Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Test Run

Yesterday afternoon while nursing D, M watched Leap Frog Letter Factory. Five people recommended this video and it completely lived up to the hype. It's a great visual support to the fridge phonics system we already have.  Professor Quigley is in there with Toad's voice as are the songs the fridge system sings. The video inspired me to spend yesterday's nap time printing out a slew of A through D visuals on card stock. I spent M's snack time while he was in a high chair cutting them out. He really enjoyed playing with the excess paper bits afterwards. I was only planning on doing the A supports in a scavenger hunt, but since most of the smaller flashcards came 4 to a page I adjusted. I'm so glad I did :-)

I had in mind to do a scavenger hunt, but M's idea was SO much better!  This morning, we started out with Brainy Baby ABC's for M while I was nursing D.  Then, we played and learned for an hour while D was sleeping before M's nap time this morning. I got out my bag of letters- 32  different kinds of each letter- and the fun began :-) The letters came from -those that had their names on the material- Homeschool Share, Homeschool Creations, 1+1+1=1, The Moffatt Girls, Confessions of a HomeSchooler, Kidzclub, Kindergarten Kiosk, Itsy Bitsy Learners, Projects by Jess and Lakeshore Learning. Links to these sites are on the left.
I started pulling them out of the bag and M just started touching, throwing, playing, literally swimming in them. Note, must laminate them. Even heavy card stock is no match against an active 21 month old boy.

He was just playing around even after some prompting so I started gathering them up, but he poured them back out again.

So I then started telling him again which letter was which and sorting them in to piles.

I asked again to start naming letters and he could name A, B and C in random orders in different shapes, sizes, fonts and colors. 3 out of 4 is great :-))

We took a break and spun around in the chair for a few minutes. Then we moved on to the fridge phonics and track letters. We played each letter's song and found A through D in the bucket of 26 track letters. How neat that the colors were the same for the letter with both of these activities.

Then M pointed to the books so I got 5 of them down. We read A through D in each one.

He held the Veggie Tales ABC the rest of the time we were reading.

Next we moved on to our puzzles, naming the letters as we placed them in and then me pointing to the empty space and asking him to find the missing letter piece.

Then he worked on number, animal and transportation puzzles. As we go through out the afternoon I'm going to make a point to count the things we see.  Also, this morning I ordered off of Kids Woot a 6 DVD set of educational videos. They were only $5 - $10.81 once you including tax and S&H. They include: abc's, numbers & shapes, phonics, preschool, alphabet train and counting.

We had a great fun morning. We worked within his attention span at his pace. If M didn't respond to something I'd move on, try it again, then move to something else. I don't want to internalize at what rate or which approach is most effective with that particular concept. This is about learning his process, taking his queus within the overall goal of learning. There were giggles, clapping, 'ooohhhs' , and stopping to think on his part. Lots of pictures, video, quick on my feet thinking and grins on mommy's part.

We'll work on another concept tomorrow to be determined and then use some of the crafts to reinforce the shape of the letters A through D. Friday, Nana and Papa are in town so we'll take a day off. No pressure, this is all a pre-assessment until September 6th to see where he is at. We'll see what concepts and approaches speak to his strengths. Finding out coming naturally for him and what will require more creativity, time and resources to teach for the year is all part of the journey.

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