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Brady’s Shoes

by Maureen Slamer

“Brady, go get your shoes and socks,” Mom said.

Brady toddled to his shoes and socks. He picked up his socks. “Socks!”

“Yes!” Mom squealed with delight. “Brady, you know socks. Bring me your socks.”

Brady waddled to his mom. “Socks!” he said proudly.

“Brady, can you get your shoes?” Mom asked.

Brady toddled to his shoes. He picked one up. “Socks!”

“Yup, you need socks with your shoes. Bring me your shoes,” Mom encouraged.

Brady picked up the other shoe. “Socks!”

“Bring the shoes here and we’ll put on your socks and shoes,” Mom said, waving his socks. Brady toddled back and sat at Mom’s feet. Mom put Brady’s socks on his feet.

“Socks!” Brady exclaimed, wiggling his feet.

“Socks!” Mom grinned. “Shoes,” she said as she put his shoes on his feet.

Positive Responses That Encourage Learners

All learning is a process. We learn to talk by listening and watching the important others in our lives. They are our first models of how language works. Toddlers know far more than they can say. Toddlers are sponges for learning.  Brady knew what his shoes and socks were. His mother provided him with the opportunity to engage not just with getting dressed, but with a response to his language to acknowledge his learning of the word socks. Brady understood what it meant to get his shoes. He did not have the word,

 “shoes,” yet. His mom’s positive response to his attempt encourages Brady to continue to take risks in learning. Brady will continue to learn the next words he wants or needs in order to communicate. The same thing is true when you are working with your child in reading. The natural interactions that occur as you read a story with your child, allow you to model those next steps your child attempts as a reader.

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