Skip to comments.Brain Power: Studying Young Minds, and How to Teach Them
Posted on 12/21/2009 6:34:46 PM PST by neverdem
BUFFALO Many 4-year-olds cannot count up to their own age when they arrive at preschool, and those at the Stanley M. Makowski Early Childhood Center are hardly prodigies. Most live in this citys poorer districts and begin their academic life well behind the curve.
But there they were on a recent Wednesday morning, three months into the school year, counting up to seven and higher, even doing some elementary addition and subtraction. At recess, one boy, Joshua, used a pointer to illustrate a math concept known as cardinality, by completing place settings on a whiteboard.
You just put one plate there, and one there, and one here, he explained, stepping aside as two other students ambled by, one wearing a pair of...
But for now at least, education based on brain science has helped hundreds of Buffalo children refine their native abilities in math. In one videotaped exam, a 4-year-old boy in a FUBU jersey and long dreadlocks who entered P.S. 99 in 2006 was unable to count or match cards with 3, 5, 2, 1 and 4 on them to cards with equivalent numbers of grapes.
In a video of his post-Building Blocks exam, six months later, he instantly says there are 10 pennies placed in front of him, without counting. He easily matches the number cards to their corresponding grape cards and puts the mixed-up numerals in the correct order.
Whats the biggest, nine or seven or five? asks the teacher giving the exam.
The boy thinks for a moment. Nine, he says. Five is the littlest. Then he holds one palm above the other and says: Five is like this. See?
Do you see what hes doing? Dr. Clements said, interrupting the video. Right there. He wants to explain. He wants to explain five.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Children will learn as long as SOMEBODY is there to teach them. My daughter could pick out different Disney titles on VHS tapes that only had text on the tapes when she was 2.
Yep, my first thought too. Mom’s a hooker coke addict and doesn’t have a clue who the father is.
Our kids were on our laps driving the computer mouse at age two.
They decide theyre no good at math Im not a math person, they say and pretty soon the school agrees, the parents agree, Dr. Clements said.
I wonder how many times that quote above is actually changed around? Mommy talking to Granny on the phone about how Johnny struggles in math within earshot of Johnny who internalizes it. The self-fulfilling prophecy is now complete.
Children begin recognizing geometric shapes as early as 18 months, studies find; by preschool, the brain can begin to grasp informal geometric definitions.
Like everything else the NYT publishes, this article is a dung heap.
My daughter will turn 2 years old next week, and she can identify every letter of the alphabet verbally as well as by sight (upper and lower case) and can annunciate the sound of each letter when asked or when she see it.
She counts to 10 easily, and almost to twenty with a few hangups.
She can name every color of the rainbow (ROYGBIV), as well as pink, brown, grey, black and white. Just before posting this my wife was trying to teach her "burgundy."
She can name every basic shape, the circle, square, rectangle, oval, triangle, heart and star. Incidentally, today, for the first time, she identified an octagon (that surprised me).
Though it's tempting to believe that she's some type of gifted genius, she's not. It's a simple concept called PARENTING. PARENTS taking an interest in her development out of love and concern for her development and her future.
Hello NYT, it has nothing to do with income levels or elitist academics using children as lab rats. In fact, it stands to reason that welfare mothers who don't work (and live off of the rest of us) have all the time in the world to devote to their children, so there should be no excuse for them putting kids into kindergarden who can't count to five.
YEP...my son went to Kindergarten KNOWING his ABC’s...by the time he was thru....he’d almost forgotten them (I was working fulltime, and probably didn’t realize what was going on...(this was in about 1975)....his teacher said....this is just a year for “socialization”....I told her...”he’d had ENOUGH socialization, he was there to learn”....and I was only 24 at the time!
Well, in considering brain power, I’m reminded of the real “Rainman” who died today (or this weekend?). His dad said that when he was two years old, he grabbed about 8 volumes of the encyclopedia and read it, memorizing it in the process — not to say anything about no one teaching him to read in the first place... LOL...
Now, that’s “brain power”... :-)
A 4-year-old who cannot count "1, 2, 3, 4" is either mentally retarded or has been so neglected that removing him from his "parents" and putting him in a foster home would be doing him a favor.
My two year old grandson was driving an electric John Deere tractor with one hand on the wheel and the other shooting is toy M16 :)
When our kids were little we carried them around the house and pointed at things and said, “What’s that?” Then we would say, “That’s a lightswitch (or whatever).”
Soon they started responding when we said, “What’s that?” Then they started pointing at things and asking, “What dat?”
They quickly learned they could seek information and get answers to their questions.
Our pediatrician didn’t believe us when he asked us how many words the first kid knew. Hundreds. He scoffed. He was a pompous one.
My daughter is not mentally retarded, but she does have a brain injury.
She could not talk until she was 5.
At 13, she is in honors math, and other regular classes at a top private school in San Jose.
My daughter is good at math, but there are some kids who are not good at math and don’t get it. However, they are great at reading/writing.
Sometimes when kids can’t do things, they need to be taught in a different way. My daughter didn’t read well until she was taught using a multi-sensory reading (Orton-gillingham). There are kids who sometimes need different math programs.
By the way, I do not use the term "mentally retarded" as a pejorative. It is a descriptive term of somebody who is mentally slow, as opposed to an individual who is handicapped through parental neglect.
As an aside, have you ever read Thomas Sowell's Late-Talking Children or The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late?
Oh Yeah? My four year old goes for walks in the middle of the night, breaks into neighbor’s houses and drinks their beer! You might have read about him the other day. Ha!
Exactly! The brain is completely wired by three! The time for stimulation and language development is most rapid in the first three years of life--more so than at any other time in their life!!! The ability for language acquisition is the greatest in those first three years. Put a child in day care where one-on-one care is non existence (and intelligent language rare) -- expect that child to be at least 10 points below any IQ they could have had if stimulated to the max which is only done with one-on one-care with a loving parent (or bonded, loving adult).
Scientists understand this but parents are told to dump kids in daycare when 6 weeks old (feminists and neo-Marxists) when ALL reputable scientists KNOW that one-on-one time in the first three years of life create smarter, more intelligent kids with much greater language skills. That assumes loving parents who can read extensively to their child.
Facts: All my two year olds (5)could count at least to 20 and started to label amounts correctly. Two could read by 4 and read from an encyclopedia by five with ease. The others read by five. All were extremely successful in athletics.
Some of the most brilliant minds in our history were homeschooled or/and had little formal education. Lincoln had less than one year of formal education. NO ONE went to school before the age of 7 because the FORMATIVE years were too important to be left to strangers who had little concern for the individual. Schooling as structured in the US is for mass conformity and Horace Mann and Dewey all wanted children in school earlier (plasticity of brain) so they could have more impact on the formation of attitudes and beliefs--not to impart knowledge and logic, but to instill atheism and moral relativism. They didn't want parents instilling their values (individualism sucks when you want conformity and submissive populace).
An interesting book to read is the Underground History of Education. It makes you re-evaluate our education system....and it is extremely interesting.
Completley agree - it all has to do with parenting. If your kid can’t count to four by the time he is four you haven’t been parenting him. Kids are sponges - but if you don’t give them anything to soak up they can’t absorb.......
Thanks for the tip. I looked it up and believe it's available to read online:
Is this the book you're referring to? If so I'll be getting into it when I have the time.
There's no mystery to it, I've been counting everything and reading to her since the day she was born. Just like I did for my son.
The most surprising thing I've learned about child development is that it's mostly nonlinear. Just because they don't “get it” today, doesn't mean they're not on the cusp of an epiphany when some big idea just falls into place. Patience, and creativity are the keys for me.
I have read extensively on child development and so I am always amazed when I read something that clarifies my thinking or gives me another perspective. I have been interested in child psychology since I was five years old, coming from a family of six siblings and I was the middle.
The Closing of the American Mind by A. Bloom was the book that put into perspective what was going on in the classroom and media which changed the paradigm of thinking in America. That paradigm shift happened in Europe in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The post modern German philosophy (atheism and moral relativism— culture of death) became dominate by the 80’s here in the U.S in most universities and public schools which replaced the Classical education (which was infused with the Judeo-Christian ethic—moral absolutes).
The Gatto book......I have only read parts of it online and I think it is fascinating.... and my son is buying it for me for Christmas. Gatto spells out why certain approaches to education are failures and destructive to the development of an independent, reasoned, moral adult.