Still Learning Still Teaching 2

April 10, 2016

It is harder and harder to keep writing. As my previous posts remain disorganized, I feel that any new one is only adding to the chaos.  Moreover, as the time passes, the slides, the climbs, and the turns of an emotional rollercoaster of every day happenings seem more and more difficult to follow and to write about. And of course, there are also doubts that cloud my vision causing me to lose both – focus and drive. Nonetheless, Robert and I are still spending an hour or more learning together almost every day.

  1. Speech.  We moved back to working on phonological awareness.  When Robert was 4 or 5 years old, he had a computer program, Sound it Out Loud” .  He used it almost independently to teach himself the sounds of letters.  Sadly, nobody else did that with him.  When I started to teach him spelling, he got confused.  The sounds were different than letters’ names.  So, almost 20 years later we went back to sounds.  I don’t ask Robert to spell the word.  I ask him to tell me the sounds he hears.
  2. Math. Back to 4th grade Saxon Math with an emphasis on increasing  independence.  I noticed that Robert could solve the problem only after I reread it to him.  Now, I ask Robert to read again (and again).  Most of the problems Robert solves without help (and without even reading as they are self-explanatory) .  Most not all.  Calendar and time related tasks require additional support.
  3. Science. Robert didn’t have problems placing 6 pictures in the right orders to complete life cycles of a bean, moth, and newt.  He also placed cards describing the different steps of the life cycle next to the proper illustrations after I read the text to him.  This is clear improvement. To my surprise, however, Robert was lost when he had to place animals in one of the three different groups – those with fur, feathers, or scales. I realized that Robert didn’t know what feather or fur were.  So we looked at images of feather on his IPAD.  In the end, Robert completed the task.  But to my slight astonishment, he applied different categories: birds, mammals, and reptiles.  For him, those categories had clearer meaning than fur, feather or scales.
  4. Together, we made two new folders – one for synonyms and one for antonyms using chapters from Take It to Your Seat workbook.  Then we played simple games.  Robert had to find matching word for the one I chose and I had to find the matching word for the one he chose. He knew many synonyms and antonyms, but not all.  He didn’t know that “consume” has similar meaning to “eat” and that “vanish” is the opposite of “appear”.  (he knew  “disappear”) .  I asked him from time to time what sounds does he hear in the word.  It resulted in some confusion. That happens when Robert has to pay attention to two different kinds of tasks (finding synonyms and sounding out).
  5. We played Guess Who? game.  Robert and I against his father. I made a list of words to be used “man, woman, bald, hat, glasses”  to give Robert an idea what to ask for. It was clear that this game was very difficult for Robert.  Part of it was that I prompted him to use the whole sentences.  Sentences are hard for Robert as are the mechanics of the game.  Tomorrow, I will prompt Robert to use only one word.  I will also write each of the words on a separate pieces of paper.  Understanding the game should be the first goal.  The language might follow.

 

 

 

 

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