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Academic Development in Middle Childhood

The following will describe skills school-aged children develop. All of these skills are important in contributing to a child's intelligence.

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1. Reading

In third grade, children’s ability to recognize words dramatically increases. However, fourth grade is considered the critical year for reading. At this age, classrooms begin to focus learning more around books. Improvement in word recognition allows for better reading and comprehension. As reading comprehension improves children are able to think critically about concepts and make inferences.

3. Writing

Improvements in reading are related to increased writing skill. The foundations for both of these skills are laid in early childhood, but child’s ability to perform develops more in formal school. As fine motor skills become more precise a child is able to write more. A teacher should encourage the act of writing and not worry as much about the grammatical errors. Technical mechanics can be addressed as the child increases in age. Early writing will focus mostly on the self, but as children enter the concrete operational stage they will gain the ability to take more than one perspective and this will change their writing style.

4. Creativity

Creativity is different than some of the previously listed school-related topics but is equally important in the school setting. The ability to think creatively helps to improve academic skills. Creativity allows for the creation of novel works. A child with developed creativity may write more imaginative stories or solve problems in more interesting ways. There is thought to be a “slump” in creative development, which may be linked to formal school. It is important that schools promote creative development because creative thinking can improve academic performance.

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