Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Teach in the Moment

This is a quote from one of my favourite speech-language pathologists, Dr. Libby Kumin. She is practical in all she does and is such an inspirational teacher and therapist.

Often we go through the day with our to-do list and we want to check off everything and get it done. If we want to help a child learn, we cannot do that. We have to focus really on the here and now. We need to think about the opportunities for learning that are inherent in what’s going on in the moment. What’s going on may be a rainstorm. Talk about the rain, or comment about the sun coming out. There may be a puddle, or there may be oil on the puddle where you see colours. You may want to talk about a rainbow and the colours in it. Ask yourself, “How can I help my child learn in this moment?”

I encourage parents to 'narrate' their child's world and day through signs and speech. You can do this by being in the moment. I think Dr. Kumin's example about talking about what is going on after a rainstorm is perfect. Label what both you and your child are seeing, hearing and feeling using signs and speech. Talk about the rainbow, the sunshine, the wet grass and the growing flowers and trees with your signs! What a beautiful story it will be!

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