Thursday, October 13, 2011

Teachable Moments

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “teachable moments” over the last few years. According to Wikipedia, a teachable moment is “the time at which learning a particular topic or idea becomes possible or easiest”. In special education, I’ve often heard this idea referred to when an educator is following their student’s lead, or using high-interest topics to motivate students that are more resistant to mainstream curriculum. I think that both are accurate. I also think that teachable moments happen all the time: at home or at school, with your child with Autism, with your neurotypical child, with your partner or friend. All of us have the potential for growth, and I think that opportunities to learn are presented throughout our lives.

I decided to share about teachable moments on my blog today because of a fun experience I had with my students this afternoon. One of our families graciously donated a play structure for our kids to use in our sensory area. This afternoon, we put a sheet over the top of it and made a fort! The kids had a GREAT time, and it gave me an opportunity to talk about prepositions! Prepositions are words that link nouns together in a sentence, and here in the SRC primary class, we are working on basic spatial prepositions (in, on, under, beside, between). In our fort today, we talked about who was in the fort, who was out of the fort, things beside the fort, who was between who inside the fort, what was on the fort, etc. Great examples of student language:

“Come in!”
“Ashlee beside the fort”
“Between friends!”
“Oh no! Put on!” (when the sheet fell off)
“Climb under!”

What great language, using such challenging concepts! We work on prepositions throughout the day, but I felt like this was such a great teachable moment, in a naturally reinforcing environment, that would truly promote generalization!

In the fort! : )

I am so proud of our students!

Hope you have a nice long weekend! Thanks for reading!