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Apple is for A

How Young Children Learn

From Real to Symbolic

The cortex (the thinking brain) has two hemispheres, both of which help us learn new things. The right hemisphere explores through real, physical, personal experiences. The left is our logic side, making sense of what we we’re experiencing. Put simply, the right feeds the left stuff to think about. 

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Real, physical experiences create strong foundations for formal learning

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For little ones, those real, physical experiences create strong foundations for formal learning. For instance, reading.

 

“A is for Apple” is shorthand for teaching letter recognition or what’s known as symbolic language. The object of the lesson is the letter “A.” But if the child has no real life experience with apples, the association is meaningless, making the learning twice as hard. 

 

And showing them a picture isn’t enough. The brain needs more.

In this example, kids need to see apples, touch them, smell them, taste them, pick them off a tree or out of a basket, shine them, hold them by the stem, roll them around a table, pick out the seeds, and any other way you can think to meet an apple. 

 

When tangible, physical experiences become part of their personal life library, making the leap from real (apple) to symbolic (“A”) leans into the way they learn best... “Apple is for A.”

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