If I knew then, what I know now…My son’s academic standing could have been vastly different. I am certain of it!
The good news is that I have years ahead of me to make a difference with hundreds more students who will cross my path.
There is no way for me to go back to early childhood and “redo” anything for my son or my students in the classroom. The only thing I can do is be aware of scientifically-based research that supports methods to improve the language and reading skills of my son and students.
I am particularly concerned at this point with my student’s growth in ability to read and communicate.
I know that before the age of 3 years old, my students needed to hear the language spoken to them frequently (even as early as in the womb). They needed a lot of words spoken to them, even complex sentences that they may not have understood then, but would definitely understand later on in life. I also know that they needed adults to expose them to pre-reading skills – such as, picture (flash) cards, ability to group by sound, and sound for meaning. Playing word games, singing nursery rhymes, reading books with children, asking them to read aloud, and monitoring their overall progress is essential to them doing better later academically and exhibiting a higher IQ.
So that was in the past. I am tasked with meeting my students in the present and helping them into a better future.
That means, in my classroom, I lead and encourage my students to:
- Read as many books as possible (at home and during school hours)
- Share aloud what they have read
- Expose themselves to longer more complex sentences
- Make connections between what they see and what they say (letter – sound)
- Play word games
- Use poetry and song lyrics to make connections
Because the brain is always reshaping based on what the students are exposed to, it is essential to continue to create enriching opportunities that will only enhance their knowledge and keep them sharp as they grow and mature into adulthood.