Describe brain development during middle childhood.
An increase in myelination and lateralization allows for more efficient information processing; in particular, myelination in the prefrontal cortex promotes higher cognitive functions such as planning, goal setting, and inhibiting inappropriate behavior. Further pruning of neural connections helps the bring become increasingly more organized, which may account for improvements in problem-solving, memory, and language comprehension
Describe trends in levels of physical activity and exercise for American children.
50% of American children are not getting the recommended 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise
Identify some of the benefits of participating in Physical Education classes in elementary school.
Exercise has been shown to stimulate physiological development, enhance motor abilities, and organize the brain for social, emotional, and academic learning. Studies have shown that the more physical fitness tests children passed, the better they did on academic tests; another saying that children with more than 15 minutes of recess each day behaved better in class and were more successful academically
Describe the many benefits of reading in middle childhood.
Reading helps a child's vocabulary continue to grow, through using previous experience and context to guess meanings of new words, organizing words to remember them more efficiently (i.e. chunking) and learning to shift from associating words by order in a sentence to what they mean (syntagmatic-paradigmatic shift), and learning to understand double meanings in words (i.e. riddles and puns)
Describe growth in pragmatics and metalinguistic awareness during middle childhood.
- Pragmatics develop drastically as word choice and complexity can change to suit particular audiences. By age 6 an understanding of conjunctives (now, so, then) is established; by 12 an understanding of disjunctives (however, therefore, although). Additionally, children start to develop the ability to narrate in decontextualized language, meaning the story doesn't rely on the immediate surrounding context.
- Metalinguistic awareness (the abiltiy to use language to describe language) develops around the age of 5
Compare and contrast contextualized language and academic language.
Language develops in different dialects, which can be based on the area you're in, who you're talking to, how you grew up, what language(s) you originally speak, what gender you are, etc. Switching between dialects is known as code-switching
Identify the myths and misconceptions about being bilingual (p. 340).
- Myth: Learning a second language (L2) takes little time and effort. Truth: Learning English as a second language takes 2-3 years for oral and 5-7 years fo racademic language use
- Myth: All language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) transfer from L1 to L2. Truth: Reading is the skill that transfers most readily
- Myth: Code-switching is an indication of a language disorder. Truth: Code-switching indicates high-level language skills in both L1 and L2
- Myth: All bilinguals easily maintain both languages. Truth: It takes great effort and attention to maintain high-level skills in both languages
- Myth: Children do not lose their first language. Truth: Loss of L1 and underdevelopment of L2 are problems for second language learners (semilingual in L1 and L2)
- Myth: Exposure to English is sufficient for L2 learning. Truth: To learn L2, students need to have a reason to communicate, access to English speakers, interaction, support, feedback, and time
- Myth: To learn English, students' parents need to speak only English at home. Truth: Children need to use both languages in many contexts
- Myth: Reading in L1 is detrimental to learning English. Truth: Literacy-rich environments in either L1 or L2 support development of necessary prereading skills
- Myth: Language disorders must be identified by tests in English. Truth: Children must be tested in both L1 and L2 to determine language disorders
Identify the basic characteristics of Piaget’s concrete operations stage, including identity, compensation, and reversibility, classification, and seriation.
- Concrete operations revolve around the child's ability to understand properties of conservation
- Identity: the child knows that if nothing is added or taken away, the material remains the same
- Compensation: the child knows that an apparent change in one direction can be compensated for by a change in another direction
- Reversibility: the child can mentally cancel out the change that has been made
- Classification: the child's abilities to focus on a single characteristic of objects in a set and group the objects according to that characteristic
- Seriation: the process of making an orderly arrangement from large to small or vice versa
Describe the limitations of the concrete operational stage.
Concrete operational thinking is not very good for reasoning about hypothetical problems that involve the coordination of many factors at once, such as how many different combinations are possible in a set or how variables might interact in a scientific experiment
How are “instructional conversations” unique? Identify some recommendations for productive instructional conversations.
- Instructional conversations are designed to promote learning, but stick to the fact that it is a conversation rather than a lecture or traditional discussion - it shows how participants mediate each other's learning through dialogue about a shared experience
- Thematic focus: select a theme on which to focus the discussion, with a general plan for how the theme will unfold, including how to "chunk" the text to permit optimal exploration of the theme
- Activation and use of background knowledge: either "hook into" or provide students with pertinent background knowledge necessary for understanding a text, weaving the information into the discussion
- Direct teaching: provide direct teaching of a skill or concept when necessary
- Promotion of more complex language and expression: use a variety of elicitation techniques, such as inviting to expand, questions, restatements, and pauses
- Promotion of bases for statements or positions: promote students' use of text, pictures, and reasoning to support an argument or position, by gently probing (i.e. "What makes you think that?")
- Fewer "known-answer" questions: questions that might have more than one correct answer
- Responsiveness to student contributions: while maintaining an initial lesson plan, be responsive to students' statements and the opportunities they provide
- Connected discourse: multiple, interactive, connected turns; succeeding utterances build on and extend previous ones
- Challenging, but non-threatening, atmosphere: act more like a collaborator than an evaluator, challenging the students to negotiate and construct the meaning of the text
- General participation, including self-selected turns: teacher does not hold exclusive right to determine who talks; students are encouraged to volunteer or otherwise influence the selection of speaking turns
Describe the primary characteristics of ADHD
Usually identified around age 8 but can persist through adulthood, these symptoms include difficulty focusing attention and hyperactivity
Identify the three components of working memory, and describe why working memory is important for academic success.
- Phonological loop - verbal/sound information
- Visual sketchpad - visual/spatial information
- Central executive - oversees processing
- Working memory is important for academic success because it is indicative of language understanding, reading and math abilities, and fluid intelligence; in addition, an effective working memory is needed to efficiently transform information into long-term memories, as well as efficiently recall long-term memories back into the working memory
Identify useful mnemonics, and describe how they can be used for academic learning.
- Mnemonics are systematic procedures for improving memory that build in meaning to information that has little inherent meaning by connecting what you are trying to remember with established words or images
- Examples include acronyms and keywords (recode, relate, retrieve)
- Knowing about how your own cognitive processes work and using that knowledge to reach your goals (i.e. memory strategies and mnemonics are metacognitive skills)
- Declarative metacognition is explicit, conscious, and factual knowledge about your cognitive abilities and the skills, strategies, and resources needed to perform a task - knowing what to do
- Procedural metacognition is knowing how to use the strategies, focus attention, and generally enact the plans you make
- Conditional metacognition is knowing when and why to apply the procedures and strategies
Differentiate between entity and incremental views of ability. Describe the consequences of these views for teachers.
- Entity ability assumes that ability is an uncontrollable trait - a characteristic of the individual that cannot be changed. Teachers should hone in on these abilities and look for ways to bridge strategies from strong abilities into weaker abilities
- Incremental ability suggests that ability is cnotrollable and potentially always expanding. Teachers should promote this concept and find new ways to expand and sharpen one's abilities
What is intelligence? Describe general intelligence, fluid intelligence, and crystallized intelligence.
- General intelligence (g) is the mental energy used to perform any mental test
- Fluid intelligence is mental efficiency and reasoning ability
- Crystallized intelligence is the ability to apply the problem-solving methods appropriate in your cultural context
Compare Cattell-Horn-Carroll's hierarchical theory of intelligence with Gardner's multiple intelligences theory.
- Hierarchical intelligence starts with general intelligence and proceeds to break it down into subcategories (i.e. fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence) and then into further subcategories (i.e. fluid - general reasoning an dspeed of reasoning, crystallized - language development and oral fluency)
- Multiple intelligences contrasts this by claiming that different fields of intelligence are separate bodies, as a means of explaining why environmental factors can cause some intelligences to grow while others do not
Identify the components of Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Successful Intelligence.
- Successful intelligence includes the skills and knowledge needed for success in life, according to one's own definition of success, within one's own sociocultural context, and consists of three dimensions
- Analytic intelligence - when we apply our information processing abilities to abstract, but familiar problems such as reading about a subject we know
- Creative intelligence - applying the abilities to new experiences using (1) insight, or dealing effectively with novel situations, and (2) automaticity - becoming efficient and automatic in thinking and problem solving
- Practical intelligence - we select, shape, and adapt to everyday situations in our lives
Understand how to interpret IQ scores. What is the mean and standard deviation for the major IQ tests? What is an average, below-average, or above score?
- IQ = (Mental Age/Chronological Age) + 100
- 68% score between 85 and 115
- 16% score below 85 or above 115
- 2% score 70 or below, or 130 or above
Identify the most popular individual IQ tests, and describe how individual tests differ from group tests.
- Stanford-Binet test - consistent with the CHC hierarchical model of intelligence
- Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children IV - scores from questions about concepts, vocabulary, puzzles, number sequences, general knowledge, arithmetic, symbol sequences, and pictures are used to assess verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed
- Kauffman Assessment Battery for Children II - visual processing, short-term memory, fluid reasoning, long-term storage and retrieval, and crystallized ability
- Individual tests take about 1-2 hours, are mostly oral, and children usually pay closer attention and are more motivated to do well
- Group tests are much less likely to yield an accurate picture of any one person's abilities
Describe the characteristics of students with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and who are gifted and talented.
- Intellectual disability - a more current name for what was once called mental retardation; characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. Originates before age 18
- Gifted and talented children are most effectively predicted by individual IQ tests, with a cut-off score of 130
- Learning disability - perform significantly below what would be expected, given their otherwise normal/healthy abilities