Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flash Card Power

Flash Card Power
Did you know that eighty-five percent of people are visual learners?

Visual memory and visual processing are especially strong in children with Down syndrome, and they should be taught in visual ways. Flash cards are an inexpensive, easy way to teach visual learners. I have been reading about some very specific methods of using flashcards that are really interesting.

Now don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE proponent of teaching phonics. I am currently using a phonics based program each day with Adam. I just know that phonics is an auditory learning system. It works when children have sufficient auditory short-term memory. For phonics to work, a child must be able to hold individual sounds together and form them into a word. With everything, there needs to be balance. Teaching sight words is good. Teaching phonics is good. Why not use both methods to reach children rather than an all or nothing approach?

The "fast flash" method is simply going through word or picture cards quickly, much more quickly than you would typically think to go. Why so fast? Presenting information at high speed is more easily processed by the right brain and makes learning effortless. Plus, children learn at a very rapid pace, and moving quickly keeps their attention.

Here's a video of the fast flash method from the "Down Syndrome- Up Up Up and Away!" blog. Notice that the child is not being quizzed. The goal is to give input to the child. The adult is the one saying the words. The child just watches and takes in the information.

Right now, I am only using pictures with Levi, not words. Although after seeing the following video from the "Down Syndrome: A Day to Day Guide" blog, I thought maybe I should start.

If you are interested in learning more about the fast flash method,
"Special Reads" is a website with some detailed instructions.

You may want to consider making PowerPoints instead of making flash cards. There are also videos like this one on youtube.


How fast should flash cards be shown. (2011) Retrieved from: http://www.brillbaby.com/early-learning/flash-card-faqs/how-fast-should-flash-cards-be-shown-to-babies.php

Ringoen, C. (1999). Phonic vs. sight reading. Retrieved from: http://www.specialhelps.com/Articles/PhonicVSSightReading.htm


Leah said...

That little guy is amazing! Looks like it is definitely working for him! :)

Becky said...

I have used flashcards with Kristen since she was able to sit up at six months. I am now using a combination of sight words and the Abeka phonics curriculum to teach reading. She is reading many sight words and able to take it from the flash cards to reading them in books. She is also starting to use phonics to sound out words. It is truly amazing to see because I have been told by so many phonics is to hard for those with Down syndrome. I have a friend whose nine year old with Down syndrome has learned to read by phonics and inspired me to do it with Kristen. It is working, and we will keep at it! This is a great post to show it can be done...

Laura said...

I think you should add teacher to your about me section because I always learn a lot from your posts:)