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The Adolescent Brain

The Adolescent Brain. 40% of synapses are pruned during adolescence that are not needed to support future development to form the mature brain. The Frontal Lobe

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The Adolescent Brain

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  1. The Adolescent Brain 40% of synapses are pruned during adolescence that are not needed to support future development to form the mature brain. The Frontal Lobe This part of the brain is still developing, but is refining during this time andcontrols attention, inhibition of impulses, integration of information, regulation of behavior through planning, and complex cognitive capacities. Also during adolescence there is a spurt in areas of the brain dedicated to spatial abilities. The Corpus Callosum This part of the brain has already peaked by the age of 6, but continues to develop through adolescence. It is responsible for smooth coordination of movements of both sides of the body, perception, attention, memory, language, and problem solving skills.

  2. Activities for Adolescent Brain Children going through this time of change might  enjoy reading about a character who is also going through the same time period. It is also good to provide strong and successful male and female characters in literature. Biograhpies are popular at this age. Since the corpus callosum is developing during adolescence and it is responsible for  skills such as: attention, memory, language, and problem solving skills this age group would love mystery books such as: Stories with Holes by Nathan Levy and  39 Clues  by Rick Riordan. Choose Your Own Adventure books would also stimulate this part of the brain. These books would also stimulate the frontal lobe, which controls attention, integration of information, regulation of behavior through planning, and complex cognitive capacities. Michael L. Printz AwardThis award honors excellence in literature written for young adults.http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/printzaward/Printz.cfm YALSA website (Young adult library service website with booklists) http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/bestbooksya/09bbya.cfm

  3. Small Motor Development • At age 8, the small muscles of the hand are developing rapidly. • Children who may have been printing for quite some time, will now begin to write in cursive formation. •  Children begin to become interested in and be able to manipulate small objects • This development will continue throughout adolescence, and new interests will surface such as playing musical instruments and constructing small, simple machines.

  4. Small Motor DevelopmentActivities • Provide students with small, non working electrical items such as remote controls, small radios, small clocks. Have students disassemble the item, possibly drawing a layout of the internal parts, then attempt to reassemble the item. • A lesson could be presented about instruments, extending into different instruments throughout the world. Even students who are not interested in playing a flute or saxophone (or other typical instrument) my find enjoyment in playing examples of instruments from other countries. An example may be a steel drum or rainsticks. Many interesting international instruments can be found at Global Galleries at Easton Town Center, or online at www.tenthousandvillages.com • Provide students with a variety of art materials.         Using these materials, have students create a 3-D         model of the subject you are currently teaching:         life cycles, habitats, literacy block, or concepts         such as measuring, nutrition, etc.

  5. Gross Motor Skills Development Gross Motor Skills are the movements of the large muscles in the body. Normal 8-12 age children experience motor skills that: become smoother and more coordinated allow running, skipping, bicycle riding, and skating. At this age boys usually out perform girls in gross motor skills, while girls out perform boys in fine motor skills

  6. Gross Motor Development Activities • Gross motor skills are developing quickly and students can now take on more responsibilities and tasks in the classroom. There is a need to be more independant and self-sufficant. For a math activity, you can take the children outside and have them measure different distances that they can throw or kick a ball.  Have them do a couple of tries and then incorporate mean, median, and mode.  This can be done by collecting the data then heading back inside to display their findings on a large piece of chart paper. • For a science activity, have students recreate their own human size solar systems by having designated students act as planets, stars, moon, and sun. Rotate when needed, plus it gives other students a chance to participate and view another students' perception of what is would look like.

  7. There is only one pubertal milestone in an average boy by age 11 and only a few more that even fall within the 8-11 age range at all, But, other changes will be coming quickly. It is very important to make boys aware of what these changes are and how they will affect them, so they are not taken by surprise when they do occur., Puberty In Boys Milestone                         Averate Age       Age Range Testes begin to enlarge            10                  9 - 13.5 Pubic hair appears                   12                 10 - 15 Penis begins to enlarge             12                 10.5 - 14.5 Heights spurt begins                12.5              10.5 - 16 First ejaculation occurs            13.5              12 - 16 Peak height spurt                     14                 12.5 - 15.5 Peak weight spurt                     14                 12.5 - 15.5 Facial hair begins to grow        14                 12.5 - 15.5   Penis/tests growth completed    14.5               12.5 - 16 Peak strength spurt                  15.3               13 - 17 Adult stature reached               15.5               13.5 - 17.5 Pubic hair growth completed      15.5               14 - 17 Something to consider . . . Boys undergoing these pubertal changes early will be looked up to by their classmates and considered a leader. Boys who go through these changes very late may be ostracized by classmates. It is important to be sensative to the needs of both boys who may develop early and those who may develop late.

  8. Activities Dealing with the Pubertal Development of Boys • There are many lessons already created and available on this topic: • http://school.discoveryeducation.com/lessonplans/programs/puberty/ • http://www.teachingsexualhealth.ca/pages/lessonplans/puberty.html • http://www.sexualityandu.ca/teachers/pdf/BoysandPuberty.pdf • Other Ideas: • Small Group Discissions • After going of the general characteristics of puberty as a class, break the boys into groups of 4-6. Each group will be led by a trusted adult male (teacher, counselor, parent). Set the ground rule that the boys make ask anything they'd like without facing any judgment (or punishment) and you will do your best to answer their questions (no matter what they are). This will allow the boys to find out answers to what they are really wondering about instead of getting all "book" information.   • Writing Activity • Have students write what about puberty/adolescence makes them nervous and what are they are excited about and explain why. Allow students to share if desired.

  9. Puberty in Girls *Reaction in Girls -commonly act surprised with a mix of positive and negative emotions -their emotions are usually based on their prior knowledge and support -girls who mature early are usually seen as unpopular, lack self confidence and are anxious -girls who mature later are usually lively, sociable, leaders and attractive. *As teachers and role models it is important to understand that these changes will vary child to child. The more supportive and open you are the more likely the child will be to adjust smoothly and ask questions when they feel confused.  Female Puberty Milestones        Girls        Average Age    Age Range Breast begin to bud        10          8-13 Height spurt begins        10          8-13 Pubic hair appears          10.5       8-14 Peak strength spurt        11.6       9.5-14 Peak height spurt            11.7       10-13.5 First menstruation          12.5       10.5-14 Peak weight spurt            12.7      10-14 Adult stature reached     13        10-16

  10. Activities and Resources for  Developing Girls  Online Resources -http://www.sexualityandu.ca/teachers/pdf/GirlsandPuberty.pdf ( Great lesson for presenting the information to females) -http://www.ehow.com/how_2102751_teach-stages-female-puberty.html (Great information to provide parents with talking to their daughter about puberty) -http://www.ubykotex.com.au/teacher-resources/#lesson-plans  ( Resource for girls, teachers and parents) More Ideas: * A question box could be placed somewhere in the room for students to drop in their questions. They could sign their name or have it anonymous and the teacher could provide answer with out embarrassing the student. * A lunch bunch could be created where the girls could eat lunch with trusted adults in the school to discuss any questions they may have.  * In students health journals they could journal about what they are feeling, or write down resources the teacher has for them and even glue in handouts. 

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