Sunday, June 24, 2007

I'm Bleeding! :-)

The other day, Pamela and I shared a wonderful, unplanned, unscripted moment! We were preparing for Pamela's narration, so I had the camera ready to go. When Pamela left the room to use the bathroom, she stubbed her toe. I knew she had bumped herself, but did not realize she had cut her toe. After she walked back into the homeschool room, I started up the camera. Before she launched into her narration, Pamela just had to tell me about her bleeding toe, which she had covered with ointment. Pamela interacted with me beautifully and laughed when I made a joke that was a play on the title of the story to be narrated, "Dee Finds Boo."

What makes RDI so difficult to explain are these little moments in life in which two people communicate on multiple levels with no real goal (such as getting the right answer or using the correct syntax). Sharing emotions like this is the difference between having friends and connecting with friends. In the RDI World, this is called experience sharing:
Sharing different perspectives, integrating multiple information channels and determining "good enough" levels of comprehension. Using language and non-verbal communication to express curiosity, invite others to interact, share perceptions and feelings and coordinate your actions with others.

You can see we had two levels of communication going, both nonverbal and verbal. Pamela gives meaningful eye contact (not just a look because of prompting) and intiates the conversation. She invites me to interact with her facial expression. She wants me to know about her stubbed toe! When I react, she lifts her foot to show me her little wound, shifting her gaze between her foot and my face. She sweetly smiles when I pour on some sympathy and responds with her hand when I reach out to hold her hand and comfort her. She laughs at my pun and looks down and covers her face in amusement.

In case, you had a hard time following the verbal communication, I wrote a transcript.

Pamela says, "I'm bleeding."
I ask, "Did you cut your foot?"
Pamela answers, "Yes."
I remark, "Aw, let me see! Oooo, yes, and you did a clever job taking care of it! Wow, Pamela, that was good."
Pamela adds, "Yes."
I say, "I'm sorry about your foot. Mmmmm, poor Pamela hurt her foot. Do you want to tell me about Dee and Boo? Oh, Pamela has a boo-boo."
Pamela laughs with a genuine smile.
I ask, "Do you get my joke?"
Pamela replies, "Yes, Boo!"
I add, "Boo, you got my joke!
Pamela asks, "What?"
I say, "Okay, I'm ready for your story!"
Pamela replies, "Yes."

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