Computational Thinking For Children

Computational Thinking For Children

Enhancing the development of computational thinking is an essential mental process for all children in today’s information and knowledge society. Mainly because mastering it will allow them to adequately face their future work and, above all, it will give them the ability to be decisive in the day to day and in any area of their lives.

Moreover, it is a fundamental resource for any child, since the development of this type of thinking reduces the digital divide, helps their integration into today’s society and facilitates the acquisition of many important transversal skills. These include critical thinking, adaptability, information management in different environments – such as interactive – and, of course, mastery of digital technologies themselves.

Therefore, although its development implies the approach of complex concepts, it also involves competencies that we use and develop in multiple areas of our daily lives. This approach simplifies its teaching, by giving examples that are simple and familiar to children.

In this article we are going to analyze some resources that facilitate the teaching and understanding of computational thinking, but first we need to understand what exactly this concept consists of.

What is Computational Thinking?

There are multiple definitions, but they all agree that its main objective is to solve problems. This is reflected, for example, in the description of computational thinking by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).

For these bodies, computational thinking is a problem-solving process that includes at least the following characteristics:

  • Formulation of problems in such a way that it is possible to use a computer and other machines to solve them.
  • Logical organization and data analysis.
  • Representation of data through abstractions such as models and simulations.
  • Automation of solutions through algorithmic thinking – understood as a series of discrete and ordered steps -.
  • Identification, analysis and implementation of possible solutions, with the objective of achieving the most effective and efficient combination of steps and resources.
  • Generalization and transfer of the problem-solving process to a wide variety of situations.

This definition allows us to understand the different elements that make up computational thinking. But it is also important to understand that this type of thinking is not only used to solve problems with computational means, but can also be used to solve other problems in very different fields.

In short, computational thinking allows children to learn to solve everyday problems by analyzing them, breaking down the process of solving them into small tasks, identifying patterns, following algorithms and detecting errors in order to fix them.

In what activities in our daily lives do we use computational thinking?

Computational thinking is based on reasoning to understand problems and seek the most efficient solutions. Therefore, it is essential that the exercises focused on developing this skill are based on interaction with students, and that they are invited to continuously reflect on the concepts they learn. And one of the best ways to achieve this is to use games and other resources that encourage their participation.

As computational thinking involves the development of several and very diverse skills, you can use these games and exercises to learn each of them.

Examples of Computational Thinking

  • Logical thinking: Sudokus are an excellent resource to develop it.
  • Decomposition: both the analysis and the description of dance choreographies allow children to analyze the parts of a whole, to define and structure them.
  • Patterns: series of numbers are a classic resource that helps students identify the patterns on which their construction is based.
  • Abstraction: the game “Guess what” allows children to recognize and abstract the essential elements of an object or entity.
  • Algorithms: with a simple game in which the student is invited to describe an activity such as, for example, getting dressed or going to class, it is easier for children to understand what an algorithm consists of.

These are just a few examples, but the possibilities are endless. In addition, many of these options are available through computer resources, a good way to develop computational thinking.

Resources

In this resource on computational thinking, created by ProFuturo, you will find not only simple to understand definitions -mainly for 8-10 year olds, but also for older children-, but you will also have access to fun and easy to follow exercises and dynamics. These will help students to understand in depth and reinforce their learning of concepts such as decomposition, patterns, algorithms, error detection or bugs.

In short, computational thinking is a key mental process that can be taught in a simple way to all children from a very early age, also favoring the reduction of the digital divide. The best way to explain it is by applying computational thinking strategies that make children use logical reasoning and reflection to understand the concepts in depth.

8 Ways to Support Your Kids in School

When you become a parent, you also become your child’s first teacher. The examples you set and the lessons you teach them are the foundation for their entire lives, even within formal education. With this thought in mind, it bears stating that being present in their lives and their educations is one of the most important aspects of their lives you can be involved in.

Sometimes it can be difficult, juggling it all and trying to maintain a presence for them, but it is possible.

1. Be Involved With School Staff and Teachers

Meeting your child’s teachers and getting to know who’s who among the staff at the beginning of the school year can help establish a partnership that serves to benefit your child’s education. The teacher may have many students to contend with, but you can help ease the load and lessen their stress if you show you want to be involved. Your children will see your involvement and feel emotionally supported as well.

2. Keep Track of How Your Child is Doing

Doing this in order to punish them for bad grades will only stress both of you out, but ensuring you keep up with their needs is a significant way you can have an impact on their learning. Communicating with their teacher and seeing where their weaknesses and strengths are can allow you the headway to aid them before they get too far behind.

3. Help Them With Homework

Every child dreads homework. After a long day at school, most just want to be done and go play, but this isn’t always conducive to proper learning or information retention. If you can’t help them with their homework directly, it might be prudent to give them a special, quiet place to work. Always check in with them to make sure things are getting done, rewarding them if they finish.

If you might be worried that you can’t help them with homework because you don’t know the subject or language very well, finding someone who can help may be a wise decision.

4. Have a Positive, Praising Attitude

An overlooked aspect of children’s education is their mental health, and constant criticisms have been shown in studies to reduce both productivity and self-esteem. You are your child’s first source of validation, and as such, you need to be their biggest fan. Without sacrificing their learning potential, it’s important to support their strengths and praise them where they deserve it, while not letting them lag behind with their weaknesses.

By showing genuine interest in your children’s education and giving them positive, constructive feedback, you can feel their enthusiasm to learn.

5. Don’t Underestimate Organization

Having a routine, a schedule or an organized way of handling your child’s curriculum can reduce stress not only for you but for your children as well. There are ways to organize at home for your children, such as designated areas for their home studies, whether it’s for homework or distant learning. Another way is through an online school agenda, which stores everything you need within the cloud and reduces the likelihood that anything gets lost or forgotten.

6. Monitor Screen Time

Ensure your children aren’t spending an excessive amount of time playing video games or mindlessly watching the internet or TV programs. Practical media usage is important, as is recreational. Finding a balance between screen time and keeping your children safe is something not to be overlooked.

7. Encourage Independence

Micromanaging every aspect of your child’s education is something you want to avoid, both for your time management and your child’s stress levels. Be involved, but not overt. Help them develop their own routines and rules and show them how to follow through. Taking responsibility is an important life skill to learn, and doing so early can set good foundations.

8. Talk With Your Child

Talking and listening are important in equal measure; validating your child’s feelings can help them feel seen and heard by you, their first teacher. Never underestimate the value of being an open-source of communication and a safe place for your children.

Success!

Becoming involved with your school and getting to know your child’s teacher will also make your aware of the needs of school. You may have time to volunteer or assist by providing free school supplies.  As a parent, you want nothing more than the happiness and success of your children, hopefully, this article has helped aim you in the right direction.

How Writing Skills Can Help Kids Master a New Language

How Writing Skills Can Help Kids Master a New Language

Learning a new language is hard, but writing can help make it easier. Writing is one of the most effective ways for people to learn and retain information. It can also help kids master their second language faster and with less frustration than any other method out there.

With this in mind, we’ve created a series of blog posts that will teach you how to use your child’s natural love of storytelling as an opportunity to develop their skills in reading comprehension, vocabulary development, spelling and grammar mastery, creative expression through writing – all while learning a new language! The first post uses narrative stories as an entertaining way for kids to practice their target foreign language.

Writing is a process of thinking through what we’re saying before we say it. This means kids get better at expressing themselves verbally as well as understanding others’ verbal communication.

What are writing skills, and why do they matter in language learning?

Writing is a form of thinking. In a sense, we are always writing – from the grocery list to a paragraph in a book, everything we write has been thought about before it’s put to paper.  The act of finding words that convey meaning without being overly complicated or losing clarity is an important and useful skill for kids learning foreign languages.

Writing also helps kids develop better reading comprehension skills. Even though they are not yet reading the language and rely solely on their writing abilities, developing an understanding of a foreign language through writing about it will help speed up reading comprehension. Writing forces children to slow down and think about how words work together into a sentence, making them more comfortable.

Writing is a great way to get kids interested in learning new words.

Writing is a great way to remember what we’ve learned.

Writing helps us develop dictionary skills, such as word comprehension and spelling:

  • Finding the meaning of new words.
  • Writing down new vocabulary in our own language.
  • Writing down new vocabulary in the target language.

The process of writing allows kids to focus on their mistakes and learn from them, which does their reading and speaking better.

By writing in the target language, kids develop a deeper understanding of it.

Kids who learn to write before they speak are more likely to learn a new language.

Writing allows kids to express their ideas in a different language and understand the perspective of others who think differently than they do.

Doing an activity through writing is one of the most effective ways to memorize facts and information.

When we form words with our mouths, it’s often hard to control exactly what comes out. Writing is a great way to “test out” what we want to say in our heads.

By developing their ability to write, kids get better at expressing themselves through speaking as well.

Through writing, kids learn about grammar and sentence structure while being able to focus on the creative side of putting their thoughts on paper.

Writing allows kids to explore their creativity and be expressive in a way that it’s not always possible when they’re talking.

Importance of writing skills in mastering a new language

The number of skills kids develop when they write in a foreign language is enormous and invaluable.  It’s also the best way for kids to learn to express themselves – which is helpful for them as native speakers!

Writing helps us find our voice. As we become aware of the words that come out of our mouths, we start to discover our own unique way of expressing ourselves. This is a very personal process that ultimately gives us the freedom to express anything we want!

Writing skills will help you become more successful in learning your new language. Writing forces you to slow down and think about what you’re going to say, which helps you develop better reading comprehension skills.

Common mistakes that people make when teaching their children how to write a new language:

Assuming that children should be writing in the target language from day one. Your kids are still early on in the process – and it will take time for them to become aware of what they’re doing!

As a rule, you need to write down a new word several times before they “get it.” It’s also helpful to read a sentence aloud and ask your kid to repeat it – that will help them internalize the new word.

Writing in a language that is too formal for their level of understanding. Kids feel awkward and stilted when they’re forced to write long, complex sentences when they understand simple ones. This goes back to step 1!

Giving up too quickly on a wrong word.  Kids will often make mistakes or misspell words that are hard for them. The fastest way to learn is by making mistakes – so don’t get frustrated by this step!

Using complicated formats and styles of writing.  Start with simple shapes, such as squares or triangles; then try circles and smiley faces. Once they understand those, you can move to more complicated shapes that will help with their writing.

Not focusing on the meaning of what they’re writing.  If your kid wants to write about a video game, don’t be afraid to encourage them to use specific vocabulary from it – this is a great way to learn and practice!

Tips for teaching children how to read and write in a foreign language

When kids first learn to write or read, they should start with elementary forms of writing and reading.  This is a process that should be fun!

Encourage your kid to keep going even if you don’t understand all the words they’re writing down. This will help them feel comfortable with writing, and they’ll soon get better!

Give your kid time to explore the new words in different contexts. Once you have a few words, make sure to ask questions about them – this is how kids figure out what a word means as it’s used in context.

If something doesn’t work for your child, try something else. As we said earlier, there’s no “right” way to learn and grow!

Practicing reading is a great way for kids to get familiar with the letters.  You can take this opportunity to work on spelling as well – it’s a win-win situation!

Writing in different formats is a fun way for kids to experiment with how sentences are formed.  Try to add extra vocabulary in there and see what kind of sentences they can make!

Keep writing exciting by offering rewards for certain achievements.  This is a great way for your kid to build excitement and confidence as they learn to write in their new language.

The best way for kids to learn is through Writing practice and repetition.

By writing in their target language, kids develop a deeper understanding of it and gain more confidence to use it as they learn.

The key to success is starting early, especially in vocabulary development (using the words you want them to use). The sooner your child learns how to write in the target language, the faster they will become more fluent in it, and the easier learning a new language will be.

The most effective way to learn any new skill is through practice and repetition. This is also true for writing; just a few minutes of daily handwriting exercises can help your child master their second language much faster than if they only relied on classroom lessons and school assignments. It can be hard at first, especially if your child is used to writing in their native language, but the more they write in their target foreign language, the better they will get at it!

Introducing your child to an unfamiliar word through writing activities will help him, or her remember what it means and how to spell it.

This is also a great way to help your child develop an interest in the language you teach them.

Why do kids need to learn multiple languages at an early age?

Learning a second language can be a difficult task, especially for adults, so why not have your child learn their first foreign language early?  Not only do parents help children to develop and grow every day (much like they did when the kids were babies), but kids also get practice with building verbal skills in a given language – something that is a precious resource for your child’s future.

Kids can learn so much when they begin to explore their world, and one of these things is how to appreciate other people who aren’t just like them.  Learning about new cultures and traditions helps kids understand the world better and become more open-minded and aware of things.  If you live in a country where two or more languages are spoken, learning these other languages will also help your child to communicate with people who speak different native tongues from one another.

Learning a language well enough at a young age can even impact your child’s mental development.  The earlier your child begins to write in their new foreign language, the faster they become fluent in it.  This will also help them learn other subjects better (such as math or history) because they learn how to apply concepts of a given subject by using more than just one way of thinking.

How learning another language has helped students succeed academically and professionally.

Being skilled in two or more languages has given individuals a clear edge in both their personal and professional lives.  Kids who can speak another language fluently have not only been found to have higher self-esteem and academic success, but they can also make more money as they enter the working world!

If your child is interested in making more money or becoming a leader in their future career, they need to know how to speak and write in another language.  Especially if they’ve grown up in a foreign country where two or more languages are spoken frequently, your child has the edge over the rest of their peers when it comes to getting ahead.

Learning to communicate in a new foreign language can improve your child’s self-esteem, ability to work independently, and even how they complete tasks.  It may be hard at first for young kids, but it will help them become more confident and willing to try other things they wouldn’t normally attempt.

Conclusion

Using these strategies will help your child master the new language faster!

Writing in their new language will help your child learn to read, write and speak in the foreign language they are trying to learn.  It can also improve memory function and attention span because of the processing that needs to be done when an individual is writing.

Learning a second language at an early age can benefit young kids with an open mind.  It doesn’t just help them develop a better ability to communicate and work with individuals in other countries. Still, it can also improve their grades in school or even help them get ahead and start making money sooner than most adults!

Author Bio
K C Raj is a career counselor and recruiter with many years of experience. Interested in topics like human development, education, immigration, inequality, and many other international issues.

6 Youth Sports Activities to Get Your Kids Active

Youth Sports Activities

Children today are more likely than ever before to become obese. Dealing with the negative effects of this at such a young age can affect them for their entire life. Since childhood obesity is a widespread issue, many parents want to enroll their children in sports activities to stay active while having fun and making friends.

Here’s a list of six youth sports activities that will get your children moving and keep them active.

Flag Football

Flag football is one of the best youth sports because it’s non-contact. It means that no players on the other team can hit your child or cause them physical harm. This makes it a great option for kids who are just learning how to play sports and offers an opportunity to get more comfortable being active in front of others.

Running flag football plays can even teach your kids how to be a part of a team and develop some communication skills. It becomes the perfect game for children who aren’t interested in playing on conventional teams. Flag football offers similar benefits to traditional tackle football. The benefits include learning how to work together as a team and improve communication skills.

Soccer

Soccer is a great sport to introduce to young children because it combines teamwork with physical activity. It also teaches important skills like balance, coordination, endurance, and agility.  Some studies have shown that soccer encourages higher fitness levels than other childhood sports such as basketball or baseball.

As a bonus, research has found that playing soccer can improve academic performance in math and science among high school students who participate in the sport during their childhood years.

Track & Field/ Cross Country Running

Running is one of the most popular sports in the world and for a good reason. Running provides great cardiovascular conditioning while also strengthening your leg muscles. It helps with speed, endurance, coordination, balance, and weight loss.

Track & Field also has social benefits, like building bonds with teammates or classmates through training sessions. You can start running at any age, but it is recommendable that children begin by walking, then progress to jogging before finally running.

Swimming

Swimming is great for general health and fitness. It is because it works out every muscle in the body while providing excellent cardiovascular conditioning.  It improves your child’s endurance without putting too much stress on their joints or bones. This makes swimming a good option for younger children who are still growing.

The best part about swimming is you can start at any age. But it is recommendable that you learn the basic moves like how to float before continuing to more advanced techniques like diving or crawling underwater.

Martial Arts

Martial arts are one of the best ways to turn your child’s interest in martial arts films, comic books, and video games into something they can participate in. Martial arts teach kids discipline without sacrificing too much fun.

The study has shown that learning how to fight better reduces bullying. It also teaches important social skills such as respect, concentration, and time management. Having classes or clubs for them will also give them some more friends who share similar interests.

Tae Kwon Do is probably the best martial art for children. This is because it focuses on a light-hearted atmosphere without heavy contact like boxing would require. It allows kids and adults to come together on an equal playing field while improving their focus, concentration, and coordination.

Dance

All children enjoy dancing, but dance can also be a great way to get more active. There are many types of dances from various cultures that will provide your child with various health benefits. The benefits include muscle toning, weight loss, coordination, and endurance.

Kids who take up dance usually find it easier to make friends. The classes often become social events where kids learn how to work together as a team.

Since dance is both fun and good exercise, it’s no wonder why so many kids today prefer to take up this activity rather than less healthy pursuits that benefit their overall well-being or education.

Closing Remarks

These six sports activities will not only keep your kids active, but they’ll also have so much fun while exercising with others, thus improving their social lives.  Exercise  is also beneficial for any child to help boost their mood and maintain  positive attitude.  These types of youth sports are healthy for children because they teach them discipline while strengthening their bonding.