By Dina Halaseh, Educational Psychologist
Education shifted drastically in the COVID-19 era. Unfortunately, what used to be normal isn’t normal anymore and the effects may last for a while.
Focusing on process, not outcome
What I always like to focus on, when it comes to education, is concepts. Understanding the main concepts behind what we are learning is very important. For example, understanding the concept behind multiplication is vital in understanding multiplication itself. That’s why one of the main takeaways for every educator and parent is to focus on concepts and explaining to a student why it’s essential to understand these concepts and how much it contributes to success.
In many cases, parents focus on the results, regardless of whether their child memorised multiplication facts or not. But in almost every situation, the process is more important than the outcome. If the process behind the learning is not correct, then the outcome is affected too! So, as parents and educators, the focus should be more on the process.
Connectedness and relatedness play a significant role in every student’s motivation. For our children to do well, to exert their best effort, and enjoy learning, they need to connect to their teachers, school and the students around them.
Some of the positive outcomes from distance learning are immediate feedback, using a quick email or even online forms. This allowed a teacher to send short messages reminding students that their work was seen and that the teacher missed them or was thinking about them. This kind of feedback fosters relatedness and is worth considering when schools go back to their traditional teaching methods.
To ensure students are learning and concepts are understood, there are Exit Slips. These are student responses to questions teachers ask at the end of a class. These quick, informal assessments enable teachers to assess students’ understanding of the material quickly. They help students reflect on what they have learned and help teachers see what students managed to learn, what they need to focus on more, and what might need revision. Since many students may struggle with remembering material studied from last year, using this technique may help shed light on academic gaps a child may be struggling with.
It is clear that we need to adapt to our new lives, but we need to keep in mind that it’s never about finishing the “book” or scheduled material with students; it’s about understanding, transfer and use of studied material in real life. It’s okay to slow down if a child is struggling with certain concepts, focus should be on the process of learning instead.
This activity will help your children understand and express feelings through drawings of what they feel. This fun activity helps build social and emotional intelligence skills and self expression.
1. Begin by asking your child open-ended questions about feelings to engage in a conversation. You can ask about things that make them feel happy, angry, sad, proud.By pointing to a couple of coloured pens, you can ask your child what feelings are generated from a specific colour
2. You can encourage your child to draw different self-portraits using one colour for each feeling; shapes can also be included
3. You can encourage your child to describe each drawing and what it represents. The opposite feeling can be drawn too
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