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Fecha de registro: 28 mar 2022
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A Pink Highlighter Shouldn’t Be the Baton of Choice to Conduct the Mind’s Orchestra

My students’ year-end rush to study for final exams and complete big writing assignments really helped me to understand much of what Mel Levine explained to us at April’s conference on “Clinical Assessment & Management of Differences in Learning” in North Carolina. Levine, a Harvard-trained pediatrician, is the best-selling author of “A Mind at a Time” and “The Myth of Laziness.”

Levine explained that children learn and convey what they’ve learned using eight neurodevelopmental constructs. According to homework services the eight constructs serve as the framework for much of his work with children and certainly represent the basis for his book, “A Mind at a Time.” In fact, I would recommend that anyone interested in Levine’s work order the poster, “A Table of Neurodevelopmental Constructs”, as a supplement to “A Mind at a Time.” The table gives Levine’s already clear writing more structure and allows readers to use the book as a valuable reference tool.

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The eight constructs are attention, temporal sequential ordering, spatial ordering, memory, language, neuromotor functions, social cognition, and higher order cognition. While he considers attention the “conductor of the orchestra”, he gives all eight constructs equal weight when assessing children.

The last two months of the school year can be a great time to observe your child’s ability to use attention to conduct the orchestra that is the learning mind. It’s the time when kids are responsible for learning big blocks of information and producing well-organized written pieces. According to Levine, attention is made up of three control systems: mental energy controls, processing controls, and production controls.

The mental energy controls are designed to provide energy to the parts of the brain that need it the most. This assignment is particularly important when children are trying to complete tasks they don’t feel like doing or when they need to do schoolwork for several hours at a time.

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The processing controls are particularly taxed when high school students are studying for final exams. These controls regulate what Levine calls saliency determination and depth or detail of processing. In other words, processing controls help students filter out irrelevant information and retain the important stuff.


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