Geography

Development in other Academic Domains

 

Geography

 

 

The science of geography is likely the oldest of all sciences. Geography is the answer to the question that the earliest humans asked, “What’s over there?” Exploration and the discovery of new places, new cultures, and new ideas have always been basic components of geography.

Why is it important to learn Geography?

The geography of a region affects the living of its inhabitants.

The geographical conditions of a region influence its culture.

It has a deep impact on the social and cultural norms of the people.

It influences the culture and civilization of the region.

The geography of a region has a direct effect on the art forms, the literature, the food habits and the celebrations of the people that inhabit it.

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Dyslexia

Dyslexia symptoms vary depending on age and no two people with dyslexia are alike. If someone demonstrates one or two of the problems below, it does not necessarily mean that he or she has dyslexia, however if someone demonstrates several of the dyslexia symptoms listed below it may be worth exploring the need for an evaluation by a language and literacy specialist.

A pre-school aged child may:

  • Talk later than most children – As a general rule children say their first words around one year and phrases around 18-24 months. Children at-risk for literacy problems may not begin saying their first words until fifteen months and may not speak in phrases until approximately 24-26 months.
  • Use persistent baby talk
  • Have unusual difficulty pronouncing words – “aminal” for animal, “pisgetti” for spaghetti, “lephant” for elephant
  • Have trouble recalling words or finding the right words when speaking
  • Be less sensitive to rhymes and have trouble reciting common nursery rhymes or may confuse words that sound alike
  • Experience difficulty learning the names and the sounds of the letters of the alphabet
  • Have trouble remembering the letters in their own name

A kindergarten or first grade child may:

  • Have difficulty separating syllables in words and blending syllables to make words
  • Have difficulty separating sounds in words and blending sounds to make words
  • Experience difficulty with learning the names of the letters of the alphabet
  • Leave kindergarten without knowing the sounds of most of the letters
  • Leave first grade without fluent reading skills, reading is slow and effortful
  • Demonstrate the inability to read common one-syllable words or to sound out simple words such as mat, sat, tap, hop
  • Consistently make reading errors demonstrating a lack of awareness to the relation of sounds and letters such as “like” for milk, “left” for felt, and “house” for “home”

**Note** – Reading errors such as “sit” for set, “hit” for hat, or “cop” for cup demonstrate an attempt to match letters to sounds and are much more typical than the previous examples.

A child from second grade on may:

  • Mispronounce long, unfamiliar words or use imprecise language instead of the proper names of objects
  • Demonstrate very slow progress in acquiring reading skills
  • Fail to systematically sound out words
  • Make unusual guesses at reading a word
  • Spell the same word differently at different times
  • Avoid reading aloud
  • Have better listening comprehension skills than reading comprehension skills
  • Skip over small words (like, an, the) while reading
  • Have terrible spelling
  • Avoid reading for pleasure
  • Spend unusual amounts of time on homework
  • Have a family history of reading and spelling problems

Resources for parents with children with dyslexia: How to help your child with Dyslexia.

http://www.dyslexia-parent.com/

http://www.dyslexia-add.org/resources.html

7 ways to promote reading

7 ways to promote reading for young children

  1. Read together every day. Find a time of day when your child is most able to settle down, such as before naps or after a bath. If he loses interest, stop and try again later. The aim to spend a total of 20 minutes each day reading with him (all at once or in chunks).
  2. Ask questions. Ask your child things about the story that can be answered from looking at the pictures. Have her point out differences in the shapes of letters; this will prepare her to identify them as she learns to read on her own.
  3. Do it together. Make your child feel that the books are really for him. Let him help choose books to buy and which ones to read. Ask him to hold the book or turn the pages as you sit together.
  4. Point to words. Use your finger to help her follow the text as you read it. Pause at a word she might already know and let her say it.
  5. Read it 101 times. Reading his favorite book again and again (and again) actually helps him begin to recognize repeated words. It also helps him become familiar with the structure of a story.
  6. Try picture reading. Even before she can read any words, encourage your child to read to you from the pictures. Look for books with bright, lively illustrations that offer good clues to the text such as Fidgety Fish by Ruth Galloway.
  7. Read it by heart. If he’s memorized a favorite story, guide him to follow the text as he recites it. Eventually, he’ll associate a spoken word with the written one.

 

Helpful Reading Games for Children

http://pbskids.org/games/reading.html

http://www.coolmath-games.com/1-reading-spelling-games-01.html

http://www.knowledgeadventure.com/subject/reading-games.aspx

Reading Development

Reading Development

To learn to read and write children must learn the relationships between how words sound and are produced in speech, and how they look and are written on paper.  Reading is a complex, multifaceted process that continues to develop throughout childhood and adolescence.             

Reading milestones

This is a general outline of the milestones on the road to reading and the ages at which most kids reach them.  Keep in mind that kids develop at different paces and spend varying amounts of time at each stage. If you have concerns, talk to your child’s doctor, teacher, or the reading specialist at school. Early intervention is the key in helping kids who are struggling to read.

Infancy (Up to Age 1)

Kids usually begin to:

  • imitate sounds they hear in language
  • respond when spoken to
  • look at pictures
  • reach for books and turn the pages with help
  • respond to stories and pictures by vocalizing and patting the pictures

Toddlers (Ages 1-3)

Kids usually begin to:

  • answer questions about and identify objects in books — such as “Where’s the cow?” or “What does the cow say?”
  • name familiar pictures
  • use pointing to identify named objects
  • pretend to read books
  • finish sentences in books they know well
  • scribble on paper
  • know names of books and identify them by the picture on the cover
  • turn pages of board books
  • have a favorite book and request it to be read often

Early Preschool (Age 3)

Kids usually begin to:

  • explore books independently
  • listen to longer books that are read aloud
  • retell a familiar story
  • recite the alphabet
  • begin to sing the alphabet with prompting and cues
  • make continuous symbols that resemble writing
  • imitate the action of reading a book aloud

Late Preschool (Age 4)

Kids usually begin to:

  • recognize familiar signs and labels, especially on signs and containers
  • make up rhymes or silly phrases
  • recognize and write some of the letters of the alphabet
  • read and write their names
  • name letters or sounds that begin words
  • match some letters to their sounds
  • use familiar letters to try writing words

Kindergarten (Age 5)

Kids usually begin to:

  • understand rhyming and play rhyming games
  • match some spoken and written words
  • understand that print is read from left to right, top to bottom
  • write some letters and numbers
  • recognize some familiar words
  • predict what will happen next in a story
  • retell stories that have been read to them

First and Second Grade (Ages 6-7)

Kids usually begin to:

  • read familiar stories
  • sound out or decode unfamiliar words
  • use pictures and context to figure out unfamiliar words
  • use some common punctuation and capitalization in writing
  • self-correct when they make a mistake while reading aloud
  • show comprehension of a story through drawings

Second and Third Grade (Ages 7-8)

Kids usually begin to:

  • read longer books independently
  • read aloud with proper emphasis and expression
  • use context and pictures to help identify unfamiliar words
  • understand the concept of paragraphs and begin to apply it in writing
  • correctly use punctuation
  • correctly spell simple words
  • write notes, like phone messages and email
  • enjoy games like word searches
  • use new words, phrases, or figures of speech that they’ve heard
  • revise their own writing

Fourth through Eighth Grade (Ages 9-13)

Kids usually begin to:

  • explore and understand different kinds of texts, like biographies, poetry, and fiction
  • understand and explore expository, narrative, and persuasive text
  • read to extract specific information, such as from a science book
  • identify parts of speech and devices like similes and metaphors
  • correctly identify major elements of stories, like time, place, plot, problem, and resolution
  • read and write on a specific topic for fun, and understand what style is needed
  • analyze texts for meaning

 


Cognitive Development and Information Processing at Different Age Levels

Age

What you might see

How your child may differ

How to help your child improve

Birth to 1

·         Very accurate hearing is present hours after birth

·         Increasing ability to learn

·         Increasing improvement in eyesight

·         Looks for stimuli that catches their attention

·         By three or four months, they have some knowledge of general object, like chairs and dogs.

·         Senses are used to learn about the world.

·         Some children have the ability to pay more attention than others.

·         Some children may love exploring; others may prefer people and objects that are familiar to them.

·         Infants who are more emotionally attached to their caregiver, tend to be more willing to explore and try new activities.

·         Cultural differences may place more emphasis on people than environments, therefore some children are more interested in people than things.

·         Set up a safe area for the child to play. Switch out the child’s toys so they can have interest in them.

·         Offer toys that can teach the child how to categorize, like plastic farm animals or colored blocks, and toys that stimulate the child’s senses.

·         Offer choices of toys and activities

·         Talk to your child often and play with them. This encourages bonding, thinking, and social skills.

·         Helping your child with activities that they need assistance with such as build a tower with blocks helps them complete tasks that they cannot do alone.

1 to 2

 

 

 

·         Uses one object to get another

·         Begins to plan steps to reach a goal

·         Is unaware of their own thought or other’s thoughts

·         Continue to have short attention spans

·         Distracted easily

·         The child becomes aware of simple cause-and-effect relationships, for example, the child realizes that if the push a toy, it will fall over.

·         Play will show that they are aware of the world around them, for example, a child may pretend to cook or sweep, demonstrating they are aware of these actions

·         Some children may begin to show some problem-solving strategies earlier than others if given the opportunity

·         Some may be more willing than others to explore and try new things

·         Show them how to play with objects and other problem solving strategies. Once you have shown them, let them try it on their own.

·         Make sure toys are age and stage appropriate. We don’t want to overwhelm or under-stimulate the child.

·         Purposely place toys out of reach or one inside another to get them to problem- solve. If the child seems frustrated, help them or discontinue the activity.

2 to 4

·         Ability to remember is increasing

·         Continues to be easily distracted

·         Begins to learn and memorize letters, numbers, and songs

·         Begins to organize objects into categories

·         Begins to imitate simple actions or movements by observing others

·         Pretend play is more elaborate

·         Begin recognizing signs, symbols, and print

·         Child may begin to talk to themselves. This is the child’s way of helping themselves complete a task.

·         Some children may learn their letters, numbers, and songs faster than others. This is normal, as all children will learn at their own pace.

·         Learning difficulties and disabilities become more apparent

·         Some children may be exposed to different environments due to cultural and social  differences

·         Children who are outgoing may be more social, children who are shy may have more difficulty being social.

·         Children make sense of events and their environment by what they have learned through their culture and experiences.

·         Offer varied and new activities often.

·         Try to keep distractions at minimum when you are getting the child to focus

·         Provide opportunities for learning and experiences, such as outings to the local zoo, library, or aquarium.

·         Introduce new experiences through books and pretend play.

·         Provide opportunities to socialize with other children and adults.

·         Encourage self-talk. It helps the child guide themself to completing a task.

·         If a learning delay or disability seems present, always talk to the pediatrician or other professionals to get help.

4 to 6

·         Becomes aware that other people have thoughts

·         Increases ability to imitate and perform simple actions

·         Are somewhat aware of their own thoughts

·         Think learning just happens, but not that they are active in their own learning process

·         Some children may be more aware of their own thoughts than others. Encourage them to think.

·         Children with autism have little awareness of thoughts.

·         Talk to the child about what they are thinking.

·         Pose questions for them, like “what if…”to encourage thinking

·         Children may want to imitate simple tasks, by performing simple activities such as wiping off a table, they will learn how to do the activity.

·         Talk to the child about experiences and their perspective about the experience.

·         Continue to monitor far any learning delays or disabilities. Talk to the child’s pediatrician or other professional for help.


Children with different abilities

Children who have learning disabilities or information processing difficulties may need extra help and guidance. If the child has difficulty paying attention, we can help them focus, by removing distractions or moving to another location where the child can focus better. Some children have trouble sitting still even for relatively short time periods. Allowing the child to have playtime or movement to release extra energy can improve their focus. If a child has difficulty with social interaction, they may need opportunities and help to learn social skills.   Another way to help the child improve is through encouragement and offering support, but not necessarily telling them what to do. By offering them your company and being open to talking and listening to their frustrations and difficulties, builds their confidence and in turn, empowers them to improve their skills.

The CDC has a developed a program to aid parents in recognizing delays or diabilities in their children so that they can get help. Parents are encouraged to assess how their child plays, learns, speaks, and acts (all of which are related to cognitive development) in order to recognize any delays or disabilities early.   The core belief of the program is that through early help and intervention, the child will be able to maximize their opportunities for learning. Check out the following video for a quick overview of the program. You may also want to check out their main website, www.cdc.gov/actearly to get more information.

How can I promote my child’s cognitive development?

Thinking abilities of children improve with age, therefore providing a child with proper stimuli and experiences aids in cognitive development. Providing infants with different opportunities, books, allowing them to learn by using their senses, using age-appropriate toys, and turning playtime into a learning tool can improve cognitive abilities.  One really great way to improve cognitive development, as well as create quality time and bond with your child, is by talking and playing with your infant. They enjoy looking at faces, expressions, and listening when being talked to. Choosing activities that are beneficial stimuli and helping the child connect new information to previous information is an excellent way to help them learn.

It is also wise not to help the infant with every new thing they are learning to do. Allowing them the opportunity to think about how to do things also improves their thinking and problem solving skills. For example, if an infant is about 9 months old and they see a toy they would like to play with that is just out of reach; do not hand it to them. If you let them problem-solve long enough they will realize they can crawl to it and pick it up.

Using age appropriate toys, games, and activities help improve cognitive skills. Giving the infant or child a choice of activities is good and toys should not be forced upon the child. The child may just prefer one over the other at that moment, or the child simply has a dislike for that particular game or activity. Even as babies, children have their own personalities, likes, and dislikes.

Allow the child to have down time and don’t try too many things at once. The idea is to stimulate the child but not to overwhelm or frustrate them. If the child shows signs of frustration, discontinue the activity, game, or toy.

The following video titled “The intelligent child” is dedicated to cognitive development from birth to age 6.  This video talks about the potential children have to learn and how to help them. Some of the ideas and topics covered in the above information are discussed and some information about child development theories is introduced. This video is good because he breaks down the stages children go through by age.

 

A really great website for parents to access all kinds of information about babies is http://www.babyzone.com. The cognitive development is one topic that can be found at babyzone and there is also an interactive checklist that parents can use to check their baby’s development. You can access babyzone and the checklist by clicking on the following link:

http://www.babyzone.com/baby/baby-development/cognitive-development-milestones_85241


Cognitive Development


Did you know?

There are 3 areas of child development. The physical development of the child deals with how the child is growing and focuses on the body and movement. The social-emotional development encompasses the child feelings and behaviors. The third area focuses on the brain, thinking, and the thinking process. This area is called cognitive development.

Cognitive Development 

Cognitive Development by definition “refers to the changes that occur in children’s reasoning, concepts, memory, and language- changes that are cultivated by children’s experiences in families, schools, and communities” (McDevitt and Ormond, 2010). This means that as we age, learn, grow, and experience life, we begin to acquire more information. We learn how to think, we learn about ideas, we begin to remember, and we learn how to communicate. All of this is possible through cognitive development.

Youtube has an extensive collection of videos related to cognitive development. They could be accessed in the following link:  

http://www.youtube.com/topic/6ECQ4XE4YCM/?feature=results_main 

Basic Cognitive Processes

One might ask, “How do we know what we know?”  “How do we understand?” “How are we able to take our thoughts and be able to demonstrate what we know?” These questions among others can be answered by learning about the information processing theory.  This theory “focuses on the specific ways in which people mentally acquire, interpret, and remember information and how such cognitive processes change over the course of development” (McDevitt and Ormond, 2010). This theory centers on ideas about how we gain information and use it. Key ideas of this theory are that humans are able to store and retrieve information, able to gain new information through their environment, and able to pay attention. In this theory, our brain stores information into 2 compartments called the working memory and the long-term memory. The working memory, as you can probably guess, is the one we use to store new information or things we only need to know for a short amount of time. The long-term memory is able to store information, like our memories, that we want to hold onto for a long amount of time.  According to this and other theories, we build up the information we store gradually as we learn, grow, and experience life.

So how do we decide what information we want to use? Human brains are able to do this by something called the central executive. The central executive helps us filter and use the information we have stored. Although we know this component exists in the brain, oddly enough, scientists have yet to find its exact location!

Infants and young children are developing all of these skills and processes in their brain. They are increasing their attention spans, focus, working memory, long-term memory, and are constantly learning new things from their environments and from others.  We know that as adults we cannot remember when we were very young. This is called infantile amnesia. The reason that we cannot remember this stage of life is because we did not have the language or ability to remember this time; but it does not mean that this time serves no purpose. It lays a foundation for the child to build upon and talking to young children about events and their surroundings helps improve their memory of these early years.

Because cognitive skills develop gradually and are improved with stimulation and thinking, young children need to be challenged to think and learn. In the time frame from birth to six years old, children go through times called sensitive periods where they have a unique ability to learn things easily and effortlessly. They have an increased potential to learn things such as “…language, order, refinement of the senses, movement, and social relations” (shininglightreading.com, 2012). Therefore by enhancing their cognitive skills and abilities think helps them excel during these sensitive periods.

If you’re interested in a more in depth explanation about basic cognitive processes, click on the following video to see some more information on this theory. This video is geared towards teachers, but it is very helpful for parents and others who want to learn more.

 

Why is this information important if my child is just a baby?

As mentioned, sensitive periods of learning begin at birth. As babies and children grow and learn, they develop and improve their cognitive skills. They are learning and making sense of their world through their environment and everything they are exposed to. Even young babies, as we know, look at objects with interest. Through their senses, like observing, listening, touching, smelling, and tasting, they learn about those objects by interpreting what they are sensing.  The ability to sense and perceive information improves as the baby gets older.

Have you ever seen a baby be attracted to a certain object or prefer one toy over another? We have all seen some babies attracted to the parent’s car keys, or to a certain ball or blanket. That is because even at these young ages, they are attracted to certain stimuli. A stimulus, or stimuli (plural form of stimulus), is by definition, “A thing that rouses activity or energy in someone or something”*.  Stimuli can also be people. Within a few days of birth, a baby can already distinguish their mother’s voice. By one month, they show interest in looking at faces, listening to people, and observing human movement. According to studies, this is important and beneficial to the infants’ development. They learn language and other aspects of human behavior and culture. When exposed to the same stimuli, children begin to learn about the world, and become familiar with objects and people. As they grow, they are able to pay attention for longer periods of time, and, as they acquire more information and improve logical thinking, they become more able to use what they know to help them function in their world.

Children begin to build schemas, or ideas about people or objects. These schemas help them categorize information. For example, they remember that dogs have four legs. When they see another animal with four legs, they think it’s a dog because they have formed a schema about living things with four legs. Research now shows that infants as young as 3 to 4 months already begin categorizing information (McDevitt and Ormond, 2010).

This leads me to the idea of the Theory theory. Theory theory is concepts about things that children make up for themselves; Such as in the example above. The child has constructed a theory for him- or herself that all things with 4 legs are dogs. Through conversation, play, experiences, and exposure to the world whether it is first hand or through books, or other media, young children begin to form these theories and modify them as they learn more information and categorize.

Helping the child improve their cognitive skills from an early age has endless benefits, including more ability to problem solve, increased self-regulation skills, increased language abilities, increased social skills, and improved school readiness.

Language Development

Language Development

Children go through a number of different stages as language develops, from the earliest stage of producing cooing sounds through being able to produce complex, multi-word sentences.

By age one

Milestones

  • Recognizes name
  • Says 2-3 words besides “mama” and “dada”
  • Imitates familiar words
  • Understands simple instructions
  • Recognizes words as symbols for objects: Car – points to garage, cat – meows

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Respond to your child’s coos, gurgles, and babbling
  • Talk to your child as you care for him or her throughout the day
  • Read  colorful books to your child every day
  • Tell nursery rhymes and sing songs
  • Teach your child the names of everyday items and familiar people
  • Take your child with you to new places and situations
  • Play  simple games with your child such as “peek-a-boo” and  “pat-a-cake”

Between one and two

Milestones

  • Understands   “no”
  • Uses 10 to 20 words, including names
  • Combines two words such as “daddy bye-bye”
  • Waves good-bye and plays pat-a-cake
  • Makes the “sounds” of familiar animals
  • Gives a  toy when asked
  • Uses words such as “more” to make wants known
  • Points to his or her toes, eyes, and nose
  • Brings object from another room when asked

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Reward and  encourage early efforts at saying new words
  • Talk to your baby about everything you’re doing while you’re with him
  • Talk simply, clearly, and slowly to your child
  • Talk about  new situations before you go, while you’re there, and again when you are home
  • Look at  your child when he or she talks to you
  • Describe what your child is doing, feeling, hearing
  • Let your child listen to children’s records and tapes
  • Praise your child’s efforts to communicate

Between two and three

Milestones

  • Identifies body parts
  • Carries on  ‘conversation’ with self and dolls
  • Asks “what’s that?” And “where’s my?”
  • Uses 2-word negative phrases such as “no want”.
  • Forms some plurals by adding “s”; book, books
  • Has a 450 word vocabulary
  • Gives first name, holds up fingers to tell age
  • Combines nouns and verbs “mommy go”
  • Understands  simple time concepts: “last night”, “tomorrow”
  • Refers to self as “me” rather than by name
  • Tries to  get adult attention: “watch me”
  • Likes to  hear same story repeated
  • May say  “no” when means “yes”
  • Talks to  other children as well as adults
  • Solves  problems by talking instead of hitting or crying
  • Answers  “where” questions
  • Names   common pictures and things
  • Uses short  sentences like “me want more” or “me want cookie”
  • Matches   3-4 colors, knows big and little

 

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Repeat new  words over and over
  • Help your  child listen and follow instructions by playing games: “pick up the ball,” “Touch Daddy’s s nose”
  • Take your child on trips and talk about what you see before, during and after the      trip
  • Let your  child tell you answers to simple questions
  • Read books every day, perhaps as part of the bedtime routine
  • Listen attentively as your child talks to you
  • Describe what you are doing, planning, thinking
  • Have the child deliver simple messages for you (Mommy needs you, Daddy )
  • Carry on  conversations with the child, preferably when the two of you have some  quiet time together
  • Ask  questions to get your child to think and talk
  • Show the child you understand what he or she says by answering, smiling, and  nodding your head
  • Expand  what the; child says. If he or she says, “more juice,” you say,  “Adam wants more juice.”

Between three and four

Milestones

  • Can tell a story
  • Has a  sentence length of 4-5 words
  • Has a  vocabulary of nearly 1000 words
  • Names at  least one color
  • Understands  “yesterday,” “summer”, “lunchtime”,  “tonight”, “little-big”
  • Begins to  obey requests like “put the block under the chair”
  • Knows his or her last name, name of street on which he/she lives and several nursery rhymes

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Talk about  how objects are the same or different
  • Help your  child to tell stories using books and pictures
  • Let your  child play with other children
  • Read longer stories to your child
  • Pay  attention to your child when he’s talking
  • Talk about places you’ve been or will be going

Between four and five

Milestones

  • Has sentence length of 4-5 words
  • Uses past tense correctly
  • Has a vocabulary of nearly 1500 words
  • Points to  colors red, blue, yellow and green
  • Identifies triangles, circles and squares
  • Understands “In the morning” , “next”, “noontime”
  • Can speak of imaginary conditions such as “I hope”
  • Asks many  questions, asks “who?” And “why?”

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Help your  child sort objects and things (ex. things you eat, animals. . )
  • Teach your child how to use the telephone
  • Let your child help you plan activities such as what you will make for Thanksgiving  dinner
  • Continue talking with him about his interests
  • Read longer stories to him
  • Let her  tell and make up stories for you
  • Show your pleasure when she comes to talk with you

Between five and six

Milestones

  • Has a sentence length of 5-6 words
  • Has a vocabulary of around 2000 words
  • Defines objects by their use (you eat with a fork) and can tell what objects are  made of
  • Knows spatial relations like “on top”, “behind”,      “far” and “near”
  • Knows her address
  • Identifies a penny, nickel and dime
  • Knows common opposites like “big/little”
  • Understands  “same” and “different”
  • Counts ten objects
  • Asks questions for information
  • Distinguished left and right hand in herself
  • Uses all types of sentences, for example “let’s go to the store after we  eat”

Activities to encourage your child’s language

  • Praise your child when she talks about her feelings, thoughts, hopes and fears
  • Comment on what you did or how you think your child feels
  • Sing songs, rhymes with your child
  • Continue  to read longer stories
  • Talk with him as you would an adult
  • Look at family photos and talk to him about your family history
  • Listen to her when she talks to you