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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Every Moment is a Teachable Moment

          I was inspired this week to work more on Mandarin with my kids at home.  When we first started out, I was working with them a lot, but the everyday just got to me, I suppose.  It's hard to do, day in and day out, with so many other things going on.  But, I realized this week that even little things can help.  
      In our parents and tots class at Language Stars* this week, I was reminded that every moment is a teachable moment.  The teacher uses absolutely every moment of class to teach something, whether she is reviewing old vocabulary or repeating and reinforcing new vocabulary.  I was struck by the idea that I can do the same, it will just take a little effort on my part.  
      Snack time at LS is always the same, creating a routine that is familiar to the children and making sure to reinforce useful vocabulary surrounding eating and drinking.  But, there is also a unique activity during snack for each class which centers on the vocabulary/topic for that week.  This week, we were working on body parts, so the teacher took out place mats with body part pictures.  

Using snack time activities to reinforce new vocabulary

        The idea is that the teacher calls out a body part and the child places some of his/her snack on top of the correct picture.  It's a pretty simple concept, but what stuck me is how this normally lost time was captured and used to practice vocabulary.  Can I do that at home?  Sure.  I don't know if I'll be making place mats for snack, but it gives me ideas.  We have little books that we haven't been reading lately.  I have some tracing sheets for my daughter that I need to locate today.  My kids LOVE to play games, so why not spend a little time making some in Mandarin?  
        So, while I don't have hours and hours of time to devote to practicing our Mandarin, there are little things I can do.  There are small moments that can be seized and utilized to reinforce the language.  Teachable moments are everywhere.  I just have to go looking for them.

Thanks for reading,

*We receive 50% off our Language Stars tuition for sharing our experiences through this blog.  
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