4th Grade Learning Goals
Through our daily lessons, conversations, and experiences, these are the areas in which I will focus to best support Joaquin’s development and education over the next year:
- Listen to music from different periods and cultures seeking to find patterns and appreciation
- Learn stories about some composers, e.g. Mozart and Beethoven
- Singing and dancing
- While interest holds, participate in a music class; he’s expressed interest in violin instruction.
FUNCTIONAL SKILLS AND SERVICE • Life Skills, Social
- Age-Appropriate Skills: Housework, cooking, baking (teach him all my recipes).
- Self-Reliance: Step back and encourage him to practice doing more things on his own (e.g. buy day pass at rec center, do full check-out at the library, choose and order when eating out, ask for information and help, etc.)
- Social manners and personal hygiene: [private examples]. Transfer responsibility (central executive function) to him by having him pay with currency (money and video game time earned) for failure to practice.
- Volunteer work: Get us involved in a cause in which he can be motivated to participate or learn about. Through our lessons and conversations we’ll explore causes and issues to find one we want to contribute to (e.g. fundraising via any of our creative pursuits).
- Learn about humanity’s problems (e.g. disabilities, poverty, natural disasters, war, disease, etc), and explore what we can do to help and be part of the solutions. Read about people who have come up with solutions (young inventors seem to abound these days).
INVENTION AND EVOLUTION • History, Science
- Learn how things were before the world he knows, the process of invention and its effects. (e.g. electricity, space exploration, the wheel, TV, radio, mail, vehicles, fire, evolution of dwellings, etc.)
- Explore examples of beings adapting and changing in response to their environment.
- Explore the evolution of inventions, habits, cultures, the way people live and use stuff.
STRENGTHENING OUR VOICE • Verbal Communication
- Do verbal presentations to each other and in video to practice sharing our thoughts with others. Encourage the use of a planned structure (sequencing from introduction to conclusion).
- Memorize passages and recite/perform/sing them (see how articulate he can be if he has memorized the content). Maybe do something creative with this like theater or musical duets with costumes, scenarios, and music.
- Motivate Joaquin to read aloud more (e.g. read to a dog, muñequito, person, or to camera). He likes reading his books to me, so maybe start him with his own content.
- Have Joaquin listen to his own voice (while he’s speaking? I’m getting the image of what DW wanted to do with him in the recording studio).
READING • Knowledge Bank, Auditory Processing
In addition to continuing to use stories to introduce him to unfamiliar subjects, I got some intuitive suggestions: Jules Verne (I got an adventure in an island), Greek mythology, and mystery.
In an interesting turn of events, Joaquin is now indicating he’s also ready for informational text.
AUDITORY PROCESSING • LEARNING PILLARS
Continue practicing the fundamental skills and tools in our model:
Materials and Resources
- Picture and visual books (stories and informational)
- CD picture books
- Wordless books
- Videos (TED-Ed lessons, Khan Academy, educational DVDs, documentaries)
- Teach/Listen/Read – Ask
- Ask to rephrase content from phonoloop
- New vocabulary: Ask for examples, ask for 3 words in same category
- Build categories
- Give him choices to reason through them
- Engage reasoning and discussion through content
- Write stories or short informational pieces involving content learned
- Practice responding verbally, writing, and typing
- Expose him to varied unfamiliar subjects
- Feed his associator tons of images
- Use tactile activities
- Practice motor activities for brain hemisphere integration
- Practice sequencing activities
- Channel switching and visual breaks