Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mom, can you help me?

I'm often asked throughout the day, "Mom, can you help me with this?"

Those words should be a little alarm bell for a potential mediated learning moment.
Now, you can't mediate EVERY moment. You learn to pick and choose through out the day.
But if you are just getting started with the mediated process, then let these words be a CUE for you to be prepared to ask questions and have your child start working toward solution.

Today's example:
Word searches.
Word searches are currently my plan for spelling and geography. All the puzzles are about places, capitals, countries, etc.

Anyway, we eventually hit a snag and couldn't find a word.
"Mom, can you help me?"
"Sure. What's the problem?" (Process question)
"I can't find Burma."
"That's tricky. How do you spell Burma?"
"Are there any letters that stand out to you in that word?"
"Not really?"
"Do you see any smaller words inside that word?"
"Hmm, what do you think would happen if you looked just for 'm-a' throughout the word search?"
"I don't want to do that."
"Well, what do you think would happen?"
"I suppose I might find it. But it seems so hard." (CHALLENGE)
"Yes, word searches are tricky. But do you remember yesterday when you were trying to find CAMBODIA? (BRIDGING) What did you do?"
"I looked for the 'I-A' at the end of the word. But it took forever."
"Well, it did. But you know, you kept at it and wouldn't give up until you found it. And I know you'll do the same with Burma. Let's try."

I needed to come back to this example and instill meaning into it. We talked about how certain games and puzzles have strategies and that it take s a bit of time to learn the clues in order to be successful at solving them.
Don't be afraid to go back to a moment and mediate it further.

By the way, Burma was eventually found. (Leaving them in a place of success)

Criteria focus: Challenge

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