Friday, May 24, 2013

Truly Learning a New Skill

Did you ever stop to assess whether some of your students have truly learned a new skill when you mark off "goal achieved" on a IEP?  Meaning has the child learned the skill so that it can be performed with no physical or verbal cues?  Does the child choose to use the skill in all environments at home and school?  Does the child ever even use the new skill at all?

It is something to think about.  Sometimes the best time to check if someone has truly learned a new skill is to wait a bit and then check on that skill at a later date. 

One of two things will happen - yes, the child has learned the new skill or no the child has not.  But, important information will be gained.  If yes, provide that child again with positive reinforcement and congratulations on using the new skill.  Is there a higher level skill that the child can work towards building upon this skill?  Ask the child if the skill has helped him or her.  This helps you to formulate future goals for other students.

If no, determine what requires further advancement.  For example, does the child require occasional reminders?  Is the child unable to perform the skill only in art class?  Does one small part of the overall skill need review?  By answering these questions, one can help a child reach his/her full potential. 

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