Louis Pugliese (Lecturer in Educational Psychology, CSUN, Certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards) gives expert video advice on: How can I tell if my elementary school-age child is having trouble with intrapersonal skills?; How can I tell if my elementary school-age child is having trouble with interpersonal skills? and more...
How long is an elementary school-age child's attention span?
It's commonly said that the attention span of an elementary school child is between five and twelve minutes, depending on their age and grade. The intrinsic interest in a task and the challenging nature of the task - how complex it is - also determine how long that child can pay attention. If they're being shown something new and it's highly complex and very hard to process cognitively, they will not be attentive for so long. They'll get overloaded. If, in fact, the task or the new information is not novel enough and not challenging enough, that also can lower attention span.
What are signs my elementary school-age child has a short attention span?
An elementary school child with a short attention span will cut themselves off from pursuing a task that they might want to do themselves. A young child who wants to learn to ride a bicycle will very quickly lose interest when you take them out to ride. If you're trying to get a child with a low attention span to help you do chores around the house, they may be very anxious to help out mom or dad but they will quickly break off from the activity. Either they're distracted or they want to go and do something else, or they just don't keep up with their goal directed behavior.
What elementary school lessons are meant to teach verbal-linguistic skills?
In elementary schools, we teach verbal-linguistics skills almost all the time within all lessons. We want children interacting, we want them explaining and elaborating their thoughts, so of course we're teaching them new vocabulary and verbal-lingusitic skills. We're having the children read and analyze stories, and we're having them gain feedback and speak with the teachers and their peers around them, again improving their verbal-linguistic skills
What elementary school lessons are meant to teach logical-mathematical skills?
The arithmetic and math lessons in an elementary school are meant to teach those logical-mathematical skills. Word problems play a very big part as well because we want children to be able to elaborate on their logical thinking and their mathematical reasoning. Also, when we analyze literature with children and when we analyze problems in stories, we are to a certain degree, working on logical skills at that point too, because part of that whole skill set is the ability to plan, and the ability to predict.
What elementary school lessons are meant to teach intrapersonal skills?
These days, there's a very strong emphasis on children elaborating their own ideas and feelings. There's a technique that we like to use called writer's workshop, where we ask the children to choose the topics, or if we've chosen the topic, we ask the children to elaborate on one of their experiences related to that topic. I think that a good writing program in an elementary school is very beneficial for self knowledge and self awareness. Also, in most lessons in elementary school, we ask the children to explain not only their answer, but we ask them to explain how they got that answer, and we like to highlight the differences between all the answers that end up being correct.
What elementary school lessons are meant to teach interpersonal skills?
Almost the entire elementary school curriculum is centered around interpersonal skills, from the time the children line up cooperatively together in the morning, to the time the teacher asks them to come quietly and in an organized way to the first lesson or to prepare for that lesson. Then, of course, as the day proceeds, the children are asked to collaborate with each other in groups. They're asked to express and share their ideas in front of others, and they're asked to work cooperatively throughout the day, in almost every aspect of school.