The procedures and techniques the Pittsburgh Plan uses to enlist the child’s innate learning mechanisms for our math and reading learning purposes are spelled out in detail in Galileo Rising, the Plan’s user manual (click here to get Galileo Rising).Some of the more important of these procedures and techniques are:
All sessions should be happy and light-hearted; it is absolutely critical that the child feel no pressure.
Speak slowly and clearly when you are working with your child.
Ask questions and listen – really listen -- to the answers.
When you are discussing an object such as a letter, shape or number, allow the child to color the item, or circle it, or mark it, or even cross it out or obliterate it.
Provide rich and varied content (your child cannot establish connections unless he or she has things to connect).
Give guideposts rather than instructions,so that the child can discover important rules for herself and thus make them her own.
Provide repetitive content (it allows the child to learn inductively).
Encourage creativity -- if your child comes up with an approach to a problem that is correct but cumbersome, or that is intelligent but fails for some technical reason, do not to dismiss the approach or trample on it with a rapid presentation of the correct or best approach.
Encourage multiple perspectives -- for example, is “⅔” a fraction, a division problem, or a ratio?
Build a framework rapidly, then hang facts on it -- the Plan introduces addition before the child has learned to identify five numbers, and introduces subtraction before the number “10” is learned!These are examples of a general philosophy of the Plan:teach processes, principles, and large ideas early, and allow the child to “hang’ detailed facts on the framework so provided.