Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Awesome Auditory Pattern Practice

Its week 4 of Term 2 here at Head Start and we have been having a ball practicing our auditory pattern listening and creating skills! Auditory Patterns are all around us and learning to listen and attend to them is another important skill that will help our children prepare for the rigors of formal learning. Auditory patterns are sounds or words that repeat to form a predictable pattern.

Pure listening skills can sometimes be overlooked in our world that is now so jam packed with multi-media. We are surrounded by so many, often overwhelming, sights that just listening to auditory information is a skill that many children are not exposed to often enough. Being able to listen and attend to auditory information at ease frees up your child's attention so that they can concentrate on other tasks, such as problem solving, obviously a huge advantage for school age children. Also, being able to attend to particular sounds means that children can filter the auditory information that is all around them and allows them to process the sound that they need to attend to, imagine how important this skill is in a busy, noisy classroom! Just like any skill, listening is something that must be practiced regularly to see improvement. Introducing auditory patterns is a fun way to help your child learn to attend to sound and to recognise repetitive and repeating patterns.

This week at Head Start we went crazy with the musical instruments! The littlies got busy creating their own patterns for Mum/Dad/Nana to copy - resulting in some loud and wonderfully creative patterns. Handsome Josh is pictured getting busy with the instruments. It didn't take long for our littlest Head Starters to realise that if they clanged on a drum three times that this pattern was immediately repeated back to them...this created a few smiles! Our Steady kids got busy listening to and then repeating patterns back; there was some awesome foot stomping, hand clapping, rattle shaking and drum crashing going on. The patterns got progressively more complex and imaginative with auditory cue cards to guide the way for our Go kids.
So how can you continue with the good work at home? Get busy creating patterns, who needs instruments when you have pots and pans?! See if you can keep the beat to your favourite songs or play some patty-cake with your wee one. How about making some rhythm sticks out of wooden spoons and see how long you can keep the pattern going for. Practice your listening skills when you are out and about, head to the park or playground and take some time to see how many different sounds you can hear, different birds, cars or buses passing by, kids on their bikes, footsteps in the gravel - you get the idea. Take note of all the times you have loads of auditory stimulation going on at home and try to spend some time every day with just one quiet noise on to attend to (not the tv!)...you will be amazed at how relaxing this can be after all the hustle and bustle of the day!

Next week we are back onto a visual skill, so remember to swing back to check out how our week of Visual Completion pans out. Have a great week everyone!
x Lizz & the Head Start Team

ps. Aiofe is our other star of the week showing off some pretty impressive multitasking on the beam...don't worry, there is always plenty of time for our obstacle course amongst all the foundation skills!

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