We have published free downloadable materials for parents and teachers to help with thinking and learning in children and young people especially for children with developmental difficulties. Yesterday we blogged about a key feature of EPIC – multiple areas of difficulty and we wrote about our play, game and activity based focus. Today we are going to cover personalisation and will also write about active learning.
At the heart of EPIC is personalisation. How can we best engage children to improve their thinking learning and wellbeing? We advocate using the items that are personal to a child such as toys they play with or items they collect. We have for example used nerf guns to help children learn high frequency words! A parent or teacher could write out a series of words for example ‘th’words – the, they, there, them – put them up on a door and ask the child shoot at them on calling each word out! Children who love lego can be easily engaged in maths by using lego to represent numbers with coloured pieces used to represent ‘chunks’ or groups of information. We include many more examples in the Strategy booklet.
A child’s active participation in their learning is critical for all children but especially important for children with developmental difficulties. It is important the child ‘does’ the activity in addition to listening to information. In our strategy booklets we detail examples like this that many teachers routinely use in this way such as ‘rainbow writing’ and ‘stepped writing’. When we conducted interviews and workshops with teachers as part of the development of EPIC, teachers described the range of strategies they use and we found lots were being commonly used by all but some teachers used strategies that others weren’t using. We were able to document them in our booklets to ensure that teachers can learn from other teachers’ effective use of strategies. Of course parents can also use these strategies to help with their child’s thinking and learning.
We hope you find our booklets useful. Do please contact us with any feedback you have!
Visual production credit: Photographer Ekaterina79 via Getty Images