Development in Content Demands – Science

In middle childhood, students should be conducting simple science experiments. Furthermore, there are computer games and programs where students can build on their scientific knowledge for example students can “explore human anatomy or ‘dissect” small animals” (McDevitt and Ormord, 2007, p. 387).

In early adolescence, have students explore individual projects and perhaps participate in a science fair. Educators should scaffold the learning such as hypothesis and variables one at a time.


McDevitt, Teresa M.. Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis. (2007). Child Development and Education. S.l.: Pearson.


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Development in Content Demands – Math

In middle childhood, teach students how to understand math logic such as place value. With lots of practice doing math will become automatic. McDevitt and Ormrod suggest having low achieving math students in fourth or fifth grade to tutor students in first or second grade (2007).

In early adolescence, have students do lots of small group activities and lots of problem solving. Teach them metacognitive strategies at this age.

McDevitt, Teresa M.. Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis. (2007). Child Development and Education. S.l.: Pearson.

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Development in the Content Demands – Writing

Toddlers explore writing by doing scribbles on paper. Eventually, the scribbles will strengthen the child’s fine motor skills and scribbles will turn into shapes that are recognizable. Pseudo writing, or kid writing, shows that children observe adults and learn how to write as soon as they can pick up a pencil. Most children will display the knowledge they have observed such as that you write on a paper from left to right. As children get older their writing becomes smaller and more smooth. As students master the alphabet they will start to do “invented spellings” which are just some of the sounds heard in the word. Children who are better readers are stronger spelling skills as well.

In middle childhood, have students practice writing by making the topics relevant to their lives and interests such as writing a letter to a family member. Practice different combinations of phonemes, explore different types of writing such as descriptive writing or labs. and consistently give meaningful feedback to improve.

In early adolescence, continue to practice spelling, grammar and punctuation. Introduce persuasive writing and targeted audiences. Instruct students to write drafts, give them feedback and then have them do a final copy.

In late adolescence, scaffold long projects, teach them writing strategies, and give them lots of examples. For students with learning disabilities, teach spelling and grammar.

McDevitt, Teresa M.. Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis. (2007). Child Development and Education. S.l.: Pearson.


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Development in the Content Demands – Reading

Emergent Literacy is the “foundation for reading and writing development” (McDevitt and Ormrod, 2007, p358). Reading to children is very important as this is how their knowledge is built. Parents and other adults should read to their children, model to them how to read and write, take them to libraries, and discuss the books they are reading (McDevitt and Ormord, 2007).

Phonological Awareness

  • Phonological awareness is “the ability to hear the distinct sounds within words” (McDevitt and Ormord, 2007, p. 359). Teachers assess this through observation to see what students already know or have learned.
  • An onset is “on or more consonants that precede the vowel sound” (McDevitt and Ormord, 2007, p. 359). The rime is “the vowel sound and only consonants that follow it” (McDevitt and Ormord, 2007, p. 359). Most children can identify phonemes by 6 or 7 years old.

Word Recognition

  • Students will eventually start recognizing words that they see often or start to recognize patterns between words to understand what they are. Around mid-elementary most students will have a automatic sight word vocabulary (McDevitt and Ormord, 2007). To strengthen this aspect of reading use activities that teach “letter-sound relationships, common spelling patterns, and context clues to decipher words” (McDevitt and Ormord, 2007, p. 360).


  • Comprehension is being able to retell the main ideas of a story, make inferences while you are reading, and predictions about what is going to happen. Students should be able to understand the words of the books they read. They will use their prior knowledge and what they already know to make sense of what they are reading. Beginning readers at age 5 or 6 should be able to tell if a story is fact or fiction. In later elementary, students should be able to tell that different authors believe different things(McDevitt and Ormord, 2007).


  • Once students have mastered phonological awareness and comprehension they will start backtracking while reading, use multiple strategies to make sense of what they are reading and will have an increased fluency (McDevitt and Ormord, 2007).

McDevitt, Teresa M.. Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis. (2007). Child Development and Education. S.l.: Pearson.

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Developmental Warning Signs

There are specific developmental milestones that students need to hit in a consecutive order as they grow up. Listed below are some of the warning signs. The website is targeted to parents; however, this information is very useful as an educator as well. Noticing these warning signs is the first step to an assessment which could possibly lead to an IEP or a IFSP. An IEP is an “Individual Education Plan” which is a detailed plan pertaining to a child’s disability and is designed with goals to help a child succeed at school. An ISFP is an “Individualized Family Service Plan” which is a services plan that is family centred, it lists the child’s developmental stage, resources for the family, services that will be provided and any other important family information.

  • “Behavioural Warning Signs
    • Does not pay attention or stay focused on an activity for as long a time as other children of the same age
    • Focuses on unusual objects for long periods of time; enjoys this more than interacting with others
    • Avoids or rarely makes eye contact with others
    • Gets unusually frustrated when trying to do simple tasks that most children of the same age can do
    • Shows aggressive behaviours and acting out and appears to be very stubborn compared with other children
    • Displays violent behaviours on a daily basis
    • Stares into space, rocks body, or talks to self more often than other children of the same age
    • Does not seek love and approval from a caregiver or parent”
  • “Gross Motor Warning Signs
    • Has stiff arms and/or legs
    • Has a floppy or limp body posture compared to other children of the same age
    • Uses one side of body more than the other
    • Has a very clumsy manner compared with other children of the same age”
  • “Vision Warning Signs
    • Seems to have difficulty following objects or people with his/her eyes
    • Rubs eyes frequently
    • Turns, tilts or holds head in a strained or unusual position when trying to look at an object
    • Has difficulty focusing or making eye contact
    • Closes one eye when trying to look at distant objects
    • Eyes appear to be crossed or turned
    • Brings objects too close to eyes to see
    • One or both eyes appear abnormal in size or colouring”
  • “Hearing Warning Signs
    • Talks in a very loud or very soft voice
    • Seems to have difficulty responding when called from across the room, even when it is for something interesting
    • Turns body so that the same ear is always turned toward sound
    • Has difficulty understanding what has been said or following directions after turning 3 years of age
    • Doesn’t startle to loud noises
    • Ears appear small or deformed
    • Fails to develop sounds or words that would be appropriate at her age”

(n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from


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Developmental Stages

Infancy (birth- two years)
  • At this stage babies use non-verbal communications to tell their caregivers their wants and needs such as crying, smiling, or pointing.
  • Babies are very curious and want to learn. If they feel safe it will foster their desire to learn new things and begin to be physically active.

Early Childhood (two-six years)

  • Students are developing rapidly at this stage. They are starting to learn language and are increasing their ability to communicate.
  • Educators should teach children proper output for their energy and encourage them to play in a variety of ways. Learners this age will need assistance with taking naps, going to the washroom and washing their hands.

Middle Childhood (six-ten years)

  • Learners at this age are starting to pay attention to the real world around them. They still like pretend play but not as much as earlier years.
  • Children this age tend to “learn to read and write, cook and clean house, apply rules in games and sports, care for younger brothers and sisters, and use computer technology” (McDevitt and Ormrod, 2007).
  • At this age, students start to make friendships and compare themselves to others.
  • Students at this developmental period will do better on school work if it is on a topic they are familiar with.
  • Try find subjects you can teach them through connections through things they already know.
  • Have lots of visuals in your classroom, such as posters of the topic being studied, math charts, or maps for geography. A word wall will help with writing. Use lots of manipulatives in your lessons for a hands on learning.
  • Design your classroom so that you have a reading area with couches for relaxing reading. Furthermore, classrooms are more best equipped with books and computers.

Early Adolescence (ten-fourteen years)

  • At this stage, students are slowly losing their childlike appearance. They go through puberty and have hormonal changes with mood swings. They process learning and relationships differently now and worry about what others think about them.
  • Educators should communicate with affection and respect, and have high expectations from learners.
  • Students each have individual needs that will need to be met and need to have the message conveyed to them that they belong.

McDevitt, Teresa M.. Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis. (2007). Child Development and Education. S.l.: Pearson.

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Welcome to my blog!

Thanks for reading. My inquiry project is on Child Development. I want to become more familiar with the stages of cognitive development and how children learn in each of these stages in each subject.

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