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The Health Benefits of Reading
by Graciela Justiniano It’s easy to think about health in terms of kale and exercise, but did you know that reading can improve your health and society as a whole? I love to listen to audiobooks and podcasts while doing repetitive tasks, like washing the dishes or while taking a walk, but none of these replace the effect of reading. Why? Listening to information allows our eyes to wander and when our eyes wander so does our mind. As a result, we do not retain the information as well as if we were seeing the words. When we speak or listen, even if we are not doing anything else, we are still multitasking. In order for us to listen, our brain needs to process the acoustics into speech and then handle the language processing ( similar to when we multitask by switching from one task to another rapidly). If you are listening to someone with clear pronunciation and no noise around you, consider yourself fortunate. When we are silently reading, our brain focuses mainly on language processing, helping us to remember the information much quicker than if we were consuming it auditorily (Sousa, Carriere, and Smilek, 2013). The research above reminds me of what happens when we start to sing the lyrics of songs we like. I don’t know about you, but I don't always get them right. It’s not until I read them that I can better understand the meaning of the words. Sometimes the results of mishearing can be quite funny as shown in this video. Besides an increase in information retention, reading increases your vocabulary. Remember the famous saying “a picture is worth a thousand words?” It would make sense then that reading a book, rather than watching the movie about the book, will introduce you to a myriad of new words since the author needs to create the image rather than simply show it. Why are new words important? We seek novelty due to a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is released when we have a positive experience. The experience can’t be part of a routine though. If you are walking and notice a new bakery, your dopamine goes into its receptor and you feel the urge to go try out the food or plan to visit the bakery later. On the other hand, if you eat breakfast at that bakery every day and get the same food, dopamine is not released because the action has become a habit. The action is not new and exciting so there is very little dopamine involved in it. The video below explains the concept of dopamine and novelty in more depth. In a similar way, if you communicate with people using simple words, they are least likely to remember you. People crave the-new because it is part of our biology. Using unusual words activates the dopamine receptors in people’s brain, which means they will find you more interesting and will be more apt to want to continue the conversation. In addition, the more words we know the better we can express ourselves, which decreases the emotion of frustration. In fact, according to the article, “Early Language Impairment and Young Adult Delinquent and Aggressive Behavior” there are high rates of language impairment in youth who have behavior problems and/or are incarcerated. When we read, we can see our situations expressed in words and use those words to communicate our feelings rather than aggression or depression. Not only is our communication better when we read but our brain improves physically as well. When we read we create new brain pathways in the brain. Our brain experiences the plot as if we lived it, but with less intensity so we can avoid copying every action in the book. As a result, reading allows you to have many experiences for very little to no cost and our brain thrives with new experiences, connections/neural pathways. All the connections that happen in your brain while you read help prevent brain damage by 30%. However, the benefits of reading go beyond you and your brain. In order for a society to function, the people in the society need to think about the well-being of the group, not just what they want. A person who has a sufficient amount of empathy can understand and feel what others are feeling. When a person is shown empathy, levels of anger are more likely to decrease. The science term is called negative correlation. The less empathy the more anger and the more empathy the less anger. Guess what is one way that we learn empathy? You got it! By reading. When we read about a character’s actions and feelings we are more likely to recognize similar actions and feelings in the people around us. Consequently, we are better prepared to show them empathy rather than walk away from their painful or angry expressions. Now, in this fast paced society how do we find time to read? I like to “ save two birds with one hand” and read while I exercise on my stationary bicycle. My son, who also has ADHD, sets a timer for 15 minutes to read then do ten push-ups. I also read during waiting times. You could join a book club to have accountability in your reading journey. There are book clubs online or sometimes in your local library. You could also talk about the book you are reading in your social media or a youtube channel. If you have a child and are feeling overwhelmed by all the duties of being a parent, we at Community Literacy can read with your child so he/she can gain all the benefits of reading while you take a well deserved break. Together we can harvest the power of reading, one sentence at a time.
Benefits of Online Tutoring
There are big benefits of online tutoring o Learn at your convenience o Self –paced personalized learning o Enhanced learning using interactive tools o Round the clock availability o Learning from the masters of the discipline o A cost effective solution The immediate feedback system o In online learning, every student has their own way of learning that works best of them. Some learn visual and other learn better. o In online learning, you get instantly result and feedback. Instructor uses the computer technology to do grading and give instant feedback to the students. And it’s been known in the literature and learning science that instant feedback can be a good thing. o Through online teaching, a teacher keep trying something till get it reaching his students by mastery based learning. And they can move on to the next topic o Peer learning online discussion forum students are asking questions and working each other and get answers. Aftertimes by working together and answer questions and learning from each other that pure style of learning can be much more engaging. And many students learn by teacher. Our tutors are more than content masters. They understand different learning styles, personalized their approach to different students, and work within your family budget. Schedule a free assessment today by visiting https://literacylab.net or call 803-306-5110.
“Math literacy means having the ability to problem solve reason and analyze information. Math literacy is the second key step for all students beyond language literacy. It is the ability to use numbers to help solve real-world problems”. If you are going to summarize one of the key points of the common core and by the extension the PA core standards. The idea that reading is a subject that is taught exclusively in reading has to go away. Math literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential and to participate fully in their community and wider society. There are following math literacy strategy to help incorporate (1) World walls (2) vocabulary cards (3) Connect two (4) Abc brainstorming (5) Three column chart (6) Vocabulary knowledge rating (7) Math notes/ Graphic organizers (8) Word sorts In the world class a group of words that are displayed on a wall, bulletin board, chalkboard or whiteboard in a classroom. Vocabulary cards include term, definition, example and common connection. In connect two strategies, after a math chapter; students are given a sheet with words, terms or concepts on the top. Students should choose two of these that connect in their mind and explain the connection Three column charts is a word sort organization tool. This chart will help students understand how math vocabulary words work. Word sorts help students to think critically about the relationship between words and concepts. And a graphic representation of math concepts is useful for students. This strategy assesses the material that needs to be presented. And also determine what types of graphic representation and concept maps.
Relax and Get Smart
Reading is a relaxation technique Many people over think their problems, when all they need is a break, so that they could go back to searching for solution with a clear, relaxed mind. So, if you want relaxation, pick up the book now.. Research conducted in 2009 showed that reading is the most effective way to overcome stress. Reading makes you smarter Reading is the best workout for your mind. It’s demanding in neurological way, and also it requires concentration and intellectual activity. Mental stimulation can slow the process of dementia disease, keeping your brain sharp as you age. Reading is health just like a morning walk, so find time for it. Also everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it comes handy. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face. If you ever find yourself in dire circumstances, remember that although, you might lose everything else, your job, possessions, money and even your health. Your knowledge can never be taken from you.
Reading improves your focus and concentration
Reading much like running or listening to music, can be a form of meditation. With all distractions nowadays, people have really big problems with concentrating. The average person will divide their time between working on a task, checking email, chatting with a couple of people and using smart phones. This type of behavior cause stress level to rise and lowers our productivity. When you read a book, all of your attention is focus on the story. The rest of the world is closed off and you immerse yourself in every fine. Try reading for 15-20 minutes before work and you shall be surprised at how much more focus you are once you get to the office.
Reading Literacy in the Technology Age
Reading literacy is the ability to understand, use, and reflect on written texts in order to achieve one’s goals. Literacy is traditionally understood as the ability to read, write, and use arithmetic. The modern term’s meaning has been expanded to include the ability to use language, numbers, images, computers, and other basic means to understand, communicate, gain useful knowledge and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture. The concept of literacy is expanding in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to include skills to access knowledge through technology and the ability to assess complex contexts. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) defines literacy as the “ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society” Our tutors are more than content masters. They understand different learning styles, personalized their approach to different students, and work within your family budget. Schedule a free assessment today by visiting https://literacylab.net or call 803-306-5110.
The New Norm - Online Literacy
Every educator is familiar with the concept of literacy which is the ability to read and write. An illiterate person, who cannot read or write, will inevitably struggle to get along in society. It’s impossible to go on to higher education or get a high-paying job without the ability to read and write. Even daily tasks, like reading a newspaper or filling out job applications, are difficult for an illiterate person. There are ways by which a person can get an educated-The the traditional way of enrolling in school and choosing a course and online literacy. Online learning or literacy is education that takes place over the Internet. It is often contemporary education. It made a huge change in the system and opened great opportunities for everyone who wants to learn something. The traditional system of education has some disadvantages- from the high cost of learning to inconvenience in learning and more, online learning makes up for these shortcomings. Let’s highlight some benefits of learning online: Convenience Online learning is convenient compared to the traditional system of education. With online learning you can learn from the comfort of your home, anywhere in the world. You have access to learning 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It can accommodate your busy schedule. Enhanced Learning Research shows an increased depth of understanding and retention of course content; more meaningful discussions; emphasis on writing skills, technology skills, and life skills like time management, independence, and self-discipline. In a nutshell you learn more than you initially planned for. Interaction Increased student-to-teacher and student-to-student interaction and discussion. A more student-centered learning environment; less passive listening and more active learning. A greater sense of connectedness, synergy. More attention is given to you as a learner which you might not receive in the traditional system of education. You have direct access to the tutor and have a greater sense of connection which makes you learn faster. It saves money This is the most obvious. From lower tuition fees to little or no money spent on food, transport, accommodation, the printing of learning materials, etc, online learning is far more pocket friendly as compared to the traditional system of education. You’ll Make Better Decisions When you have limited ways to get information, your choices are also limited. Online Learning allows you to search, study, analyze, and compare the vast resources available to you. It adds to your body of knowledge which can allow you to make better decisions. Same High Quality Accredited online study platforms have to meet certain criteria and curriculum standards, just like traditional schools. They are held to rigorous standards similar to on-the-ground learning schools. The Learning House study found that 85% of online students who had experienced both in-person and digital classrooms felt that learning online was as good as or better than going to campus for college. From instructor interaction to virtual collaboration with other classmates, there's not much students miss from the in-classroom experience when they're learning online. There are many benefits of online school, and depending on your needs, online learning may be a good fit for you. Our Tutors Our tutors are more than content masters. They understand different learning styles, personalized their approach to different students, and work wi