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Inside the third grader's brain

What insights can neuroscience offer parents about the mind of a third grader?

By Hank Pellissier

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Brighter brain

Third-grade brains' myelin-coated "white matter" now usually exceeds their non-myelinated "grey matter." This means that their interconnecting brain has greatly strengthened the ability for high-level thinking, planning, problem solving, and information processing. You can help your child by guiding her towards "memory strategies" so your child can quickly file away the immense quantities of data that schooling requires. One great outcome of all this white matter development: Third graders can be significantly less forgetful than second graders.

Photo credit: The Right Brain Initiative

Hank Pellissier is a freelance writer whose fiction and essays have been been widely published and anthologized. A former columnist for Salon and SF Gate, he is a regular contributor to h+ Magazine.

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