Posts found under: learning

New born babies learn even in their sleep

New born babies are such fast developers because they keep learning even in their sleep, researchers have found.

Even though infants may stay awake for just a few hours a day, their brains keep working around the clock, scientists said.

They believe that the brain is constantly adjusting and adapting to the physical world despite appearances that they are dozing.

The discovery was made by experts at the University of Florida after simple experiments with 26 sleeping newborns.

Researchers played a tune to them, and then followed it with a gentle puff of air to the babies’ eyelids. After about 20 minutes, 24 of them had learned to anticipate the puff by squeezing their eyes shut.

The babies’ brain waves also changed.

Dana Byrd, a psychologist, said, “We found a basic form of learning in sleeping newborns, a type of learning that may not be seen in sleeping adults.

“They are better learners, better ‘data sponges’ than we knew. While past studies find this type of learning can occur in infants who are awake, this is the first study to document it in their most frequent state, while they are asleep.

“Newborn infants’ sleep patterns are quite different to those of older children or adults in that they show more active sleep where heart and breathing rates are very changeable.

“It may be this sleep state is more amenable to experiencing the world in a way that facilitates learning.”

The results, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could be used to identify babies that are not developing properly such as those at risk of dyslexia or autism, she added.

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Ask your child question

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Asking questions while reading to your child is not only great for encouraging your child to interact with the book, but it is also extremely effective in developing his ability to comprehend what he is reading. You see, if our main objective in “reading” is getting our child to “sound out” words, we have missed the boat entirely. Even children who can decode words and “read” with great fluency still might not be able to comprehend what they are reading. If a child can’t comprehend what he is reading, there really is no point to reading at all!

While your child is a baby, ask him questions such as, “Do you see the cat?” while pointing at the picture of the cat. This will not only develop his vocabulary, it will also encourage him to interact with the book that he is reading. As he gets older, ask him to point to things in the book himself and make the noises of the animals he sees.

Once your child is about 2 or 3-years of age, begin asking questions before, during, and after reading the book. Show your child the cover of the book and ask him what he thinks it is going to be about (predicting). While reading, ask him what he thinks is going to happen or why he thinks a character made a particular choice (inferring). If a character is depicting a strong emotion, identify that emotion and ask your child if he has ever felt that way (connecting). At the end of the book, ask if his prediction(s) came true. Afterwards, ask him to tell you what he remembered happening in the book (summarizing).

Modifying each of these techniques during read-alouds to meet the developmental stage of your child is a great way to promote and increase reading comprehension!

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Milestone on your child reading – Infographic

If you are a parent of a 6-month-old infant or a 5-year-old preschooler, you’ll find here useful tips on how to make books a part of the child’s playtime and bedtime routines.

Reading together with young kids helps them:

–learn to recognize letters,

–understand that print represents the spoken word,

–become aware of how to hold a book, turn the page and start at the beginning,

–realize the relationship between letters and sounds,

–expand their vocabulary,

–begin to develop oral language skills.

How-to-cultivate-smart-readers-infographic

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Testimonial from Holistic Bilingual Program

Reading habit start from young. With research showing that the best ways to develop bilingualism being through early exposure, many parents are starting to realize that such learning should not be simply confined to a pre-school setting.

With children spending most of their pre-school time at home, engaging learning aids are essential in supporting your child’s holistic language development needs. Designed to be concise, attention-grabbing and interactive, children are expected to not only develop language competency in both English and Chinese after going through our Holistic Bilingual Program, but also a strong desire for learning.

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Early Reading Habits That Make Young Kids Love Books

Reading Habit

How parents read to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers can have a huge impact on how much they love reading and how readily they learn to read on their own one day. Here, simple steps you can take at bedtime tonight.

Read books with rich illustrations

The least helpful types of books for children under age 5: ones with simple photos illustrations €”and minimal text. Compared with illustrated books, these don’€™t trigger as many conversation starters, which are critical to child development.

Ask questions based on the illustrations

Children between 16 and 24 months add more words to their vocabularies on a daily basis than they do at any other age, says Morrison. The first and easiest words to learn and label from book illustrations are nouns like “dog” and “tree,” she says. If you see a picture of a dog, ask your toddler or preschooler such questions as “Do you see the dog?” “What color is the dog?” “What is the dog doing?” This base knowledge of nouns helps children add the other parts of speech more quickly.

Cuddle your child in your arms while reading

This helps your child associate reading with feeling close and comfortable. This will eventually help your child become more confident with reading out loud.

Share the obvious

Point out things about books that you may take for granted as an adult. Share the author’s name and describe what an author does, show your child how to hold a book, demonstrate how sentences are read from left to right, and what it’s like to turn the pages. Knowing these basic reading steps will make it easier for young children to read independently when they ’re ready.

Relate plots to real life

Ask open-ended questions (who, what, where, and why) to children age 3 and older to open a dialogue of storytelling. Relating a book ’s plot to a real-life situation your child has experienced helps her better remember the book and vocabulary words.

Use reading to spark conversation

It i€™s actually not important that you finish the entire book; what really matters is the nature of conversation you have during reading. A parent who readily responds to questions (even if they seem never-ending!) and has a back-and-forth style of talking with her child will help develop their kid’s cognitive skills and social development in the real world. Ask questions based on the illustrations and let the conversation flow from there.

Don’t be afraid to imitate voices or make silly sounds

Wham! Bang! Mooooo! These onomatopoeias may feel embarrassing to say, but your child needs to hear them (and will adore seeing your silly side). The variety of sounds and voices act as an early literacy skill that will eventually lead to your child recognizing phonemes, or the sound units that make up larger words, says Morrison. Recognizing and hearing these sound units help your children to speak full words.

Follow your child attention

If you force your child to sit still and read, he’ll come to think of reading as a punishment. Instead, go with the flow of your child’s attention span. When he loses interest he may run around the room a bit, but come back to the book in a few minutes. Don’t give up when your child runs away or gets bored. Keep reading and commenting on the story to yourself; often he’ll circle back to you out of curiosity.

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Make Learning Math Fun

Helping your child learn Math

How to make learning Math fun?What can you do as a parent if your child develops math phobia? Every day after coming from school your child rants over doing his math homework or complains to you “What good is Math?” Or is it worse than this? He is never able to crack the Math test or thinks “Only nerds are good at sums”. It is undeniably a worrisome situation as numeral literacy is every bit as important as any other skill and you can’t let your kid remain a math phobic for the rest of his life. The more you dilly-dally the problem the worse it will be so you have to tackle the situation head-on. We’ve come up with 5 tips to make Math fun for your kid-

Tip 1: Your first step is to assess your math skills: Does calculating percentage still sends you in frenzy? Chances are likely that you are unintentionally passing your math fear to your child. Do you quite often say “I was always bad at Math” and did your kid pick up on that uses it to his advantage? Your negative attitude toward numeric literacy can hamper your child’s progress towards learning math. When you start hearing your own negative words coming out of your kid’s mouth then start exploring alternative ways to make math fun for your kid.

Tip 2: Storytelling in Math: Kids love stories. Tell fairy tales and ask your child to count the characters or you act out the story and count the characters together. Sounds fun, isn’t it? There are many interesting math story books for children that make different math skills enjoyable and easy to learn.

Tip 3: Play Math:Temporarily shift from the text books and math worksheets. Take out some dominoes, blocks, a deck of cards or a pair of dice to practice math skills. Remember that children have to be willing to develop their numeric skills so make the lessons more interactive, interesting and fun. You can also try playing board games that require logical thinking, adding, subtraction and more.

Tip 4: Help your kid notice Math in everyday life: Tell your kid that Math is a part of our daily lives. As you plan meals, clean your house, order food from the local restaurant or keep score during games, emphasize the necessity of math skills to your kid. Make your child understand that Math classes are not intended to make his life boring but they enable him to learn a skill that is a practical necessity.

Tip 5: Study together system: Arrange a weekly study together. Kids can explain things to each other in a way that makes them comprehend the math facts better. It will be learning cum fun activity that kids will definitely look forward to every week.

Preview A Time for Math to help your child to start off with Math.

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Inquiry Based Learning

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Inquiry based approaches to science education focus on student constructed learning as opposed to teacher-transmitted information” – Wilfred A. Franklin
Inquiry based learning is an old concept of learning. This form of learning is an educational concept that relies more on a learner’s side of involvement than a teacher’s intervention. This approach is quite different from a traditional mode of learning. In a conventional classroom, teachers use a system, where they come to the class with a set of pre-prepared course curriculum and deliver them to the students on a sequential mode. In fact, they are the active facilitators of teaching by providing a source of skills and knowledge to the students. The entire teaching process is teacher-driven, when the teacher manages and administers the entire proceedings.
On the other hand, an inquiry based learning system drives the students to learn in a productive manner. Here, the teacher or instructors act as mentors or guides to lead students to learn their lessons. The teacher-in-charge will allow the students to come with their own queries and questions that eventually help them learn with a motivated mind.
Children are curious and motivated to know and learn anything that interests them. Their intense desire to learn new things, will lead them to design, create, master and experiment with different things and issues. In an inquiry based learning system, there are two important entities. A child will have his or her interests and motivation to drive the learning process. On the contrary, both parents and teachers just act as facilitators or mentors in the entire learning process. An inquiry based learning process is evolving and organic, apart from its dynamic and interactive nature. It means that a child, who uses this approach is very active when he or she gets an active interest in learning. An inquiry based learning process involves the following important factors:
New discovery – Something interests and intrigues children that eventually force them to know more about it. This intriguing thing can fuel a child’s imagination and drive to learn more. This very precious response system works very well for any child. An urge or drive to explore new domains or things will help a child to try his or her maximum best to master the basics of lessons.
A sense of action to drive the learning process – Although children are busy learning their lessons, teachers keep observing and mentoring their activities. They will also provide many opportunities to children to ask their questions and seek clarifications. During the process of learning, children start collecting information and details regarding the lessons. In this way, children will interact with other children to learn on a mutual basis. Team learning is an excellent way to learn new things and lessons.
Results or outcome – At the end of the learning process, the children will assess their performance with the active help from their teachers. This step is a reflection period, when children compare their performance level and later assess what can be done to improve their performance. The teacher, who is in charge, will help them in the process. Once children feel confident, they can probe and test new areas, domains and territories. The outcome is academic excellence, cooperation and teamwork.
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Children’s Key Skills on Play and Learn

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Children’s Key Skills on Play and Learn

1. Creating Time Try to plan ahead. Identify 10-15 minutes per day when you can play with the least interruptions. Turn the television off and involve brothers and sisters.

2. Involving Your Child Ask your child what they enjoy playing. Let them choose what they want to play. You would be surprised how many parents automatically decide how, what and when they are going to play. Children learn best and enjoy play more when they decide how they want to play and at what pace. Importantly their concentration, enjoyment levels and good behavior increases as a consequence! Hence there are strong “pay-offs” for both the child and parent.

3. Getting Down To Your Child’s Level Preparing for play is important. Make sure you are close to your child, have eye contact and show that you are interested e.g. if your child is playing on the floor, sit on the floor with them.

4. Describing What You See Let your child pick a play activity and as your child is playing just concentrate on describing what you see in a very positive tone of voice e.g. “you have picked up the red brick and are placing it on the blue brick”. This skill will need a lot of practice as you will inevitably want to direct the play by saying such things as “I know lets put this brick on top of this other brick”. Avoid asking questions and copy your child’s play.

5. Praising What You See When you feel totally comfortable with describing what you see, try to begin to use descriptive praise i.e. “what a good girl for putting that red brick on the blue brick”. Be close when you praise, smile, get eye contact, use touches, hugs and strokes. Be sincere and genuine and praise as soon as possible after the good behaviour in order to encourage them to repeat it. Your child needs to know that you are pleased in order for them to learn self-confidence and to explore further. They are learning to be co-operative rather than to be defiant.

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Child Reading milestone

reader milestones

Young children begin to recognize familiar words.Your young child may learn whole words that she can see, like STOP signs, before she learns individual letters. Young children may also learn logos and symbols, so, as they pass familiar restaurants, they may point out a known letter, such as “big M.”

Young children learn that stories have a clear structure and specific elements. As your young child listens to stories, he learns that all good stories have a beginning, middle, and end. He also learns to predict, based on the book cover, what the story will be about, as well as what might happen next or how the story will end. Young children learn that there are characters in stories and that the setting (where and when it takes place) is something that a listener would want to know. Your child will enjoy comparing the characters in a book to himself and to other real life people he knows.

Your young child may “pretend” to read. Children who have been read to frequently will pretend to read books to themselves or to their toy dolls and animals, using their own words or phrases from the story. Parents and caregivers may also observe young children incorporating pretend reading into their play—”reading” a recipe as they make a cake or “reading” a shopping list as they put groceries in their basket.

Young children become aware that the world is filled with letters. During the preschool years, many young children will be able to recite or sing the alphabet. They may begin to recognize familiar letters, especially letters in their own names, followed by letters from parents’, siblings’, and friends’ names. Finding familiar letters in their homes, at preschool, or in the grocery store is very exciting for young children, and they will let parents and caregivers know when “I found another big N!” or “Hey, there is the little t!”

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50 ways to teach your child to READ

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Learning to read is not a crash course that kids take and are done with once they can read Dick and Jane without any help. Learning to read is developmental and starts when a newborn looks at you and hears you talking to them. Below are 50 pieces to the reading puzzle . 50 ways that you and your child can have fun knowing that they are working on early literacy development and learning to love books. This is not definitive checklist it’s a buffet of options to help support your child as they develop literacy skills and become independent readers. Find ideas that work for your family with your child and their current development. Click through the linked items for more details and how to do the activity with your child.
1.Read to your child.
2.Play rhyming games.
3.Sing the alphabet song with them.
4.Label things with their names from an early age.
5.Go to the library even when they are at that loud voice only stage.
6.Have non fiction books as well as fiction available .
7.Tell stories.
8.Have books all over your house.
9.Teach the letter sounds by emphasizing the sounds in words they hear often from a young age.
10.Provide fun and interesting books for them to read.
11.Get a magazine subscription and read it together.
12.Make play dough letters.
13.Play the alphabet game on road trips.
14.Read the mail together.
15.Make a reading nook.
16.Clap out syllables.
17.Make letter crafts.
18.Make reading play time .
19.Notice letters in the environment.
20.Learn about how books work and other concepts of print.
21.Let them choose their own books at the library or bookstore.
22.Leave them notes in their lunchboxes .
23.Play with foam letters in the bath. Use bath toys to make up and tell stories.
24.Make your own books.
25.Play eye spy with letters and letter sounds. ” I spy something that starts with the letter B. Buh buh book!”
26.Give your children books as gifts.
27.Make up silly songs together.
28.Ask them to read the pictures to you before they can read the words.
29.Play library.
30.Read the book then see the movie for a family treat.
31.Play with word families.
32.Read books with no words and share storytelling duties.
33.Let them see you reading for fun.
34.Read nursery rhymes.
35.Explore and trace tactile letters.
36.Play listening games.
37.Retell and have your children retell stories after reading them.
38.Ask your child questions about elements of the story as you read with them. This works on comprehension.
39.Read books at lunchtime .
40.Take books with you when you travel.
41.Build with letter blocks or make your own.
42.Do word searches.
43.Play sight word games.
44.Download an e-reader app on your smartphone and instead of handing them it to play a game make it a treat to use it to read.
45.Read comics and graphic novels with them.
46.Talk your your kids using regular words not “kiddie” words.
47.Read them poetry.
48.Get their bodies moving to learn letters.
49.Read them their favorite book over and over and over even if it’s making you want to poke your eyes out.
50.Make reading part of their bedtime routine from day one.

How many of the above have you done?

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