Monthly Archives: October 2011

Cognitive development part I

Over the next week or so, we are going to look at the way children process information.  Recently I’ve been wondering if our lower than other industrial country math scores have some relationship to our expectation that children preform skills that are not in their developmental abilities.  So, for my own good, I’m reviewing the Stages of Cognitive Development first developed by Piaget.  As I think through this more fully, we’ll look at the stages as it relates to casa, elementary, and erd kinder expectations.

Sensorimotor stage (Infancy).

The child demonstrates her intelligence through motor activity without the use of symbols. Because physical interactions and experiences are needed, knowledge of the world is limited.  The more mobile the child becomes the more the child begins to develop new intellectual abilities.  Some language abilities develop at the end of this stage.

Pre-operational stage (Toddler and Early Childhood). 

Language use matures so intelligence can now be demonstrated through the use of symbols.  Memory and imagination are developing.  Thinking is nonlogical and is non-reversible.  The child is the center of the universe.

Concrete operational stage (Elementary and early adolescence). 

Logical and systematic manipulation of symbols that can relate to concrete objects allows for further intelligence maturity.  Operational thinking develops so the child can think backwards through an event or process.  The child is able to set aside their desires for the good of the group – less egocentric.

 Formal operational stage (Adolescence and adulthood). 

The ability to relate symbols to abstract concepts is demonstrated.  The child can hypothesis abstract thoughts. The child returns to egocentric thoughts.

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Filed under Educational Philosophy

Chicken – Egg

We have been looking at DNA replication – mRNA, rRNA, Ribosomes, Amino Acids. This is an interesting take on one DNA researcher.

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Filed under Biology, Science

Prokaryotic Cells

After spending some time studying eukaryotic cells and the simple creatures made from them, we’ve moved on to prokaryotic cells.   We’ve created from objects in my house the parts of the cell.

This colander was used for the nucleus because it had holes to represent the pores that the mRNA pass through.  The tan yarn is the DNA and barely visible is the dish strainer that represents the nucleolus.

The cell:  Endoplasmic Reticulum is the red tulle that is sewn to create the pocketed shape.  Some of the green ribosomes can fit into the pockets while other are floating through the cytoplasm (the white rug). The mitochondria are the silver tart containers.  The lysosomes (empty) are the silver marbles or larger glass marbles (full).  The Golgi body is constructed from golden ribbon that is stitched to create the undulating shape.  The lysosomes can fit into the loops to represent the packaging and release of items the cell is making or breaking down.  The purple yarn represents the cell membrane.  We chose to use two wraps of the yarn to represents the double layer of lipids that make up most of the cell membrane.

We created “Who Am I” game cards for each part of the cell.

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Filed under Biology, DW, Science

BW’s Poem about Halloween

Halloween Night

It’s Halloween night.
It’s a frightening sight
for ghouls are out.
Goblins make me doubt
I’ll ever get out.
May I add the witches in the air?
For we must go and get a scare
And get our share.

Mom spell corrected.

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Filed under 15 minute writing, BW

Montessori Prepositions

Montessori uses “multiple intelligence theory” to aid in differential learning.  All those big words mean that Montessori classes do many things to learn one concept.  I’ve discussed the last box that goes with the grammar boxes in sentence analysis – indirect objects.  BW isn’t ready for advanced sentence analysis.  We are doing parts of speech.  He is working on prepositions.

1.  Montessori lesson on prepositions.

2.  Identifying parts of speech in sentence context.

3. Placing tickets with prepositions in the “position” of the preposition

4.  Placing yourself in the “position” of the preposition.

Today BW did number 4.  Here are his results.

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Filed under BW, Grammar

Mrs. W: How different was early man?

Note from EV:  We passed this article from the Christian Science Monitor around yesterday:  http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/1013/Caveman-cosmetics-Scientists-say-ocher-tool-kits-date-back-100-000-years.  This is Mrs. W’s response:

It always bothers me when science treats “early man” as “less than man”.  They are phisiologically and biologically us. There is no reason to believe that they could not conceptualize, symbolize, or plan ahead, as this article and countless others have implied.  They are us, we are them.  Granted, they were a less technologically advanced people, who, no doubt, spent much of their life just eking out a living and making sure their basic needs were met for their survival. However, they did have a lot of time, especially in the winter or bad weather, to sit around and perfect their existing technologies, hon their workmanship and craftsmanship, and, dare I say it, be innovative and creative.  It is what we do as people.  The creative spirit is part of the essence that makes us human.  It is the part of us that is created in God’s image! To assume that human beings that existed 100,000 or even 200,000 years before us were incapable of complex thought or emotion is as shortsighted and egocentric as was the assumption that the earth is the center of the universe.

Perhaps, like Galileo,  we need to turn our thinking around.  Perhaps we need to assume that these people had music, games, art, religion, stories, and a heck of a lot of ingenuity.  Certainly technology would have advanced considerably more slowly, in large part, because of the small numbers of people, and the difficulty in sharing new ideas with many people from other clans.  And unfortunately, because the materials they used are completely natural, and the ideas undocumented, we have lost most of this evidence to time.  However, I think the greatest evidence that early Homo Sapiens were thoughtful, creative, people, is that it is who we are today.

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Filed under Montessori

SC Aquarium meets MMcC

Friday MMcC spent the afternoon at the SC Aquarium.

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Filed under Going outs (Field Trips), JV, MMcC, Students