Building Brain Connections

I was traveling on an airplane this week and I had the privilege of sitting next to a mechanical engineer. He was traveling for work on his latest project, a new medical device for heart patients. I was fascinated by the new procedures he was explaining, but he seemed just as fascinated with my early childhood knowledge. He has two small children and admitted that he and his wife don’t always know the best approach for teaching their little ones. Our conversation evolved to a discussion about building capacities in the brain. I told him how critical it was to give young children as many experiences and support as possible so they can build as many brain connections as possible (check out Dr. Jean’s information). We know that the connections formed during early childhood will have life long effects. We discussed how his new device might help patients avoid a heart bypass operation, but there was no shortcut to providing young children with positive, supportive experiences during these critical years. Early childhood is the time to build strong brain connections. I continue to admire all of the wonderful people in the world that devote their lives to young children.

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8 responses

  1. I totally agree about giving children learning experiences when they are little enriches their brains. I was fortunate to stay home with my 3 boys until they all entered kindergarten. But stay home we did not….we went to puppet shows, library story time, musical events, parks, open gyms, play-groups, nature centers, etc. It was the best time of my life. My husband and I both agree that these experiences helped our kids to be above average now in school. It was definitely worth it. Melinda

  2. Greetings Mr. Funk, I stumbled upon your blog and noticed that you work with student teachers. I am often referred to as a "veteran teacher" but that doesn't mean I am not always learning! So I have a question – how do you advise preschool teachers to set up their classroom libraries? Right now I have one angled book display case, several cubbies for books and some bins for books. I don't have anything separated by genre. I have started a blog about my learning this year – we are in the middle of a Gates grant and are doing a lot of new work.Maybe my blog would be helpful to your new students – http://www.onesunflower.wordpress.com – plus -as I said, I love to learn.

  3. I have been following your blog for sometime… though this is my first comment here.Thought would drop by and send you this site for your opinion before I start using it with my class.

  4. What a powerful statement! The marvels of modern technology have brought us so far in the field of science and technology, but at the end of the day it is our experiences as children that have the most effect on our well being, capacity and productivity as adults! Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Judy, Although you link provided a very interesting educational site, I think I would need to know what age you teach. This site seems more appropriate for secondary students. Or did I miss something?

  6. I never realized how important every aspect of learning is for children before I started taking education classes at the U. Of course I agree with you-every experience opens up pathways in their brain that builds knowledge and helps their brains grow, develop, and connect. intro to teaching 1010

  7. I fully agree with your article that This is the right age of kids to turn a particular mode or want to learn some activities that helpful for developing his or her brain!!

  8. Judy, I think it is a great chance for students and teachers to work together on numerous subjects including mathematics using their math flashcards as a wonderful interactive tool! Thanks!

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