Wiring the Brain for Reading : Brain-Based Strategies for Teaching Literacy, Grades K-6

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-04-01
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass

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Using the latest neuroscience research to enhance literacy instruction Wiring the Brain for Reading introduces teachers to aspects of the brain's functions that are essential to language and reading development. Marilee Sprenger, a specialist in learning and the brain, provides practical, brain friendly, strategies for teaching essential skills like phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The author's innovative approach aligns well with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and is designed to enhance students' motivation and excitement in reading. Offers a clear explanation of brain functioning in order to enhance language and reading instruction Incorporates proven literacy strategies, games, and activities as well as classroom examples Aligns with Common Core State Standards for learning to read, developing fluency, and interpreting complex texts Wiring the Brain for Reading offers practical strategies for applying the latest research in neuroscience and learning to the classroom.

Author Biography

Marilee Sprenger is an independent educational consultant. She consults and presents nationally on topics of learning, memory, differentiated instruction, and brain-based teaching practices. A former teacher, she is an adjunct professor at Aurora University. Often known as the "Brainlady," she is affiliated with both the American Academy of Neurology and the Learning and the Brain Society and is the author of several books on the brain and learning.

Table of Contents


About the Author

About the Book

Chapter 1: Language Development

From Neural Sensitivity to Neural Commitment

The Right Way to Babble

Encouraging Speech

Windows of Opportunity

Experience and Brain Development

Ages and Stages in Language Development

An Enriched Environment for Language Development

Language and Gender

Speaking Out of Both Sides of The Brain



Chapter 2: Imaging and Imagining the Brain

The Structure of the Brain

How We See the Brain

Brain Cells

How Cells Communicate

What We Thought We Knew

What We Found Out Along the Way

Two Diverging Roads

Learning and Memory: A Definition


Chapter 3: The Body-Brain Connection

Food, Glorious Food!

The Learning Brain’s Diet

To Sleep; Perchance to Remember

Making the Right Moves

Sunshine Came Softly Through My Window

Brain-Body Basics

Stress Can Hurt the Body and the Brain

What Does Bullying Do to the Brain?


Chapter 4: Breaking the Code

Phonemic Awareness

The ABCs of the ABCs

Mirror, Mirror

Neurons That Fire Together

Dr. Seuss and Mother Goose?

Getting to the Core

Teaching Phonemic Awareness



Chapter 5: Patterns and Programs and Phonics! Oh, My!

Patterns and Programs

The Alphabetic Principle

One to One ? Not Exactly

The Common Core: Where Do We Stand with the Standards?

Decoding Development in the Brain

Phonics Instruction

Factors That Lead to Learning

Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe. Or is it Eeny, Meany, Miny, Mo?



Chapter 6: The Fluent Reader

What Fluency Means

The Brain’s Pathway to Fluency

Reading Is Pleasure

High-Frequency and Sight Words

Some Steps to Fluency



Chapter 7: Building Vocabulary

Two Types of Vocabulary

Vocabulary Development

Vocabulary Size Matters

The Common Core State Standards and Vocabulary

The Common Core College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

Choosing Our Words Carefully



Chapter 8: Comprehension: Reading It and Getting It

Modeling Comprehension

Comprehension Strategies

Before, During, and After Reading: What These Strategies Have to Do with the Brain



Chapter 9: Putting It All Together

For Parents

For Teachers

Keep Learning About the Brain



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