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Development jigsaw - Age ranges that best represent the age range I wish to be working with middle childhood (6-10 years).
Children ages 6 to 10 are more independent and physically active
Progress in the major areas of development—physical, intellectual, emotional, and social—is gradual.
Strength and muscle coordination improve rapidly in these years. Many children learn to throw, hit a baseball, or kick a soccer ball. Some children may even develop skills in more complex activities, such as playing basketball or dancing.
From ages 6 to 10, your child develops a more mature and logical way of thinking. He or she gradually becomes able to consider several parts to a problem or situation. This is a change from the simplistic thinking of a preschooler.
Even though their thinking becomes more complex, children in this age group still think in concrete terms. This means they are most concerned with things that are "real" rather than with ideas. In general, these things are those that can be identified with the senses. For example, actually touching the soft fur of a rabbit is more meaningful to a child than being told that an object is "soft like a rabbit." Because they still can mostly consider only one part of a situation or perspective at a time, children of this age have difficulty fully understanding how things are connected.
Emotionally and Socially?
When children enter school, they leave the security of home and family. They become players on the larger stage of school and friends. Here, they learn some crucial skills—including how to make friends—that they can use for the rest of their lives.
Children's self-esteem, which is their sense of worth and belonging, is fragile and can change rapidly depending on what is happening around them. At times, children of this age seem like little adults as they march off to school with backpacks full of responsibilities. But at other times, they can be as unreasonable as toddlers.
At this time, elementary-age and preadolescent children demonstrate logical, concrete reasoning.
Children's thinking becomes less egocentric and they are increasingly aware of external events. They begin to realize that one's own thoughts and feelings are unique and may not be shared by others or may not even be part of reality. Children also develop operational thinking -- the ability to perform reversible mental actions.
During this stage, however, most children still can't tackle a problem with several variables in a systematic way.
Vygotsky - emphasis on culture affecting/shaping cognitive development,
social factors contributing to cognitive development, role of language in cognitive development, the Zone of Proximal Development as the area where the most sensitive instruction or guidance should be given - allowing the child to develop skills they will then use on their own - developing higher mental functions
Putting it in perspective - A teacher would see a child that is becoming more independent. A child that is more capable of social, emotional, and intellectual development on their own. The child will be physically growing each year. The child will have more concrete reasoning abilities.