Categories
Mathematics Reading

Spatial ability can influence verbal ability

As a child, I loved LEGOs and spent hours upon hours building with them. We got Fleur Megablocks early and she aspired to build towers taller than her. I tried getting her in Duplos (toddler LEGOs), only to find her interested in the Minifig(ure)s. For the past 6 months she has really been interested in Magna-Tiles to build zoos for toy animals and houses for her Minifigs.

Coincidentally, she has also had a verbal explosion about the same time.

And I’ve run across a study looking at bleed over affects spatial ability into the verbal domain. These are older students, getting new lessons on spatial ability who then showed skill gains in verbal reasoning backed by changes in the brain through longitudinal fMRI scans.

The more students improved on spatial scanning and mental rotation, abilities that are specifically theorized to support mental modeling, the more they improved on verbal reasoning, and improvement on spatial scanning mediated the association of the spatial curriculum to improved verbal reasoning.

Robert A. Cortes et al. Transfer from spatial education to verbal reasoning and prediction of transfer from learning-related neural change. Science Advances, 8, 32. 2022. https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/sciadv.abo3555

This might be something akin to findings that students who struggle with reading find word problems more difficult, so improving reading also improves math ability. The mental modeling aspect is truly fascinating.

The SAT wants verbal and math to be separate things, but we keep finding that they are subtly linked.

Categories
Engineering Parenting

Engineering project: Stairway to Heaven

Fleur wanted to make a set of stairs. She got frustrated with gravity. So I convinced her to let me help. And made a bracing column.

Stairway

She is happy with it.

Categories
Parenting Screen Time

That which should NOT be named

I don’t want to say Minnie Mouse’s Bow-Toons are Voldemort, but… Wait, no, they are WORSE.

These are sub four minute segments that suck out your soul over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

The other thing is Fleur gets up at 5 in the morning asking to watch them. “No” results in an hour of crying and screaming where no one gets any sleep. “Yes” results in 4 minute increments of peace until it ends.

We are good with the obsession with Minnie. I got her a Lego Duplo set with her and her cat Figaro. That might have started all this. We got her a plush doll who is number 1 and almost always in her arms while playing. A Figaro plush is on the way which I expect her to adore.

Categories
Health Parenting

Swallowing LEGOs

Pediatricians developed their own metrics: the Stool Hardness and Transit (Shat) score and the Found and Retrieved Time (Fart) score.

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From my 2005 trip to California

The Fart score – how many days it took the Lego to pass through the bowels – was between 1.1 days and three days, with an average of 1.7 days.

Using the Shat score, the researchers also found the consistency of their stools did not change. They compared Shat and Fart scores to see if looser stools caused quicker retrieval but found no correlation.

Saving this for later because given how many LEGO sets we have in the house, it seems a given Fleur is going to swallow some. Though, I have to admit my dubiousness to the study because it seems likely toddler and adult bowels might have differences such as size.