EDUDEAF: Teaching Concepts

Key Words: Instructional Strategies, Language, k-12

Document 1 of 10

Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Subj: The concept of "surprise"
Date: 97-01-15 13:59:12 EST
From: CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU (Cathy Brandt)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Hi folks,

Interesting time yesterday working with a child one on one. He'd finished reading a story in which an elephant ate a boy's mittens. One of the questions that was asked was what surprised the boy.

Through the discussion it became evident the child did not understand the concept "surprise."

I tried to explain and give examples. I asked him if he walked outside and saw a kangaroo would he be surprised. He said no. I asked what about if he saw a dog and he said, Yes, he would be surprised. Now - we live in Kentucky - not Australia.

I then explained how surprised meant things happening that we don't expect to happen vs things which happen regularly and experience often. More examples then -
"Would you be surprised to go outside and see a purple elephant?" NO
"Would you be surprised to outside and see a gray elephant?" YES
I was becoming exasperated :)

I went through what we know elephants eat. We listed those things. I said I EXPECT an elephant to eat ... We talked about things an elephant would NOT eat. I DON'T EXPECT an elephant to eat those.

I then asked, "Would you be surprised if an elephant ate hay?" YES Would you be surprised if an elephant ate shoes? NO

At that point his mom walked in to observe for the afternoon. She asked him some things relative to home. Same thing happened.

So - guess my task is to now try and SURPRISE this kid.

Suggestions on how to teach this!?

Cathy

Document 2 of 10


Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Subj: Re: The concept of "surprise"
Date: 97-01-15 19:21:03 EST
From: stevel@HCDB.K12.HI.US (steve laracuente)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Sounds like two possibilities. 1.)The student has the opposite definition of surprise, where he thinks it means "same old, same old" or 2.)he thinks it means "something I would not expect to see here at the school" like the dog or the elephant. The Kangaroo would NOT be a surprise, cuz that would be IMPOSSIBLE in the boy's mind, since the kangaroo lives in Australia (that is assuming he knows already).

I would suggest you model the use of that sign in as many situations as possible. You can set up surprises for him, that is fine, but also react to surprises and explain why it was a surprise. I am sure there are many surprises that will happen to you in the course of just one day.

Steve Laracuente

Document 3 of 10


Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Subj: Re: The concept of "surprise"
Date: 97-01-15 19:54:54 EST
From: careyp@earthlink.net (Phillip & Susan Carey)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: careyp@earthlink.net

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

I work with middle school students who come from bi-lingual homes (Asian and/or Hispanic languages) These kids have had teachers with different approaches. One uses straight S.E.E., the other uses more P.S.E. and now the teacher they have wants to get them familiar with ASL. Many of the signs the kids use are initialized and they quickly correct us when we use ASL ("can" comes to mind). Anyway, often a sign we use means something different to them. I'm wondering if this child is thinking you are signing "wake up" or "awake" which would make his answers correct. How about using the sign "right" or "real"? How old is he? If he can read a story with these words, are you sure he is reading and not decoding? Our students can decode many sentences, but cannot answer comprehension questions.

Recently we discussed earthworms. The book read "the worm has muscles which run along his body". The student asked how the worm could run without legs. Two steps backward. This is where ASL helps the most. We can use classifiers to draw the concept and explain the English uses the word RUN for many different things. Noses run, refrigerators run, pantyhose run, candidates run, etc. Of course by the time we finished the side lesson, the other students were done reading the whole chapter!

Susan Carey
who is very interested in following this link.

Document 4 of 10


Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Subj: Re: The concept of "surprise"
Date: 97-01-15 22:57:30 EST
From: JacyHyman@AOL.COM (Jacy Hyman)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Maybe surprise him by rearranging the classroom especially in a way that would seem strange? Maybe that would surprise him?

Jacy

Document 5 of 10


Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Subj: Re: The concept of "surprise"
Date: 97-01-15 23:41:19 EST
From: dhag@MTSI.COM (DeLores)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Most kids, including deaf ones, learn better with a hands on approach. Especially new concepts. Perhaps a magician would donate an hour of his/her time to demonstrate some 'surprises'. Also, a 'surprise' party during class time or at lunch. A paper grocery bag with several small inexpensive gifts (surprises) inside to be pulled out on long strings... SURPRISE!!!!

This is the type of thing that as a parent I used to love to try to figure out as a support to the teacher. I could work these things into our daily life and spend more repetitive time with a task than the teacher could during the school day. It was fun, once I knew what the concept was that my son was missing, to try to teach that concept through many varied situations until it was totally clear to him.

I will never forget my shock when my son was about 16, to find out that he didn't know what the word "meat" meant! He understood roasts, fried chicken, hamburger, etc but not MEAT!

It is really helpful these days if parents will sit down and watch closed captioned television programs with their children. In many cases words are being presented with actions and situations are being depicted which help to develop new vocabulary. We bought the first closed captioning device sold in this state during my son's senior year of high school. I can remember the excitement we all felt that now this whole new world was opening to the deaf and what a wonderful opportunity this would be for teaching our deaf children. Imagine my surprise to find out recently that MANY deaf children are never exposed to closed captioned TV at home even though their parents have sets with the built-in captioners!!! The TV is ON, but not the captions!

Sorry to have rambled on so long!

DeLores Wilson

Document 6 of 10


Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Subj: Re: The concept of "surprise"
Date: 97-01-16 11:03:25 EST
From: BradIngrao@AOL.COM (Brad Ingrao)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Cathy,

I just asked my son (6 years old, Deaf) how he would teach a kid what "surprise" meant.

He made the "Home Alone" face and said "Not scared, but SURPRISE!"

Out of the hands of babes...

Brad Ingrao

Document 7 of 10


Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Subj: Re: The concept of "surprise"
Date: 97-01-16 19:40:45 EST
From: BradIngrao@AOL.COM (Brad Ingrao)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

In the movie "Home Alone" Macauly Calkin makes a face with his lips pursed like he saying "OOOOOHHH" and slaps both cheeks at the same time (fingers pointing up). It happened when he tried to shave and then but alcohol-based after shave on and stung his face.

Brad Ingrao

Document 8 of 10


Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Subj: the concept of surprise
Date: 97-01-16 12:34:09 EST
From: meccariu@UNLINFO.UNL.EDU (Malinda Eccarius)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Sometimes we try to teach concepts backwards. We give the group label, and then examples for it. The problem here is that if the children have a different definition for the group than we do, they don't end up giving us the answers we want. Hilda Taba had a wonderful sequence for teaching concepts, and there is an inquiry game that works much the same way. Taba sequence:

The benefit comes from the child having processed contrastive examples before getting or creating the definition. Yes, you use the word (e.g. surprise) that labels the group of events, but the shared definition develops gradually.

The game, which is old, is the one-string game, where students have a list of items which can be grouped in a number of ways. To highlight surprise, these might be sentences: e.g.
A hippo is in your bathtub.
You brush your teeth.
Your dog is wearing your shoes.
You put on your coat because it is cold.
Your mom gives you toast for breakfast.
Your mom puts buttons in your lunch box.
You feed your dog. (and so on--this is not a long enough list)

These could be grouped by: In the bathroom, about food, surprising things, about clothes, about animals, etc.

Then you draw a big circle. The kids (kid) can only ask "Does ______(item from list)____ go inside the circle?" You say "yes" or "no". You help them see that they are eliminating categories so that "no" is just as good an answer as "yes." People are not on teams--the group goal is to guess the rule that puts phrases inside the circle. So, it goes something like this:
Does "A hippo is in your bathtub" go in the circle?
Yes. It goes in the circle.
Does "I brush my teeth." go in the circle?
No, it goes outside the circle. So now we know that it is not sentences about the bathroom... and so on.
Make your rule: "Things that surprise us."

Actually, there are other shades of meaning to surprise, but I don't try to cover more than the context requires, assuming that other contexts will come up and then we can say: This birthday present is another way we use "surprise". It is a little bit like the other "surprise", because you were not expecting it, but it is not ridiculous. I guess my philosophy is, to the extent possible, usually more than we expect, directly demonstrate and discuss metacognitively. It is okay to communicate, as well, the concept: "You are telling me the opposite of surprise. Your choices are things we expect. Let's put all these choices from the book into two columns." Put the first three or four into "Surprise" and "Expected" columns but don't label them. Ask the student to sort the rest of the assignment choices, plus more if you like, into the two columns. Then give the two column labels and let the student place them. You can always keep the result and add new surprises and routine or expected events later. In fact, you might put the surprise, and then what the student would have expected instead. There are many ways to carry on with this idea.

Forgive my rambling--
Malinda

Document 9 of 10


Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Subj: "surprise!"
Date: 97-01-16 12:34:09 EST
From: adrianne.davis@SD72.BC.CA (Adrianne Davis)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Hi Cathy,

Just thinking about your experience. Did you talk about surprise as a feeling? Most feelings show a facial expression (later it may be possible to discuss how not all feelings correspond exactly with the facial expression). But at the beginning stage, to visually link the body language with the idea of surprise. ie. With a picture of someone who is surprised... What happened to make this person feel /look like this? The idea of surprise can vary quite a lot. You can be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised. You can be shocked, astonished, startled, terrified or jolted... all elements of surprised. It sounds like a fun project!

Adrianne Davis

Document 10 of 10


Document 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Subj: Surprise Update
Date: 97-01-18 09:00:27 EST
From: CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU (Cathy Brandt)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Hi folks,

Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas and suggestions regarding teaching the element of surprise. The next step I took was to discuss it in GROUP language as opposed to my one on one time. My fifth grader basically taught the lesson.

One of the things I'm doing in language right now is talking about synonyms and the purpose for using different words that mean basically the same thing. Our bulletin board is titled "Bag It." On it I've stapled a lunch bag, gift bag, grocery bag, garbage bag, sandwich bag, shopping bag and a plain brown paper bag. (This was already a part of our language for this month) So, the other day when we were discussing the PURPOSE for each bag i.e. a sandwich bag is to protect the food inside, keep it fresh etc I took the opportunity to incorporate the concept of surprise as we talked about the gift bag.

One of thing someone on the list mentioned was the various elements of surprise. I had to be careful not to include the ridiculous or impossible at first. I do believe the child was confused with what could be REAL and what could not be real. It is not IMPOSSIBLE to see a kangaroo at our school - a zoo or wildlife program. But, it IS impossible to see a purple elephant.

When I asked the question of the fifth grader if he would be surprised to see a kangaroo at Ashland his FACE answered the question - may have been similar to the scene you described in Home Alone. He just took off and told us stuff that would surprise him. He would NOT be surprised if Miss Brandt drank two pots of coffee (yikes) a day. He WOULD be surprised if Kyle ate something in his lunch other than JUNK. Exactly - from the hands of babes!

Also, his mother invited me to come over for soup last night and "surprise" Kyle. Never pass up free food! So, I went over and ate. He WAS surprised. I stayed for a couple of hours and had a nice time visiting. We discussed being surprised etc but not overkill.

We also read a book. Can't recall the exact name. I think it was Mac & Marie's Train Surprise. Two children were waiting in the field near their house by the train tracks. Their uncle worked on this passenger train in the dining car. It traveled from Florida to Boston, I think. Anyway he had written and told the children to wait at a certain time because he was going to toss them a surprise off the train. The kids had a good time guessing what the surprise would be. And the children in the book WERE surprised to unwrap a conch (or is that conk? Bad teacher) shell from Florida.

I had a friend visiting who is studying to be a teacher of the deaf. She saw the initial lesson where I was trying to teach surprise with NO success. It was a wonderful opportunity for her to see first hand what profs try to teach in those language classes. Thus a week of EDUCATION! :)

Cathy

Uploaded by: B.J. Lawrence / Kent State University / Deaf Education Major