Monday, June 28, 2010

How Twos and Threes Learn

I hear, and I forget;
            I see and I remember;
I do, and I understand.
            —Chinese Proverb

Twos and threes remember best when all their senses—touch, smell, sight, hearing, and even taste—are involved in learning. The more senses a child uses in learning about something, the more he will remember the experience.

It is also important which senses are used in teaching. Studies have shown that children learn 1 percent by taste, 1.5 percent by touch, 3.5 percent by smell, 11 percent by sounds, and 83 percent by sight. The more senses involved, the more likely the child is to remember that event. Therefore, visuals, room environment, and classroom decorations become very important when teaching children.

Twos and threes’ curiosity and creativity can be further stimulated by other opportunities to explore and experience. In Basic Preschool Work, Jerry Terrell lists several avenues, including the following, through which preschoolers learn:

•    Imitation: The child learns by what he sees and hears others do.

•    Curiosity: The child is motivated to discover people and the world around him.

•    Repetition: By repeating an activity, the child develops and refines skills.

•    Doing: The child learns independence by actually doing things for himself.

•    Playing: This is how kids sort out feelings about themselves, others, and the world around them.

•    Being successful: Twos and threes learn a great deal when they are successful at and get satisfaction from the activity they undertake. The activity may be a simple as putting their napkins and cups in the trash after snack time. A child may take so much pride in his accomplishment that he will want to repeat the activity again and again.

•     Relating to others: children need a personal, warm, happy environment in which to learn, and they need caring teachers and leaders who teach, guide, and support them in their learning.

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