Category Archives: Reading

Mathematical Thinking at Play (5 year olds are amazing thinkers)

A few years ago I filmed a couple of the Fletcher gang playing  a game I love called “Set”.  Set shows us that challenging means fun.  The game that requires some pretty sophisticated thinking.   Initially, I didn’t know if  my 5 year-old could handle a full game of set, but I thought I would try it anyway.  And… she surprised me.  Even though she just turned 5 a week, earlier, she was capable of so much.  Now,  I’m not saying that she is a genius.  Rather, I make the point that average intelligence is still one of the most powerful forces the universe has ever produced.  We would do well to accept it.  When it comes to intelligence, however one defines it, average means powerful.

Check out the video to see how I worked with the Doo Dah.  The toy company markets Set as “the game of visual perception” but there is a lot more to it.  I use it primarily to encourage a) Planning/Executive Functioning  b) Simultaneous/holistic processing c) control of attention d) fun.  In the video you will notice that I use very little direct instruction.  Instead, I ask questions and encourage the Doo Dah to think for herself.  I could have given her the answer at one point, but that would have stopped her from thinking.  Instead, I  gave her just enough information to allow her to solve the problem for herself.  Watch this video with an eye for the process.  Maybe you do some of this yourself.  What you will see is: 1) I encourage the Doo Dah to survey the task/tell me her plan 2) I prompt her by asking questions/guiding her attention 3) I model for her by talking about my thinking 4) I ask her to summarize her own thinking.

Can Intelligence Be Taught?

How we think is very much a product of our culture and our relationships.  Play often leads to meaningful interactions,  creativity in learning, and new thinking strategies.  Even attention is developmental and  therefore trainable.  If you like, you could try meditation sometime.  You may find that the beginning  sitting practice is tough.  In fact, Buddhists say we have  “monkey mind” because our thoughts and attention bounce around like a monkey.  With practice, however, one learns to sit for longer periods.  One learns to select the breath as the object of attention.  Meditation is the art of resisting distracting thoughts, at least that is what I have learned.

On another note,  I can’t for the life of me understand how “experts” continue to ignore the important role that emotions play in learning.  Any reform that doesn’t place emotions at the center is likely to fail or have limited effects.  In response, several years ago I decided that I would develop video games as learning tools.  Few would disagree that it  is the child’s nature to play.  I go further.  I believe it is the adult’s nature to play, as well.  You might be aware that the average age of the most frequent video game customer is 40 http://bit.ly/brmQA .  If we care to bring the emotions into learning, we would do well to pay attention to video games.  I include play in learning precisely because play brings emotional experiences.  When a person feels intense feelings, he/she often performs better.  Boredom, conversely,  interferes with learning.  Anxiety interferes with learning.  Play, on the other hand, reduces harmful stress.  Video games are play. Video games can teach.

In a short while, my team and I will release what I think will be a very important iPad app.  I hope you will stay tuned so that you might try it.  I will give updates as the release date draws nearer.

For more on the role of emotions in learning, see http://bit.ly/bVRYul , http://bit.ly/aEQeFi and http://bit.ly/b8BYmE .

Can children learn the entire elementary school math curriculum in 30 hours?  For evidence that we might be underestimating what kids can do, see http://bit.ly/c7QETj

I recommend Todd Kashden’s excellent work on curiosity.  Please check it out:  http://www.toddkashdan.com/

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Working memory matters!

For over 20 years I’ve been thinking about working memory in primarily two ways.  We accept  working memory as functioning as a visual-spatial sketch pad and as a  phonological loop.  Put simply, visualizing and rehearsing information by repeating it were the ways in which most of us recognized working memory.  By working memory, we mean that special type of short-term memory that allows us to hold information in mind long enough to solve a task.  For example, think about how you might remember the correct sequence to a new combination lock fiddle with the dial to open your locker.

The Visual-Spatial Sketchpad (VSS) allows us to work with our imaginations in a visual way.  We may remember the shape, color and location of an object as an imperfect picture.  If you are imagining where you need to go while walking down a hallway, then you recognize the  VSS.   The Phonological Loop (PL) works on information which requires a specific order to have relevance or meaning.  Imagine thinking about an unfamiliar  phone number or a series of steps shown to you in an unfamiliar math problem.   We often use the PL as a strategy  when processing language or other auditory information.

In 2000, scientists began to discuss a third type of working memory. This would be known as  the Episodic Buffer (EB).  The EB  helps to  contextualize information in a meaningful way. EB is a short-term working memory function that appears to take place primarily in the frontal lobes.  We use it to suddenly  pull information together in a meaningful way to recall events or complete a task.  The EB can bring information together from many sources to create a single episode or unified memory.

Three ways to enhance your working memory include:

1. Make use of your VSS, practice visualizing things. Hold math problems in your head.  See the quantities, not only the symbols.  You may actually take your finger and draw problems in space and then hold them in your head as execute the operation.

2. SET is a terrific game for enhancing working memory, categorization and strategizing.  I demonstrate the game in a earlier blog post.

3. Poker, bridge, and chess are other ways to practice holding information in your brain and manipulating it for successful output.

4. Physical exercise, especially aerobic activity, has a strong and measurable effect on these types of thinking.

So much learning depends on working memory strategies.  We might consider attention, problem solving and conceptual thinking as depending on working memory . Playing games and practicing strategies can really help. Sudoko to you!

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Fly with the eagles: An inspirational story #bullying

What causes a child to bully other children?  It seems natural to wonder about it.  Some speculate it is low self-esteem.  Other research tells us that many bullies have plenty of self-esteem.  I’ve heard people say that bullies bully because “they can”.  I don’t think that tells us a lot.  I’m thinking of one child I met back in 1999.  This situation may not apply to all bullies, but I think it is worth examining.

I became aware of Dean through my conversations with his teacher, Mrs. H.  I was working as a teacher in a local elementary school.  I ran a resource room for Emotionally Impaired (EI) students.  My resource room was located across the hall from her classroom.  Mrs. H. would stop me often, stating that a student in her first grade class was close to forcing her to give up teaching.  She described her frustration to me vividly.  “I can’t teach with this boy in my class,” she would say.  “That boy is going to drive me nuts.”  She stated that she spent much of her time correcting his behavior.

Bully 10

Dean would often interrupt her lessons with questions.  He often moved about the room without permission.  He talked with peers incessantly.  He would, according to Mrs. H., push other students when standing in line.  Recess and lunch time were occasions to “goof off” and behave aggressively.  Other students were avoiding Dean and joining in Mrs. H.’s disapproval for him and his behavior.  I half expected to see a monster.

I met Dean in the hall one day.  Mrs. H. pointed him out to me as Dean was filing in from his bus ride.  He was bundled in a green hooded winter coat.  He was smaller than I expected.  I stopped him and introduced myself.  “Guess what?”  he beamed.  “My guinea pigs had babies.”  He seemed very warm and enthusiastic, unlike the child that she described.  I agreed to have him come to my room when he failed to follow the classroom expectations.  I eventually ended up spending most of my days with him.

Mrs. H. reported that Dean was doing fine academically but I had my suspicions.  While he was fairly good at “sight” words, he labored over blending the sounds in unfamiliar words.  That is another story.  I knew that Dean did not like being seated during instruction.  When I worked with him, I tried my best to let him move around.  We incorporated movement as part of our lessons.  He seemed to enjoy learning this way.  I quickly became fond of Dean and his enthusiasm.  His interruptions seemed too passionate and full of curiosity for me to take offense.  I think he became aware that I enjoyed his company.  He quickly made progress.

While Dean’s reading skills continued to improve, his behavior at lunchtime, recess, and bus rides home were still a problem.  I was baffled.  He would step on loose shoe laces or jostle other students.  I got some insight into this while walking through the hallways with Dean.  His fellow students would often look to me and tell me that Dean was “bad” or that Dean had misbehaved that morning.  Dean would become indignant, saying, “nuh-uh” in protest.  I simply responded that “I see Dean doing very well right now.”

Dean was spending more and more time with me.  He would have several successful hours in class only to misbehave in a serious and potentially harmful way to other students.  For instance, he would push a child down the slide at recess if he wanted to use the slide himself.  As an only child, I suspected that Dean did not have practice sharing with others.  He certainly showed no empathy in these situations.  Despite many serious discussions, Dean would often miss the mark with his behavior.  At an IEPC meeting  the team decided that Dean would spend his entire day in my resource room.  I felt very disappointed that he would not be with his peers.

One day, after carefully preparing–so I thought–Dean for recess, he returned to my room with a note stating that he pushed a boy in a mud puddle.  In my confusion and disappointment I asked “why?”  and “when will it stop?”  I gave Dean a box of crayons and several pieces of unlined white paper.  I asked him to draw a picture of himself feeling what he felt at the moment, his house, and his family.  What he drew that day opened a door for us. He drew a picture of himself in the center of the paper.  There was no ground beneath him.  He drew no arms.  I wrote his words in the margins next to the picture.  He said he felt “bad” and “sad.”  He, without my guidance, offered another picture of himself.  He was all black with red eyes.  Armored spikes covered his body.  He looked like a warrior.  He had a weapon at his side.  “What is he like?” I asked.  “Scary.”  “How do the other children feel about him?”  “They think he is cool,” Dean responded.

Dean drew two pictures of his family.  He included his only parent, his mother.  On his shoulder sat his guinea pigs.  They were all smiling.  He also drew a picture of his couch, living room, and fish tank.  “We love the fish tank” he said.  His last picture was a chaotic and violent scene.  He scribbled in black around a figure of his mother being thrown into a wall.  An ominous figure, named Terry, was beating Dean’s mother.  Terry had red eyes.  Dean drew two pictures of himself in that scene.  One showed him laying in bed.  The other had him pointing a gun at Terry.  He was holding a “Hungry Hippos” gun, pointing it at Terry.  On the ground was debris.  “These are the eagles Terry broke.”  “They hurt my feet when I stepped on them.”

I confirmed that this event, in fact, happened three years earlier.  Dean’s mother tearfully admitted that she had no idea that this had been bothering the child.  Terry no longer lived in the home.  Dean denied that Terry hit others, i.e., Dean, but I received information that suggested otherwise.  Regardless, violence had helped Dean understand his world differently than others.  I consulted the school psychologist, principal, and the entire special education staff.  We held a meeting and Dean immediately engaged in counseling.

I told the staff all of what I knew.  The violence, however, was only one important aspect of Dean’s experience.  The entire milieu  helped to shape his understanding of the world and his place in it.  Dean did not know his father.  His mother worked a full-time job.  Dean had uncles who encourage him to fight when injustice comes his way.  Dean’s teacher was stressed.  Few adults had taken time to build a personal relationship with him at school.  They did not know that Dean wanted to be a veterinarian so he could help repair all the broken eagles in the world.  They had too often seen his behavior and not his heart.

I eventually left that school.  Before I left, I tested Dean’s reading.  He had advanced.  At the time, he was spending most of his day with his peers in his own classroom.  The staff had decided to forego the Emotionally Impaired label.  Mrs. H. insisted that he stay in her classroom.

At the school’s entrance is a trophy case with pictures of all the staff members.  I, having joined the staff later in the year, did not have my picture in the case.  Dean would often notice the oversight and point it out to me.  I would point to a poster of our national symbol and joke, “That’s me, Dean.”  Delighted, he would say, “You’re not an eagle!”  On my last day with the children, they threw me a party.  Dean presented me with a book with messages from all the children.  On the cover, Dean drew a bird flying over trees and toward a yellow and orange sunset.  In his own hand is the message, “Fly with the eagles.”

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Do Not Fight Your Nature

“Accept everything about yourself — I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end — no apologies, no regrets.” –Clark Moustakas

First of all, I owe my teachers nearly everything good about what I know.   Mr. Smith, for example, is a teacher who touched my life in 3rd grade and I will never forget him.   I’m using it to illustrate a point.  I was in 6th grade when this happened.  Mr. H was my  English teacher and this is one of the few things I remember about him.  I got a paper back and I had misspelled a word and got marked down for it.  I sincerely asked, “Why does the spelling matter?”  His response was an indignant, “I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that.”

I guess I remember it because it reminds me that some of the simple, “stupid” questions are actually pretty good questions.  There is a good answer to that question.  Not so long ago people had no agreed upon spelling.  It is a good story.  Look it up and find out how we got our first Dictionary.   If a question is sincere it is probably a good question.  Stay curious.  Your questions are good.  Be on a good path.  Accept everything about yourself.  Then you can take the next important step.  You will be able to accept others as they are.

 

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Learning What You Have No Interest In

How about you and I start studying geology today?  Let’s spend from 1 to 3 hours a few days per week on it.  Sounds fun, eh?  If you happen to love geology, replace it with something you have absolutely no interest in learning.

Now, let’s turn it around.  Let’s say you finally get to take that dream vacation to Russia.  You have 6 months to learn as much of the language as you can.  Let’s go further, let’s say you even love the sound of spoken Russian.  You imagine having conversations with the people you will meet. It would be a lot easier to learn, no doubt.

I don’t think that this is a bland statement.  Ask a child to describe school using one word.  I do this often and hear the same word: boring!  When I hear something different, it usually involves having a teacher that “makes it fun.”  I do hear that, but not nearly enough.

If I have learned one thing in my professional career it is this:  Most people can learn what they need to know when they need to know it with no penalty.  This especially holds true if the learner really wants to know about something.  Then, it seems impossible to stop them.   So, why not let the kids lead a bit more?

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Miles Cobbett Author Of The Book “Champion” Interviewed

Discovering a great book is a beautiful thing.  But finding really good books takes some work.  If you read the reviews on BN.com, you will see that I’m not the only one crazy about the book “Champion”. If we want to turn kids on to reading, then we need to make good literature available to them.  Sometimes we don’t know what our kids like.  Younger children may simply enjoy the “lap time”.  Kids love spending one on one time with parents.  I can read a crummy book to my kids and they would still call it a good time.  That is more about them wanting to spend time with me.  Our time together is the payoff, not the book.

I lucked out in finding Miles Cobbett’s work.  I can give you a guarantee on “Champion”.  I know it is great because it passes my “this is awesome” test.  That test measures books, movies, music, and other creative products.  The challenge is this: would I listen, read, or view this if I were home alone?  If the answer is yes, then the work is special.  Consider Pixar or Warner Bros. cartoons, Charlotte’s Web, the music of Dan Zanes, etc.  Plenty of adults would read, view, and listen to those even without the children.  That puts the work into a different league.  The great ones work on multiple levels.
I can’t say that this is kid literature just as I can’t say that Harry Potter is for kids only.  Cobbett’s intent was to “hook kids, especially reluctant readers, into reading more.”  My intent is to tell you about a great book that you and your children will really get into.  I was lucky enough to get an interview with Miles Cobbett, so let’s get to it.

DrMarty:  You mention that you were inspired by ideas taken from David Mamet’s book True and False.  Can you say more about that?
Cobbett.: If you read Mamet’s great book I believe you will notice how he freely offers many suggestions for Actors. I simply replaced the word “Actor” and inserted the word “Writer” and then followed many of his recommendations.

DrMarty:  You do a great job of “completing the picture”.  You are able to go from the inner world of Roman to the setting.  For example, p. 14 you have a vivid  description of the walk on the shore of the Salton Sea.  That was very real.  Can you talk about that a bit?  It was almost as if you were describing a photograph.

Cobbett.:  I try to use the tools of my trade to the best of my ability. My tools consist of simply the 26 letters of the alphabet, a pen and paper. I use them  to “Draw” for the reader a picture of what I see and remember in my mind, much I suppose like the French Impressionist painters did to “Paint”  pictures for viewers of the settings the painters saw and remembered.

DrMarty: How conscious are you of using technique?  For example, Roman’s throbbing injured hand.  Every boxer has physical pain.  It comes with the job.  It also serves as a metaphor for the pain and obstacles we have to overcome to accomplish hard things and the price we pay.  Was that conscious?

Cobbett.: My system or technique for writing is that once I have the idea for my main character, especially their name  -and can see them clearly in my mind-  I simply trot along behind them and see everything in my mind’s-eye as I take note of each of the people/characters they would meet, and describe the events that happen to them. I suppose that for me writing is much like showing others a movie that has played my mind.
As to your question of metaphors, and to my being conscious of them, is anyone conscious when they get immersed in watching a movie? Or are movie watcher’s conscious of anything else when they are so “into the journey of the characters and the story” that they forget where they are and what they are doing?

DrMarty:   You use fiction to deliver real information.  There are a lot of facts, such as historical facts and facts about the geography in the book.

Cobbett.: I have my memory as my main tool for drawing information from. When you get right down to it, that’s all an author has. and without a memory they are in-effect mentally bankrupt as an author.

DrMarty:   I like that you take on the issue of loss and grieving losses.  Roman feels the pain of loss, but uses it to make meaning and find purpose.

Cobbett.: Thank you.

DrMarty:  Writing dialog is hard for new writers.  The dialog in Champion flows like real conversation.

Cobbett:  I heard the comedian Steve Martin say something to the effect that, he has been practicing on a banjo for nearly 40 years and how anyone who practices something for a long, long time can expect to get better at it.
I turned 56 this year, but I declared to myself at age 23, that I was a writer. When I was 26 or so, I met a very well-read 68 year-old man (he had just retired from his service of 23 years in the merchant marines), in Biloxi Mississippi who read some of my work, and then said to me that, ‘no writer of any merit had any juice to share til they turned 50.’ He suggested that I keep honing my skills as a writer, and work at what ever I could find employment at, and to release my stuff after I turned 50.
Perhaps the ease you find at reading the dialog in Champion comes from years of practicing my craft, and the real-life experiences of working in all kinds of trades.
DrMarty:   When Serby and Roman are hill climbing, Serby says, “I’ve always thought going downhill was tougher than going up.”  That line stuck with me.  The story uses metaphor the mountain as people and the mountain as trials.  I get the idea that you have spent some time outdoors.
Cobbett.: Growing-up I was outdoors all the time. My family and I lived in Southern California and so every weekend we were either at the beach, desert or up in the mountains. After my father died when I was a freshman in college, I dropped out of school and traveled across the country looking for ways to earn money. In 1980 I was working and living in Hawaii, I got the chance to talk to a couple of tourists from Alaska, who told me about how Alaska offered young people lots of work opportunities…   I made the journey to Alaska in 1982 in search of character and story ideas, and to find enough work to keep a roof over my head and food in my belly while I honed my craft as a writer.

DrMarty:   You really get into the psychology behind the behavior of the characters.  You tell us how the characters think in order to accomplish something.  We often think of fiction as simply entertainment.  Can you say something about that?

Cobbett: Yes.
I believe that when a reader reads a work of fiction -particularly one that really grabs them- the experience of reading it, and of taking that magical journey, becomes a part of them, and changes them forever. My background happens to include a couple of college degrees in psychology and sociology.  As a middle and elementary school teacher I used every tool I had to “sell” the students on the idea that reading, writing, and math were good for them. As an author I use everything I can to help the readers of my stories take a fun and magical life-changing journey as well.

DrMarty:   The fight scenes were very realistic.  I think people are used to the “Rocky” fight scenes, which are impossible.  Are you a fight fan?  Did you study a lot of film while you were writing?

Cobbett: I was born in Pomona Ca and grew-up in Azusa and Redlands. I am related to a professional boxing trainer, and my older brothers and I grew up watching all the big fights and sometime even participating in a few fights of our own. As far as studying film, I don’t remember watching any films of fights “while” I was writing Champion, but I still remember watching every world championship fight as a kid growing up, as well as the championship fights I have watched as an adult.

DrMarty:   I’ll be honest with you. I couldn’t put the book down.  How do we promote good literature for young people?

Cobbett:  Happy to hear that you couldn’t put the book down. I hear similar responses from every reader who gets a chance to read the book Champion…
To promote good literature maybe the challenge is that we just need to get good literature into the hands of our young people.
DrMarty:   I do a lot of reading on the Internet.  I notice that I just feel different when I read on-line.  For one thing, it isn’t as much work.  Also, reading literature is a deep, almost contemplative state of mind.  Can you say something about that?
Cobbett:  I agree with you about reading on the Internet is not quite the same. Since E-book viewers can change the font size— it changes the appearance of each and every page, and rearranges what the last word is on every page.
I have resisted any attempts to E-publish Champion mainly due to the fact that as the author of a physical book, I was in-charge of, and responsible for, what every page would look like. I was the one to choose each and every last word to leave the reader hanging-on, so to speak, as they hurriedly turned the page to see, “what would happen next?”

DrMarty:  Finally, I have to ask this.  Was the broken hand inspired by the Arturro Gatti v. Micky Ward fight, where Gatti overcame a broken hand to win the fight?  Everybody respected Gatti after that fight.  I think that represented something that people really identified with.

Cobbett:  Darn, sorry to say the Gatti-Ward  fight is one that I somehow missed watching, or hearing, or even reading about. Now, had you had asked me if Roman’s injured hand was inspired partly by an injured hand on the old man in Ernest Hemingway’s book, Old Man and the Sea, I would have answered you differently.
You can purchase copies of Champion by Miles Cobbett at www.BN.com or http://bit.ly/boqNbrMoms Inspire Learning is my most trusted site for book reviews: http://www.momsinspirelearning.com/ Dawn Morris, M.A. puts a lot of thought and a lot of heart into reading and reviewing great literature for children.  What if we promoted great books with the same enthusiasm and effort that toys, junk food, and Justin Beiber are promoted?  What if?

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How Do Kids Want To Learn? My Doctoral Research Pt. 2

Part one of this story focused on boredom and humiliation/fear of humiliation as obstacles to learning.   My experience of boredom and fear of humiliation in my K-12 education was a driver for me to start looking closely at learning.  Here, I present the findings from my doctoral research.  As a student, I never understood why nobody seemed to care about how we felt about the teaching.  Seems that nobody thought to ask us.  Respect goes a long way with kids.  In fact, I have found that expressing my genuine curiosity about how and what a child thinks usually  promotes learning.  When I do it, I’m showing them respect.  I found an excellent essay on this topic here http://bit.ly/cvqBwy .

What's with my hair in this photo?

For those interested in the methodology of the study, I’m happy to answer questions at dr.martinfletcher@gmail.com.

I interviewed 12 co-researchers who went through a 30 session treatment with me.  All of them had struggled in school.  All made significant progress shown by a range of measures including pre/post testing.  I’ll use quotes from the interviews when possible  so the learners can speak for themselves.  From our interviews, I discovered 3 major themes:

1. Self-Enhancement Through Play.

This was by far the most common theme.  It was common to hear the word “fun” paired with a statement about valuable learning.  From an 11-year-old girl with reading problems:  “I felt like I wasn’t smart.  I wasn’t reading high-level books.  I was reading lower level books….[Here] I’m learning while I move, like I’ doing hands on moving around and touching things.  Just more fun and active.”

The learner was solving problems in those sessions.  The problems encouraged  a specific type of thinking.  Learners experienced the sessions as play, and play is fun.  In the book, “A Theory of Fun”, Raph Koster tells us what is fun is “exercising our brains” and that all games are edutainment.  http://www.theoryoffun.com/ What do you think about that definition?

2. Experiencing Freedom

In the program I used, tasks allowed the learner to think and solve problems in his/her own way.  We set out to create habits of thought.  “A lot of time you get to do your own thing.  You don’t have to follow rules.”  “I got to find my own way of finding out and remembering…[I]t wasn’t like you have to follow this pattern.”  One little girl said, “You didn’t teach me anything, really…everything else [i.e., the games] taught me.”  What was really happening was that she was experimenting with her thinking.  Another teen said, “[Y]ou didn’t teach me anything.  I want to say you helped me but you didn’t teach me anything.”  What an excellent compliment!

3. Enhanced Sense of Self-Competence

A 16-year-old boy whom I will never forget illustrates this theme.  Initially, his expectations for himself were low.  “I didn’t think I could be taught very well–my mind was like, when I walked in I was like, well, I don’t see how this is gonna help.”  By the end of our sessions, a shift occurred and Steven’s potential became realized.  “I experience[d] how to put that [thinking] into my schoolwork.  I didn’t realize my learning capability.”  I kept in touch with Steven for a few years after.  He continued to do fine work in school.

Some of my co-researchers had ADD/ADHD, LD, or dyslexia diagnoses. It’s important to say that not all learners at my clinic improved.  But, certainly most did.  For my research,  I selected the learners who showed improvement on a range of measures.  After years of doing this work, it became clear that this was about more than learning.  Learning isn’t just about school  It is about life.  We use our brains in all the things we love.  Many children improved in athletics.  Steve, for example:  “I’d have to say –I’m playing lacrosse right now–if you put me back to December or any of those, I wasn’t half as good.  I didn’t pay attention period to the game.  Now its like I’m so into it, my reaction time is a lot better.  I’m a lot quicker.  Some improved in music.  Loren:  “I play cello a lot better now.”  One adult no longer got lost and can now read a map.  One girl, after improving her reading, went from “worst to first” playing the recorder.

I began to think about how we could make these experiences available to everyone.  I eventually began developing video games.  I noticed that game developers–the good ones, think like psychologists.  Lately, there is an interest in play, video games, and learning.  You can check out this article for a good discussion http://bit.ly/buy6oE .  I like to focus on making games that are really fun and that target the types of thinking that helps kids become confident, happy, and free to think creatively.  Freedom and creative/playful thinking leave little room for boredom and humiliation.

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