Keeping it Real: Theory of Mind
Theory of mind (ToM) is crucial in our ability to make decisions, regulate emotions, develop memories, and establish relationships. The majority of students who are deaf/hard of hearing (D/HH) face language deprivation or language delay. This impacts the development of ToM. Students may be left with a weak or no ToM to help them through these situations and learning opportunities. Babies are continually making neurological connections that promote the development of ToM. A child with late language exposure struggles with the concept of time, cause and effect, abstract concepts, emotional regulations, and relationships. All of these components are important to the child’s ability to learn in the classroom. This workshop will go over ways to help improve and work on areas that can help strengthen a child’s ToM. Attendees will learn quick, simple activities that they can add into their daily instruction to help improve a child’s ToM and promote appropriate development.
Objectives: Participants will be able to:
- explain the impact of language on ToM,
- identify key aspects of a weak ToM, and
- list strategies to support developing a ToM.
Randi Mitchell is Coordinator of Professional Development at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (FSDB) and an adjunct professor at the University of North Florida in the Department of Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education. Previously, she creatively and innovatively taught kindergarten for five years before pursuing her passion for professional development. Also, Randi has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Deaf Education with endorsements in Reading and ESOL from Flagler College, a Masters of Education in Professional Education from the University of North Florida, is certified in SKI-HI, is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and is the current president of the Florida Educators of Students who are D/HH (FEDHH). Randi is one of the faces behind FSDB Pineapple PD, an initiative at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind that opens the walls of the classrooms.