Friday 3 August 2012

Literally Relevant Literacy

It's so difficult to wind your head around abstract ideas

Learning something completely new from page one. Imagine just about getting to grips with one topic when suddenly, it's changed to something new, something completely alien again. How frustrating must it be. Imagine then, what it must be like for our children, constantly changing topics, methods and goals.

It doesn't have to be so. Careful planning and suitable preparation can ensure that all learning activities, all opportunities and all experiences are utilised effectively to promote active engagement and achievement.

A common topic for the early years stage is that of the seaside. By ensuring children actively experience a glimpse of the topic for themselves, all learning activities can be tailored specifically to that child's prior knowledge and understanding. A must for children with Special Educational Needs, where first hand experience, repetition and engagement are key to gaining knowledge and understanding in  any given topic. The scale of experience varies greatly, from a day spent playing on the beach, a trip to an aquarium or a bucket of sand and water, each of these provide ample ammunition for personally tailored learning experiences.

Use photographs, props, smells, textures and tastes to elicit a response, spark a stimuli and engage the learner, creating not just knowledge, but memories to support it and foster commitment to memory.

Think of it this way... It would be really hard to learn to play a musical instrument without having the instrument in the first place.

Build on a memory, make a dream.

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