Importance of Executive Functions in Children

Some time ago, I overheard a teacher comment to the school’s Principal. She said a student did not possess executive functioning skills after evaluating the child’s poor academic performance in school.

What are executive functioning skills in kids?

Executive functions or executive functioning skills in kids refer to children's ability to make decisions (think), carry them out (act) and solve problems. These set of skills show their brains’ facility at directing and controlling their entire brain map, which also happens to be goal-oriented activities.
Executive Functioning Skills Graphic
According to Dr.Gerard A.Gioia, the attributes of executive functions consist of:
  • Planning/Organizing
  • Organization of materials
  • Working memory
  • Shift
  • Inhibition
  • Self-monitoring
  • Emotional Control
  • Initiation

Children need to be equipped with executive functioning skills appropriate for their age in order to lead meaningful and rewarding lives.

 
 

Higher Order Thinking for Math with More Than Just Numbers

The importance of higher order thinking for math is a skill that cannot be over emphasized. It is the foundation for a long and successful career, regardless of what field a child turns to as an adult. Being equipped with the right mathematical skills and the ability to analyze data is something that prepares a child for nearly every occupation. Whether a child becomes a scientist, engineer, coder, doctor, or financial analyst, most of the occupations that we consider prestigious or desirable use numbers.
The younger our children are when they start to use higher order thinking for math, the easier it will be for them to understand it as they reach the higher levels of math, like trigonometry and calculus. Even if a child does not use math in their career, it is necessary for handling personal finances, particularly for loans, mortgages, and saving for retirement.
higher ordering thinking for math

 
 

Using Higher Order Thinking for Reading to Encourage Thinking beyond the Obvious

One thing that most of us take for granted is higher order thinking for reading and comprehension. The general assumption is that if a child can read, the meaning of the text is clear. However, this is increasingly not the case in a world where we are flooded with images and words with very little time to process them. It is too easy for children to accept that they do not understand all of the text and press on further into the book without bothering to comprehend what they have read.
Getting children to realize that they are missing too much information to progress can be a difficult and frustrating process. By implementing the right strategies in literacy activities and teaching children from a young age to want to learn everything there is to know on the page will greatly increase their higher order thinking for reading and comprehension.
higher order thinking for reading

 
 

Using Critical Thinking Exercises to Develop Higher Order Thinking in Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

Critical thinking exercises and activities are key to getting children to learn how to analyze problems from different angles. While memorization is a great way for children to learn the basics, developing their ability to think and analyze is vital to teaching them how to make good decisions. The younger children are when parents and teachers start to develop these skills, the more natural decision making will become.

 
 

Six Learning Strategies to Develop Children Higher Order Thinking Skills

Higher order thinking skills, also called HOTS or critical thinking skills can be taught.

Some traditional schools taught children basic thinking skills such as acquisition of knowledge, comprehension and rote learning (memorization) from young. As parents and educators, we can start our kids off by steering them away from memorization and regurgitation of information. Instead, assist them in organization and guide their paths to more complex reasoning with learning strategies.

Firstly, let’s understand what are HOTS…

 
 

Visual Learners Traits and Teaching Strategies

Does your child show common visual learners’ traits?

The ability to identify the learning style of each child helps tremendously for us, the parents, to teach them effectively. Though 65% of population learns visually but our children may not be one of them.

Close observation and tune our teaching method according to our children learning preference helps minimize frustration for both parent and child. It was only after many observations then I realized my son's visual learning preference.

Characteristics of Visual Learners

visual learner drawing
For visual learning preference child, he learns best from seeing information. Some of the common traits I have observed are:

  • Learn by Watching Others
  • Use Images to Remember
  • Prefer Face-to-Face Conversation
  • Distracted by Noise Easily
  • Enjoy Pictures, Drawings and Color-Oriented


 
 

Strategies for Auditory Learners to Succeed in School

Auditory learners benefit most from traditional teaching methods whereby teacher gives instruction verbally or delivers information via lecture. There are more we can do to enhance their learning experiences based on auditory learning preferences.
auditory learners
If you were to observe the children in a class, these are the ones who can follow instruction after being told once or twice.

You will also notice some kids like to talk it out as they process new information. Or, have you heard them humming to themselves when there is no music playing around?


 
 

Effective Tactile Learning Activities to Help Kinesthetic Learners Reduce Learning Frustration

Tactile learning activities can minimize kinesthetic learners stress in a typical learning environment.

Tactile learning preferences children find it stressful when they are made to sit still read and listen in a classroom environment. To relieve the stress, they may resort to action such as frequenting the rest room or get up to sharpen their pencils in the class. While in their seat, they start wriggling their legs, rocking or leaning in their chair. They are frequently mislabeled with attention deficit disorder when such behaviors are deemed unacceptable to parents, teachers or caretakers.

 
 

Understand Children Learning Styles and Help Your Child Learn Effectively

Children learning styles and preferences vary. Children learn best when information is presented to them according to their preferences.

As parents, we can help our children to learn effectively if we can discover their learning preferences. Understand each child learning strength and weakness allows us to adopt the appropriate teaching tactics.


 
 

Overcome Kids' Math Phobia and Anxiety to Eliminate Frustration in Learning Math

Math phobia and anxiety may be the underlying cause for kids having difficulty learning math.

Children may find many challenges in the process of learning and understanding mathematical concepts. Every individual child learns at her own pace. Some kids take time to totally acquire the concepts. However, some kids may develop a fear of math.

In order to help children overcome the frustration of learning math, we need to deepen the understanding of HOW a math phobia kid feels. I can fully comprehend this fearful feeling – I had a fear for math during my school days.
math phobia - child fearful of math