Three sessions in, keeping this brief while trying not to get sidetracked by 'Supernatural' on the DVD:
The topic for last week was how to promote our children's thinking skills via descriptive commentary. Or, in plainer English, the technique of describing everything they do as they do it ("You've got a red block! And a green one! And that one's curvy… Look what a tall tower you're building!"), thereby simultaneously showing them you're interested in their doings and helping them pick up all sorts of useful vocabulary.
The instructor started out with a 'how not to do it' illustration, getting one of the group to pretend to be a child playing with some toys while she constantly pestered her with supposedly educational questions ("What are you doing? What colour is that? Where is that going to go?"), explained the descriptive commentary technique, and showed us some more what-not-to-do DVDs. Then we tried it out with another role-play, with me as the mother and another group member as the child; I do not wish to boast but it appears I have excellent descriptive commentary techniques, with bonus points for acknowledging that a particular activity was difficult, which is a good way of helping children feel more confident when they find something hard.
Hmmm… we must have done more than that but that's all I can remember (which is probably just as well – why did I think it would be such an interesting idea to record every session?). The homework is, once again, to do some kind of learning-type play for ten minutes daily, and to read Chapter 2 in the book, which is on praise, our topic for next week. (We still don't have the books, but there's a copy at the meetings so I speed-read the chapter before I left – it isn't very long.) There's also an extra activity for any time in the next three weeks, for which we have a choice of either going to the library with our children (no thanks – trips out with both children are not so much learning and bonding activities as 'Pray God I make it home with the same number of children I started the day with'), or playing with our children in the classroom.
Finally, we're now supposed to be forming a buddy system whereby we have another person from the group whom we phone every week to talk to about how it's going and share hot tips; this sounds like a good idea but we put it on hold due to being two people short that week. I'm not sure how we're going to do it given that there are an odd number in the group, but we can sort that out next week. That's about it. Meanwhile, I am also pleased to be able to relate that Sam and Dean have defeated the encroaching forces of evil for yet another episode. Good night.