Is your babe's favorite game peek-a-boo? On each page, baby is in search of a different part of her body. When your tot lifts the flap, they discover what's underneath. The cute board book is fun and teaches your babe about their body parts — like where their eyes, nose, and mouth are. Best-selling children's book author Sandra Boynton knows what kids want: bright, colorful pictures and very few words. Here, the textures take center stage.
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Have your tot close their eyes as they feel the pages and try to guess which animal is which. Forget counting sheep to sleep, this bedtime story lets babes put their favorite animals to bed. This soft-covered, chunky book is sized just right for your baby's small hands. As they flip the thick pages, tots will meet a dozen cute critters, including a cuddly kitten, a bumpy lizard, and a scaly fish, and can give each one a friendly pat and a squeeze.
Winter, summer, spring, and fall, no matter the season, there's a Bright Baby Touch and Feel book for that. Given recent temps, we're partial to the cold-weather version right now. As Old Man Winter rolls in, tots can feel the sparkly snowflakes and fuzzy bird feathers as they head south for warmer climates. Save your breath, Mom! In case you didn't know, touching a dinosaur is never a good idea! A second view is that children and adults have roughly the same mental capacity, but that with development children acquire knowledge and develop effective activities to use their minds well.
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Such activities are often called strategies. There are a variety of well-known strategies that increase remembering, such as rehearsal repeating items over and over , which tends to improve rote recall Belmont and Butterfield, ; elaboration Reder and Anderson, , which improves retention of more meaningful units such as sentences; and summarization Brown and Day, , which increases retention and comprehension.
These are just three of many strategies. Perhaps the most pervasive strategy used to improve memory performance is clustering: organizing disparate pieces of information into meaningful units. Clustering is a strategy that depends on organizing knowledge. Given a list of numbers to remember, sounds phonemes to distinguish from one another, or a set of unrelated facts to recall, there is a critical change in performance at around seven items.
A prototype experiment would involve, for example, presenting 4- to year-olds with long lists of pictures to remember, far more than they could if they simply tried to remember them individually. Such a list might consist of pictures of a cat, rose, train, hat, airplane, horse, tulip, boat, coat, etc.
Given a item list, older children remember more than younger children, but the factor responsible for better recall is not age per se, but whether the child notices that the list consists of four categories animals, plants, means of transportation, and articles of clothing. If the categories are noticed, young children often recall the entire list. In the absence of category recognition, performance is poorer and shows the age effect.
Younger children employ categorization strategies less often than older ones. However, the skill is knowledge related, not age related; the more complex the categories, the older the child is before noticing the structure. One has to know a structure before one can use it. If one believes that learning differences are determined by gradual increases in capacity or speed of processing, one would expect relatively uniform increases in learning across most domains.
The importance of prior knowledge in determining performance, crucial to adults as well as children, includes knowledge about learning, knowledge of their own learning strengths and weaknesses, and the demands of the learning task at hand. Whereas self-regulation may appear quite early, reflection appears to be late developing.
If children lack insight to their own learning abilities, they can hardly be expected to plan or self-regulate efficiently.
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The evidence suggests that, like other forms of learning, metacognition develops gradually and is as dependent on knowledge as experience. It is difficult to engage in self-regulation and reflection in areas that one does not understand. However, on topics that children know, primitive forms of self-regulation and reflection appear early Brown and DeLoache, Attempts at deliberate remembering in preschool children provide glimpses of the early emergence of the ability to plan, orchestrate, and apply strategies.
In a famous example, 3- and 4-year-old children were asked to watch while a small toy dog was hidden under one of three cups. The children were instructed to remember where the dog was.
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The children were anything but passive as they waited alone during a delay interval Wellman et al. Some children displayed various behaviors that resemble well-known mnemonic strategies, including clear attempts at retrieval practice, such as looking at the target cup and nodding yes, looking at the non-target cups and nodding no, and retrieval cueing, such as marking the correct cup by resting a hand on it or moving it to a salient position.
Both of these strategies are precursors to more mature rehearsal activities.
These efforts were rewarded: children who prepared actively for retrieval in these ways more often remembered the location of the hidden dog. Box 4. These attempts to aid remembering involve a dawning awareness of metacognition—that without some effort, forgetting would occur.
And the strategies involved resemble the more mature forms of strategic intervention, such as rehearsal, used by older school-aged children. By recognizing this dawning understanding in children, one can begin to design learning activities in the early school years that build on and strengthen their understanding of what it means to learn and remember. The strategies that children use to memorize, conceptualize, reason, and solve problems grow increasingly effective and flexible, and are applied more broadly, with age and experience.
But different strategies are not solely related to age. To demonstrate the variety, we consider the specific case of the addition of single-digit numbers, which has been the subject of a great deal of cognitive research. For a group of and month-old children, an attractive toy, Big Bird, was hidden in a variety of locations in a playroom, such as behind a pillow, on a couch, or under a chair.
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Instead, they often interrupted their play with a variety of activities that showed they were still preoccupied with the memory task. More recently, however, a more complex and interesting picture has emerged Siegler, On a problem-by-problem basis, children of the same age often use a wide variety of strategies. This finding has emerged in domains as diverse as arithmetic Cooney et al.
Even the same child presented the same problem on two successive days often uses different strategies Siegler and McGilly, For example, when 5-year-olds add numbers, they sometimes count from 1, as noted above, but they also sometimes retrieve answers from memory, and sometimes they count from the larger number Siegler, The fact that children use diverse strategies is not a mere idiosyncrasy of human cognition. Good reasons exist for people to know and use multiple strategies.
Strategies differ in their accuracy, in the amounts of time their execution requires, in their processing demands, and in the range of problems to which they apply. Strategy choices involve tradeoffs among these. The broader the range of strategies that children know and can appreciate where they apply, the more precisely they can shape their approaches to the demands of particular circumstances. Even young children can capitalize on the strengths of different strategies and use each one for the problems for which its advantages are greatest. The adaptiveness of these strategy choices increases as children gain experience with the domain, though it is obvious even in early years Lemaire and Siegler, Once it is recognized that children know multiple strategies and choose among them, the question arises: How do they construct such strategies in the first place?
This question is answered through studies in which individual children who do not yet know a strategy are given prolonged experiences weeks or months in the subject matter; in this way, researchers can study how children devise their various strategies Kuhn, ; Siegler and Crowley, ; see also DeLoache et al, a.
In this approach, one can identify when a new strategy is first used, which in turn allows examination of what the experience of discovery was like, what led to the discovery, and how the discovery was generalized beyond its initial use. Three key findings have emerged from these studies: 1 discoveries are often made not in response to impasses or failures but rather in the context of successful performance; 2 short-lived transition strategies often precede more enduring approaches; and 3 generalization of new approaches often occurs very slowly, even when children can provide compelling rationales for their usefulness Karmiloff-Smith, ; Kuhn, ; Siegler and Crowley, Children often generate useful new strategies without ever having generated conceptually flawed ones.
They seem to seek conceptual understanding of the requisites of appropriate strategies in a domain.
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On such tasks as single-digit addition, multidigit subtraction, and the game of tic-tactoe, children possess such understanding, which allows them to recognize the usefulness of new, more advanced strategies before they generate them spontaneously Hatano and Inagaki, ; Siegler and Crowley, A common feature of such innovations as reciprocal teaching Palincsar and Brown, , communities of learners Brown and Campione, , ; Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, , the ideal student Pressley et al. These programs differ, but all are aimed at helping students to understand how strategies can help them solve problems, to recognize when each strategy is likely to be most useful, and to transfer strategies to novel situations.
The considerable success that these instructional programs have enjoyed, with young as well as older children and with low-income as well as middle-income children, attests to the fact that the development of a repertoire of flexible strategies has practical significance for learning. In his theory of multiple intelligences, Gardner , proposed the existence of seven relatively autonomous intelligences: linguistic, logical, musical, spatial, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
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The theory of multiple intelligences was developed as a psychological theory, but it sparked a great deal of interest among educators, in this country and abroad, in its implications for teaching and learning. The experimental educational programs based on the theory have focused generally in two ways.
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