It’s time for…The Educator sez! This occasional post addresses questions parents commonly have or areas our staff can clarify to help young children with deafness learn language. Today’s post is from our Director, Cheryl Broekelmann, MA,LSLSCert.AVED, and she focuses on Literacy and Storytime at home.
“Sharing a story can be a marvelous interaction for you and your child! One thing I’ve learned over way too many years of teaching (never mind how many) is that following the child’s lead can really enhance the lesson. But what does it mean to “follow the child’s lead”? That means if they focus on a certain picture or section, just go right along with them. In this interaction, the girls really focused on the shining scales of the rainbow fish. The story itself is about being a good friend but if that’s what catches their eye, you bet I’m going to talk about how the scales are shining, how the fish shared his shining scales and how everyone has a shining scale now. I used something pretty basic – aluminum foil – to further their comprehension of the word “shining” by wrapping it around a toy fish. Then we talked about how it looked, how it caught the light and how we could wrap it around things. I basically narrated everything that we did with the foil. Books are great ways to expand our child’s vocabulary – these two now know the word “scales “and “shining scales”. By the end, they were listening to the intonation (when I’d drop my voice or pause) of my voice and looking at me when I paused……waiting for the next phrase. All of these little things add up to a better understanding of the written and spoken word. Try it yourself and see!”