Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What Teachers Wish Parents Would Do

When asked what parents could do to better prepare their children, teachers most frequently mentioned the areas of receptive language, cognitive-attention/problem-solving, and small muscle coordination."

Parents, tend to emphasize helping children with pre-reading, math, and social skills.

Cognitive Skills
• Solve problems - trading toys with a child so they each have a turn
• Observe objects with curiosity and notice differences, such as how some rocks are smooth and others are bumpy
•Explore cause and effect — shaking a jar of water, for instance, and noticing how it creates bubbles
• Use something she already knows to attack a new problem. For instance, after learning to use a computer mouse to navigate around a site, she may test that skill by trying to play a computer game.• Think logically. She'll be able to classify objects by size or likeness, for instance, and to recognize patterns.
• Be aware of her own body in space. You may hear her say things like "I'm up high on the slide."
• Understand the concept of sequence. For example, she may sort objects from smallest to largest.
• Use numbers and count.
• Understand basic concepts of time, such as "now," "soon," and "late."
• Identify six to eight colors and three or more shapes
• Take on pretend roles. For example, she may hold a doll and say, "I'm the mommy" or look in a doll's ear and say, "I'm the doctor." You may also notice that she has a vivid imagination and perhaps even imaginary playmates.
• Understand that pictures and objects can symbolize something else. For example, she may tell you that something she's scribbled is a picture of a dog, or she may show you the "house" she built out of blocks.• Complete a six- to eight-piece puzzle
• Notice the features of people and animals that make them different. For instance, she may see that rabbits have big, furry ears while people have rounded, hairless ones.
• Understand the difference between herself and younger children
• Identify familiar signs and labels, for instance stop signs and her own name

By age 4, your preschooler may also be able to:
• Ask questions about birth and death
• Understand and remember her own accomplishment.
• Understand the order of daily routines, such as the fact that she always brushes her teeth before going to bed
• Follow two unrelated directions — for instance, "Take your shoes off, and comb your hair"

Small Muscle Coordination
Seven aspects of a child's small muscle coordination: scissors grasp, radial-digital grasp, inferior and fine pincer grasp, turning of wrist, assembly skills, pre-writing skills, and coordination of general skills.

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