I have a hard of hearing student who works very hard on her language skills. We are always working on learning new vocabulary, everyday sayings, grammar, pronunciation, reading, writing, and such. She had a late start in learning language, but is rapidly catching up thanks to her hard work and her creativity.
One day I decided to let her lead the vocabulary learning activity in the beginning of our session.
First, we went over her new vocabulary words of the week that she will be focusing on and using in class. Usually, she likes to draw pictures or use pictures to help her understand the meaning of each word. She gestured towards the brightly colored Post-it Notes on the desk. After I encouraged her to use her words, she said, "I want the paper, please." I did not let her have some until she understood how most people actually call them Post-it Notes or sticky notes. She asked, "Can I have the sticky notes please?" So I gave her a few pads of yellow and pink sticky notes. She immediately started drawing pictures. The pictures represented some of the new words we went over. She labeled each drawing with the word it represent. She took the labeled drawings and put them in order, side by side, numbering them.
When she came across some words she had trouble remembering what they meant, I explained their meanings to her when she asked and then she drew new pictures and labeled them as well. She put all of the pictures side by side on the desk in front of her. Sometimes she asked me to help her draw some pictures. I did not say a word and waited for her instructions or to see what she will do next.
Once she was finished drawing and labeling the pictures, she said, "OK, you point to picture and I say sentence." I pointed to the picture of Santa riding his sleigh. Sleigh was the vocabulary word she needed to understand. She said, "Um, Santa ride the sleigh." I repeated what she said, "Santa ride the sleigh." She asked, "Ride or rides?" I said, "Rides." She said the sentence again, "Santa rides the sleigh." I gave her the thumbs up and smiled. We continued doing this for the remaining twenty minutes. She used her drawings as a guide. When she had trouble remembering the meaning of a word, she looked at her drawings.
I was amazed at how she came up with this activity on her own and how well it was working for her. I am always blown away at how creative she is! I learned that she is a good problem solver and is eager to try new things and to experiment. I am going to make more of an effort to encourage her to utilize these skills more often.
Towards the end of our session, I took over some and asked her to write some sentences using the new vocabulary in response to my questions. We then practiced using the new words saying them out loud in sentences. She would refer to her handy picture guide to help.
Because we share this room with other teachers, we were concerned about someone taking her sticky notes creation. She decided to make a note: