Last week was a big week for many reasons. (1) Pamela started present tense verbs (ala the association method) and began using the Reading Milestones program to practice syntax (her reading is fine). (2) Pamela finished Level 5 of Making Math Meaningful. (3) Pamela finally met her toy cat from the Barbie Kitty Condo project begun a few weeks back. (4) Pamela started a new locked box game with the goal of referencing my face when uncertain.
Pamela worked on several important skills during the kitty project. She figured out how to put new objects together (sometimes, on her own; sometimes, referencing me for more information). She learned to think about the meaning of each new object and anticipate what might be in the locked box. Often, I let her figure out the answer through my nonverbal communication and declarative statements. She learned to linger longer, come back for more conversation, and control her urge to get on with the next part of our day. She learned to reference my face for information when unusual things happened like when an object was missing from the collection, to anticipate that something would be missing, and to figure out what was missing in advance. She practiced using her imagination in theorizing to what all the objects pointed and concluded correctly that it was a cat about a week before finding the last object.
Some readers have wondered how to set up something like this for boys. One possibility is Legos. Or you could buy videos, books, or DVDs and hide one magnetic letter in the box each day to spell out the title.
Pamela has started a new collection with locked box (a Barbie Table and Kitchen Chairs Playset), and I have two broad goals in mind at present. One is for very unexpected things to happen, each time something different, requiring her to reference me in uncertain situations. So far, the locked box has been empty, puzzle pieces were in the wrong box, I have forgotten under which cup/card/placemat things were hidden, etc. I will be interested to see how she regulates herself and if she continues to turn to me for reassurance. Since Pamela references me so well, I am setting up situations in the game in which she must reference her brother for information. This gives David the opportunity to provide clear non-verbal cues to her and Pamela the chance to learn to reference her younger, but much larger brother.
First Episode of the Barbie Kitty Condo Project
Previous Episode of Barbie Kitty Condo Project