How Noise & Nervous System Get in Way of Reading Skills

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 81 – 2nd December 2009

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers. Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to. Feedback is welcome.

PD Updates

Watch this space and check on the website for future PDs.

New Products Available

You will be pleased to hear I now stock two of Jennifer Jefferies products – the book and the aromatherapy oil ‘Calm Kids’.  Jennifer is a well-known naturopath, author and speaker.  If you are interested in these or any other of Jennifer’s products, visit

Employment Opportunity – Be your own boss!

Looking for a part-time teaching opportunity? Love working with children? Love teaching music and movement? I am looking for people to train to run their own business as Kidz-Fiz-Biz operators. Good returns and lots of fun. If this is something of interest to you now or in the future, please contact me at or phone 0410 642 781.

How Noise and Nervous System Get in Way of Reading Skills

I am a great fan of the Sound Health CD series for relaxation. While ordering in new stocks recently, I went onto the Links to Learning website ( where I came across this article.  

A big thank you to Renate Cross for sharing the following really interesting article with us …………

EVANSTON, Ill. — A child’s brain has to work overtime in a noisy classroom to do its typical but very important job of distinguishing sounds whose subtle differences are key to success with language and reading.

But that simply is too much to ask of the nervous system of a subset of poor readers whose hearing is fine, but whose brains have trouble differentiating the “ba,” “da” and “ga” sounds in a noisy environment, according to a new Northwestern University study.
“The ‘b,’ ‘d’ and ‘g’ consonants have rapidly changing acoustic information that the nervous system has to resolve to eventually match up sounds with letters on the page,” said Nina Kraus, Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology and director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, where the work was performed.
In other words, the brain’s unconscious faulty interpretation of sounds makes a big difference in how words ultimately will be read. “What your ear hears and what your brain interprets are not the same thing,” Kraus stressed.

The Northwestern study is the first to demonstrate an unambiguous relationship between reading ability and neural encoding of speech sounds that previous work has shown present phonological challenges for poor readers.
The research offers an unparalleled look at how noise affects the nervous system’s transcription of three little sounds that mean so much to literacy.

For more information on Sound Health and how to use these in your classrooms, go to the products page at or contact me at

Quotes of the Week

Since light travels faster than sound, people appear bright until you hear them speak. Anon

Every now and then, when you’re on stage, you hear the best sound a player can hear. It’s a sound you can’t get in movies or in television. It is the sound of a wonderful, deep silence that means you’ve hit them where they live. Shelley Winters


To hear the famous Nora playing, click here.


Kidz-fiz-biz comes to Millfield Pre-Prep School

Marlene Rattigan, internationally respected founder of “kidz-fiz-biz” visited to run an exciting course for early years’ practitioners, Key Stage 1 teachers, music specialists, special needs teachers and parents. This was called “Let’s Get Physical: Music and Movement Fun in Early Years’ Settings and Key Stage 1”. Marlene is an international expert with many years’ experience of working with children. She is the author of several practical books (with CDs) which were available on the day.

The key aims and objectives of the course were:

• to learn fun ways to incorporate movement into many aspects of learning

• to support the development of language and communication skills for all children, including those with speech, communication and language needs and other literacy difficulties

• to have fun experiencing multi-cultural music as it transcends language

• to develop awareness of the role of music and movement in enhancing learning

• to develop your own and your children’s love of music for the fun of it!

All of those who attended the course found it extremely informative, useful, and above all fun, and felt extremely lucky to be taught by somebody who is so famous in her field.

Thankyou to Mary Mountstephen for sending this link to her school’s website where this review appeared.

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

Enjoying Kidz Newz?

Perhaps a friend or colleague would enjoy it too!  Add their contact address and click “Forward”. (Be sure to include this entire message, including the subscription details) By doing this you will help us grow.

Looking for lots of ideas? Visit the Kidz Newz archive where you will find back issues of Kidz Newz.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our blog for more interesting information, articles and discussions or connect with Marlene on Linked In.


Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

{tag_subscribe} if you would like to stop receiving these advices.

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00