Thursday, 3 May 2012

What we see is not necessarily what other's see; A Learning Curve

So...I was tutoring late into the evening last night and I came across a 'eureka moment'. 

My tutee is dyslexic and has scotopic sensitivity syndrome so wears green tinted glasses, (SSS is a sensitivity to light, making black lettering on white extremely difficult to read as it moves about & sometimes floats off the page altogether!  My daughter also has this - IF ANYONE WANTS MORE INFO PLEASE ASK!!)  Anyway...back to the story . 

We were playing a literacy game which consisted of using translucent (but strongly coloured) counters round a board to guess 'silent letters' in words.  My tutee kept putting the counters directly on top of the words, then I would move them off as I couldn't see the word underneath - then he would move his counter and put it directly on top of the word again, then I would move it off & so on!  Eventually I asked, 'Can you see the word underneath the counter?' 'Of course!' he replied.  I couldn't believe it & tested him with 2, then 3 counters on top of the word AND with his green filter glasses on!  He could still read any word I put the counters over, and if 3 counters were put on a word I couldn't even make out that there were any letters there - far less read the word!  It was then that it hit me -

as teachers we teach as WE SEE THINGS -

We rarely take the time to ask children what they ACTUALLY see; presuming that it is the same as us!'s not!  When I tried it on my daughter later (who wears purple tinted glasses), she agreed  that by covering the word with the counter it actually HIGHLIGHTED not OBSCURED the word!  Fascinating! And a big learning curve for me as a teacher AND a parent!

As an aside......after our tutoring session this morning I asked my daughter how she was finding it after nearly 3 weeks of being taught by mum, she cheekily said, 'The teaching bit is really good, I am learning a lot and you are patient, you just need to work on the mum bit, cos you're not nearly as patient as mum!'


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