As our schools fall farther behind the rest of the world, it’s tempting to believe that toys can make a difference.
We take a look at whether or not construction toys actually make kids more likely to want to learn more about subjects in science, math, engineering, and technology.
Great construction toys
Although companies like Legos have been around for decades, the interest in construction toys for cognitive development is pretty new.
It really vaulted into the popular conversation when GoldieBlox launched its viral marketing campaign back in 2013, which featured a video with girls designing a Rube Goldberg machine.
It was the perfect combination at just the right time.
Not only was GoldieBlox a STEM-focused toy, but it was aimed at young girls.
We need more people in STEM in general, but women are significantly underrepresented.
After GoldieBlox, even more companies jumped on the bandwagon. Roominate, which aims to teach kids about mechanical engineering and circuits through building an ‘amusement park,’ also named young girls as its target market.
It’s always fun learning about developmental toys for kids. There are so many options. Best are toys that kids will use in different ways or for years to come, even as they cast aside other toys. Magnetic toys are great. They teach kids about science and let the kids explore in tangible ways.
Magnetic toys are perfect for your budding engineer.
Raising a child in the age of the Internet is a difficult task. There is a lot of false information online that can seep into a young person’s brain, creating confusion and impacting their world view. Age-appropriate developmental toys are more important than ever before.
That’s why it is important to help your child learn how to think critically and use reason to solve problems from an early age.
These toys and gear enable kids to explore and discover while outside.
Your child will be able to go out and explore nature, learn about insects and develop a sense of curiosity for the natural world while being outfitted in a safari vest or hat, using all the tools the professionals use.
Parents can encourage this learning by teaching their children about different bugs, plants, and insects that they find while playing.
Science has never been this much fun!
Thames & Kosmos Master Detective Toolkit
Have you ever thought that you might have the next Sherlock Holmes in your home?
Developing Gross Motor Skills in Children Early Age Important
It is exasperating and at the same time very saddening to know that, while other moms are raving on and on about how their little angels have started to walk and feed themselves and developed gross motor skills, your little angel does not show any signs of accomplishing either of the above.
But do not get disheartened as there is a time for everything; some children tend to start walking rather quickly as compared to others.
It is normal, but if there is a considerable delay in your child’s walking and feeding abilities, then rest assured that there are ways to speed up the process to compensate for the lost time.
Read on to find out how you can encourage and support your child to develop his gross motor skills and gross motor abilities
What is Normal Gross Motor Skill and Gross Motor Abilities in Children?
There are certain indicators which are used by pediatricians in order to measure and get an idea of how infants are physically emerging.
Though these indicators can be different depending on the physical development of each individual baby, there are certain time frames in which each baby develops his gross motor abilities.
Some babies start to take their first steps in life at the age of 9 months while some start walking at the age of 14 months.
This should not at all be alarming.
According to research done on the subject, babies generally at the age of 5 months, start to crack a smile, manage to do rollovers and their curiosity for reaching for things is developed.
At the age of 9 months, babies normally develop the ability to grasp small things with their index finger and thumb.
Some kids at the age of 8 months do not require parental supervision when sitting anywhere.
By the age of 10 months they are able to stand up on their own and finally at the age of 14 months they exhibit the ability to walk.
Some children display two skills at once, for instance gross motor skills and speaking skills.
Though some children tend to walk and talk at the same time from an early age this is not the case for everybody.
Some babies might try to work hard in order to develop one skill, for example talking, and may involuntarily disregard learning other abilities such as walking or grabbing little things.
They tend to try and master one ability first before they tackle the other one, this is natural and nothing to worry about.
What Are Some of the Reasons for Delay in Gross Motor Skills Developing?
Most kids are quite cautious; they want to be sure about doing something before even trying to attempt it.
For instance, most kids might think that if they climb up a chair, will they be able to get back down.
Most kids just want to be sure that they will be safe before attempting that first hesitant step.
Whether it is talking, crawling or walking, some babies will always think about safety before trying to become experienced in any first time activity.
When talking about strength it will be best if you think up of anybody in your family who is an athlete or a music player; specifically gifted kids tend to exhibit their innate abilities at the age of 1.
So if a child starts to develop speaking capabilities at a very tender age, he/she will most likely end up becoming a talented actor or writer.
Kids who develop walking abilities at an early age may become athletes.
But remember that children who tend to blossom a bit later than normal can also equally achieve such capabilities at later stages.
In no way should they be considered weaker than others.
Kids who have older brothers or sisters tend to achieve their goals sooner than expected because they look up to their siblings and try to rival them. So they try and try hard to keep up.
But it could also mean the reverse, children who have older brothers or sisters also tend to develop their gross motor skills a bit late, for example if they let their older siblings help them with picking up stuff or feeding themselves.
Babies Body Type
Babies who are big in size might naturally face difficulties in trying to walk or crawl simply because of their weight. Babies who have big heads in comparison to their bodies also display a delayed response in gross motor skills.
Babies who are born prematurely also take a bit longer than others to develop gross motor skills.
They usually accomplish their milestones by the age of 2. According to research, many pediatricians say that when observing a premature baby’s motor skill development the counting should start from the date the baby was supposed to be born, not the date he was actually born.
For example, if a baby is born 3 months before due then it should be anticipated that the baby’s motor skill development may be delayed by 3 months.
Ways to Administer Help
If you notice that your child is a bit behind schedule in displaying walking or talking abilities then do not be alarmed as there are plenty of things you can do to help the child attain his progress.
First of all, you need to let your baby know that you will always be there for help.
Especially if the kid is extremely careful about how he goes about doing his thing.
Offer him your hand and encourage him to hold on and to stay close by when attempting to walk.
Praise him for a job well done.
If your baby tries hard to do something, praise him and keep on encouraging him to do more.
Form a routine with your child, play with him more and scatter his favorite play toys around so that he manages to crawl and get them if he wants to play with them.
Also make sure to feed your baby on time so that he starts to develop his gross motor skills along with muscles in his tiny arms and legs.
It is also important to provide your child with an energizing and invigorating environment in the house.
Make sure that everything is safe when playing with your baby.
Childproofing the areas where a baby can easily move around and grab stuff randomly without the risk of getting hurt does wonders for developing gross motor skills.
But, first just observe your kid when he’s playing with regular stuff around the house such as an empty box, wooden spoons and etc.
Delay in Milestone
There is no need to panic if you see that your child has mastered one milestone but has not yet shown signs of accomplishing another.
This probably means that he is a late bloomer; developing gross motor skills is a gradual process.
Many babies even directly start walking before even attempting to crawl.
Usually kids who display signs of delayed development physically also show various problems that they go through in controlling their body.
3-month old show improper control of the head, weak posture of the body, limping, rigid limbs, bending the back and using only one side to crawl.
Apart from these physical symptoms of poor gross motor skills you must also observe your child’s behavior, observe whether or not he smiles, or displays irritation to something or throws tantrums quite often.
Other symptoms include feeding difficulties by the age of 3 months.
By 6 months of age a child may also develop problems including gagging, spitting food out and choking.
5 Early Warnings that Your Child May Experience Problems in Developing Gross Motor Skills
Thus far it is clear that babies have their own rate of development both physically and mentally.
While some babies are faster at developing their gross motor skills, others tend to be a bit late.
However with this being said it will still be a good idea if you get an appointment with your pediatrician if you observe the following delays in motor skill development in your infant:
Your Baby has very little Muscles in his Limbs
Many babies develop what is known as hypotonia at the ages of 6 months.
Hypotonia is a clinical condition in which a baby very slowly develops the muscles around his limbs and neck.
Hypotonia is sometimes harmless and can be dealt with by administering proper care but other times this condition can lead to serious health difficulties such as muscular dystrophy.
Babies who have hypotonia will always tend to be soft and mushy as compared to the babies who are stiff and firm, this is due to the fact that the baby has very little muscles surrounding his limbs.
Due to hypotonia babies may face difficulties like crawling, walking and running, which in turn would lead to poor development of gross motor skills in their tiny bodies.
The best way to prevent this from happening is keeping the baby well nourished and physically fit.
The Baby is Rigid
Symptoms that are on an opposite extreme to that of hypotonia are also signs of delayed gross motor skills.
Some babies feel unusually stiff and rigid when you touch them; the reason for this is another condition which babies tend to suffer from, called hypertonia.
When your baby’s muscles begin to shrink, it is an indication of hypertonia.
Sometimes hypertonia is harmless and can be overcome by proper physical conditioning of the baby but other times it is considered to be a symptom leading to a disease called ‘Spastic Cerebral Palsy’ which causes serious delays in motor skills development in the baby.
Your Baby is taking far Longer to Walk than usual.
Though parents should be fairly concerned when they see that their baby is not walking when he should be, it is still no cause for panic.
Babies have their own development process and take their time to do things.
Some excel at this while others just slowly and gradually begin to stand up and walk.
There are many healthy babies who begin to walk when they are 18 months old.
However it is still better to be safe than sorry, so schedule an appointment with your pediatrician every now and then.
Half of your Baby’s Body is Strongly Favored than the Other Half
It is normal for babies to favor their right hands and not their left.
This normally begins to happen after your baby’s first and or second birthday.
You may have noticed why many people are right handed and some are left handed.
This tendency is formed at the very early stages of infancy when the child is just a couple of years old.
However if you notice that your baby is favoring one part of his body over the other from a very early age, before he is even 1, then your baby may have condition known as hemiplegia.
Hemiplegia causes considerable gross motor skills weaknesses in the body’s one half.
Your Baby is losing his Gross Motor Skills
If you notice that your baby is not doing as much crawling, sitting, walking or smiling as he used to some time ago then it is probably best that you get him evaluated by a pediatrician as soon as possible.
These signs may mean that your baby is progressing very poorly in terms of his gross motor skills development and could be susceptible to fatal diseases such a brain tumors and cancers.
These diseases can harm the developmental process of the infant considerably, leaving him helpless when he starts to grow.
It is crucial that you take your baby for monthly check ups to an expert pediatrician who can evaluate whether or not your baby is developing gross motor skills.
You need to be very careful when monitoring your baby and have to be mindful of any early symptoms pertaining to his motor development.
Before you decide about whether to help your child prepare for the CogAT, it’s important to ask the school some questions.
Depending on your unique situation, some questions to ask include the following:
1. Why are they having students take the CogAT?
At my children’s former school in the Midwest, every student in kindergarten and fourth grade took the test.
While in kindergarten, my son tested in the 98 – 99th percentile in all three sections of the test. We received a letter that he scored high enough for the gifted/talented program; however, there wasn’t a program at the school, so it didn’t matter.
However, when we moved to Colorado, those scores carried over so that when he was in second grade at his new school, he was accepted into their gifted program.
He didn’t need to retest to qualify.
It was different for the fourth graders in that Midwestern school. Their CogAT results mattered.
If students scored well on the fourth grade CogAT test, they would be placed in a “fast track” program for fifth grade, at the intermediate school.
A high enough score on the CogAT would have very positive ramifications for the students as they would be in a higher track surrounded with students who are on grade level and above.
Choose the one where you believe your child shows the most knowledge/skills in and is most comfortable during the practice workbooks and practice tests.
It will be especially helpful to just focus on one area if time is an issue and if the test is just weeks away.
4. Can they retest?
Is there a limit to how many times they can test?
Be sure to include this in your list of questions to ask the school before the CogAT.
Does the school administer the test yearly? For all students? If your child takes the CogAT and scores very well, will he or she have to take it again?
If you child “makes it into the special program,” does he/she have to test in again yearly or is he/she automatically in it?
Will your child have a chance to retake certain parts of the CogAT if he scored lower than the other parts?
At my children’s current K – 6 school, administrators told us different things. One time, the gifted teacher told me students can take it again after a year but only up to three times in their time there.
However, after my older child took the test, the teacher told him he could try again in two years.
Unless your school district has a set plan in place, this is arbitrary. In our school, it seems the enrichment gifted teacher makes the rules.
It may also depend on how full their gifted classes are.
5. If my child’s CogAT score is high enough, what program will he/she be in?
In the case at my children’s first school, administrators used the CogAT to place students in the faster paced program for fifth grade.
At my kids’ current school, the students leave their regular class to meet with the gifted teacher by grade.
There are three sections to the CogAT test.
Depending on the number of sections the child scored high enough in (at least 96% in one section, and then 93% or higher in one or two sections) students leave class that number of times to meet with the gifted teacher.
In his enrichment class, my second grader learned to play chess, solved tangram puzzles, and played math games.
Schools use CogAT results differently
Another example of a school using the CogAT:
A friend who resides in Iowa said her elementary-aged children take the test every year.
If students score high enough, they are placed into the fast-track classroom, a few weeks ahead of the other classes in that grade.
A third example of how a school uses the CogAT:
A friend in Oregon said their elementary school sent a flyer home about their enrichment/gifted program.
In that school, a child’s parent or teacher recommends he/she takes the test.
If the child passes with a high enough score, (95% or higher) they leave school on Friday afternoon, once a month.
The students take a school bus to one of the district’s elementary schools. Elementary school students from the district meet for a two and a half hour enrichment session.
It is imperative you understand how your child will benefit if he/she scores high enough.
6. What CogAT form will your school use?
If you can get the answer to this question, this will make a big difference. However, if there is one question to skip, this is it.
This question will make it look like you know what you are talking about. You may not want to give that impression.
Feel free to skip this question and prep using CogAT Form 7.
Our current school isn’t well-funded and doesn’t have a set gifted curriculum or test process in place. Teachers “suggest” certain students take the CogAT. They use an outdated CogAT version, Form 6.
For sure, in third grade tests and higher, one of the math sections is different.
Before helping my child prep for the CogAT, I specifically asked the teacher which form they were using.
She said, “I cannot answer that question.” Again, despite trying to be subtle and act like I didn’t know much about the test, she wouldn’t answer.
They don’t want kids to have an advantage by prepping. This makes sense.
So be prepared to not get an answer.
But if you feel comfortable, try to work this question in when it’s appropriate. The answer is VERY important, especially for kindergarten, first and second grades.
Here’s one example of why it matters:
My second grader was testing in the CogAT Verbal and Quantitative sections.
I had him practice the regular second grade tests, CogAT Form 6 and CogAT Form 7. Little did I know the test he was taking was read aloud by the teacher and contained pictures instead of words for the Verbal section.
This was disappointing because the point in having him practice the sample tests was so that he would be familiar with the format of the test.
The tests he took were completely different from what we practiced.
Why are there different versions?
Based on the schools we were in, it seems the school districts with more money — aka the ones that are better funded — will have the most up-to-date version of the test.
So that would be Form 7 and not Form 6. Also, if they rely on the CogAT results for placing the students, they will likely be using Form 7.
At our (well-funded) school in the Midwest, all of the kindergarten and fourth grade students in the entire district took the CogAT. They mailed the test results to parents and guardians months later.
At our much smaller and not-as-well funded school in Colorado, only certain children took the test. Additionally, the gifted teacher graded the tests BY HAND. In this instance, they didn’t have funds to upgrade to the latest CogAT version.
If you can’t find out which version the school administers, access both CogAT Form 6 and CogAT Form 7 practice questions.
Review them in advance. Then, you can present them logically and straightforwardly in a zero stress environment when you work with your child.
Your child will have had experience working out all the different types of problems.
7. What grades will take the test? Does everyone take it or only certain students?
When we lived in the Midwest, all the students in the grades K and 4th took the tests.
At our school in Colorado, the only students who take the test are the students that the teacher recommends. A parent can also request their child take the test but this is not widely known or advertised.
8. What is the date (or dates) your child will take the CogAT?
This will enable you to know how much time you have to prepare and if it will be worth it.
It will also enable you to be sure your child has enough sleep leading up to the test and especially the night before the test. (You don’t want to stress your child out!)
It will also enable you to be sure your child has a healthy breakfast and lunch those days.
When my child took the CogAT in kindergarten, I had no idea he even took the test until we received the results in the mail.
At a minimum, it would have been good to have had made sure he had enough sleep, etc. in the days leading up to the test.
Talk to your child’s teacher about the CogAT test
If possible, find out from your child’s teacher any additional information about your child and the CogAT.
Does the teacher see certain qualities in your child that leads him/her to believe your child will excel in one or more parts of the CogAT?
If so, it might be worth your time to focus just on one section of the test.
This way, you will be focusing on only those three parts instead of all three sections and all nine parts.
After you have answers to these questions, you need to process and really think about your child.
Is your child competitive?
Will he/she enjoy a challenge?
Will your child be willing to sit down and learn about the types of questions on the CogAT and take a few sample questions?
Is there a gifted program or separate track or other way your child will benefit from a high score on the CogAT or is the test just a formality?
How will you and/or your child will feel if he/she doesn’t get into the special program?
What to ask at school about the CogAT
Is this a program that will change your child’s entire track or experience?
This is significantly different than it if it will only be an enhancement to what they are already learning.
If your child will be pulled out of class for a special gifted session, what will your child miss?
How will that affect your child, and how will you feel about that?
Sections of the CogAT
The CogAT has three sections, (Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal) usually each administered on a different day.
Each section includes three parts.
Research some sample questions to know what each of these sections and parts entail.
If you find your child has a particular interest or strength, you may want to get a CogAT workbook and just study those questions.
CogAT Verbal section:
CogAT Quantitative section:
CogAT Nonverbal section:
Questions to ask the school about the CogAT
Whether or not to prepare your child for the CogAT depends on many factors.
It’s important to learn as much as you can before your child takes the test.
In addition to workbooks, a valuable option is to purchase a month or longer access to a testing site. We used one to familiarize our kids with the CogAT and it was immensely helpful. You can print out the tests for multiple grades and access them whenever you want.
After you gather the information about CogAT test from ordering workbooks online or from an online practice test service, make an appointment to talk with someone at your child’s school.
After your meeting and based on what you learn, you can make an informed decision about how to help your child prep for the test.
It is so important to know the questions to ask the school before the CogAT so that you can make the best decisions for your child.
It can be very stressful for your child and for you, so get information first.
At a minimum, find out if this is a once-a-year test for all students. In this way, if you aren’t happy your child’s scores, you can help them prepare for the next time.
Trading cards for kids are fun, developmentally appropriate, and a worthwhile experience for kids. Kids can learn so many lessons and stay off of electronics in the process.
Luckily, there are many different types of trading cards that may appeal to your children. Kids become interested in trading cards for different reasons.
Many kids get “into” cards because of their peers.
Kids might be talking about Pokemon cards — see an example — on the bus or football cards at recess or lunch at school.
Yes, it’s tempting to try to let your child’s interest pass before letting them amass a collection; however, there are so many wonderful things about collecting these types of cards.
Advantages of trading cards for kids
For one, it gives kids something in common with kids they might not have been friends with before.
When children can bond over trading football or baseball cards, they expand their social circles and get to know kids they might not have had anything in common with before.
Second, kids learn responsibility and to care for their collection. They may start being interested in earning money to buy cards.
Even better, it gives them something to do – besides electronics – as they get older.
Kids enjoy sorting and organizing their cards and playing games with them. They are every easy to bring along on car rides.
Kids enjoy making up games with Pokemon cards, Yi-Gi-Oh cards, and Magic: The Gathering cards and/or learning the actual rules to these games. Like with playing board games, they will learn critical thinking skills, taking turns, and strategy.
They will learn point values and important math skills.
Another benefit for starting a card collecting hobby is there are low barriers to entry. Trading cards are inexpensive and can be stored in a box already at home.
If they get more serious about collecting cards, they can get a special box or use a binder with some plastic trading sleeves.
They also don’t take up a lot of room and are portable.
How many trading cards do you need
Most packs of trading cards cost around four dollars. If your child saved money or received a pack or two of cards they are interested in, you can see how likely it will be they are interested in them.
However, much like with many developmental toys, Lego building, Trio, Zoob, Lincoln Logs, etc., more means more fun.
Think of it this way, if your child has 50 Lego bricks, he/she can only do so much with them. However, with 2,000, there are many more possibilities.
It’s the same with trading cards for kids.
So while your child may own a pack of Pokemon cards with 10 cards, it will be exponentially more fun with 50 – 100+.
Set your kids up for success by allowing them to have a system that works for storing the cards.
You may have to use trial and error to see what works best for the way in which your kids use their cards.
You will want to consider tins, boxes, and binders. Whatever system you and your child choose, it has to work for him/her.
Will your child be bringing the cards in the car?
Will he want to spread them out to play or will it be better to organize them in a binder?
Tins: If your child gets a Pokemon tin, that’s a great place to store scores of cards.
Shoe box: A shoe box or other box is handy.
Plastic trading card box:
A plastic box made to carry and store trading cards is a great way to store, sort, protect and access cards.
It will protect them from spills and make it easy to tote in the car, to stack evenly in a closet, etc. It even has a carrying handle.
The best box we’ve found is a small plastic box that holds 1,100 cards (here it is).
It has five dividers and is great for a large collection or to house multiple collections.
These boxes are made for trading cards and are great for storing and sorting.
Oftentimes, my kids put several different types of cards in the box to take with them in the car to sort, discuss, trade and play with.
3-ring binder with trading sleeves:
You can buy a specialty trading card binder or use one you already have.
The important thing is the plastic trading card pages which hold all types of standard trading cards, nine to a page.
These pages have sleeves which fit all regular-sized baseball, football, basketball cards, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon cards, etc. You can find them at Target or Walmart.
Trading cards go in and out of popularity
The fact that cards will be “in” and then “out” is something to know and expect. Try not to be upset with your kids when they put their once-loved trading cards aside.
It’s like with anything else: Your child will be interested in things more at certain times and less at other times.
It may well depend on what their peers are interested in at school.
The difference with Pokemon cards and football cards, etc. is that usually they will come back “in” again.
Depending on the age your child starts to collect the cards will let you know how many more years you have left with them.
In our experience, it seems like most kids start aging out of Pokemon cards by third and fourth grade. Having said this, my boys would play them all day, so every child is different. (Update: my fifth and seventh graders pulled them out to play one summer day!)
There are teenagers who still enjoy them. However, the big talk at school will generally not include Pokemon trading as kids get into the older grades.
It seems that football cards start being popular when in kids are in 2nd grade. These seem more timeless as kids even in much older grades are still interested in them.
However, a difference with sports cards instead of Pokemon cards is that kids seem as happy with older Pokemon cards, even from their date of origin: 1995 (great to find at garage sales, Goodwill, etc.), but it seems with football and sports cards kids either like certain teams, certain types/brands of cards, and certain players. Often this includes current players.
Encourage your kids to keep their trading cards for later use or for when they are adults. They don’t take up room, and stored properly, they will last.
Trading cards for kids
Trading cards for kids can be a great developmental learning experience as your children get older.
Encourage your child’s card-acquiring interest, however short-lived.
Just as when they first decided they wanted to try t-ball or soccer, your child is learning more about the world and their place in it. Maybe collecting cards will be something they stay interested in and want to continue pursuing.
There isn’t much they need to get started.
Not only is it a timeless hobby, it keeps them off electronics.
Also, it will keep them occupied even as they age out of their toys. Remember to keep the cards for a few years even after your kids are done playing with them. Chances are, they will circle around to them again. I’m making my kids keep their cards for their kids!
The child shows the same behavior and way of communication with others; prefers to repeat one chosen action
Autistic children do not play with other kids and always prefer to arrange their toys in the same manner, always depending on the color
They are not afraid of surrounding, but do not want to change anything in their life.
They are so engrossed in their daily occupations, that changes seem to them as something unnatural
Autism manifests also in sleep disorders.
Autism may have mild and acute form.
Many children show autism like symptoms after they start going to school, but that’s normal.
The kid becomes accustomed to learning, new people and school atmosphere.
It is hard for any parent to understand the child and work with them.
Children with autism require even more care and attention, so raising an autistic child you need to follow some recommendations.
You can get such recommendations from a doctor and find peculiar book related to the theme of autism.
This will help you to change your life and the life of your child.
Autism as a Genetic Disease
As some neurological disorders can be associated with autism, the issue of whether autism is a genetic disease is very complicated.
It’s safe to say that such disorders as the syndrome of friable X-chromosome and multiple sclerosis are hereditary diseases.
The most recent researches have revealed that one of the causes of autism may be considered dysfunction of the site on chromosome 13.
In some families, autism is passed from generation to generation.
In other families, you cannot identify cases of autism in the past generations; however, it may be present in the child or his/her brothers and sisters.
The results of this study confirm that a gene of autism will be found soon.
However, many children, who suffer from autism, do not have close relatives with this illness.
The cause of autism may be the environment, such as the impact of harmful substances etc.
Diagnosis of Autism Symptoms
The main manifestations of autism are abnormal development or underdevelopment of a child, the inability of child to contact with the outside world and people, pathological forms of behavior, which are not typical for other children.
By three years, if a child is sick with autism, it would be clearly expressed.
In many cases, abnormalities in development might be not observed at first year of child’s life, but autism is expressed to three years, as it is told above.
If the speech is not developing or a child is not able to communicate with others by three years, we may suspect autism.
Diagnosing of this disease starts with a careful study of medical report and a medical examination of a patient.
The examination of a patient with autism should be made by a specialist, who not only knows autism, but also knows other similar disorders that can imitate the autism symptoms.
It is required to make neurological and psychological tests to determine the correct diagnosis.
For example, weakness and reduced reflexes on one side of the body may give the doctor quite exhaustive answer that a person likely has structural brain pathology and MRI is required.
The medical report of patient and thorough examination will help a doctor pinpoint the diagnosis of the disease and identify other possible disorders and diseases that largely cause the presence of autism in a patient.
A doctor should test ear of a child, who does not speak.
or normal development of speech process, a person needs to hear sounds of low and high frequencies.
Even if a reflex to turn the head to the side from where the sound comes is preserved (e.g. to hands clapping), speech is still may be undeveloped.
If the results of neurological examination are normal, it is usually not required to conduct computerized tomography and MRI.
However, if a doctor finds brain pathology during the neurological examination, it is necessary to conduct magnetic-resonance imaging.
Examination of an autistic person by a speech therapy is also very useful, because a doctor may define the speech disorders and prescribe appropriate treatment.
Causes of Autism
Autism appeared in the scientific literature as a mental disorder a few decades ago and for many years scientists study and identify the causes of this disease.
Scientists have not found still what causes autism.
However, autism is certainly a disorder of biological nature.
In support of the biological theory of autism, some experts have the opinion that various neurological disorders may accompany autism.
In this case, autism is a symptom of neurological malfunctions.
For example, such disorders may include multiple sclerosis (a genetic disorder), the syndrome of friable X-chromosome, Rett syndrome and some congenial defects associated with the metabolic processes in human body.
Autism may be the result of several neurological malfunctions that influence brain function and human development in general.
Genuine autism is rare.
Usually it is accompanied by other disorders or is a result of these disorders.
During the years of autism treatments scientists discovered that there is a link between epilepsy and autism.
This connection is expressed in two ways: first, many patients (20-30%) suffer from seizures.
Secondly, these patients with seizures may get autism as a result.
This sickness is often confused with Landau-Kleffner syndrome.
Acquired epileptic aphasia is another name for the syndrome.
Some children that have this syndrome may occasionally lose speech, especially receptive communication skills (ability to understand), often autism appears at the same time.
These children commonly have a peculiar result of EEG (recording of electrical brain signals), which corresponds to their behavior.
Loss of speech and other malfunctions, which occur because of this disease, occur at the age of 4, and therefore the described above rare syndrome is not difficult to distinguish from autism, which may be present from birth.
However, in recent years, scientist noticed that some children, who do not have seizures, have Landau-Kleffner syndrome.
The importance of the above information is that the Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) occurs spontaneously and in some cases it can be treated with corticosteroids.
The connection of this syndrome and autism leads to situations when people affected by autism should undergo electroencephalogram.
Pathological EEG can be identified when a person is asleep (it takes 12 hours).
Many children and adults perform abnormal EEG, but rarely anyone has the Landau-Kleffner syndrome.
We should underline that large doses of corticosteroids may induce side effects such as gain in weight, high blood pressure, diabetes, disorder of human growth, irritability, weakened immune system, ulcers in the mouth etc.
But the main amount of those side effects is reversible.
Other treatment methods may be also used.
They range from common anti-convulsants and to operation.
It is difficult to assess the effectiveness of the treatment of Landau-Kleffner syndrome because the symptoms of syndrome may spontaneously disappear.
As for autism symptoms, many children and adults may have something as a ritual.
Even such an action as having a bath may be very difficult for an autistic person: they demand a definite amount of water in the bath, exact water temperature, the same soap and towel, which were used by them earlier.
People often wrongly interpret autism. Allegations that autism can be fully cured you may hear in many families.
There are different models of autism treatment, which concern educational system in this area (to enlighten people) and the treatment itself.
Yet the most effective approach to treatment of this disorder is in education or human awareness about the disease.
There is a tendency to place children with autism in small classrooms, so that they are free from auditory and visual stimulation.
Some treatment ways are suitable for one patient, but do not fit others.
The effectiveness of many treatment methods has to be scientifically proven yet.
Treatment decisions are always made on an individual basis after careful evaluation of signs of autism.
These methods are based on the fact this treatment is appropriate for both the child and his/her family.
It is important to bear in mind, despite some recent denials, that autism is a condition, which requires constant treatment.
The treatment program may change with the development of an individual.
Families should beware of treatment programs that give false hope for healing.
Some drugs have been tried for the treatment of autism.
But there are no such drugs, which fully proved their effectiveness in autism treatment.
In the past, television showed a story about the hormone secretion, which supposedly helps in the treatment of autism.
Children, who constantly complained of chronic gastrointestinal diseases, presented evident improvement after they were injected this hormone during the research.
Parents of these children and doctors believed that the hormone promoted the treatment of autism.
Since then, many doctors began to prescribe this hormone as a treatment for autism.
We should note that this drug is very expensive.
However, published studies refute the fact that the hormone promotes the treatment of autism.
This example highlights the importance of good clinical researches with usage of autism symptoms checklist.
Treatment of autism involves a special diet that restricts reception of foods with high volume of gluten and casein and the use of drugs and sedatives.
In addition, there are a lot of techniques and developments nowadays aimed at the treatment or correction of autism.
For example, the therapy of communication helps develop a child’s independence and skills for social adaptation.
It also promotes the development of communication skills through sign language and other types of nonverbal communication.
Audio-vocal training and audio training, as well as the conflict therapy are aimed at adapting an autistic child.
The main method of conflict therapy is a forcible holding.
This method, proposed by M. Welch in 1983, is also called forcible support.
It performs forcible physical connection of a mother and child, because the absence of exactly this connection is considered to be the main disorder during autism.
Cognitive Testing ADHD Offers Level of Reliability
Cognitive Testing ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – receives much discussion and scrutiny.
The use of medication to treat ADHD in children probably receives the most attention in the realm of this sensitive subject.
Perhaps the second aspect of the condition, ranked in controversy order, is the diagnosis of ADHD.
Because there is no simple blood test or imaging proof, cognitive testing ADHD may take a variety of forms, and often several are given to arrive at a diagnosis.
Here’s what you need to know about cognitive testing ADHD.
Start with a physical exam
Just about all doctors will start their diagnosis with a physical examination of the child.
This is primarily to rule out other conditions that could be contributing to the child’s undesired behavior.
The exam may focus on hearing and seeing abilities to eliminate shortcomings in these senses.
The doctor may also question sleeping patterns and test for allergies.
Review the child’s behavior history
Once the probability of a physical disorder leading to the behavior issues has been eliminated, the second step in cognitive testing for ADHD is documentation.
The doctor may record a history of the child’s behavior.
The doctor will want the parents to note when the child exhibited ADHD behavior and ask for family circumstances that may have provoked or contributed to the actions.
Standards for a diagnosis
Doctor’s follow guidelines established by the American Psychiatric Association for making a diagnosis of ADHD.
There is an evaluation of symptoms, reviewing where and how often they occur in the absence of any other learning, emotional, or mental disorders.
Medical practitioners contrast these symptoms with what is considered normal for a child of the same age.
There are six symptoms that must have been observed over at least a six-month period for the diagnosis to be made.
Included in the list of symptoms for this cognitive testing ADHD are the inability to pay focused or long-lasting attention, the appearance of not listening even when being addressed directly, and the inability to complete assigned tasks.
To eliminate a setting bias, these symptoms must be observed in more than one environment.
Supplemental additional tests
There are other tests that some medical professionals choose to include when doing cognitive testing ADHD.
Some doctors may choose to perform a Connors Continuous Performance Test, which looks at both the ability to focus and the likelihood of impulsive.
Other doctors may request an IQ test for the child.
This is often given in the form of the WAIS-II, which measures the child’s cognitive abilities through a variety of information handled by the brain.
Summing the WAIS-II scores gives a measure of intelligence potential and determines the presence of a learning disability.
One of the best things to do early on is to document any of the situations you want to recall later.
Be sure to include what happened, along with the date and details as to the setting as well as the event that occurred.
So often we think we will remember the date or the context of a situation but it is far better to keep a log using the same notebook and keeping it in the same place for easy accessibility.
When you go to your appointments, you will be able to easily remember dates and occurrences, and it will help the professionals look for patterns of behavior, etc.
Be especially aware for changes of routines and while traveling with kids.
The reassurance is when the cognitive testing ADHD has been completed, there is a level of reliability in the diagnosis.
Until more sophisticated testing is available, parents of children can take heart that the tests that have been administered live up to the resources, while taking into consider the limits, of what today’s ADHD medical professionals, mental health professionals, and scientists have to offer.
The CogAT is the Cognitive Abilities Test. It’s an assessment test for K-12 students and measures their learned reasoning abilities.
My children have taken the CogAT multiple times, and I have lots of experience regarding this test.
The smartest, easiest, and best thing to do is to see how your child responds to the CogAT Prep Guides.
Order them, and then review them in advance, before you sit down with your child. Be sure you understand the types of questions first.
You can make this a fun time with you and your child, offering lots of encouragement.
You and your child will be able to see the the types of questions that are on the CogAT tests. It will be a huge advantage for your child to understand the types of questions before he sits down to actually take the test at school.
Reviewing the directions in advance will make a big difference for your child. When it’s time for your child to take the actual test, your child will recognize what he/she is supposed to do in each section.
It will ease test anxiety, save time, and make them feel much more confident.
There may be certain types of questions — verbal, non-verbal and/or quantitative — that your child really excels at.
These CogAT workbooks are great to have your child do over the summer and over winter break to keep their minds active.
Taking the CogAT
Knowing what to expect
Even if you aren’t sure if your kids will ever take the CogAT test, these workbooks and online tests all help to build critical thinking skills that will serve your children well beyond taking the test.
Many high schools require entrance and/or placement exams.
Having your fifth, sixth and seventh grader start becoming familiar with these types of questions, in a zero-stress, no rush situation (years before they will take the test) will help them as well.
What you MUST know about the CogAT
Most students will take all three categories of the CogAT.
Each of these three categories has three sections.
While the actual questions will change, the types of questions they will ask are always the same.
It is so very important for your child to know what they are supposed to do in each section.
In this way, they won’t waste valuable, limited time during the actual test trying to make sense of the directions.
Getting a CogAT workbook for their grade is a great way for them to see the types of questions in advance.
Two examples of questions in the Quantitative section:
Example for the third grade CogAT Quantitative Relations section
Students will see two number choices or problems.
They will need to compare both and decide if one is greater than the other or if they are equal.
4 + 1
5 – 0
A. 1 is greater than 2
B. 2 is greater than 1
C. 1 is equal to 2
Answer: C. 1 is equal to 2
There will be an entire section on this type of question.
This might be confusing for students when they are first encountering it on test day.
It will be crucial for your child to understand what they need to do.
You can use the free CogAT sample questions. It’s worth it to buy a workbook.
They will help your child be more prepared. These practice tests will give your child an idea of how to answer the questions.
Students do not have a lot of time during the actual test to figure it out.
When kids take the practice tests, even over the span of days, weeks or months, they will at least know, “Okay, this is the section where I need to do (this).”
Then they can spend their time answering the questions instead of trying to decipher what they are supposed to do.
Gifted programs at school
If you can’t decide if you should let your child take the CogAT, you must find out why the school administers the test.
Specifically: What happens if your child “passes” the test? What happens if they don’t?
School districts across the country use the CogAT in different ways:
Some administer the test as just another standardized test, and the results won’t have any bearing on where the students are placed.
Other schools use it to find the students with the high scores and them pull them out for enrichment. As an example, the select students might miss a session of math each week (with their usual teacher) to pursue more in-depth math concepts and projects in a smaller group.
Other districts and schools use it to put students on a completely different track — more accelerated learning — for all subjects.
These are all very different things.
The CogAT results may have a huge impact on your child’s enrichment opportunities.
Therefore, it is critical to know how the CogAT tests will affect your child.
Its primary goal is the assessment of what reasoning abilities students have acquired but it also provides predicted achievement scores. Authored by University of Iowa professor emeritus David F. Logman, the CogAT is not a test of a student’s IQ, albeit there is a known correlation between a student’s performance and his/her innate ability.
The CogAT is important to educators to help them make informed decisions on student placements for their talented and gifted programs.
The CogAT is given in levels as three test batteries that focus on the mentioned areas.
It can be conducted either in part or in whole but the comprehensive assessment of a student is based on all three.
Should I Let My Child Take the CogAT Test?
Is the CogAT Intelligence Testing?
Contrary to what most people think, the CogAT is not a test to gauge how intelligent a student is; it measures his/her reasoning ability.
Neither does the CogAT measure a student’s speed in processing information, the amount of knowledge that he/she has retained or other components that are directly linked to an IQ appraisal.
The CogAT is not a measure of the child’s innate ability mainly because the ability to reason is learned.
But while the CogAT is not, in any way, an IQ test, a CogAT score is acceptable for admission to Mensa, the world’s largest and oldest high IQ society, whose members score 98th percentile or even higher on a supervised intelligence test.
Mensa requires a CogAT with a CSI or SAS score of 132.
The Johns Hopkins University program for talented and gifted young people requires a 95% score on a CogAT.
Northwestern University, meanwhile, accepts CogAT scores which are above 90%. IQ is measured statistically by test scores.
Intelligence and cognitive ability may be related and even intertwine, but they are really not the same.
Cognitive abilities are mental processes using skills that are brain-based to carry out tasks and have more to do with the mechanisms of learning, remembering, and paying attention rather than actual knowledge that was learned.
CogAT isn’t an IQ test
A lot of parents interpret the CogAT wrongly as an IQ test which is designed to gauge the general ability of the individual to solve given problems as well as understand concepts.
A high score on an IQ test does not necessarily ensure success in academics or even the workplace.
There are two kinds of norms used by the CogAT for test scores: grade norms and age norms.
Grade norms make a comparison of a student’s performance and the performances of other students in the same grade.
Age norms, on the other hand, compares a student’s performance with other students of the same age.
The span of age norms is between four years old and 11 months and 18 years old wherein students are typically grouped in intervals of one month.
Using age norms has proven to be more accurate in the assessment of students who are either old or very young for their grade levels.
The raw score of the CogAT is initially calculated with a tally of the total of correctly-answered questions.
The raw score is converted using the Universal Scale Scores (USS) for each battery test.
Calculation is then used to determine percentile rank, stanine score, and the SAS, short for Standard Age Score.
The increasing number of children whose parents want them in gifted programs has made the CogAT a challenge to take.
Can this test’s results contradict a student’s performance?
Yes and no.
Yes, if the student scores a passing grade and makes it to the program.
If the student fails to make the grade, it can discourage him/her because of frustration.
The trick is to prepare the child for CogAT.
There are several websites that offer comprehensive packages of practice tests that resemble the questions of the CogAT.
CogAT practice test
Additionally, your child’s school can suggest the best CogAT practice tests.
Cognitive ability can predict academic success, not contradict it.
Both parental involvement and expectations, however, play a key role in academic achievement as well.
There are several factors that influence a student’s academic performance:
Socio-economic status (SES)
Cognitive psychologists have now identified several aspects of cognitive abilities – including how efficiently a student processes information, how much of this information can be processed simultaneously, how much of it can be retained in the mind, and how well new problems are solved – that can either encourage or constrain learning.
One has to understand the direct relationship between a student’s cognitive development and his/her academic performance, especially the cognitive ability of perceptual reasoning, reading fluency, mental arithmetic, and reading comprehension.
Should every child take the CogAT test?
A child’s cognitive ability influences academic performance; it does not contradict it.
In fact, a high CogAT score may translate to high academic performance, whether or not they are considered “gifted” or “talented.”
Should your child take the CogAT?
For all intents and purposes, yes.
If your child has a high capacity for crystallized knowledge, taking the CogAT will further enhance it.
Crystallized knowledge is acquired knowledge such as arithmetic and vocabulary.
If your child has a high capacity for fluid knowledge, the CogAT can determine the extent with which your child can solve new problems.
Kids acquire fluid knowledge by understanding abstract reasoning.
This includes solving problems like identifying patterns and making extrapolations without basing the solutions on acquired factual knowledge.
Students with strong fluid skills have the advantage to acquire crystallized knowledge.
Cognitive ability has an innate component. Students can learn the majority of cognitive skills.
Cognitive ability enables the student to process sensory information that he/she collects to evaluate, analyze, and retain, make comparisons, determine action, and recall experiences.
You can let your child take the CogAT test to find out if he/she can place into a gifted program.
It is worth a try.
If they don’t get it, you can use their test results to see their strengths and build on them.
These abilities are in the areas of verbal, non-verbal, and quantitative reasoning.
Should I have my child take the CogAT test?
Another practical option is to use an online subscription to a site which gives you access to the grade level CogAT test you need.
This is a good option if you want to have access to different grade level tests. This is important if you have more than one child or if you want to see a larger range of questions.
As an example, if you have a second grader, you can easily access the first grade and second grade level CogAT tests. Your child will get to see more practice questions this way.
We have used an online service with great success. We like it because we’ve had access to all the CogAT tests as well as other learning tools and websites.
Whether you choose workbooks or access the questions online, you can calmly go over the questions together.
If you choose to use the online testing site, you can always print out the questions and then use them whenever you want. This means you can purchase access for a month online, and print them out for now and for future grades. In this way, you can use them when you want.
Educational games are not simply for entertainment but are helpful in honing a child’s abilities in learned reasoning.
Information on why and how such games are an effective preparation for the Cognitive Abilities Test, or CogAT for short.
This test assess a student’s reasoning abilities not only with learning but with problem solving.
A child’s reasoning abilities are important in or out of the academe.
CogAT measures three major domains which are linked to success in academics and help educators as well in decisions on student placements such as expansion of educational opportunities and, in some states, selection of students for talented and gifted programs.
Because educational games are specifically designed with learning in mind, they can not only help a child expand concepts, understand sequences, and reinforce mind development but help him or her learn certain skills while at play.
Board and card games and puzzles are traditional educational games benefit a child’s psychological need.
Perhaps the best DIY educational game of all time, LEGO teaches a child how imagination can make even the smallest parts be important in the overall scheme of things.
Few educational games have retained their original charm but LEGO remains on top of the charts with its simple block colors and sizes for creation of almost anything, from houses to robots to cars and trains.
Developed by engineer Debbie Sterling to inspire future female engineers, Goldie Blox educational game is really a toy that taps into a female child’s spatial and verbal skills that enable them to create and invent.
It features a smart girl named Goldie in a book which accompanies this STEM-inspired construction toy.
The learner helps Goldie in problem-solving through building things.
Young children and teens construct a jelly tower that should be wide or high enough in order to reach the checkpoint of a certain height.
The challenge is to build a Jelly Tower structure that will be sufficiently sturdy from the ground and up with the use of few jellies as much as possible.
This educational game teaches the learner physics by means of simple and uncomplicated terms such as the law of gravity.
Ello Creation System
This one engages young girls (between 5 and 14) in construction. Ello Creation System has incorporated traditional elements such as crafts with customization and beading, panels and shapes in colorful palettes, a building process that is intuitive and flexible, and a variety of themes for girls to create buildings, characters, decorative accessories, jewelry, and anything else they want or imagine.
Each set has 30 to a hundred plastic pieces of animals which a child can snap together to create actual animals like a dinosaur or cat.
The pieces can be rearranged so as to for various fantasy creatures such as a horse-dinosaur-bird-cat.
Each of Zoomorphs set’s pieces are also interchangeable with pieces from other sets which result in nearly limitless possibilities for a child’s imagination to create.
This marble roller coaster building set allows the user to make his or her roller coaster by following instructions provided with the construction kit.
The DIY feature of SpaceRail has always enthralled users since it first came out.
The goal of this educational toy is to ensure that he or she has assembled good quality tracks so the marbles run smoothly and glide evenly.
More information about Educational Space Rail Roller Coaster
Consisting of several metal beams that have regular holes, the Erector Set can be assembled using bolts and nuts and includes other parts like gears, small electric motors, pulleys, and wheels.
With these educational games and toys, the learner or student acquires skills in figure classifications, quantitative reasoning, matrices, and problem-solving which are needed to pass the CogAT.
You may not see games or toys as educational at first glance, but going into the details of they are created, improvised, enhanced or improved, you will realize how they can be useful.
Importance of educational games
In recent years, however, the range of educational games has widened and now includes constructing kits such as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) toys.
Educational games, fidget tools, and magnetic toys meet learning needs with creativity, structure, passionate involvement, motivation, adrenaline, social interaction, gratification, a sense of accomplishment, emotional fulfillment, and fun and enjoyment.
What is CogAT?
Published by Riverside Publishing, CogAT, as mentioned, is an assessment of problem solving and reasoning abilities of a child through verbal, non-verbal, and quantitative questions.
Each district or school uses its own criteria for admission to advanced or gifted programs for selected students.
The formats of CogAT depend on the child’s age and come distinctly and independently from each other.
The Primary Format is conducted orally for early elementary students to avoid penalizing younger children who may not read as fluently as the older ones while the Multi-Level Format CogAT is used for assessing the abilities of older students.
There are also variations in Forms 6 and 7 of CogAT which parents should be aware of.
Different CogAT Versions
Reasoning has always been synonymous with both problem-solving and learning and CogAT measures the domains mentioned in order to have a balanced perspective in obtaining a child’s potential for success in the academe.
Although CogAt Form 6 is continued to be used, most schools have already transitioned to the 7th edition or Form 7 of CogAT.
The main differences between the two forms include:
Questions for the primary level – kindergarten up to 2nd grade – are now picture-based instead of word based.
There are now questions for figural analysis included for kindergarten level.
Riverside Publishing released the new CogAT Form 7 in July 2011 with modifications.
The overall changes of this new version were made to make the test as fair as possible to students of the English Language Learner or ELL program.
One major change between Forms 6 and 7 is the level identification.
In Form 6, Primary K, 1 or 2 was taken by younger children.
Older students took the Multi-Level versions from 3 to 12. In Form 7, however, the tests have been designed to correspond primarily to the age of the child who regardless of grade level.
Additionally, children who take CogAT during the school year’s latter part will have the Fall CogAT version which has comparatively more difficult questions than that of the Spring version.
CogAT Verbal Reasoning for 3rd Graders and Up
CogAT’s Verbal Reasoning section for 3rd Graders and up, for instance, measures academic skills such as verbal classification, sentence completion, verbal analogy, and verbal reasoning that are emphasized in elementary.
To give you an idea of what the actual CogAT will be like, take a look at some of the general descriptions of each measurement:
Sentence is given to a student for completion with one word taken out.
The student chooses the word in a multiple choice setting to complete the sentence sensibly.
For the sentence “Apples _______ on trees,” the choices are grow, bloom, fall, spread, and show.
The answer is “grow.”
Three words are given to the student, the first two of which go together.
The student must choose a word so that the third word goes in the same way the second word does with the first.
One example is this: new is to old as wet is to _______.
The choices include rain, hot, dry, sun, and drip (the answer is dry).
List with three words is given to the student who will choose one word from five that may be alike in the same way.
Displayed words, for example, are Green Blue Red with choices such as color, paint, yellow, crayon, and rainbow (the answer is color).
Practice CogAT Test
For 5th and 6th Graders, Levels 11 and 12 in the practice test for CogAt Form 7 includes 176 questions, each with an answer key, covering verbal, non-verbal, and quantitative sections.
Verbal assessment includes verbal analogies, verbal classifications, and sentence completion.
For the quantitative section, there are number analogies, number series, and number puzzles.
Non-verbal reasoning is done through figure matrices, figure classifications, and paper folding.
Non-verbal reasoning is the most challenging test a child can take. These activities have little relation to formal instruction students learn in the classroom.
It requires no prior knowledge or reading and may use purely figures and shapes for the student to work on.
Benefits of Educational Games
Although games play a significant role both in informal and non-formal learning segments, they are still considered non-serious activities by formal education.
This seems unfortunate because of the great potentials of educational games which often provide effective opportunities for learning in a non-traditional way.
Educational games offer learning more by experience than by studying.
They also provide students such experiences which can be used in response to many different challenges. These games create opportunities applicable to the real world.
Educational games not only support learning processes but also facilitate these in a more enjoyable and faster manner.
Why do some education specialists choose to teach with games?
We all play games for the fun and enjoyment. However, there are also other reasons. Each one is different from the next. Yet, the best games have education as an underlying main purpose.
How we look at them as students and teachers from different learning perspectives make their contextual results varied.
Benefits of educational games
From a learner’s viewpoint, for instance, educational games may mean:
Having fun in playing while learning at the same time.
Taking a challenge and surpassing expectations.
Achieving better scores, ratings or points.
Getting the chance to experiment and see the outcome.
Resolving conflict situations.
Trying out several roles.
For teachers, educational games are a way to reach new generations of learners with mediums they are comfortable and familiar with from childhood.
Educational games can introduce new learning skills that raise interest and increase motivation. These factors offer yet another opportunity to communicate and interact.
Game-based learning has the following specific benefits:
Engagement and motivation are learned in a positive manner.
Different skills are acquired securely in a contextual environment.
The basic eye-hand coordination is followed by complex skills such as problem-solving, strategic thinking, communication, collaboration, and social skills.
Learning is defined by doing, participation, creativity, and experimentation.
There is a plethora of games that may be used in a learning context but how does a parent choose which game for the child?
The primary question is: what do we want the child to learn?
The choice of the educational game – or toy, for that matter – depends on what the learning objective is.
The improvement of factual knowledge, for instance, should have quiz games.
If the learning objected is social interaction, a game that requires several players is applicable.
For an educational game to be effective, there should be a linkage between action and subsequent feedback.
This enables the student or learner to assess his or her performance level. It also teaches him or her how to improve on it.
A good educational game should be able to provide a challenge that can match the learner’s skill level for him or her to master before going on to the next stage.
When the student or learner is able to evaluate his or her taken course of action and decision in playing an educational game, his or her skill continues to be enhanced.
Introducing new and unexpected activities within the game then serves as a motivation to acquire new knowledge and skills sets.
Motivation is especially successful when learning is by the constructivist theory.
CogAT Sample Questions – When it comes to timed tests like the CogAT, it’s always a good idea for young students to get familiar with the type of questions they will likely face.
CogAT prep young students can minimize the intimidation factor, and also alleviate any concerns as to what kinds of answers are correct.
Children who are in kindergarten or first grade may already be familiar with school tests.
For the most part, the quizzes and tests they take in class are designed to see what the child has learned. Because of this, a child can review for the test by reading their books and trying to memorize facts or math techniques.
But the CogAT is a different kind of test.
It doesn’t really try to discover how much kids have already learned. Instead, it tries to measure a child’s ability to reason.
Because of this distinction, many experts discourage extensive reviews for very young children (kindergarten and first grade level). It shouldn’t be about the child’s ability to memorize answers to the CogAT sample questions.
So take the time to consider workbooks, flashcards and anything you can do to review the CogAT sample test.
Importance of CogAT Test Sample Materials
For some people, trying to help kindergartners and first graders do well in the CogAT may smack of overkill. This may be true, in a way.
Some parents just really want their kids to excel, and preparing for the CogAT may seem excessive.
But at the same time, the CogAT may determine your child’s academic curriculum.
Many schools these days use tests like CogAT to find out which kids can enter a Gifted and Talented (GT) program. Many intelligent kids will benefits greatly from these types of educational instruction, but there may only be a few slots.
What’s more, your child may be overlooked as unsuitable for these programs because of low CogAT scores when your child is highly intelligent and creative.
There are several ways to prepare. But essentially, children should be familiar with the process so that their confusion or anxiety will not affect their CogAT scores.
That’s how the CogAT test sample questions work. They expose the child to the type of questions they will encounter, so that the child can be familiar as to the kind of answer expected.
These CogAT test sample questions are not meant to be memorized.
The preparation can be fun for children, but it should also not interfere with the child’s other normal activities, such as sports or doing their homework.
By getting a good score on the CogAT, your gifted child may be able to take advantage of more creative and more in-depth teaching methods that are more fun and more effective for exceptional children.
CogAT Sample Test Questions
Here are some appropriate CogAT test sample questions for your young child to practice on. Just remember to read the questions for the child, just as they would in the real CogAT.
These are the questions which emphasize a word, and then the child needs to pick the picture or pictures which show the meaning of the word.
For example, a question may be: Which of these pictures are identical?
If your child knows the meaning of the word “identical” then they would pick the two pictures which look exactly the same among the answer options.
Another possible question is: Which picture shows a peel?
The right answer may be the one with the banana peeled halfway.
Finally, there’s the question: Which one is upside down?
And the right answer is a turtle that’s lying upside down on its shell.
The right answers here define a key word in the questions.
As you can see, it may not be possible to memorize every word that a gifted first grader may be expected to recognize.
But by encountering questions like these in their preparations, the child may have a better idea of how to answer the question.
Some questions may be about how words are related to each other.
For example, here is a sample item.
Mrs. Smith will walk to the park.
It is raining.
Among the pictures shown, what should Mrs. Smith bring with her to the park?
The right answer may be the umbrella if it’s shown among the choices.
To answer the question correctly, the child should know what’s needed when someone is about to walk in the rain.
While the other picture options (like a bag) in real life may be helpful and can also be used to cover the head when it rains, the child should know that the umbrella here is the most appropriate answer.
Here it’s mainly about math.
For example, your child may be shown a picture of three stars.
He may be asked to count how many stars there are in that picture.
Then he is asked to look at other pictures of stars and asked to find the picture that has 4 more stars than the first picture.
To answer this correctly, the child should realize that “4 more stars” means adding 4 to 3 to arrive at 7 stars.
It may also be about knowing which number is greater than another.
For example, a child may be shown a number such as 156.
Then other numbers will be introduced, and the child will be asked to pick the number which is greater than the first number.
In this part of the test, a child is asked to look at a group of figures.
The first figure may be a bunch of blue triangles of different sizes
The answer options may include another blue triangle, along with a green triangle and a blue rectangle.
With this type of CogAT sample test question, your child may understand that a group of figures may be similar in two ways instead of just one.
That’s why the correct answer is the blue triangle, instead of just another triangle or another figure that’s blue.
Here’s another example:
A square, rectangle, and a triangle are in the same picture, and each one of the figures has a shaded corner.
The most appropriate answer is the one which also has a shaded corner and not the figure with shaded area in the middle.
Even for first graders, some of the questions may be a bit complicated.
You should make your child understand that no one (including you or the teachers) expect them to get each and every item correctly.
This may seem like a rather complicated term, but it just denotes a big square divided into 4 boxes.
You then explain to your child that there are pictures in three of the squares, while another square is empty. Point out the empty box to your child.
You can then say something like:
Look at the first little square at the top row.
It has a drawing of a rectangle.
Now see the next drawing in the next square at the top row?
It also has a rectangle that is exactly alike as the drawing in the first square.
This is your clue.
The two pictures in the top row should have the same shape.
Now on the bottom row there is a picture of a shaded circle.
To complete this puzzle, you need to find the answer that looks like the first picture of the shaded circle.
Look at the drawings in the answer choices, and pick the right picture that also has the shaded circle.”
Tips on Prepping Your Young Child For the CogAT
At this age, it’s not always a good idea to prep a child too extensively.
This is especially true if the preparation prevents them from doing their homework or in participating in various extra-curricular activities.
But when you do take some time for prepping for the CogAT, here are a few worthwhile tips.
Ask the teachers about how long the test takes
You then make sure that each review session does not take longer than the actual CogAT. It should just be the same, or shorter.
At this age, many children can really find it difficult to focus on a single activity for too long. They get bored easily. This same principle applies to your review session too.
Try to make it fun
One way of encouraging children to review for the CogAT is to make a game out of it.
Many games, including video games, are all about problem solving, so you can do the same for your review sessions.
Children are very good at assessing the mood of their parents. Remember, you’re reading the test items to your kids.
You need to make your tone of voice friendly and cheerful, so that your child does not tense up.
Admittedly, some parents may feel a bit of frustration when their children fail to answer questions correctly. But you must be calm and patient.
The CogAT measures reasoning ability.
It’s just a fact of life that some kids are better at this than others. The point of the review is not to improve your child’s reasoning ability.
Remember, the point is to familiarize the child to what going to happen in the CogAT, so that they are not intimidated by the questions.
Final notes on CogAT Sample Questions
The CogAT is an effective way to measure how your child recognizes, discovers, and uses relationships between words, numbers, and figures.
It also tests for how flexible they are in their reasoning.
These abilities are not inborn. These skills can actually be developed, both in school and in your home.
As a parent, you can help with that, and prepping for the CogAT is a good start.
The CogAT is also a very good way to predict the academic performance of your child.
But again, reasoning ability is not the only factor that determines grades.
Their work habits can really help, and they should want to get good grades. As a parent, you can instill effective work habits that can help them all through college. You should also encourage the desire to do well.
Remember also, you don’t need a school test to be the motivation to work with your child. Involve them with questions you encounter in everyday life. You can do this while driving or preparing meals together.
CogAT Practice Test: All You Need to Know About It
Before we start to wonder about CogAT practice test, it is of extreme significance that we know what CogAT test is.
CogAT or Cognitive Abilities Test is an assessment test that challenges a student’s abilities in many areas.
After the completion of study life that spans over 12 years, a student may appear for this cognitive abilities test.
What is CogAT Practice Test?
As it requires 12 years of thorough learning from the student’s part, it is also known as a K-12 test. Cognitive abilities normally comprise skills at verbal ability, quantitative aptitude and problem solving.
So a CogAT practice test can only refer to a preliminary or mock test that may help a student in doing well at Cogat.
But, people should remember that CogAT is a test of one’s reasoning ability and not depth of knowledge.
Many a times, it happens that a very good student, who got highest marks in their respective colleges, could not score very well at Cogat.
The reason behind this could be that knowledge of Maths, Physics or Chemistry would not help in this particular type of test.
CogAT has three sections, namely, verbal, non-verbal and quantitative sections.
Those different sections are discussed below.
Verbal ability test
Verbal ability is always a very important part of any cognitive test.
So, to attain a good score at Cogat, one needs to make verbal ability a priority in their cogat practice test.
This section normally checks the vocabulary and grammar sense of the student.
Ability to understand the meaning of certain words, comprehending the gist of a long passage, and good grammar sense are the pre-requisites for a good score in this section.
Some of the important points of this section are:
One need to have an extensive set of vocabulary to recognize words of similar meaning.
There might be some sentences that may need completion with a suitable word from given options.
A passage would be given and questions would be asked from it.
This, as the name suggests, is the test of one’s problem solving capabilities.
Cognitive testing is incomplete without this section.
Some of the important chapters of this section could be:
A series of number would be given and you would be asked to find the missing elements of the series.
In order to do so, one needs to understand the relation between the numbers first.
Building equation and solving them are always part of cognitive ability test.
This is perhaps the most interesting and challenging section for the students.
So a lot of time and importance should be given to this section at cogat practice test.
In this section various types of puzzles are posed at students.
To solve them, one needs to have calm and composed mentality.
Picture analogy, relationship inference and figure classifications et cetera are parts of this section.
All You Need to Know About the CogAT Practice Test
The best way to examine and discover your child’s potential is by exposing them to the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT).
CogAT test is an evaluation test formulated for checking the merit of students who can enter gifted and talented programs.
However, in order to prepare for this test one must fully benefit from the CogAT practice test.
In order to reap the maximum benefit from the CogAT practice tests, it is rather important that the parents are made aware of a few basic points regarding the preparation course.
The criteria for giving percentage in the CogAT tests is simple however some don’t really catch the idea of percentile so here it is.
When the results come out they are decided upon the scores of each and every student that participated in it.
The percentile score is the expresses result relative to each student’s performance in the CogAT test.
For example, 45% of the students who participated in the CogAT test obtained less than 35 points where as 55% of the students got less than points.
Taking these in account, if it is stated that some student got a score higher than 60% of the candidates then the student stands at the 60th percentile.
CogAT Pratice Test Advantages
Parts of CogAT practice test
For every section or part of the CogAT practice tests there is specific given time.
There are three subtests of each section of the Cognitive Abilities Test, namely, Verbal Battery, Quantitative Battery and Non-Verbal Battery.
There are mostly multiple choice questions in the Verbal Battery test section.
These questioned are aimed to observe the vocabulary, perception of ideas and potential to pick new words while understanding their relationship in contrast to similar terminologies.
All such cognitive abilities can be assessed with Verbal Battery test.
On the other hand the Quantitative Battery analyzes the problem solving qualities of the candidate and his judgment in quantitative reasoning.
The final section is the Non-Verbal Battery which involves the use of illustrations and geometric shapes to evaluate the cognitive powers of the students.
How practice test helps in CogAT test
While preparing for the actual CogAT test, the CogAT practice test is recommended especially for the bright students who aim to get maximum percentile.
The CogAT practice test is the same as the real test with the CogAT Pratice Test and the marking scheme.
It also makes the student realize the management of time with relevance of every question as most questions are built with a specific time frame or else the candidate may get left behind.
Importance of CogAT practice test
You can consider tutoring. It’s a resourceful option; however, most often tutors will focus on reasoning problems to build critical thinking skills, not specific CogAT-type test prep and practice testing.
Those who prep for the CogAT, no matter their age, will have several advantages over those students who don’t.
When children can know in advance the types of questions, they will know what to expect or at least be somewhat familiar with the concepts.
They will spend less time trying to understand the directions and more time on the problems.
This is true for students who have taken the CogAT yearly versus first timer attempts.
Taking CogAT practice test will ensure that your child is following the right path to preparing for good score in the CogAT test.