Improve Patterns and Sequencing for Your Child

Identifying patterns and sequences helps us logically order events, images, thoughts, and actions. By helping your child improve their identification of patterns and sequences, you can strengthen his or her conceptual and reasoning ability, concentration skills, and verbal, written, and mathematical foundations.

How to Help Your Child Identify Patterns

Children find patterns from looking around and noticing the things around them. A parent’s job is to recognize patterns and point them out, in clothes, on the sidewalk, and everywhere patterns are to be found.

Pattern Basics

A pattern is only a pattern if it is repeated more than once. The easiest patterns are those involving two colors or variables, such as red, blue, red, blue or ABAB. More complex patterns include ABCABC, or AABB.

Identifying Patterns in Your World

By taking the time to notice and identify patterns with your child, he or she will begin to see and identify them as well. Be on the lookout for some of these patterns as you go through your day:

  • Fabric used in clothing, such as stripes, prints, and plaid
  • Shoes have patterns on the sole, and make noticeable tracks when you walk through mud or snow
  • Nature provides patterns in flower petals, gardens, and animals
  • Dinner foods can be served in patterns
  • Grocery stores have patterns in foods, displays, and floor tiles

Create and Extend Patterns

As patterns become more complex, work with your child in order to extend the pattern, or create new ones. Examples include:

  • When serving small crackers or cereal that comes in multiple colors, ask your child to create a pattern with his or her food before eating it
  • Use blocks, Legos or other small toys to create patterns across the room
  • Use stickers or rubber stamps to make patterns on paper
  • Create movement patterns as you move across the back yard, down the street or through the park. For example, walk, walk, jump; walk, walk, jump.

Patterns are all around us, as are opportunities to teach your child more about them. The key to teaching this basic math skill is to make your child aware of patterns and give her opportunities to create and extend patterns in daily life. After just a bit of practice, you will be amazed at how often he’ll find patterns that you don’t even see.

How to Improve Your Child’s Sequencing Skills

Sequencing is a fundamental skill that we use all day long. Whether it is going to the bathroom or reading a story, we need to use sequencing in a variety of daily activities. Helping children sequence can help them learn routines and develop key academic skills like reading comprehension and scientific inquiry.

Observe How Your Child Plays

A child who has limited sequencing capacity might pick up a toy and then bang it, performing a two-step sequence. A child who can perform a three or four-step sequence might be able to figure out how a toy works by pressing buttons or spinning various dials.

Children who are able to perform activities with even more steps are able to communicate through gestures and behavior to show adults what they want, figure out how complex toys work, and play with several toys interactively.

Use Games to Create More Steps for Your Child

The robot game is an example of an engaging activity that involves extensive sequencing and communication skills. An adult can be the robot and follow the instructions given by the child very literally.

For example, if the child were to order the robot to do a task such as make a jelly sandwich, the adult would have to follow the child’s command even if the direction is incomplete. If the child forgets to tell the robot to open the top of the jelly jar or put jelly in the middle of the sandwich, the adult could make humorous mistakes, prompting the child to use more specific instructions.

Speak the Sequencing Language

Using words such as first, second, third, next, then, before, after, and finally with your child in discussions about daily activities can help them build their understanding. You can use and teach your child these words in everyday conversations.

For example, if you’re waiting at a crosswalk with your child, you might say: “You see those cars waiting at the red light? The first car is blue, the second one is black, and the last one is red.” Many activities in daily life can provide opportunities to practice sequencing as well as vocabulary words.

Practice Sequencing Using Different Modalities

Sequencing can be communicated in various ways, using words, pictures, music, and objects. Practicing sequencing with your child using various tools and modalities can advance his or her skills and engagement in learning.

While one modality might be to use stories as models for how events occur in sequences, another might include songs that have repetitive structures and associated dance moves. Learning new modalities can encourage your child to practice sequencing while having fun.

How to Develop Your Child’s Collaboration Soft Skill

Collaboration is clearly helping business owners, entrepreneurs and innovators thrive, but can it also help children? We’ve investigated why your child should develop collaboration as a soft skill, what steps you can take to help them learn, and how you can continue to grow their skills.

Collaboration in an Increasingly Connected World

From a young age, children interact with other kids and adults who come from many walks of life. Through technology, children today have the whole world at their fingertips, and they need to know what to do with it.

Collaboration helps children to discover each other’s strengths, interests and capabilities. Instead of limiting learning from a teacher or an adult, they can learn from each other. As a result, each child can develop a unique set of skills and knowledge in a fun and efficient way.

Collaboration skills can increase your child’s understanding of how others view the world. By developing new perspectives and learning to appreciate differences of opinions, your child can grow to appreciate harmony, and be at the forefront of a more civilized world.

5 Tips To Develop Collaboration Soft Skills

For any parent that wants the best for their children, collaboration is an important soft skill to teach them. In order to develop your child’s collaboration soft skills, follow these five tips:

1. Participate In Group Activities

Getting a child to cooperate with others can often be a challenge, but it is important for your child to develop this skill. Peer interaction and collaboration starts early in life and helping your child understand the value of working well with others is key to encouraging his or her cooperation during group activities.

2. Include Your Child in Your Daily Routine

Include your child while you are running errands to teach about collaboration. When you are out, point out what’s happening, who the people are, and what they’re doing.

For example, if you are at a grocery store, point out what the stock person is doing as she places items on the shelves. Children at this age notice everything, and you can take advantage of this by pointing out the roles that people play, and how they have to work together toward collective goals. In doing so, you are showing teamwork in action.

3. Initiate Play Dates

One of the best ways to foster group work and collaboration is to encourage play and organize play dates with several friends. Your child may be great at playing with one friend, but it takes new skills when there is more than one friend included. The more your child interacts with multiple friends, the more he or she will be able to discuss solutions and work in groups.

4. Encourage Good Sportsmanship

Encourage good sportsmanship. As your child gets older and begins to engage in more sports, the concept of competition emerges. Remind your child that winning or losing does not define his success and that he should not forget to be caring and kind in all his interactions in life, including competitions. Teach your child to shake the hands of the opposing team members after a game, regardless of its outcome, and to be a gracious winner and loser.

5. Collaborate With Other Parents

Finally, share your ideas with other parents, but also listen to the input of others. Recognize when someone else has a stronger idea than your own and support it, being sure to give credit where credit is due. Leading by example will go a long way towards building collaboration skills for your child.

Advancing Future Education and Career Prospects

Employers and higher education institutes today are in search of people with unique ideas and soft skills. The skills in demand include leadership, communication, negotiation, teamwork, interpersonal skills, social skills, and cultural competence, but someone who works alone can’t develop these skills.

Collaboration and interacting with the people are the way to build soft skills that educators and employers are looking for. By learning to work together from a young age, children can get a head start in achieving their education and career aspirations.

Those people skills can be invaluable where workplace collaboration is an increasingly pivotal part of the job for many creative professionals. Workplace collaboration is multifaceted and includes a range of abilities, such as clear communication, problem-solving, empathy and accountability. By developing your child’s soft skills early, you can help prepare them for their future education and career.

Inspiring Young Coders From All Around the World

When we think of people in coding, kids are probably the last to come to mind. But as technology continues to advance, so is the calling for more STEM professionals, with many industries looking to younger generations to become the next industry leaders.

Here are some of the most inspirational young coders today.

Error: Error not Found

Image Credit: Traffic India Office on Twitter

Error: Error not Found is the winning team of this year’s Zoohackathon, a two-day tech competition where young minds contribute their ideas to help the animals of India. These young representatives from the University of Delhi developed an open source text-based application called Wildlife Guru, which lets users report illegal wildlife trade activities. Team Error: Error not Found won because their coding work has the potential to help millions.

Chattanooga Girls

Image Credit: WTVC

In today’s society, the demand for digital devices in every aspect of life has led to a burgeoning cybersecurity industry. In fact, statistics from Maryville University reveal that the field is growing three times faster than any other IT role, with the demand for the number of cybersecurity specialists nearly doubling between 2013 and 2019 alone. Despite this, Government Technology claims that there is still a huge gender gap in cybersecurity, even though “North America will face a shortage of 265,000 cybersecurity workers by 2022.” The good news is that there are plenty of female coders who are making inroads into the industry. Fifteen students from the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA), in Tennessee, competed in an international cybersecurity tournament called MAGIC Capture the Flag. Even though they didn’t win the competition they demonstrated why the cybersecurity industry must do more to level the playing field and encourage more women into the industry.

Samaira Mehta

Joining the league of young female trailblazers, Samaira Mehta is a name you’ll be hearing a lot in the industry. Three years ago, this 11-year-old Californian prodigy made a board game called CoderBunnyz, which aims to teach its players the basic concepts of computer programming. The game was so popular that it sold hundreds of copies during its first year, which is what led Samaira to start her own company—Intel and Sun Microsystems—at age nine. Lately, she’s been invited to speak at workshops, forums, and events for Google and Microsoft. Samira has proven that age is only a number when it comes to revolutionizing an industry.

Basil Okpara Jr.

Image Credit: MBBA Global

In Nigeria, CNN reported on a 9-year-old boy who built over 30 mobile games to “keep [himself] busy when [he’s] bored.” The wunderkind is Basil Okpara Jr., who uses Scratch—a block-based visual programming language—to help him code. Today, some of his games like Mosquito Mash are found on the Play Store. Like Samaira, Basil is an example of how younger coders will be the next tech industry experts.

Blog Credit: Reena Lopez