In a school learning environment, students are given many different types of academic tasks to assess their level of content knowledge and understanding; and the quality of their answers and work will determine their academic performance.
When we see a child’s performance in tasks such as spelling, mental sums, reading comprehension, problem sums, composition writing, oral conversation, reading, grammer, etc, we are actually seeing a display of his/her ability to learn.
Entering Primary 1 is a very exciting time for a child and the parents but it is also a time of great adjustment and transition. Being well prepared and ready for school would make a great start to the exciting learning journey ahead.
How then can parents make sure their child is well-prepared and ready for learning at the next level?
Personally, having seen 3 cohorts (that makes about 600 + of them) of children transitioning from Kindergarten to Primary and having the privilege to assess each of them on their readiness for school has given us one very important insight – school readiness is more than and beyond just the academics.
Some questions to get us thinking about what our children are learning and more importantly, HOW are they learning.
Question 1: Does your child learn English, Maths, Science and Mother Tongue in school?
Question 2: Is your child given tasks/homework such as spelling, mental sums, comprehension, composition, problem sums, reading?
Summing up the above two questions:
All children learn the same subjects in school and are given academic tasks to perform so that we can evaluate their achievement levels, as compared to the rest of their peers.
Sometimes, we may confuse a child’s level of school maturity with his/her readiness for school learning. No doubt these two concepts are related; but they are actually referring to quite different aspects of a child’s development.
School maturity usually refers to the biological growing process in a child’s development, in other words, has the child reached the age for certain levels of education. For example, when a child is 5 years old, they are usually ready for Kindergarten 1 and when they reach 7 years old, its time for them to enter Primary 1.
However, a child’s biological maturity does not guarantee that he/she will automatically be ready for learning at the ‘expected’ level.
In a boxing match, there are lightweight and heavyweight categories. Likewise, in the English exam paper, the section called ‘Reading Comprehension’ would be a heavyweight category where many children face difficulties with understanding and scoring with the questions.
So, what does it take for a child to be a heavyweight champion in this section of the paper?
Let’s take a look at the many underlying skills necessary to accomplish this task.
(And, NO. It does not mean just reading more carefully or reading a few more times at a slower pace)
Again, I feel the need to stress that we are not discussing about the subject, English. We are exploring the underlying sets of abilities that a child needs to have in order to perform this particular learning task – Reading Comprehension.
Using the following passage as an example:
I’ve heard so many parents complain about the difficulties their child face when doing problem sums, and that practicing on more assessment books or repeated explanation and teaching sometimes just don’t seem to work.
So, what exactly is the PROBLEM in problem sums?
To help you understand this academic task better, we are going to analyse and break down the steps and cognitive skills needed to excel in this section of the subject of Mathematics.
Firstly, I need you to understand that Cognitive Skills are underlying sets of abilities that we need to have in order to understand, remember and apply the content (i.e subjects like English, Chinese, Maths, Science,etc) learned in school.
When progressive parent Monica Lim searched for an enrichment school for her son Christian, she was looking for one that taught skills extending beyond the classroom. She enrolled her son in LogicMills’ Analytical Thinking Skills course, a 32-week program that teaches children aged seven and above how to think independently and improve their reasoning skills.
Monica, the co-founder of a well known kindergarten in Singapore, did not see LogicMills classes as just another enrichment class but a core requirement in her child’s educational needs.
“I picked the LogicMills ATS course as I wanted Christian to gain not just study skills but skills for his future work and for life,” said Monica.
Her son Christian James Lim, 12, recently completed his PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination). Christian scored straight A’s in the exams and clinched a spot in the secondary school of his choice.
This set of flash card shows things that uses Electricity. Items covered include, Batteries, Phone, Clock, Train, Bus, Light, Cooker
Thanks to wcc for suggesting this topic.
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