Monday, April 14, 2014

An Overlooked School Readiness "Skill"

Children can be an endless stream of questions: 

“Why is the sky blue?”
“Why do I sleep at night?”
“How come we need to go shopping?” 

Preschoolers also love to tell tales and may not stop for a breath:

“We went to the park and saw a frog that was making a loud noise and he hopped away.”
“My brother took my puzzle and now one of the pieces is lost and my mother can’t find it so I am not happy.”

Often these questions and tales are told when you are trying to teach your preschoolers. That is why it is helpful to teach children the difference between an “ask” and a “tell.”

I like to tell children that some things are said to let others know what we are thinking. Other things are asked and we need the other person to answer. I give children some easy examples such as:
“Is your shirt red?”

I find out if the child has enough background to identify this as an “ask” or a “tell.” If the child does, I proceed; but if not, I share my thinking and say, “I expect you to answer. So that is an “ask.” What is your answer?” I then give several more examples of an “ask” before stating examples of “tells” like, "I have a yellow crayon."

Next, I would ask the child to provide some “asks” and “tells.” This is something I review constantly with preschoolers. When we have class sharing or a guest in the classroom, the child is then better equipped to understand what he or she can say when raising a hand. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will thank you as often children raise their hands to tell a long story when a question has been expected. This is an often overlooked but important school readiness “skill.”

No comments:

Post a Comment