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This summer I had an embarrassing "aha" moment. In a fascinating article written by Cyndi Ringoen, a neurodevelopmentalist, she pointed out that until a child has developed his auditory short-term memory, the ability to recall a sequence of numbers, phonics training would be unsuccessful. What that means is that to utilize phonics beyond memorizing individual sounds, a child must have an auditory short-term memory.
Why hasn't someone pointed this out before? I have seen moms drilling their children on letters and letter sounds; children who I know are not even able to recite a four-number sequence without hesitation. Doesn't it make sense to develop this foundational skill before teaching phonics? Research has shown that even if these children somehow master phonics without auditory shortterm memory, they will be the ones who will struggle with reading comprehension, forgetting what they read as they are reading it.
Thankfully, there is a method for improving auditory short-term memory; it is called BrainBuilder. This easy-to-use brain exercise software was developed by the National Academy for Child Development. Over the last 30 years, using proven techniques and strategies, they have successfully taught both children and adults to accelerate or expand their short-term memory, so the benefits extend far beyond reading skills. With just 10 minutes per day, you and your children can build your brain's neural network and boost your ability to absorb and process information. With BrainBuilder, you complete up to seven different two- to three-minute activities that automatically set and adjust the level of difficulty to challenge you to improve.
There are three visual-processing activities (remembering what is seen), three auditory-processing activities (remembering what is heard), and one on attention and cognitive processing speed. And, because another goal of the program is to help us to expand our listening skills, it uses different voices of men, women and children, to read the auditory presentations. Whether your child is gifted or struggling, his brain can be strengthened with daily use of BrainBuilder.
BrainBuilder's computer-based technology trains the brain to improve auditory and visual sequential processing, thinking skills, and cognitive processing speed. BrainBuilder is a "neurobic" training program that is designed to assess and develop auditory and visual sequential processing abilities. With as little as 10 minutes of daily mental exercise powerful gains can be made in short-term memory and thinking skills.
BrainBuilder CD-ROMs are easy to use. BrainBuilder 3.0 consists of seven activities. Three focus on auditory processing, three on visual processing and one on attention and cognitive processing speed.
Advanced Brain Technologies
BrainBuilder 3.0 Home Edition
Allows up to 5 Users
PC: Win 95-XP (Please note: this version of Brainbuilder is not Vista compatible)
MAC: OS 8.5 or lower
Visual Perceptual Book 2
Pacific Surf Thinking Putty
Super Illusions Thinking Putty
The Never-Bored Kid Books Ages 4-5
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