The excerpt below is from a blog article, “From Sketch Notes To Marshmallows: Self-Reg is About Relationships,” by Summer Learning Program coordinator Aviva Dunsiger. Reposted with permission. Have a SLP observation or success story you would like to share? Contact us here.
By Aviva Dunsiger
This summer, I once again took on the role as coordinator for Camp Power and Camp CLIMB. In this role, I get to oversee multiple sites, and work with both instructors and students: programming and planning with a special emphasis on literacy and math. While I love all aspects of this position, I probably enjoy my time in the classroom the most. It was some classroom experiences which inspired this post.
We Know That Self-Reg Starts With Relationships, But What Do Those Look Like?
Earlier in the summer, I went into one summer camp classroom. Students were writing at the time. I recognized some of the campers from last year, and I started to chat with them as they wrote. I asked one student, “How is the writing going?” Her reply to me was, “Not very well. My writing isn’t very neat.” I responded with, “Writing is about so much more than just printing. It’s about getting ideas down. Do you have ideas to share?” She said, “Yes, but I have dyslexia, so I’m not good at spelling.” I thought for a moment, and asked, “Have you ever used the microphone on the iPad to record your ideas. We could get you an iPad if you want.” She said, “I don’t like using iPads.” I offered up the idea of working in the pod between the classrooms, so she would have a quiet space, but she didn’t want this iPad option. Okay. I remembered something else about this student: she loves to draw, and she is a very gifted artist. I said, “I remember how talented you are at drawing. Have you ever tried sketch noting before? What if you wrote through sketch notes?” She beamed! “I can do that!,” and she started getting her ideas down.
This happened to be a student who was a very reluctant learner last summer. Even just entering the classroom space was hard for her. Relationships got her through the doorway. This learner could, and in the past would, have shut down. Remembering what worked for her and giving her an alternative way to express herself, relieved some of her cognitive stress. The next day, she was actively writing instead of just looking at her notebook.
(Click here to read the full blog post)