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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Smell the Onions

~ Teaching Tip: Smell the Onions ~
Explain EVERYTHING. When you're in the car, at the grocery store, respond to their questions with questions and explain when you fill your tank with gasoline WHY it needs gasoline to run.....and what does a human body use for goes on and on.  When you cut an onion at dinner, let them smell, touch, and taste it? Where do onions grow? On trees, bushes, in the ground? Look it up online later with pictures and videos. Point out words everywhere you go and encourage curiosity, if you don't know, find out together. This is the part of EL that permeates into every facet of your life and can be incorporated into existing activities, taking little to no extra time.

By BrillBaby Username: TeachingmyToddlers, posted 6/24/13

Answering questions with questions is called self discovery in the world of tutoring.
In my tutoring practice, we utilize self discovery.  This empowers the student, increases intrinsic motivation and builds confidence.  Many times the student can answer his/her own question by applying background knowledge correctly.  It's all about asking the right questions.  Children feel respected and capable when we challenge them to answer their own questions.  If they can't seem to find that answer, they can brainstorm a way to find the answer (look on google, the library, find an expert, etc.)

My students amaze me everyday with their ingenuity.  I'm looking forward to my daughter doing the same.

How Do You "Smell the Onions" with a Baby?
#1 provide opportunities to engage multiple senses
#2 narrate these experiences
"I'm going to write a letter to my sister with this pen." 
:::parent holds pen in front of baby's face::: (visual)
"Pen" (can show flash card with word pen if teaching reading)
"The pen is smooth.  Feel it."
::parent takes baby finger and guides it across the surface of the pen::::
"smooth" (tactile)
"The pen doesn't really smell like anything.  Smell it" 
::parent smells it with exaggerated sniffing, holds out by babies nose::
"Do we taste the pen?  Nooo.  But, I'm going to write with the pen, see what happens.  First the page is blank, then it has words on it.  Watch."
::depending on the age, the baby can try using the pen::
Now that is just a mundane activity, but if your baby is happy alert he/she will learn so much in that interaction and you will have a lot of fun experiencing it with him/her. 
Your baby will learn what a pen is regardless, but what good practice for you to slow down and appreciate the wonder of the world with your little one. 


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