What can we learn about how children think and learn and how can we use this knowledge in our classrooms?
For Elementary Education majors, read the article "How Children's Thinking and Learning Develop" by Kids Matter, then write a post that answers the question above. Follow the directions in Writing A Quality Blog Post.
In this article by Kids Matter, it discusses the development of how children think and learn. It shows developmental patterns and the development of thinking skills in language, attention, memory, planning, and problem-solving. It also gives you points on how to support children's thinking and learning by encouraging, building confidence, and removing distractions.
After reading "How Children's Thinking and Learning Develop," I have learned that all skills that children have, such as attention, memory, and planning and problem solving are more effective as they grow with age. I also learned that for a child to be successful in school, the parent must be involved in the learning process. Most younger kids have a difficulty focusing their attention. This is true. I work with 2 to 3 year old children everyday. Unless they are completely interested in what they are doing at that moment, most kids can not focus for longer than 5 to 10 minutes. I think that being an adult, you sometimes forget what it was like to be a kid. I believe this make it harder for you to teach them. Something that comes so easy to you, is the hardest thing in the world for a younger child. You just have to remember that they are learning and they are children. At the daycare I potty my class every afternoon. For these 2 to 3 year old children, putting on their pants is the hardest thing for them. You think about yourself and how easy it is, but for them it is not. I have watched kids breakdown, cry, and throw fits because they just could not pull their pants up.
After reading this article, I learned to always remember that they are children. They are learning and you need to be there to give them a helping hand.
One of the things I have learned about children that I can apply in the classroom is that younger children tend to believe that everyone thinks the same way they do and that children with this mind set will benefit from group activities. This allows children to learn from other children and it allows them to build social skills. I think social skills should be started early on. Many people have social anxiety and I believe that mastering this skill will help them in the future.
Another thing I learned about children, is how to develop their attention skills. By using games such as "iSpy" or maybe even a scavenger hunt can help them focus on one thing at a time.
For developing language skills in speaking, listening, and understand what other are trying to say, I believe that making podcasts could be very helpful. Maybe having the students check out a book from the library every week, read it, and have weekly discussions on the book one on one with the teacher. Not only does this allow you to speak and listen to the child, it also rids of any distraction that might keep the child from focusing.
With planning and problem-solving, I learned to always ask questions. Questions such as "How can we solve this?" allow students to be creative in finding the answer. I think those questions keep the mind of a young child active.
There is still a lot to learn about children and how they think. I think a great educator knows who they are teaching to and knows how to teach them.