Listen for the child to spontaneously use the words. This may happen during book reading. For example, when the adult says, “I wonder what she will find,” the child may say, “I think she will find her mommy.”
When the child is making an observation or telling you a “fact,” (for example, “There is a bird.”) ask “What makes you think that is a bird?” The child may say, “I know it.” Use the terms yourself in conversation and see if the child picks up on the pattern. For example, “I think this is big. What do you think?” or, while looking at fruit in a bowl, “I know this is a banana. What do you know?”
Children may spontaneously use the word, but if it is not used, you can determine comprehension by using the words within conversations.
Encourage early childhood educators and parents to use words that let children know they are using ideas that are coming from within them. Reinforce ideas by saying, “I like how you are thinking!” and point to your brain. “You know a lot of colors! You are learning a lot!” Using the terms in a context that is relevant to the child helps her understand these abstract concepts.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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