ATTN: iPad users! If this post doesn’t display properly, with all its nifty graphic and text links, try here. Stuart’s workshop on Visual Learning and Story Telling in Early Childhood Education will take place on Friday, January 27, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., in Room 192C, West Building, McCormick Place. Hope to see you there!
Archive for the ‘Social skills’ Category
Tags: "I See I Learn", "Stuart J. Murphy", Chicago, CMAEYC, early childhood education, Mathstart, Opening Minds, Visual Learning
Posted in "I See I Learn", Emotional skills, Health and Safety, Mathstart, Pre-K, Social skills, Visual Learning, cognitive skills, eduation | Comments Off
You could say that Miss Cathy was drawn to teaching (literally). She loves her job at Ready Set Pre-K and looks forward to each morning with as much delight as her students: Freda, Percy, Ajay, Emma, Carlos and little Camille.
Although the focus of Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn stories is on the children (“Freda Plans a Picnic,” “Percy Gets Upset”), Miss Cathy plays a key, though sometimes invisible role, helping them learn the skills they need to be “happier, healthier and more confident.” She beams with their every success and when they struggle, thinks about ways to help.
Miss Cathy is constantly reading books and articles about early childhood education (she is a big fan of NAEYC’s magazines, especially “Teaching Young Children”). She is also a bit of a geek, regularly surfing the web looking for good resources.
She was thrilled! “Of course, I would love to help! Right after class, I shall start to put together some notes.”
Each “Miss Cathy Recommends…” webdoc (a one-page mini-website) includes links to articles, book links and websites about a specific social, emotional, health and safety or cognitive skill.
Miss Cathy also shares an I See I Learn story about how her students have learned specific skills, such as making a friend or dealing with frustration, and includes a link to an I See I Learn pdf poster, perfect for classrooms and libraries.
So far there are 8 “Miss Cathy Recommends…” resource pages:
- Making Friends: I See I Learn’s Miss Cathy Recommends Books & Resources (“Emma’s Friendwich”)
- Teamwork! Miss Cathy Recommends Books and Resources (“Camille’s Team”)
- Wow! I Can Do It: Miss Cathy Recommends Resources on Building Confidence (“Good Job, Ajay!”)
- Meltdown! Miss Cathy Recommends Resources on Managing Frustration (“Percy Gets Upset”)
HEALTH & SAFETY SKILLS
- Safety = Fun! Miss Cathy Recommends Resources on Playground Safety (“Percy Plays It Safe”)
- Lost? Miss Cathy Recommends Resources for Getting Found (“Freda Gets Found“)
- Freda Plans a Picnic & Miss Cathy Recommends Resources for Sequencing Skills (Freda Plans a Picnic)
- Writing Your Own Name! Miss Cathy Recommends Resources (Write On, Carlos!)
Actually, there is a 9th “Miss Cathy Recommends…” page:
Read the latest about I See I Learn (now in Spanish!), MathStart, the MathStart musical, The Main Street Kids’ Club, and more…
Thank you, Miss Cathy!
Do you know a great resource you would like to recommend to Miss Cathy? Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Tags: "I See I Learn", "Stuart J. Murphy", Mathstart, Miss Cathy, Miss Cathy recommends, Stuart J. Murphy's I See I Learn, The Main Street Kids' Club, webdoc
Posted in "I See I Learn", Cognitive, Emotional skills, Pre-K, Social skills, Uncategorized, cognitive skills, eduation | Comments Off
by J.A. Ginsburg
Everything a young child learns—in school and at home—is important, but one of the most important and certainly delightful social skills is learning how to make a friend.
When Emma’s family moves to See-and-Learn City, Emma loves her new room, her new yard and her new neighborhood. She and Pickle, her exceptionally adorable green bulldog, have fun playing together, but both wish they had some new friends, too.
Pickle spots a pretty pink butterfly (we’ll call her “Pinky”), while Emma gazes wistfully at a little girl (Freda) and a little boy (Percy) playing next door.
The next day Emma saw Freda playing alone, building a great big castle in her backyard. When Freda looked up, Emma smiled. Freda smiled back!
Then Emma asked is she could play, too. “Sure,” said Freda.
Then Emma helped Freda by giving here a block for the castle’s tower. They started to build together.
Then Emma offered to share one of her toys to add to the project.
By the time Percy arrives, not only has Freda decided that they have a new friend, but Freda and Emma are literally on the same page of of the storybook!
Percy loves to make new friends. And when Freda and Percy give Emma a hug, it was the best “friendwich” ever!
As for Pickle and Pinky, it was like they had known each other forever!
The storytelling—as with all Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn books—is kept simple and clear and supported by illustrations designed to provide behavioral models. Free downloadable pdf “Closer Look” posters are available online.
FEEDBACK THAT WARMS THE HEART…
from Nicole P., a mom and Early Childhood Special Education Community Teacher in Oregon:
I just wanted to share a story about the books with you. This week a head start teacher I work with that I loaned the whole set to had this to say about the books: “At first I have to be honest with you I thought they would not have an impact on the the kid’s, but the kid’s love these books. They have all memorized the stories after reading them twice for each book and I am now hearing them use the language from the book in their play interactions together. They are saying things like, ‘let’s work together and cooperate.’ I have to admit these books are great.”
One of the students I work with in her classroom asked me to read the books to her. She typically has difficulties with peer interactions and she was explaining to me how she asked a friend in the class to play with her just like Emma and that she remembered to smile and that she made a friend.
That means that so far in one classroom these books have impacted the lives of 20 students. I split the other set up and I have been rotated them between three different sites and the kids response has been positive as well. We are definitely seeing an improvement in social interactions but the books are only have of it I think they also give the adults an opening to model interactions that the children see in the books and it gives everyone a frame of reference and makes that dialog easy.
Now that’s a friendwich! Thanks, Nicole!
We love hearing from readers! Our email address is: email@example.com
MISS CATHY RECOMMENDS:
- Children’s Books on Making Friends / Compiled by NAEYC Stuart always says—and I agree—that if a child enjoys learning by reading books (or having books read to her), then get more books!
- Why Friends are Important / by Carol Sjostrom Miller, Parents magazine Great tips! I especially like 5 year old Joshua’s “pick up line”: “Hi, my name is Joshua!” It’s simple, friendly and engaging. I would want to be Joshua’s friend, wouldn’t you?
- Benefits of SEL / Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL): Good social and emotional learning skills improve “young people’s academic success, health, and well-being…(and prevent)…a variety of problems such as alcohol and drug use, violence, truancy, and bullying.” Count me in!
Be sure to check out all of Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn books, including titles in Spanish! Stuart’s Level 1 MathStart books are perfect for Pre-K. You can follow us on twitter and Facebook. Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter, too! (sample)
by J. A. Ginsburg
on the inspirations of childhood, why many heads are better than one; the nature / tech connection; & visual learning and science
When Project Noah’s, “Chief Leaf,” Yassar Ansari was a boy, he was fascinated by reptiles and amphibians, keeping many in his room—much to his mom’s dismay. “It kept her out,” he recalls with a laugh. Although wise enough to humor her nature-loving son’s penchant for the scaled, spined, slimy and cold-blooded, she never could have guessed where his interests would eventually lead.
Fast-forward a few decades and Ansari, now armed with degrees in molecular biology and bioinformatics, finds himself at a career crossroads after stints the Salk Institute’s genome analysis lab and at telcos Qualcomm and Kyocera (where he worked on everything from hand-held radiation detectors to mobile gaming apps). So it’s off to the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, a.k.a.,“an Alice in Wonderland version of graduate school. It is the kind of place where Photocell 200K light sensors are stocked in the vending machine along with more traditional geek gorp. It is where techies go to dream.
“I took a class called ‘Social Activism Using Mobile Technology,’ where we were asked, ‘What are our causes?’ I really wanted to use mobile technology for a more meaningful purpose. I wanted to build something that was based on impact. Impact as the bottom line,” says Ansari.
His “big hairy audacious goal”? Creating a “common platform for recording all the world’s organisms.” Project Noah (Networked Organism and Habitats), the world’s biggest crowdsourced nature guide, was born. He had come full circle, determined to spark in others the same kind of wonder that his bedroom menagerie had sparked in him.
What began as a glimmer in Ansari’s eye in early 2010 is now available as a free app for smart phone (iPhone and Android), which has been downloaded over 100,000 times. While many use the site as a resource, nearly 24,000 photos have been uploaded by “citizen scientists” —including some from a class of second grader beta testers in Maine. And no less a “wow!” than National Geographic has come on board as an investor. Even more of a “wow!,” staff from the National Geographic regularly peruse the sight and about once a week choose a photograph to hare with five and half million Facebook fans.
Project Noah is still very much in its early stages (the search function on the website will, no doubt, improve), but the rallying cry of “No Child Left Inside!” is a siren song. This isn’t just about the world beyond the classroom: This is the world as a classroom. This is students as scientists, making observations in the field and sharing them in ways that simply weren’t possible before. Now, anyone anywhere can contribute data points of genuine value to researchers.
(credit: PopTech / summer 2010)_____________________
Although envisioned as a mobile app, you actually don’t need a smart phone to contribute to Project Noah. Just sign on to the website and you can upload photos from computer files. You don’t even to know the name of what you’re looking at to contribute. Experts surf the site to help fill in the blanks. Just do your best to describe what something looks like, where it’s located, the time of day, the weather: Every details helps.
Also, unlike traditional field guides that focus solely on plant / animal identification, Project Noah can be used to analyze changes over time for specific species or areas. For example, a class could document all kinds of details about what’s “growing on” in a school garden or nearby park. Plants, of course, but also insects, worms, squirrels, rabbits, dogs and cats, too. When did the first bloom appear? When did the last leaf fall? Even in the middle of a city, it is possible to nurture a deep and textured relationships with Nature. Who knows? The next E.O. Wilson could be one of your students!
FISH, SCHOOLS, CROWDS & NETWORKS
One after another, the educator / presenters at TEDxNYED last month hammered home three messages about modern education:
- To succeed, indeed survive, in the 21st century, students must learn how to collaborate and network, and to sift through, sort and connect-the-dots from gushers of information.
- It is no longer about teaching children how to be taught, but teaching them how to be learners
- Technology is not a gee-whiz add-on—digital frosting to the analog cake of basic learning—but part and parcel of daily life for nearly all 7 billion people on the planet, rich and poor, urban and rural. It is how we function, almost as basic as breathing.
They could just as well have been talking about scientists. Social network tools are not only changing the way they work, but in many cases turbocharging it.
When a team from the Smithsonian recently found themselves at the Guyana border with an urgent need to identify 5,000 specimen fish quickly in order to secure an export permit, they uploaded thousands of photographs and called on their ichthyologist Facebook friends for help:
In less than 24 hours, this approach identified approximately 90 percent of the posted specimens to at least the level of genus, revealed the presence of at least two likely undescribed species, indicated two new records for Guyana and generated several loan requests. The majority of people commenting held a Ph.D. in ichthyology or a related field, and hailed from a great diversity of countries including the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil.
Now there is even a special network, a “Facebook for scientists,” called ResearchGate. Boasting nearly a million users so far, it promises a new way to reach out beyond the lab cubicle to others working on similar issues around the globe. Scientists can post research papers and send out inquiries. Although it doesn’t replace the richness of conferences with old fashioned in-person networking, panel discussions and poster sessions, it makes it easier for researchers to connect with colleagues outside their fields. Biologists can reach out to chemists, and geologists to structural engineers. New paths for collaboration are possible.
To paraphrase Ratatouille’s wise if ghostly chef Gusteau: Anyone can do science. Observe. Recognize. Interpret. Perceive. Express Ideas. Again and again and again. Visual learning skills are science skills (which delights us no end here at vizlearning…). The collective power of millions of new smart phone and digital camera “eyes,” connected by new digital platforms and social networks, means we can know more about more and faster than ever before.
So what are you waiting for? It’s Spring. Earth Day week, in fact. Go out there and pay attention!
RELATED READING / VIEWING
“Earth Day—Hooray!” / vizlearning archives
“Eco-Comedy / Eco-Tragedy” / J.A. Ginsburg, TrackerNews editor’s blog
“What the hell is that?” / Steve Martin & Bill Murray, Saturday Night Live (video)
Tags: citizen science, crowdsourcing, Earth Day, fish, Guyana, ichthyology, Interaction Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU, National Geographic, nature guides, Project Noah, ResearchGate, smart phones, Smithsonian Institution, Steve Martin, Visual Learning, Yasser Ansari
Posted in Environment, Social skills, Visual Learning, eduation, science, technology | Comments Off
by J.A. Ginsburg
I have a special place in my heart for Camille, the youngest of the I See I Learn children. Make no mistake—they are all pretty darn charming. But there is something about a “littlest” with the chutzpah to inspire and lead the bigger kids that leaves me cheering. Okay. I was a littlest, too. Big sister. Bigger brother. The last to get a word in edgewise at the dinner table. The first to be tucked into bed at night. Had there been I See I Learn books when I was younger, Camille would most certainly have been my role model.
You go, girl!
Camille’s Team opens with Camille and her mommy arriving at the beach (the legendary “Friendly Waves Beach,” which can be spotted on the See-and-Learn City map printed on the inside front cover of all the books). Trading in her trademark overalls for a sporty red swimsuit, matching beach clogs and signature pink bow, Camille is having a great time. She jumps in the water, combs the sand for shells and, armed with pail and shovel, sets out to build a fort.
Soon her friend Carlos, who lives just two doors away on Long Lane (see map!), comes by, carrying his own pail and shovel. He sets about building a big fort, too.
Percy and Freda, who think fort-building sounds like a lot of fun, join them. “Mine’s going to be the biggest fort of all,” says Percy with typical bravado.
Alas, things don’t go well for any of children and a big wave sends them back to square one.
This is when Camille shows us what she’s made of, her natural leadership abilities rising to the glum occasion. “What if we all work together? That way we could build one really BIG fort,” she says. The newly formed Big Fort Team gets to work.
The storytelling—as with all of Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn books—is kept simple and clear, supported by illustrations designed to provide behavioral models that teach an important life skill, in this case, the social skill of cooperation.
Make a Plan. Work Together. Share the fun. And build a fort so big and pretty that everyone on the beach stops by to admire its imaginative leaf “flags,” shell defenses and perfectly dug moat. “Who built that fort?” they ask. “The Big Fort Team,” said Camille. “That’s us!” they all shouted.
Camille. That girl has executive potential written all over her.
TEACHERS! PARENTS! CARE-GIVERS!
Each I See I Learn book includes a two-page spread called “A Closer Look,” designed to review key points of the story with an illustrated recap and a series of questions:
- How do you cooperate with others?
- Look at the pictures. What happened when everyone started to work together?
- How is working together better than working separately?
- Work with a friend to draw a picture of a fort like the one Camille’s team built.
“Cooperative Games for Preschoolers,” from NAEYC’s magazine, Teaching Young Children Fun!
“What Makes a Game Developmentally Appropriate?,” by Rae Pica, from NAEYC’s magazine “Young Children” My class at Ready Set Pre-K loves playing Cooperative Musical Chairs!
“Pre-K Car Wash” Great idea from Millbrae Nursery School
“Elephant Intelligence: Animal Learning On Par With Great Apes And Dolphins, New Study Reveals,” Huffington Post Wow! Elephants know it’s smart to cooperate! They would be the Really BIG Big Fort Team on the beach!“
Be sure to check out all of Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn books! His Level 1 MathStart books are perfect for Pre-K. You can follow us on twitter and Facebook. Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter, too! (sample)
by J.A. Ginsburg
On love, math and the magic of books
It was one of our favorite MathStart emails ever: Elisabeth and Brian, two first-time teachers, meet in a Teach for America class, bond over reading MathStart books together and…fall in love. Well, Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom!, this kind of news deserves a front page spread in The Grizzly Gazette!
Cathie Weber, their beaming-with-pride professor from The Johns Hopkins University School of Education, shared the news in June, writing that five years after Cupid’s bow had hit its mathematically inspired target, the happy couple just announced their engagement. It’s about Time! Congratulations! This calls for a big celebration, Leaping Lizards-style!
Amazingly, Cathie’s class was the only one the pair had shared during three years of study. It was their very first semester, too, when the rookie teachers were overwhelmed and exhausted from working dawn-to-dusk hours in inner-city schools and taking college courses at night.
As a way to help her stressed students loosen up a bit, Cathie—a big MathStart fan— assigned them to work in pairs, reading children’s books. Elisabeth remembers Earth Day—Hooray! Brian? Only that he had been “paired with the cutest girl in the whole program.”
The build up to this magical moment of literary romance, however, was not without its twists and turns. In 2004, Brian was working as a construction foreman in Pennsylvania, preparing to switch careers after being accepted into a teaching program in Philadelphia. Alas, the program fizzled in the wake of a federal grant cut. Then a sister in Maryland serendipitously came across some information on the Baltimore City Teaching Residency and plan B was launched. Meanwhile, Elisabeth graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in English and Spanish, an interest in teaching and a taste for adventure. She was happy to go wherever Teach for America might take her. From her Midwestern perch, the East Coast was prime unexplored territory.
Perfect, thought Elisabeth.
Here I come, said Brian.
So, what are the odds these two should meet, brought together by a professor who may yet have a second career as a matchmaker? Probably Pistachio, with a kismet cherry on top.
Last month, Stuart was in Baltimore, with just enough extra time to meet everyone. One…Two…Three…Sassafrass!
Congratulations Elisabeth and Brian!
…and one more toast: To Brian: Baltimore Teacher of the Year 2010!
Tags: "Stuart J. Murphy", Baltimore, Brian Rainville, Cathie Weber, Elisabeth Lim, Mathstart, romance. Teach for America, School of Education at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University
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by Stuart J. Murphy
On happier, healthier, more confident children, being inspired by children, imaginary dogs, fancy doghouses, map games and the wonderful Pre-K class at Snyder-Girotti Elementary!
What would you name your puppy if he happened to be green? “Why he looks just like a pickle!” said Emma’s grandfather. So Pickle he became.
Pickle is Emma’s oldest friend. When she was very little and just learning how to walk, Pickle was right there, wagging his tail, cheering her on. When they moved to See-and-Learn City, he stayed by her side, helping her unpack and settle into their new room. My story, “Emma’s Friendwich,” is about how they learn to make new friends. After a while, Emma had lots of friends. Pickle did, too.
In “Freda Plans a Picnic,” Pickle get to tag along with Emma and play with Percy and Ajay, some of her schoolmates from Ready Set Pre-K. They even bring him a special treat!
These are two of the first books in the I See I Learn ® series (Charlesbridge). Each book focuses on a different skill—for example, how to make a friend, or planning and sequencing— which are important not only for school, but as life skills. “For happier, healthier, more confident children” is our tagline, and our mission.
ON PETS, PROPS, GRANDCHILDREN & INSPIRATION
Children (and I count myself among them) love to read about pets and make up stories about pets. This past summer, our two granddaughters, Maddie and Camille, took pet storytelling to a whole new level. They really really want a dog, and had even picked out a name: Clementine!
One day, Maddie and Camille saw me unpack a large dehumidifier. Maddie immediately asked, “Can I have the box, Grandpa? It would make a nice house for Clementine.” A few days later, the house had windows with a window box for flowers, a door and a sign over the door that read “Clementine.” The walls were painted beautiful colors and there was a mailbox on the side.
Over the next few weeks, Clementine received mail almost every day. She had letters from neighborhood dogs telling her how they couldn’t wait to meet her. She even received a postcard from a dog on vacation. There was also an invitation to a doggy birthday party! Maybe one day the tale of Clementine will become a book.
I get most of my story ideas from children. While watching one of my grandson Jack’s baseball games, I noticed some younger children nearby trying to learn how to throw a ball. That’s how I got the idea to write “Good Job, Ajay!,” a story about a boy who learns about confidence as he tries and tries again to throw a ball well.
Children also like to read about playing—at the beach, at school, at the park—anywhere!. It is really important, though, that they learn how to play safely, so no one gets hurt accidentally. That’s why I wrote “Percy Plays It Safe.”
Each of the first four titles in the I See I Learn ® series focuses on different learning domain—Social, Emotional, Health and Safety and Cognitive— but they all use visual learning strategies to help teach specific skills. Most of the young children for whom the books are intended are pre-readers, but they are accomplished visual learners.
I have spent my entire career working in the field of visual learning and education, studying how information is effectively conveyed and received using charts, graphs, models, and pictures. The visual learning strategies used in I See I Learn™ include symbolic icons, picture diagrams, visual sequences, and graphic models. Each book also includes a special two-page section at the end of the story called “A Closer Look,” which features a graphic recap of the story’s key point and a series of “higher order” questions to reinforce the learning (no simple “yes” or “no” answers!).
THE GANG’S ALL HERE
In addition to Freda, Percy, Ajay and Emma, and, of course, Pickle, Carlos and Camille round out the Ready Set Pre-K friends.
Yes, this Camille is named after my youngest granddaughter! My older grandchildren have books “starring” a namesake character from my first series, MathStart: “Jack the Builder” and “Mighty Maddie.” Then along came Camille… Sometimes being last has its perks. Camille doesn’t just have one book, but is part of a whole series. Lucky Camille!
All of the I See I Learn ® children live in See-and-Learn-City. The love to play at Stay and Play Park and build sand castles at Friendly Waves Beach. Story time at Read-a-lot library is so much fun! And they adore Miss Cathy, their wonderful teacher.
Now, back to Pickle! I was thinking that maybe Pickle should send a note to Clementine. But Maddie and Camille now have a real dog…named Bella! I bet Pickle would share some picnic treats.
*An earlier version of this post first appeared on Charlesbridge Publishers’ “Unabridged” blog
Tags: "I See I Learn", "Stuart J. Murphy", Bella, Charlesbridge, Clementine, Emma's Friendwich, Freda Plans a Picnic, Good Job Ajay, Percy Plays It Safe, Pickle, Snyder-Girotti, Visual Learning
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by J.A. Ginsburg
On links between empathy & civilization, IQ & EQ, young children and why “I See I Learn” books work
When a baby first opens her eyes onto the world, not only does she begin to take in visual information, she uses it. Smile and she will try to smile, too. Stick out your tongue and she will stick hers out right back. By two months, she is so good at sorting visual information, she has a “memory picture” of her Mother and is able to tell her apart from all other women. By age one, she begins to recognize graphic imagery. And by age three, crayons in hand, she is busily giving Picasso a run for his money.
We are natural born visual learners. Remarkably, almost the entire human brain is devoted either directly to vision, or tied into it in some way. Although the loss of any of our senses would be devastating, vision, by far, is our dominant sense, integral to how we learn to function in the world and how we learn to interact with others.
So rooted is sight in our experience, we say, “Seeing is believing.” But it is even more than that. Through a system anchored by a web of special nerve cells called mirror neurons, seeing is intricately connected to feeling, to empathy. It allows us to imagine what it is is like be in someone else’s shoes, anticipate consequences and work together in groups.
“We are apparently ’softwired,’” notes author Jeremy Rifkin. “If I am observing you – your anger, your sense of frustration, your joy, whatever it is – I can feel what you’re doing. The same neurons will light up in me as if I am having the experience myself.”
In a suitably and brilliantly visual manner, Rifkin goes on to explain in this video that, “…research suggests that we are not softwired not for aggression, violence, self-interest and utilitarianism. We are actually softwired for attachment, sociability, affection, companionship. The first drive is actually the drive to belong. It’s an empathic drive.”
IQ & EQ
Notably, at about the same age our example child is starting to express herself through drawings, the development of her mirror neuron circuitry is hitting critical mass and she is starting to feel the first stirrings of empathy as well. This is the beginning of prime “teachable moment” for social and emotional skills.
It is also the time when parents and teachers often see the first signs of autism in children. This is no mere coincidence. According to a 2005 study published “Nature: Neuroscience,” UCLA researchers discovered that children with autism had malfunctioning mirror neuron systems. When autistic children were shown photographs of people displaying different emotions, they were able to accurately identify the emotions verbally, but their mirror neurons failed to fire. The children also showed reduced activity in areas of the brain associated with emotion. Over the last five years, this has been a hot area of study, with indications that early intervention can help some children on the autism disorder spectrum develop the neurobiological wiring they otherwise lack.
Mirror neurons are at the intersection of IQ and what’s called “EQ” – a measure of emotional intelligence.
The ramifications go beyond understanding autism, to understanding the foundations of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Although we know it is important to help prepare young children for school – and for life – by teaching them the alphabet, how to count (along with other early math skills), and by reading together with them, the common assumption is that SEL skills are intuitive and don’t require any special nurturing.
Not only are SEL skills just as critical as academic skills, children with good SEL skills do better in school. Academic achievement and SEL “smarts” go hand in hand. In survey after survey, kindergarten and first grade teachers note that unless children know how to control their emotions, taking turns and work together in groups, it is almost impossible to teach them anything. EQ improves IQ.
Psychologist Roger Weissberg, a found director of CASEL, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, points out that children with good SEL skills are better able to overcome obstacles, which translates into a sort of “academic tenacity”: They have the confidence to know that eventually they can succeed. Likewise, children with good self-control are less likely to get into fights or do drugs:
I SEE I LEARN BOOKS
Stuart’s new I See I Learn series is designed to build on this natural fit between visual learning and young children, combining simple stories with illustrations that draw on various visual learning strategies. Although each story focuses on one of four domains – Social skills, Emotional skills, Heath and Safety skills and Cognitive skills – there is a little of each in every book. At this early stage in life, when all the “wiring” is starting to come together, the boundaries between IQ and EQ skills blur: It is all of a piece.
“Freda Plans a Picnic,” for example, is a book about sequencing, a cognitive skills. The picnic itself – a gathering of friends – is a social event. “Percy Plays It Safe” focuses on playground safety, but playing successfully in a group requires self-regulation, an emotional skill.
Each book also includes a special two-page section called “A Closer Look,” which combines a visual summary of the story’s key learning points, along with several questions to help parents / teachers / caregivers extend the learning beyond the book and into daily life.
The first four I See I Learn books will begin shipping to book stores and libraries in July. For Pre-orders & email alerts write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800.225.3214
RELATED READING / VIEWING / RESOURCES / NOTES
- “The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis” by Jeremy Rifkin (book website)
- “‘The Empathic Civilization’: Rethinking Human Nature in the Biosphere Era” by Jeremy Rifkin / Huffington Post
- “The Mirror Neuron Revolution: Explaining What Makes Humans Social” interview with neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni / Scientific American
- CASEL: Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning at the University of Illinois at Chicago
- “EQ Meets IQ: An Interview with Roger Weissberg” / Edutopia (video)
- “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman (book)
- “Social Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman (book)
- “Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me: The Top 25 Friendship Problems and How to Solve Them” by Michele Borba (book)
Nuts? That’s what Jeremy Rifkin says a scientist was nibbling when the brain activity of a macaque watching the scientist – while wired to an MRI – triggered a burst of static on a computer, which led to the discovery of mirror neurons. Others say it was ice-cream, which, of course, was probably gelato, since the lab was in Parma, Italy. In his book, Mirroring People, neuroscientist Marco Iacobani says Vittorio Gallese, the researcher, actually doesn’t remember what he was eating. Personally, I like the gelato option. M’mmmm. I am at Gelatauro in Bologna on a late spring day, sitting in the little courtyard with a two-euro cup of heaven: pistachio, pumpkin spice and ginger gelato. Ah that zenzero! I can see it! I can just about taste it! How about you? Are your mirror neurons firing yet?
Tags: "I See I Learn", "Stuart J. Murphy", CASEL, Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence, empathy, Jeremy Rifkin, Michele Borba, mirror neurons, Roger Weissberg, social intelligence, The Empathic Civilization, Visual Learning
Posted in "I See I Learn", Education, Emotional skills, Pre-K, Social skills, Visual Learning, empathy, math | 2 Comments »