Readers are presented with multiple vivid hues of the color blue through recognizable objects, such as flowers, fish, and blueberries. I am intrigued by Natalie more and more. As the series progresses, the author continues to paint new context onto seemingly straightforward events from the previous books, deepening and unfolding the world into beautiful complexity, rather than needlessly prolonging the story to infinity with pointless filler plots or deus ex machina devices.
But then he also goes onto show us how to increase engagement in a very practical way. It was written in Kannada language and now any one can read this in English version available through Amazon.
Memory at Work in the Classroom: Strategies to Help Underachieving Students Paperback – March 12, The answer may well lie in the memory system, which is the root of all learning. In Memory at Work in the Classroom, Francis Bailey and Ken Pransky expertly guide you through the. Memory at Work in the Classroom: Strategies to Help Underachieving Students by Francis Bailey Ken Pransky () Paperback [Francis Bailey;Ken.
I want to make it easy to collect all those stories and all of that wisdom. She finds beauty in the smallest of things, and is known to be distracted by everything around her. It is impossibility and improbability and something in between. Have you ever attended meetings that not only start late, have no proper agenda and the Chairperson is clueless.
Randomisation Eligible children will be individually randomised into the 'usual teaching' control or 'working memory' intervention group, stratified by school. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Thank You for submitting your response. The teacher next door to me said we could give these kids the answers to the final exam in advance and they would still fail. Recruitment for screening will be staggered over Terms 1 and 2 February to June in Australia of the school year.
Working memory is the ability to hold information in your memory and work with it. For example, when presented with a series of instructions in the classroom, Rita needs to remember not just each individual piece e. She needs to use her working memory to be successful in the classroom. Our ability to hold and manipulate larger sets of information in mind generally gets better as we get older. So it is important to note that some students in the classroom will be unable to successfully complete tasks that place a heavy burden on their working memory and will struggle increasingly to keep pace with their peers.
She must remember all of numbers that need to be added, hold that information in mind while adding the numbers and ignoring distractions in her environment, and then produce the sum of Children with poor working memory like Rita might miss the middle number and produce a sum of For reading comprehension of a passage, Rita would need to read each sentence and hold them in mind while also making sense of their meaning.
She would need to simultaneously process and store the information in the passage over a short time period. Common failures of working memory during academic tasks are reflected in skipping letters or words, blending together different words or sentences, and losing track of sentences or numbers Holmes et al. All these working memory related failures would result in Rita being unable to correctly calculate a math problem or make sense of a reading passage. Further, low achievers are three times more likely and students with special educational needs are six times more likely to have low working memory compared to typical learners Holmes et al.
What this tells us is that the majority of students that perform poorly in school or that require additional support have working memory deficits. It is these children with low working memory that we find staring out the window with their minds wandering Kane et al. Well, about 12 years ago, researchers at the Karolinska Institute and game developers in Stockholm, Sweden were busy examining how working memory could be improved for kids with ADHD. They found that if they used tasks originally developed to test working memory and instead made them progressively more difficult i.
This was an important discovery because previously working memory was believed to be a fixed cognitive capacity Klingberg et al. To date, 47 peer-reviewed, published research papers have demonstrated that Cogmed Working Memory Training can improve not just working memory but also, the closely related function of attention Beck et al.
What might change for Rita with use of a cognitive training tool like Cogmed? This improvement in working memory would manifest in decreased inattentive behavior, increased on task behavior, and possibly better reading comprehension and math skills.
In this way, teachers may be able to reach the students who once seemed out of grasp. During her studies, Kathryn also worked as a research assistant at the NYU Clinical Cancer Institute, focusing on the psychosocial impact of breast cancer related chronic illnesses. Recent research suggests that a possible modifiable factor for low academic achievement is working memory, the ability to temporarily store and manipulate information in a 'mental workspace'.
Children with working memory difficulties are at high risk of academic failure. It has recently been demonstrated that working memory can be improved with adaptive training tasks that encourage improvements in working memory capacity. Our trial will determine whether the intervention is efficacious as a selective prevention strategy for young children at risk of academic difficulties and is cost-effective. This randomised controlled trial aims to recruit children with low working memory after a school-based screening of children in Grade one.
We will approach caregivers of all children from 48 participating primary schools in metropolitan Melbourne for consent. Children with low working memory will be randomised to usual care or the intervention.
The intervention will consist of 25 computerised working memory training sessions, which take approximately 35 minutes each to complete. Follow-up of children will be conducted at 6, 12 and 24 months post-randomisation through child face-to-face assessment, parent and teacher surveys and data from government authorities. The primary outcome is academic achievement at 12 and 24 months, and other outcomes include child behaviour, attention, health-related quality of life, working memory, and health and educational service utilisation.
A successful start to formal learning in school sets the stage for future academic, psychological and economic well-being. If this preventive intervention can be shown to be efficacious, then we will have the potential to prevent academic underachievement in large numbers of at-risk children, to offer a ready-to-use intervention to the Australian school system and to build international research partnerships along the health-education interface, in order to carry our further studies of effectiveness and generalisability.
The adverse social and economic long-term outcomes of these difficulties are clear. They include grade repetition, behavioural disorders, mood and self-esteem difficulties and school failure during the school years, [ 3 - 5 ] and unemployment and poverty in adulthood [ 6 ]. Learning during childhood is a transactional process between the child and their environment [ 7 ].
A poor reader is less likely to read for pleasure and more likely to avoid practice, so that the gap with peers gradually widens until the child starts to fail in school. By the time academic difficulties are evident, which is often not before Grade 3,[ 1 , 8 ] they may already be entrenched.
Societies address health and developmental problems using a range of strategies, from the least intensive and most generic universal prevention through to the most costly, complex and limited long-term care for end-stage conditions. From the population perspective, effective prevention is the optimal approach for reasons of both cost and benefit,[ 10 ] although evidence as to optimal timing is often meagre [ 11 ].
In turn, common problems that develop slowly and thus pose identification challenges - like academic underachievement - may need graded prevention approaches. As problems crystallise, approaches then move to the individual by case finding, early intervention, treatment and, finally, end-stage care. Unfortunately, this spectrum of prevention is not yet optimised for academic difficulties.
In Australia, universal prevention is offered throughout the preschool years, for example early-life social initiatives to minimise inequalities, promoting shared book-reading with toddlers, and a universal preschool year. In school, children who are identified with early academic difficulties may receive indicated prevention strategies, for example, programs such as Reading Recovery. However, little progress has been made with selective prevention - the crucial intermediate stage when help could be targeted to very young school children at high risk of academic underachievement but who have not yet fallen behind.
Systematically delivering a brief, semi-tailored selective prevention intervention to school entry children at risk of academic failure would be a major advance, but, as yet, clear targets for intervention have not been identified. Working memory has recently been identified as a cognitive process that is vital for learning and may be causal in academic underachievement and learning difficulties, as well as a range of other problems [ 13 ].
Working memory is strongly associated with literacy and numeracy skills,[ 14 ] and children with poor working memory at school entry are unlikely to reach expected levels of attainment in literacy, maths and science three years later [ 15 ]. Working memory refers to the ability to temporarily store and manipulate information in a 'mental workspace'. Current theory, based on functional activation and brain lesion studies,[ 13 ] describes working memory as a multi-component, limited-capacity network linking different cortical centres.
It comprises verbal and visuo-spatial short-term memory and a 'central executive' involved in higher level mental processes, attention and executive function [ 13 ]. Children with working memory difficulties often make poor academic progress because they become overloaded by classroom demands: they forget crucial task information, fail to follow instructions, and do not complete activities.
Learning is thus seriously impeded [ 13 ]. Overcoming working memory overload, either by enhancing capacity or by reducing demands, could therefore boost learning. The strong predictive relation between working memory and learning typically persists even after IQ is taken into account,[ 17 ] indicating that working memory is more than a mere proxy for intelligence. Until recently, working memory was considered highly heritable and fixed [ 18 , 19 ]. However, it is now known that it can improve with adaptive training tasks that encourage individuals to work continuously at their personal working memory capacity [ 20 ].
This concept has recently been developed into a game-style computerised training program suitable for children as young as 5 years of age by Klingberg and colleagues [ 20 ]. Following this program, children with ADHD generalised their new skills and sustained the treatment effect [ 20 ]. Functional imaging showed increased activation in the frontal and parietal areas of the brain that are strongly implicated in working memory [ 21 ].
A non-randomised trial of year-old children in six schools in north-east England reported that this adaptive training can improve both working memory and academic outcomes in the short term [ 22 ]. Intervention children also improved in mathematical reasoning by six months effect size 0.
IQ scores changed very little. Nor did literacy scores, suggesting that reading problems that are present at age years may need more specific and individualised remediation. Working memory, therefore, now appears to be a strong candidate for a selective prevention intervention for young children at risk of academic underachievement.
We now propose to determine whether these benefits translate to younger children screened in the Australian school setting- the next step in determining the true prevention potential of this promising intervention. We aim to trial a targeted approach to prevent poor academic achievement in a selective sample of Grade 1 children identified by screening as having low working memory. Can a school-based computerised working memory program have a sustained impact on a literacy and numeracy and b working memory skills in intervention children, compared with controls who don't receive the program?
What are the intervention's costs, compared with its benefits, to children, families and schools? The study will be a randomised controlled trial nested in a population-based cross-sectional screening study. We will approach state primary schools in metropolitan Melbourne population 4 million in [ 25 ] in the state of Victoria, Australia. Schools in the Eastern metropolitan region will be approached for this trial. This region serves approximately a quarter of Melbourne's population, servicing around 14, students at each year level from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds [ 26 ].
Schools will be randomly selected for invitation to participate in the trial. If a school does decline, we will go to the next randomly-selected school on our school recruitment list, until we reach the required sample size of Grade 1 children Grade 1 refers to the second year of formal primary school education in Victoria, Australia.
Once the school has agreed to participate, we will work with a key liaison person usually the assistant principal, guidance officer, or junior school coordinator at each school for the duration of the trial.
Before the trial commences, we will meet with all Grade 1 teachers at each school for approximately 30 minutes to describe the expected time commitments, explain the recruitment process, answer any questions they may have and to demonstrate the screening and intervention software. Before recruitment of children commences, we will publicise the trial in the two weeks leading up to recruitment to raise staff and parent awareness of the trial.
We will do this through displaying posters on the children's classroom door, including brief segments in the weekly school newsletters and sending home advance-notice postcards to all students in Grade 1 at each participating school. Recruitment for screening will be staggered over Terms 1 and 2 February to June in Australia of the school year.
This will allow screening and intervention to occur in smooth succession within schools - an important factor for success and sustainability. We will send a trial recruitment pack to the family of each child in Grade 1 via their teacher. This pack will contain a stamped sealable envelope, trial information, consent form, and a brief written parent questionnaire. The questionnaire will collect sociodemographic details, information on potential confounders, and child attributes that may be sensitive to improved learning e.
It will be written at a Grade reading level, with assistance available by phone for parents if needed. We will seek simultaneous consent for the screen and, in the event of low working memory, the trial. This method minimises two potent sources of bias: 1 control children need not be identified to teachers, and 2 it supports superior intention-to-treat analyses, as all eligible children are included at outcome.
In addition, we will seek consent to access Year 3 National Assessment Plan for Literacy and Numeracy NAPLAN results as a further academic outcome and Medicare health and pharmaceutical utilisation for the cost-effectiveness analysis for the trial period. Parents will be asked to return the completed consent forms and survey in the envelope provided to the child's classroom teacher. A secure box will be supplied to each classroom in which to place the returned envelopes.
A reminder pack with the same contents as the original recruitment pack will be sent home with each child if a consent form and survey have not been returned within two weeks. Parents will be asked to return the completed forms within a week if they wish to participate in the trial. A member of the research team will collect the completed surveys and forms from the schools.
All children in Grade 1 who have a completed consent form will be screened for working memory difficulties within two weeks of completing the forms. With the staggered approach, working memory will be screened in Term 1 or 2 of the 4-term year by research assistants at participating schools during school hours. Each research assistant will screen one child at a time, with each screen taking around 10 minutes.
A typical school of approximately 60 Grade 1 children would thus be screened in 3 person-days. Up to three research assistants will be available to screen children at each school to minimise disruption to the school. Children in this category will be eligible for the intervention trial. Children with severe disabilities e. We will screen for these conditions on the initial parent survey and via discussions with the school.
Children and families from non-English speaking backgrounds whose English language abilities do not allow them to participate in the intervention, assessments or completion of questionnaires will also be excluded. Although this will affect the generalisability of our results to such children, the aim of the trial is to establish efficacy. Once efficacy has been established, issues of generalisability will be addressed in future research.
Eligible children will be individually randomised into the 'usual teaching' control or 'working memory' intervention group, stratified by school. Contamination will be unlikely, as control children are not identified to teachers nor can they access the training program.