Chat with us, powered by LiveChat How are you Able to apply the content from chapter 5 to your personal life as a student, parent and or as a caregiver? ?Write a 2 ?DOUBLE SPACED pages?CH5.pdf - EssayAbode

How are you Able to apply the content from chapter 5 to your personal life as a student, parent and or as a caregiver? ?Write a 2 ?DOUBLE SPACED pages?CH5.pdf


  1. How are you Able to apply the content from chapter 5 to your personal life as a student, parent and or as a caregiver?

 Write a 2  DOUBLE SPACED pages 

C hapter 5

C hildhood into A

dolescence: F

urnishing the A dult M

ind, A ge E

ight and B


The grow th of a child's m

ind tow ard the capacity for adult thinking

is one of the m ost dynam

ic aspects of brain developm ent. N

ature builds the fram

ew ork; it is up to the child, parents, and school to

com plete the w

alls and do the interior decorating. Throughout childhood, developm

ent m oves upw

ard from the basem

ent of reflex response tow

ard the highest levels w here the frontal lobes

take over. A t least tw

enty years are needed to finish this process, and for adults w

ith active m inds the job m

ay never be finished! Children need tim

e to practice w ith fancier m

ental furnishings at each stage of developm

ent. The m ore they use the equipm

ent, the m

ore com fortable they becom

e w ith it-and the better their

base for the next level. The m iddle elem

entary years are an im

portant tim e for consolidating early foundations,

because som

etim e around age eleven the m

ind's top floors start to get a new

set of furnishings. N ew

types of thinking are suddenly possible, but the view

from the penthouse is often scary and

confusing. Let's explore som e of the perils

-and wonders-o f the

fascinating years that m ark this transition.





W fH




O ne bonus of m

y job, w orking w

ith students at all grade levels, is the opportunity to see m

ental grow th in action. For a bird's-eye


of children's thinking, consider

these responses


different ages to the question, "W hy do w

e have Jaw s?"

A ge six:


O : "B

ecause you m ight get hurt."

These children are all delightfully concrete thinkers, but there are som

e interesting differences in their answ ers. Suzie's answ

er is typical of a younger child-

caught by personal, very concrete experience. Peter has m

oved on a bit, pushing out beyond his playground to

one particular law

, and Ricardo

m anages

a rudim

entary generalization. Such different levels of abstraction are com

m on at age six and seven

-an im

portant transition point in children's ability to grasp ideas that go beyond concrete physical experience.

A geten

: G



: "If w e didn't have law

s people w ould go out and steal

things. C ar crashes w

ould be to often because people w ouldn't

stop for red lights. O ther people w

ould shoot each other." N


~!: "W e have law

s because if w e didn't, then the w

orld w ould

go biserk. If w e didn't have laws like 'D


'T LITTER ' or 'D




E' or 'NO H U


G ' then people w

on't know if their

supposed to do this or that." A


: "Law s w

ere m ade to protect us and to keep the w

orld or our country safe."

These typical ten-year-olds w rote their answ

ers-and their spelling is, as alw

ays,just as interesting as their ideas. N otice how

this age level loves rules, Jaw

, and order-o ne of the hallm

arks of late elem

entary years. H aving absorbed a lot of inform

ation about the w

ay the w orld w

orks, they are still inclined to relate ideas back to concrete personal experiences. Ann is one of the few in the class w

ho m anaged a m

ore abstract statem ent. At this age there is

usually less variability than at others. Let's see w hat happens in

three years.


ecause som e people eat bubble gum

and it's notfai,· if som

e people have it and others don't!" A

ge thirteen: T



: "W e have Jaw

s to keep control of people. Law s help us to

be safe. They teach us to follow directions and obey them

. If you PETER

: "If you're driving too fast they m ight give you a ticket."

106 of 330

do not, you m ay be severely punished just as in school."

KATE: "The m ain reason is to keep this w

orld under control. For exam

ple: an eleven-year-old boy could go into a bar and ask for a vodka, but since there are law

s they prevent eleven-year-olds to be able to do that."


CA : "Law

s are very im portant to have in any form

of group. They protect people from

others. N o one or group could or w

ould survive w

ithout them . If w

e had no law s w

e w ould have no

rights." FR



: "W e have to run by som

e sort of guidelines to live by and to run our society in an efficient w

ay. If w e did not have law

s, w

e w ould probably be the only anim

als that w ould not have som

e sort of system


W elcom

e to adolescence! N otice the striking contrast betw

een tw

o students' personal, concrete thinking (Tyrone, K ate), and

near-adult perspectives on society's needs and universal principles (Bianca, Franklin). The rigid law

-and-order em phasis of m

iddle childhood (rules should be follow

ed so you w on't be punished)

eventually gives w ay, for m

ost teenagers, to larger perspectives Oaw

s are necessary for the survival of a society), but tim etables for

this change vary dram atically. H

ow w

ould you like to be a teacher trying to plan a lesson to interest every student in this class? Som

ething exciting is taking place, but it hasn't fully happened to everyone.

Everyone know s that the physical changes of adolescence are

im portant, and neurological changes are also an im

portant part of the process. This chapter w

ill sum m

arize the m ost current

inform ation

on brain

developm ent


m iddle

childhood through adolescence, give you a look inside som

e schools, and suggest w

ays parents and teachers can collaborate to help.







: T











"School's O

K , I'm



A ges eight to ten are a relatively calm

period for m any children. As

academ ic skills from

previous years are practiced and refined,

m ost students feel capable and in control. T

he brain strengthens its

abilities for

learning as

m yelination

of fibers

speeds associations betw

een senses and ideas. Late elem entary grades are

an ideal tim e to apply skills already learned. R

eading to learn replaces learning to read; m

ath becom es useful in the shopping

m all or on the com

puter. R epeating skills and rituals lays a solid

base for m oving on to new

challenges. C

hildren at this age love to soak up inform ation and facts, but

they m ay not reflect very deeply about them

unless an adult guides them

. T hey painstakingly copy paragraphs for reports but need

help in paraphrasing them . Lots of practice is

needed-and instruction on organization skills. A

bove all, older children need plenty of tim

e for their ow n brands of play. They still learn best by

starting w ith concrete experience. The m

ost helpful parents and the m

ost successful teachers capture their w ide-ranging curiosity

in active, project-oriented learning.

H ands-O

n Ju stice

O ne creative teacher got w

onderful results w hen she capitalized

on a "teachable m om

ent." N oticing that all her "sophisticated"

nine-year-old girls w ere bringing their dolls to recess, she w

isely figured they w

ere expressing a need to be children for a little w hile

longer. A s she eavesdropped on the doll society, it w

as rocked by an argum

ent over playground territory (reptilian brain?). The girls set up a "court" to m

ediate the dispute, and soon the boys began to take sides, although no one w

as too clear on the judicial process. Sensing a golden opportunity to w

eave together interest, concept, and skill developm

ent, the teacher expanded her plans and suggested that the class investigate firsthand how

courts w ork,

neatly supplem

enting the

fourth grade

A m

erican history

curriculum objectives. In the follow

ing w eeks students searched

out books, new spaper articles, and Internet sources to w

rite about and discuss in class. C

hildren chose group or independent projects and practiced defending a point of view

w ith oral and m

ultim edia

presentations. A law

yer father cam e to discuss his experiences in

court and answ er questions. Parent volunteers organized a visit to

a real courtroom , w

here the judge w as so im

pressed w ith these young scholars' know

ledge that she let them sit in on a trial and

took them on an unscheduled tour of the justice center. Finally,

the dolls' ow n court w

as held, and the classroom new

spaper proclaim

ed the result-a hung jury. N

ot all teachers are this im aginative or hardw

orking, but all need parents' support if they try to flee now

and then from the tyranny

of w orksheets, overly abstract curricula, and from

artificial standards of"com

petence" that put lim its on intellectual curiosity.

The hum an brain learns and rem

em bers best w

hat it understands. Sim

ply restricting students to the m em

orization of facts for w hich

they have little conceptual grasp is poor preparation for grasping the com

plex issues of a com plex w

orld. Such "real" experiences are particularly im

portant in late elem entary years because students

need help witi! abstract concepts such as "justice" or "law ." A

t hom

e, parents1'iave an im portant role in seeking out opportunities

to supplem ent the school's efforts, capitalizing on children's ready

curiosity for m ind-stretching conversations, fam

ily trips, and activities. The follow

ing list m ay give you som

e ideas.













• H elp them

begin challenging literal fact:

"W hy do w

e go to school only on w eekdays? W

hy.five days a w

eek?" "W

hy shouldn't people steal?" .

, Let them see that there are m

any points of view on issues,

and probably no one right answ er on m

any questions. , Play gam

es w ith open-ended questions:

"W hat w

ould happen if … every day w

ere M onday?

autom obiles w

ere declared illegal? com

puters needed to be fed three tim es a day?"

"W hat w

ould you do if …

108 of 330

w e w

on the lottery? w

e lost all our m oney?

you w oke up one m

orning seven feet tall?"

• H elp them

articulate their feelings, and don't be afraid to talk about yours. ("I really felt scared w

hen I thought G randm

a w

as seriously ill. I bet you did, too.") • Play gam

es of strategy that require w eighing alternatives,

planning m oves ahead, or view

ing a situation from the

opponent's perspective (Stratego, B attleship, U

no, chess, checkers, gin rum

m y, hearts).

• Play Tw

enty Q

uestions. Show


to ask

categorical questions. ("Is it an anim

al?" rather than "Is it a dog?") • Practice allow

ing the child to m ake som

e reasonable choices and to experience the natural consequences. ("If you use your allow

ance on the CD , you w

on't have enough to go to the m

ovies on Saturday.") D on't w

eaken and bail them out of

m inor consequences.

• If your child has trouble understanding a school assignm ent,

look for a w ay to present it w

ith pictures, tim e lines, m

aps, or objects that can be m

anipulated. H ave fun acting out ideas

or situations. Your child still learns best from concrete

experience. • Get a book of sim

ple science experim ents and try som

e at hom

e. Talk about possibilities of w hat m

ight happen. M ake

guesses together, w ithout w

orrying about w ho's right or

w rong.

• H ave dinner together and talk w

ith your child. • W

atch TV together and talk about w

hat happened. Listen to w

hat your child is saying. G ood fam

ily conversation tim es

produce good students, and psychologists know that parents

w ho

are good

listeners tend

to have

better-adjusted teenagers.

• D on't stop reading aloud. Encourage m

em orization of fine

poetry or prose. T ry round-robin fam

ily reading. • A

ppreciate those childlike qualities even w hile you help

preteens stretch. Rem em

ber, they still reason differently

from you.











A lthough brains w

ork quite sm oothly for m

any children of this age, untreated learning differences m

ay finally be recognized as schoolw

ork places m ore com

plex dem ands on basic sensory

system s and executive function. As described in chapter 4, parents

m ay need to press the school for needed services or consult w

ith outside

specialists. Tw

o com

m on

and baffling

quirks are

particularly likely to show up now


A Problem

of O utput

Som e children are fine until required to w

rite som ething dow

n presentably or get it organized and executed in som

e other w ay.

They understand and reason as w ell as anyone else but can't "get

it together" for hom ew

ork or w ritten assignm

ents. They m ay score

adequately on standardized tests w here all they have to do is check

the right answ er, but if asked to produce a report or project, their

output m ay resem

ble a childish-looking m ess even after hours of

effort. This puzzling problem often gets blam

ed on lack of effort or "carelessness," but m

ore likely results from som

e sort of glitch in the nervous system

that causes far m ore anguish to the child than

to anyone else. O

ne young friend of m ine, Jules, bad trouble from

the early grades, w

hen he couldn't organize his fingers around a pencil. H e

alw ays found w

riting slow and frustrating-even though he w

as one of the brightest children in the class. Jules m

anaged to get by until he arrived in the m

iddle school w ith serious difficulties in

producing decent w ritten w

ork or even getting organized to do his hom

ew ork. By now

he had a secondary problem -avoidance of

norm al am

ounts of practice. His parents becam e really w

orried and altered their busy schedules to help him

every evening. Pitched battles ensued as they pushed and Jules dug in his heels.

Luckily, Jules attended a school w here special help w

as available. At his parents' request, he w

as tested by a psychologist, w ho

confirm ed a high

IQ and

a specific learning problem . The

psychologist leveled w ith Jules and they developed a plan together.

H is teachers w

ere asked to shorten som e w

ritten assignm ents, but

to insist that Jules keep up his end of the bargain and com plete a

reasonable am ount. H

e w as encouraged to shine in oral reports

and class

discussions. H

is parents

w ere

counseled in

understanding his difficulty and helping him plan hom

ew ork tim

e and proofread assignm

ents without taking over his share of the responsibility.

As the tension eased, Jules began to try harder. H e practiced

keyboarding so he could use a w ord processor and developed som

e basic strategies for tackling hom

ew ork. H

e still w rites the bare

m inim

um , but w

hen I saw him

in the hall recently, he confided that he had decided it w

as "w orth it" to keep trying.

It is not too late for such early difficulties to be overcom e in the

m iddle grades if parents and teachers w

ork together. Like Jules, m

any students 1i

uffer from


hat D

r. M

elvin Levine

calls "developm

ental output failure," w hich m

ay go unnoticed until an em

phasis on "decoding"-reading w ords-changes to a need for

"encoding," w

hich requires

organizing, rem

em bering,

and restating inform

ation. N eural system

s for input are w orking just

fine, but im m

aturity at the output level causes trouble. Such youngsters also have trouble organizing their thoughts. Pulling together inform

ation from m

any sources, m anaging tim

e and m

aterials, and handling heavy dem ands on m

em ory m

ay be too m

uch for them . "M

ind-m apping," as described in chapter 11, can

be a big help. Calling such a child "lazy" m

akes the problem w

orse, as Levine's book, The M

yth of Laziness, asserts. I have seen m any boys and

girls like Jules, and I believe this problem is one of the m

ost pervasive-

and difficult-of the m iddle childhood years and is a

hidden com ponent of underachievem

ent, attention deficits, and problem

behavior later on. N ot all schools are as enlightened as

the one Jules attends. M any teachers and even som

e psychologists are not inform

ed about this type of learning problem , so parents

m ust becom

e the first line of defense. H elp from

an expe1t tutor m

ay be required. M eanw

hile, don't let a child like this develop habits of"Iost" hom

ew ork and deception. ("The dog ate it." "It blew

out of the school bus.") U

nderstanding children's problem s does

111 of 330

not m ean w

e stop expecting anything from them

. H ere are som

e points to keep in m


• Som e neurological differences, particularly in later-developing

parts of the brain, m ay not show

up until those areas are called upon for new

kinds of school learning; w hen children run into

trouble in m iddle years, do not rush to blam

e the teacher or the child.

• Be alert for a negative change in attitude tow ard school, or

avoidance of hom ew

ork or classroom assignm

ents. • M

ake yourself available (or, if necessary, inescapable) to help w

ith assignm ents that are genuinely difficult for your child.

• K eep in close contact w

ith the school and ask for the teacher's advice about helping at hom

e. Y ou m

ay need to help organize study tim

es, assignm ent books, and long-range projects.

• If problem s

persist, get an evaluation from

the school psychologist or a learning disability specialist.

• A sk the school to provide special support services, or m

odify dem

ands for w ritten output. K

eep the child's ego intact so he can com

pensate for his difficulty. • The w

ord processor and spell checker are life rafts for this child, along w

ith good instruction in keyboarding skills. Som e com

puter softw

are also helps organize thoughts for w riting, although it does

not substitute for good

educational therapy to

teach basic

organization skills and strategies. • Your hardest job w

ill be to let the child suffer the natural consequences if he falls dow

n on his end of the bargain. Refuse to "ow

n" his school responsibilities if they are reasonable. • Be patient! If a task is genuinely hard, your child suffers enough

from feelings of "stupidity" w

hen he yearns to be com petent.

R em

ind him and yourself that, even in very sm

art people, all parts of the brain do not grow

equally fast, and som e need tim

e and extra practice to do their job.

• If you cannot w ork with your child without dam

aging self- esteem

( even the best parents get into "scenes"), find som eone w

ho can. Look for a tutor w

ho understands this type of problem .

• Rem ind yourself that children are not by nature lazy!

T he H

om ew

ork Issue

Supervising schoolw ork at hom

e puts parents on a tightrope over tw

o fearsom e chasm

s. O n one side lies the danger of m

aking a child overly dependent, negative, or dow

nright defiant; on the other- school failure. W

hat a choice! W hile perfect solutions are, as

alw ays, only dream

s, here are som e suggestions that have helped

other parents.

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