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1 How Does aYoungBaby books usually stop at recording first steps and first words. They don’t go on to record how children’s thinking and theirability to make symbols develop during the early years of schooling. But like the unfolding physical abilities that families watch as children learn to creep, then crawl, then walk, children’s brains also evolve. They advance from simply takingin sensations to thinking concretely and then to thinking abstractly.The Promise level of the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies is for prereaders, especially childrenin kindergarten and first grade. Children’s faith development builds on their physical, emotional, and psychological development. This chapter explores how young children think, make moral choices, relate to other people, and understand symbols. It describes the transition children make usually over the course of first grade.physicAl Development Affects leArningPrereading children are active, outgoing, assertive, adventuresome, spirited, and eager to win andbe first even to the point of being defiant. These young children are endlessly energetic and noisy. They need to move during a lesson, so creative drama and movement work well as learning tools because they make use of their energies.Young children’s fine-motor skills and small- muscle control are developing. Children can workat cutting, pasting, coloring, and lacing with increasing success during these years. They are talkative and love learning new words. Five-, six-, and seven-year-olds are intensely curious but easily distracted. They love to read, write, sing, and hear stories.Developing Ability to think AbstrActlyThe Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget studied children’s development extensively and identified three stages in the development of children’s thinking ability. Before the ages of six and seven, children think intuitively. Piaget calls this the preoperational stage. Children can reproduce mental images that they take in through their senses, but they cannot remember sustained sequences of events or reverse the order of their perceptions to identify causes.At about six or seven, children begin developing their concrete operations. Just as they first takea few halting steps and then learn to walk well, children become able first to remember events and put them in sequence. All the storytelling, reading, and language arts in the elementary school years help them refine their abilities to think concretely and use stories to interpret their experience.Promise children who are kindergartners are building readiness to move from their intuitive thinking to concrete thinking. They spend lots of time learning colors and shapes, the parts ofHilD earn? Cl

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