Principles  
Early Childhood Practices  
An Ounce of Prevention  
About This Book  
 
1. The Basic Biology of Brain Development
Brain Chemicals  
Electroencephalograms  
Windows of Opportunity  
Experience Dependent and Experience Expectant  
First Language  
Second Language Learning  
Motor Development  
Memory Development  
Music  
Math  
Emotion  
Thinking About Brain Growth  
 
2. Building the Brain Through Age Two
Brain Development  
Language and Reading Development  
Physical and Motor Development  
Gross Motor Skills  
Fine Motor Skills  
Social and Emotional Development  
Cognitive Development  
Developmentally Appropriate Activities From Birth to Age Two  
Reading and Language Development  
Physical and Motor Development  
Cognitive Development  
 
3. The Three-Year-Old Brain
Brain Development  
Language and Reading Development  
Physical and Motor Development  
Social and Emotional Development  
Cognitive Development  
Developmentally Appropriate Activities for Three-Year-Old Brains  
For Language and Reading Development  
For Physical and Motor Development  
For Social and Emotional Development  
For Cognitive Development  
Child Development Checklist: Three-Year-Olds  
 
4. The Four-Year-Old Brain
Brain Development  
Language and Reading Development  
Physical and Motor Development  
Social and Emotional Development  
Cognitive Development  
Developmentally Appropriate Activities for Four-Year-Old Brains  
For Language and Reading Development  
For Physical and Motor Development  
For Social and Emotional Development  
For Cognitive Development  
Child Development Checklist: Four-Year-Olds  
 
5. The Five-Year-Old Brain
Scenario  
Brain Development  
Language and Reading Development  
Physical and Motor Development  
Social and Emotional Development  
Cognitive Development  
Developmentally Appropriate Activities for Five-Year-Old Brains  
For Language and Reading Development  
For Physical and Motor Development  
For Social and Emotional Development  
For Cognitive Development  
Child Development Checklist: Five-Year-Olds  
 
6. The Six-Year-Old Brain
Scenario  
Brain Development  
Language and Reading Development  
Physical and Motor Development  
Social and Emotional Development  
Cognitive Development  
Developmentally Appropriate Activities for Six-Year-Old Brains  
For Language and Reading Development  
For Physical and Motor Development  
For Social and Emotional Development  
For Cognitive Development  
Child Development Checklist: Six-Year-Olds  
 
7. The Seven-Year-Old Brain
Scenario  
Brain Development  
Language and Reading Development  
Physical and Motor Development  
Social and Emotional Development  
Cognitive Development  
Developmentally Appropriate Activities for Seven-Year-Old Brains  
For Language and Reading Development  
For Physical and Motor Development  
For Social and Emotional Development  
For Cognitive Development  
Child Development Checklist: Seven-Year-Olds  
 
8. The Eight-Year-Old Brain
Brain Development  
Language and Reading Development  
Physical and Motor Development  
Social and Emotional Development  
Cognitive Development  
Developmentally Appropriate Activities for Eight-Year-Old Brains  
For Language and Reading Development  
For Physical and Motor Development  
For Social and Emotional Development  
For Cognitive Development  
Child Development Checklist: Eight-Years-Old  
 
Bibliography
 
Index

"I truly enjoyed the book and had trouble putting it down. The developmental checklists at the end of each chapter are awesome! I have pored over them and learned so much about my children, niece, and neighbors. Thanks for providing such a neat way to communicate expectations and guidelines."

Stacey B. Ferguson, Teacher
North Bay Elementary School, Bay St. Louis, MS

"The author has managed to untangle a very complex topic and make it applicable to everyday learning and teaching. The continuous application of research to learning is a strength of the book. A true gift to a broad band of educators."

Laura Linde, Literacy Coach
Hoover Elementary School, North Mankato, MN

"This tool shows how classrooms can differentiate instruction, spend time on what really matters, and make sure that all children are making progress. I love the practical applications for each age level and what teachers can do to support optimal learning in their classrooms. Fantastic!"

Stephanie Malin, Elementary Instructional Coach
Beaverton School District, OR

"The author took difficult information on the brain and synthesized it so that it is reader-friendly and easy to understand. She provided ideas that could easily be implemented in a classroom or at home and identified the curriculum areas for growth."

Gail Underwood, Math Coach
Columbia Public Schools, MO

"Chapters cover the basic research on the brain as it relates to educators and child development issues, pairing this survey with development checklists and over 100 brain-based activities for classroom or child care environments."

California Bookwatch, June 2008
Midwest Book Review
Key features
  • By best-selling author, educator, and former pre-school teacher Marilee Sprenger
  • Covers the basics of brain structures, vocabulary, and research from the early childhood educator's point of view, with lots of illustrations and teacher-friendly descriptions
  • Focuses on year-by-year changes in the child's language/reading development, physical/motor development, and social/emotional development.
  • Each chapter features a collection of developmentally appropriate activities ready for use in classroom or child care settings
  • Each chapter features a yearly child development checklist as well as a list of possible concerns for the teacher to be aware of at each stage of child development.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1: The Basic Biology of Brain Development


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