“In order for any person’s world to make sense, a great deal of knowledge about people, objects, actions, and places must be acquired. Three questions are constantly being asked and answered.
- What is it?
- What does it do?
- How does it relate to other things?
“It” may refer to something very simple, such as “ball” or to something more complicated, such as “the United States Congress.” The acquisition of information that answers these three questions is often called “concept development.”
“In the early stages of concept development, the building blocks are direct experiences with people and objects in the environment (Fazzi & Klein, 2002). As these experiences accumulate, learners discover patterns and mentally organize these patterns into “schemas,” which form the internalized knowledge of what the world is and how it works (McLinden & McCall, 2002).”
Smith, M. (2012). SAM: Symbols and meaning guidebook. Louisville, KY: American Printing House for the Blind.
Fazzi, D. L., & Klein, M. D. (2002). Cognitive focus: Developing cognition, concepts and language. In R. Pogrund & D. Fazzi (Eds.), Early focus: Working with young children who are blind or visually impaired and their families (pp. 107-153). New York: AFB Press.
McLinden, M., & McCall, S. (2002). Learning through touch: Supporting children with visual impairments and additional difficulties. London: David Fulton Publishers.
SAM: Symbols and Meaning – 1-08854-00 (comes with Guidebook & Assessment and Games book)
A kit for students with visual and multiple impairments and pre-k children with visual impairments who are just beginning to use symbols – the late sensorimotor, early preoperational stage of cognitive development. The SAM Guidebook provides strategies for developing a strong sensory foundation for concepts about people, objects, actions, and places so that symbols referring to them are meaningful.
SAM: Guidebook/Assessment and Games Book – 7-08854-00
“In SAM, games are used to reinforce the meaning of symbols learned in natural environments and to expand the use of symbols to communication contexts like books.”
Smith, M. (2012). SAM: Symbols and meaning assessments and games. Louisville, KY: American Printing House for the Blind.
“The SAM: Guidebook fills a gap in our teaching toolbox. The author walks us through an understanding of how children expand their knowledge of the world, what helps to bridge learning when there are accessibility challenges, and strategies for meaningful learning interactions. The information is both practical and insightful.”
“Sam: Assessment and Games yields four assessment tools that inform our understanding of the child’s vocabulary and corresponding life experiences with people, objects, and places. The author guides us throuugh a systematic assessment that informs instructional practice with needed media and target concepts. When we know better…our children do better.” Tanni L. Anthony, Ph.D., State Consultant on Blindness/Visual Impairment, Colorado Department of Education