In a school learning environment, students are given many different types of academic tasks to assess their level of knowledge and understanding. And 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.
And when a child shows difficulty in understanding what he/she has read or cannot make connections in the given questions; or displaying carelessness or needing repeated teaching and practice – that is usually an indication of some weaknesses in their learning abilities.
For a child to be able to perform in these academic tasks, they need to be able to tap into a multitude of underlying abilities before a right answer can be put down.
We can group these abilities into 5 major categories:
Comprehension The ability and speed of grasping/understanding the questions or given information • Does your child need repeated teaching before understanding the topic?
Memory The ability and capacity for storing and retrieving previously taught information • Does your child tend to forget how to do questions that was previously taught or practiced?
Problem-Solving The ability to apply knowledge to given questions/problems to arrive at the correct answers • Does your child have difficulty completing all the steps needed to solve a question or have difficulty giving complete, structured answers?
Evaluation Ability to judge and decide which is/are the most appropriate methods to apply to solve given questions/problems (work hand-in-hand with (iii) Problem Solving) • Does your child have difficulty knowing which method or steps to apply to arrive at the end answers?
Creativity Flexibility and adaptable to different factors of given questions (when questions are phrased differently or when numbers are slightly re-arranged) • Does your child not ‘catch’ that the question is the same as what was previously practiced when the words are being phrased differently or numbers given are different?
Just as an athlete works on improving his skills so that he can perform better, a child can achieve more if they are equipped with stronger learning abilities to handle the tasks given to them.
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