Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Working Memory - Part 4 - Planning

Planning involves the ordering of existing prior knowledge. It requires thinking ahead by anticipating, prioritising time, and focusing attention on the most important information. This may take the form of attending to; instructions, text structure, or pictures. Children may also use diagrams or write notes, draw pictures, or visualise content.


Help children develop planning skills by:
  1. Focusing attention on the instructions by asking the child/ren to listen carefully (by using the suggestions in part 3 of this series).
  2. Breaking the instructions up into clear steps and encouraging them to visualise themselves going through the motions.
  3. Making notes the steps needed to perform the set task.
  4. Deciding on the type of information to be found.
  5. Looking at the pictures and diagrams and link to new ideas.
  6. Prioritising the key ideas and being ready to connect others.
  7. Looking at the text structure e.g. is it a story (narrative) or a non-fiction text (list, problem, etc.) and finding clues as to how the information is structured.
  8. Making a list of unfamiliar words that are in the text  (making a concept map - see photograph above).
  9. Discussing likely scenarios (after viewing the pictures and /or diagrams).
  10. Fostering high but realistic expectations.
These steps will encourage children to focus attention, activate background knowledge, and link new information to existing information. When children are made aware of the fact that information has form or structure this they will be more likely order their knowledge more efficiently. 

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