Children always learn more quickly when more of their senses are involved. This is true for typically developing children, but especially important for children who are delayed for any reason or have a learning disability. During my time in Deaf Education at TCU (Texas Christian University), there were four letters that became very important to us - TVAK. We had to make sure we had at least three of those letters represented in each lesson plan. What do they stand for? - Tactile, Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic. We were taught that in order for a lesson to be effective, at least three of those elements must be involved. There had to be a tactile element (something the child could hold/touch/feel), Visual (something that he/she could see represented), Auditory (something that used listening), and Kinesthetic (letting the children move about). Now, you might be thinking that this is easy: I'll talk and that covers auditory and I can write on the board for visual - that's two of the three covered. WRONG! If you have a child who is delayed or has a learning disability then they may have auditory processing issues, which means they will not understand everything they hear. If he/she can't read then writing on the board will not help either. Try to be creative and think outside of the box:
Here are some examples:
- T: Let them feel different textures from the beach: water, sand, shells, seaweed, pebbles, etc
- V: They can see the objects, show pictures of a beach (or go there if you have one close by)
- A: Let them hear a recording of the waves, seagulls, etc. You could also bring in a conk shell for them to listen to the waves in the conk shell!
- K: Have things at different stations so they can move from one place to another, let them draw letters in a bucket of sand, play at a sand & water table.
Lesson on counting 1-10:
- T: Cut the numbers out of sandpaper and let them trace the sandpaper-numbers.
- V: They can try to match the correct number of objects to the numbers.
- A: Sing a song about counting numbers. Beat on a drum once to represent one, twice for two, and so on.
- K: Line the numbers up on the ground in order and let the child walk from 1-10 counting as they go. If you want them to practice counting backwards, have them start at 10 and walk backwards to 1!!!
Remember TVAK - it will INVOLVE your child so he/she will UNDERSTAND!!!