On Differences and Similarities

November 8, 2017

In the past, Robert and I practiced understanding of differences and similarities a lot.  I made copies of the pages from Developing Awareness of Similarities and Differences many times

and a few hundred times I read directions which asked to circle either:

another object similar in specified aspect to the first one,

two objects similar in specified aspect to the first one,

or an object which differed from the first one in respect to a specified feature

I asked and Robert kept circling.  Sometimes correctly, sometimes not.

He had most difficulties when he had to switch from one group of directions to another one.

A month ago, I decided to practice with the same book again.  But I wanted to use the book in different ways.

Firstly, I asked Robert not to listen to my directions but to read them and follow them without my interference. Or rather my minimal intrusion.The tasks were easy, and thus were a good starting point to weaken his dependence on my presence.

Secondly, each of the three pages I gave Robert to complete asked for a different action. I wanted Robert to discriminate and flexibly switch from one kind of task to another.

Finally,  we used the back of each page which had only drawings (without written directions).  While looking at those pictures, Robert was supposed to  ask me which object had (or didn’t have) a specific feature.  I wanted Robert to exercise his ability to memorize and recall facts. More importantly, I wanted him to use the language as the way of initiating conversation and that of course includes asking questions.

November 21, 2017

After completing Developing Awareness(…) we switched to Developing Alert Listening Skills.  We practiced with that book a couple of times a few years ago.  I mostly followed the simplest script.  I read the instructions, Robert followed (or attempted to follow)  directions sadly with minimal usage of language.  It was a very passive activity indeed.  During every session we do  in  four pages according to the arrangement of the book. First page has directions to be completed on the next three worksheets.  Robert reads first set of instructions to me aloud.  This is the most challenging part.  I try to understand what he says and on the second page .  That is not easy and often requires Robert to repeat a word a few times. Before, however, he does that, we practice with pronunciation of a few  words that are used the most often, “Put, underline, circle, cross, find” . The next two sets of directions, I read to Robert, because they are longer.  Still, Robert is expected to state what is he supposed to do. Robert likes this activity best when Pam joins us.  Three of us switch roles of teachers and students.  Robert thinks it is funny.  Maybe it is.



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