Fun Times at The Study Academy’s Brain Camp

Fun Times at The Study Academy’s Brain Camp

Middle School The Study Academy Report

Hello Readers,

It has certainly been busy these past few days at The Study Academy and I’m here to tell you that there are only more exciting things to come this week. Never a dull moment, eh?  As I had mentioned in an earlier post, children had the option to spend two additional weeks after the end of the school year to engage in creative and educational activities at our Brain Camp. Small classes benefit student learning.

I was able to contact the head teacher of Brain Camp, Meghan Patrick, to discuss what has been going on at camp so far. I was told that In the morning the students engaged in collaborative story writing activities and practiced parts of speech with mad lib games on the smart board. This was intended to ensure that the students got their “creative juices”, so to speak, flowing for the rest of the day; however one must also recognize this was an excellent way to assist the children in expanding their diction and structure.

butterfliesThe students also have started all afternoons with collaborative drama games. This week, students gathered round in a circle in the gymnasium and acted out assigned characters or scenes on their own or with a partner chosen by their teacher. The intention behind this activity was so that students could continue to work on their communication skills, especially in non verbal areas of communication.

Students also practiced a bit of video game creation that focused on creating shorelines based on earlier lessons on Medieval times and ancient Egypt. This had been possibly the most exciting part of the day for the kids, as they put their knowledge towards a fun and tangible goal. As Brain Camp will be ending off this week, the teachers have arranged a wonderful  trip for the students to the Ontario Science centre to check out the IMAX movie, “Flight of the Butterflies”(http://www.si.edu/Imax/movie/71). As you can tell the students coming to The Study for this final week of Brain Camp are really going to be having fun right to the end!

Theoretical Thursday: Enriching Benefits of Drama Education

Theoretical Thursday: Enriching Benefits of Drama Education

Educational Research High School

Hello Readers,

I hope you booked some time off work either Monday or Tuesday next week to see the Highschool students’ performance! If not, then hop to it ladies and gentleman because you have the great opportunity of seeing the enriching benefits of Drama education. Speaking of which, in today’s post I hope to demonstrate the benefits of Drama education in a child’s development.

What I have found through a meta analysis of research is that Drama Education can have a highly positive impact on a student’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development. Being on stage and acting as whole, requires a great amount of movement! With practice it has been shown to improve flexibility, coordination, balance and control. These physical activities can also reduce the pain of physical stress that would otherwise negatively impact a child’s physical development. Not bad, eh? Well, I’m not done yet, so keep reading, my fellow Readers.

http://www.meaningcentered.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Figure3.jpg

http://www.meaningcentered.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Figure3.jpg

Emotionally, a child also benefits from being engaged in Dramatic education. For instance, acting roles from different time periods, situations and cultures promotes tolerance of other people’s feelings, as well as a a deeper understanding of child’s own emotions. It will encourage self understanding as well as self confidence in a child’s own ideas and abilities which can be applied apply to all aspects of their lives.

There has indeed also been experimental results on benefits of theatre on a child’s cognitive development as well. Studies have indicated that children who were involved in theatre show higher levels in concentration & self discipline, problem solving as well as memory. There are various reasons for this, but I will keep it short and sweet.  While rehearsing and performing, memory is strengthened no differently than like a muscle. it also requires a good deal amount of focus attention & self control, both of which help students, especially those who experience attentional difficulties.

Probably the most obvious benefit theatre has is to a child’s social development. A child involved with theatre develops both their cooperative as well as communicative skills. Verbal and non verbal expression, as well as, listening and observation skills are key skills when rehearsing or performing. This also requires cooperation while negotiating ideas and boundaries. In addition, children can experience an increase in social awareness beyond their self. In this way, Drama can teach a child of the world and help them put things into perspective.

I know that I have written quite a bit today, so I would like to provide you with a link for point form note son the many benefits of a drama education. You can find it at the following link:

http://www.dramaed.net/benefits.pdf

In addition, if you are a teacher and would like to learn more on how to integrate drama into your classroom, may I suggest you check out the wonderful magazine article from Canada’s educational magazine:

http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/dramatic-ways-engage-every-student

 So, taking into consideration all the benefits Drama can provide a child, don’t you think it’s about time to get your child on stage? Tell me what you think, Readers!
Realistic Expectation and Reliable Feedback

Realistic Expectation and Reliable Feedback

Middle School The Study Academy Report

Hello Readers,

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day, and for those readers out there that are in fact Mothers, I hope you were spoiled rotten! Speaking of mothers, there is nothing more important to a parent than the happiness and success of their children. For that reason, in today’s The Study Academy Report I wanted to discuss how The Study sets their realistic expectations for each child’s academic development as well as how this is fostered by the honest, accurate feedback given to both the child, and their parents.

Reliable Feedback in action at The Study Academy!First off, for a student to succeed academically there needs to be a clear correlation between the teacher’s expectations and student’s understanding. So, the teachers at The Study Academy clarify these expectations, but they also stress to each and every student their responsibility and accountability while striving for such expectations. The observations, conversations and the students’ product themselves provide teachers  the vision of whether the students are meeting such set goals. By utilizing these venues the teachers also increase the reliability and validity of the evaluation of the students’ learning. In this way there are no surprises for teacher, student or parent, however, it is also through this structure that there can be a gradual improvement and growth for the student as well as the classroom as a whole.

The communicative pathway between student and teacher, as well as teacher and parents, likewise play a integral part of the feedback based system of education at The Study Academy. Communication about the student’s progress is carried across several venues including Edmodo, email, Internet, parent teacher interview, personal meetings with Principal Krell  and a telephone call! I believe the subject- counselling notices and parent teacher interviews are two of the best ways that The Study Academy opens up this communicative pathway and really transforms the student’s learning.

Necessary Relationship of Teacher, Student and ParentUsually parent teacher interview are held upon the completion of a midterm of each session. It is a time to discuss progress. However, teachers at The Study Academy do not wish to leave a student till this point if they are struggling. This would also be terribly misleading for a parents who wishes also to see the academic progress of their child. For that reason there are also subject counseling notes, which are sent when there is the detection of early and serious problems. At this time parents meet and discuss with their child’s teachers ways to improve the chances of their child’s success. Essentially this can act as a corrective measure and ensure no student gets left behind.So, in this way The Study Academy really is bent on ensuring a child meets the goals and expectations of their teachers, as well as make sure that when they do, it is based off reliable evidence. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a pretty good system for success for any student, and if success is all that a mother wants from her child, then The Study Academy definitely helps each child give the best present they can for their mothers.

Theoretical Thursday: The Positive Effects of Music on Children

Theoretical Thursday: The Positive Effects of Music on Children

The Study Academy Report

Hello Readers,

Over the past week and a half, my posts have divulged the creative endeavors  of The Study Academy and the results of scientists on the effects of such creativity in the classroom.  In particular, I discussed the importance of creativity and innovation in fostering divergent thinking in young students (http://thestudyacademy.ca/theoretical-thursday-creativity-innovation-education/). I had also mentioned this week that music classes have been made available at The Study Academy, and therefore students are being given another opportunity to foster such thinking processes (http://thestudyacademy.ca/study-academy-report-music-classes-study-academy/). However, the importance of music goes  beyond divergent thinking.

divergent thinking, creativity and music In one study by North & colleagues (2000), research stated that music allows children to satisfy their emotional needs, both while listening and when actively involved in music making. Active participation in music classes has also been found to enhance a student’s prelinguistic communicative gestures and social development, in particular social behaviour. (Gerry et. al., 2012).

Because of such capacities of music to affect us so deeply, therapies for students with attentional difficulties  and Autism Spectrum Disorder have been proven to be quite effective. Music therapy is one type of therapy available to those with attentional difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The idea is that a certified music therapist uses music (and its capacity to affect one physically , emotionally , mentally, and socially) to help clients to improve or maintain their health. Musical interventions have been designed to mange stress, alleviate pain, enhance memory, improve communication and promote physical rehabilitation too.

SCOPEThere are in fact a few brain based reasons why music works in such beneficial ways for us. Firstly, you must understand that music has always had a core function in our brain. My goodness, from an evolutionary standpoint, music precedes even language! Even day old infants, who are still developing, can detect patterns in music. For this reason, it seem that music has some basic engrained influence over us. One of the more important reasons made available, is that we have emotional and physiologic responses to music. We can experience anything from our heart rates increasing to chills down our spine depending on the types of melodies that reach our ears. On the other hand, music also taps into our emotions, and  allows one to easily access our emotions in a beneficial and therapeutic manner. Therefore, in trained hands, music has the capacity to effectively help. In this respect, music can definitely serve as a positive instrument for students who experience challenges in the classroom.

For a student suffering from attentional difficulties , music can bolster attention and focus, while reducing their hyperactivity. It is the structure within music that can help them. The reason for this is because the rhythm within the music can allow the child to plan, anticipate and react in a structured way. With time and practice, a child with attentional difficulties  can apply their strategies they have learned from music to the classroom.

Music therapy patient needs tables music selectionsMusic therapy is useful with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Disorder also owing to the noted sensitivity Autistic Spectrum Disorder patients have to music. Evidence of this is shown in a study found in the Pertanika Journal (2012). Over a ten month period, when weekly music therapy sessions were given to children for an hour, there were notable improvements made in inattentive behaviour, restlessness, aggression, and noisiness.

Overall research has shown that music does indeed have quite a positive effect on many children! I will leave you today with a picture summary of some of the things I have discussed today and hope that maybe the next time you listen to your Ipod, you will wonder too, what your music is doing for you.

http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2012/06/20/music-learning/