Monday, December 5, 2011

Reflection 8

Concrete language identifies things using your senses, touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste and abstract language refers to things which are perceived not through the senses but by the mind. Realizing how children with FASD process data gives us an understanding how their mind works and how parents or teachers should speak and teach both using concrete language. I didn’t realize that much of our language is actually abstract so we have to transition the abstract language to concrete language so children with FASD can comprehend. A good example which combined concrete language and technology is the computer based IBM Write to Read Class I previously taught to Preschoolers and Kindergarten students we used the senses along with the letters to teach children how to read.

I did some research after reading this chapter on how I would for example teach math to a special needs or FASD child and I learned about teaching through a concrete-to-representational-to-abstract sequence of instruction. With this type of teaching students who have math learning problems are first allowed to develop a concrete understanding of the math concept or skill then they are more likely to perform that math skill and truly understand the math concept at the abstract level. Picturing in my mind how I would go about doing this would be to use concrete objects or pictures to solve a math problem. Once they grasp the concrete concept then use numbers and math symbols to transition to the abstract.

The CRA instructional sequence consists of three stages: concrete, representation, and abstract. Learning to Read can be taught using this method of instruction as well. First we can use concrete objects like blocks or other materials to teach letters. To transition into a representational or semi-concrete level we can draw pictures to represent the letter. Next to teach the abstract we can model the letter at a symbolic level like for the letter a you can draw the letter and an apple putting the letter together with the picture. In this age of technology there are many computer based instructional programs and videos which provide visual aids using concrete language for teaching math, reading, social, life and other concepts. For example there are cooking videos which walk you step by step through a recipe which provides a visual aid with a hands on learning experience.

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