In This Episode:
Welcome to Episode 86 of Dyslexia Devoted and today we’re talking how defining what "done" looks like can help a child be successful.
Show notes: parnelloeducation.com/episode86
This Episode's Topics:
- What does it mean to be done?
- Ways to apply what done looks like
- Correcting miscommunication
Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
Connect with Lisa Parnello:
Hello and welcome to dyslexia devoted the podcast dedicated to building awareness, understanding and strategies to help those with dyslexia. I'm your host, Lisa Parnello, dyslexia therapist and founder of Parnello education services. Join me as we dive into today's episode of dyslexia devoted.
Hello, my friend, and welcome to another episode. I am so glad you're joining me today. I got two emails this week completely unsolicited from listeners just like you and it absolutely made my day I record this podcast sitting by myself are sometimes with my dog curled up at my feet. And I'm just kind of talking to myself. So I absolutely love getting messages from you guys to hear more about what you want to know more about or questions that you have. And it has been really great that I heard from three of you guys this past week. And I love being able to know that you're listening. And so messages are always welcome. And in fact, I actually have a big favor to ask. I'm going to be doing a writing booster workshop and I'm trying to decide the best way to do it. I would love to talk to you guys live. But I also know some people actually prefer on demand stuff. So I have put a poll up on both the dyslexia devoted Facebook group and the Parnello education Facebook page. If you couldn't let me know which way you would prefer a live workshop, or whether you don't want it live, you would rather be on demand, I put up the option to tell me what day would be better Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Because I teach kids for like 12 hours a day, Monday through Thursday. So if you could let me know which way you would love to have a workshop, you know, pick a day of the week or tell me you'd much rather do on demand. I would love love love if you could do that for me. Or if you are on the dyslexia decoded newsletter, just hit reply to the email that I sent last week or you know, just shoot me an email straight from your inbox at Lisa at Parnello education.com. And I would love to know what way would be best for you. Because I've gotten a lot of great response that everyone's really excited about the writing workshop. But I need to know which day really works best for you guys. All right, and that riding booster workshop had me thinking a lot this week. And one of the things I wanted to talk about is the theme of today's episode. Welcome to Episode 86, of dyslexia devoted and today we are talking all about what is dumb look like all about executive functioning. When I work with students, I can't even tell you the number of times they say okay, I'm done. I think you look at it and go no, you're not, you're definitely not done. Or when my niece and nephew were living with me. Alright, we're done cleaning rooms, huh? Yeah, you're definitely not done cleaning a room, I can tell you right now that is not done. That's where there's a term that is often used in project management that actually applies really well to executive functioning, which is the definition of done, what does done look like. And this is where a lot of our kids with dyslexia and learning differences fall short. Their idea of what is done is not exactly at par with what the rest of us think done looks like part of it's because they need to know the expectation. They said, I got a couple ideas on paper, and I wrote some things, therefore I am done. When really, we want to see a little more than that. So let's talk about that definition of Done. And what is done look like in a couple different aspects. The one I utilize the most often has to do with writing because that's what they do with me a lot of times, it is very common that kids will go through progression where they come to me for dyslexia, and then we remediate most of the reading skills, and then it's the writing becomes the greater need, because while they can read, they're doing awesome now, but those essays, those leaves something to be desired. And some kids are like, what's an essay? So you know, there's that, because if you couldn't read anything, nobody ever expected you to write a whole essay, if you couldn't even read a book, I work really hard with the kids to understand what does a completed essay include. So we'll go a little deeper in that into the writing workshop, because that's actually like a whole tangent that I can go on. That is far more than a 20 minute podcast episode, we want the kids to know what does a done project look like? We want them to know what a finished writing sample should look like. So I oftentimes when I was in a classroom, I would project my computer onto the board. And I would literally type up a whole essay really quickly, because you know, I'm a teacher, not a eight year old, so I can do it really quickly. And I would show them. Here's my introduction, here's where I'm going to introduce some characters. Here's some details. Here's a problem. Here's how I'm going to solve the problem. And all those things, and I would show them what it should look like when they're done. And they had of course, the rule that they could not copy my story that one's kind of a given. Or I would do something that was like off a little different from what their actual assignment was to do. But the core thing was they needed to see what did a finish one look like? How did I plan out what was going to happen next to my essay, and they knew what a finished one looked like. So whenever they would say I'm done, I would say does yours look like mine yet? No. Alright, then keep working on it. And if you don't finish today, no big deal. We'll finish tomorrow. So
That's the other thing is helping them see that it's not necessarily you have to do it all right now, knowing that sometimes when something isn't what the definition of done is, then maybe that means we're not done today, but you made great progress toward getting closer to done. And so they know what they're working toward. And that's really the main point is they need to know what the end goal is. And when it should be achieved by or sometimes, it's actually really helpful to know that you have an extended amount of time. So our goal is to be done with this by the end of the week. So maybe on Monday, we do the first paragraph, maybe on Tuesday, we do the second paragraph, Wednesday, we'll do the third paragraph, and so on, and helping them see how we break down really big things into smaller things until we have what it should look like when it's all done. Now let's talk about how this can be applied in other areas. Let's take the home for example. I would say cleaning their room is one of the biggest ones where you need to define what done looks like. Because otherwise, they're going to pick up just their Legos and then say they're done. So there needs to be a checklist of things you will know you will be done when your shoes are put away the laundry is in the hamper your Legos are in their bin, the stuffies are somewhat organized, where I'm not going to trip on them. And you need to define what done looks like. And then you come back and revisit the same things you told them were required for them to be done. And then perhaps you come back and say, You know what, I did tell you these things. And this is what I did. But let's take a peek around, do you think maybe we miss something, and then see if they can tell you what it should look like if it doesn't quite look done. If it's mostly picked up, but not quite as much as you would desire because you didn't put something ever so specifically on the list, see if they can define for you a new definition of done, what else might need to be included that perhaps we forgot the first time because we're not perfect. Everyone forgets things adults included. Sometimes adults, even more than kids, I can tell you many times that the kids will remind me the things that I have forgotten many, many times. They somehow never remind themselves of things they've forgotten, but they will always find the thing that I have forgotten. Another thing that you can do for creating a sense of done is utilize big projects that kids have to do for school and making a checklist of what will it look like when it's done. And sometimes you can do a working backward approach very much like they do in the whole project management world of when we're done. It'll look like this. But that's a lot to get done just today. So we're not going to start there. Where could we start? That gets us a little bit more each and every time. Or perhaps it's a checklist. I have one of the students that I work with that actually really like one of her teachers makes this checklist of you need to write a poem. And here are all of the poetry features that need to be included. That was this past week's assignment. And so she could go through and checkmark Yes, I used onomatopoeia. Yes, I used rhyme, yes, I used alliteration. And she could go through and checkmark all the things that had to be included before she was done. And I really liked that it wasn't quite so open ended of like write a poem, because you could go in like 1000 different directions. And a lot of times our kids do not do well with complete open endedness. Some kids really like it. But a lot of times most kids thrive on just a bit of structure, not so detailed and neurotic that they are overwhelmed that they can't be that perfect. But something that gives them guidance as to what direction it needs to go in order for it to meet your expectations. Because most kids really do want to please the people they around, they don't always act like it sometimes. But most of the time, they really do want to make the other person happy. But they don't always know what that entails. And then you get mad at them for them not reading your mind. And then it becomes a whole debacle. So if we can make it as clear as possible, what does it look like? And what will make me happy if I see it, that will make them pretty happy. Because then they can accomplish it. They can say yes, I did those things you told me today. And I will fully attest that kids with dyslexia have a very different way of thinking than I do. And sometimes they will do something not the way I meant for them to do and I say you know what, you followed my direction, not what I really meant by it, but you did a great job of it. So I will validate when I don't communicate something clearly. And I think that's also a really good life lesson for the kids to know is that the way you react when somebody didn't do something the way you wanted them to. But you realize it's because you didn't actually make it clear. That's how you want them to do it. The kids need to see you as an adult being able to be accountable for your actions, just like they should be accountable for the actions. So many times it becomes a blaming kind of thing. And then they learn to blame people for things. And we really want the kids to be accountable for oops, I didn't do it this way. Because I thought you meant that. And then we can apologize to each other of like, hey, there was a miscommunication. How can we get past that? All right, cool. Let's move forward. And I had a kiddo last week I about lost it on him. There was a whole debacle. There was water spilling all over my office. It was an ADHD moment gone real wrong real fast in a blink of an eye. I don't even know what happened. And all of a sudden he freezes and goes
how can I make this better?
So I thought, you know, I'm real proud of you good. The fact that you didn't like have a whole meltdown, you realized you screwed up and just pause, took a breath and said, How can I make this better, and I couldn't believe how proud I was of Beckett. So we need to make sure we tell the kids what it looks like when they do something, right. Because they are not mind reader's. And sometimes we're not good at communicating, especially when we're annoyed that something didn't get done the way we wanted it to. So our goal is to define what done looks like to kids before you tell them to do the task. That's the trick, it does not work well, when you tell them to go do something, and then they come back to you. And then you list off all the things they should have done. That way does not work, you have to define it before you go send them off to do whatever that task is. They have to know in advance what the requirements are. Otherwise, it just leads into, but you didn't tell me that. And it's a disaster, I promise you don't do it. That way. It doesn't work out well. Alright, so let's start recapping our notes for today. The first is, kids need to know what done looks like. You need to tell them what it looks like. Or better yet, if it is something like writing, show them what done looks like. If it's something like cleaning your room, you can show them your clean room. That wouldn't work for me right now my room was a complete disaster. Least all the laundry is clean. It's not put away though, and show them what it should look like when they are done. The next is to remember that defining what done looks like can apply to all different areas. It could be writing an essay, it could be cleaning your room, it could be helping you with a task, it could be breaking down a really big projects they have to get done for school, it could be baking some cookies done looks like a fresh set of cookies that you can actually eat. Now let's look at how we get there. What are the things we have to do? What do we have to pay attention to oh, we have to read the recipe, oh, we have to make sure we have all the ingredients before we start cooking not in the middle where you suddenly realize you have no eggs and butter. And you need to work with the kids on how you define what done looks like and how you figure out what those steps are in between to get you there. Toward the end there. We talked about how you need to define what done looks like before they start doing the task. So that it's not this constant back and forth. If you tell them what done should look like in advance that they should know what the expectations are. Then last but definitely not least, we learned that sometimes kids definition of something is not the same as yours. So they may do something quite literally the way you set it, but maybe not quite literally the way you meant it. We also want to make sure that we are modeling when we don't communicate clearly what we want done. And we are modeling how we can say, you know, that is exactly what I said. But I actually meant this I'm sorry, I miscommunicated and helping the kids know, alright, how can we make it better from here and knowing how to fix it because it's not going to be pretty on the first day. It never is you always forget something or they misunderstand something. But it's progress, not perfection. That is like my theme of the year I feel like this year, I want you to be able to have some key strategies you can take with you. And before we completely close out today's episode, I would absolutely love for you to either reply to the dyslexia decoder newsletter if you get that or go to the Parnello education or dyslexia devoted Facebook pages. Either one of those I put the poll in both places. If you could just mark a little checkmark for when you would love to have a writing workshop, whether it's a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or if on demand is actually better. That would actually probably be easier for me, but I think some people might like life experience. Who knows? You let me know this is why I'm asking you because I would really like to know. Alright, I hope you greatly enjoyed this episode, and I'll see you next time.
Thanks for tuning into today's episode. If you want to learn even more about dyslexia, check out Parnello education.com forward slash courses. See you next time.