Self evaluation is another good skill for children to have, and it’s a piece of teaching self control. This is being able to go back and review their own efforts or their own products. The goal is to have children slow down and consider their work. We do this in our Look, Listen and Learn class over a sequence of days by having children draw three of the same shapes, later three of the same objects (like a house), then write their name three times. After each effort, they are guided to review their work and decide which is the best and the worst, then to describe why they choose each and what could they do to improve on the worst to make it more like the best. We then ask others to (nicely) state why they agree or disagree with the child’s own review. This is a task designed to have them thinking about their own process as they approach tasks and to encourage them to give their best effort. It is also foundation for teaching them to review their academic work later. By second grade, children should be encouraged to review their homework before it goes in the back pack each night. This can be as simple as having them tell their parent one sentence about each assignment. As they get older, it is more detailed including re-working 2 math problems or reading a writing assignment aloud.
This is a piece of attention span and impulse control that overlaps with the previous posts’ suggestions about listening, planning and organization. Sequencing is more about the follow through of listening and the organization of a plan. We practice this with Sequence Cards* where children are given pictures and asked to arrange them in a story that makes sense, and then tell their story. We also have them retell pictures books identifying the beginning middle and end as well as the order of smaller details if they are able. Our Crazy Directions game* and Robot game* both get at their ability to sequence. At home this may be ordering items (big, bigger, biggest blocks), talking through the beginning, middle and end of following a recipe, building a model, reading a book or playing a board game.
Sequence Cards* http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp;jsessionid=PGNhxm1v8Ch2TpnnyxrXX1Ls2ggLTmvgLyXvVhD5J1JF1LWMHGtf!-2074226025!-769277136?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C919%2C061&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1330023930245
Crazy Directions game* – Start with two steps then move on to three and four step directions. Make it fun. A three step direction might be, “find the dog, touch his nose and jump up and down. Ready, go!” If three is too many for them to manage, go back to two. If three is easy, move on to four.
Robot game* – Child is a robot, and you are the robot programer. You are giving step by step directions and they are following them, doing ONLY what you say to do. This can be a slow process, but they are practicing listening, following directions and going slowly through the process of an activity. For a younger child, it can be going over to pick up and return a book. For an older child, it can be making a PBandJ. It’s good to then change roles and have you be the robot.