The Skill: Balancing how many new concepts a child is attempting to learn at any one time
The Purpose: Making sure a child learns a concept well, so it takes no cognitive effort (brain power) to understand and use it.
A child shouldn’t be attempting to learn too many concepts at once. Some children find it difficult to connect to concepts and/or to use those concepts or words when speaking or writing.
This difficulty can be because it is;
- New exposure to a concept/ word, or
- Word/ concept not used often enough, or
- Word /Concept not clearly explained
- When a child is learning a new concept, it progresses across three key learning stages - we call them the Three Boxes:
1. Not Sure Box
Adults use the concept but do not expect the child to use it. A child needs support and multiple exposure to the concept when it is in this box.
2. Think About It Box
Adults needs to allow child a bit of time before they may say the word or answer. The child is starting to understand or use the concept. Adults support and encourage the child to use the concept.
3. Easy Box
Child fully understands the concept and can say it fast every time. Child freely uses the concept with very little effort.
Learning the names of animals
Adult says > giraffe, hippo, penguin = these words might be in the child's not sure box so they need to hear them over and over again
Adult encourages child to say > gorilla, horse, shark = these words might be in the think about it box and so an adult needs to give clues to help them say the word
Child easily names > cow, pig, duck = they are words stored in their easy box
Learning the sound a letter makes
Adult says >”b” “e” “m” when looking at these letters = these sounds might be in the child's not sure box so they need to hear them over and over again
Adult encourages child to say > “p” “i” “n” when the see those letters = these sounds might be in the think about it box and so an adult needs to give clues to help them say the word
Child easily names >”s” “a” “t” when they see these letters = they are words stored in their easy box
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