Thursday, October 27, 2016


Some days are tough.  You do everything you can to make learning fun, but you can not predict moods.

I was so excited to finally get to set up some Mother Goose Time.  We use Mother Goose Time for Adam (2) and for the fun in our school day with our 2nd grader and Kindergartner.  October is called Down on the Farm, an awesome topic.

Day 1 about Chickens provided us with an Invitation to Create and a math counting game where we counted white pom poms as chicken eggs.  Here you can see the invitation all set up.  You have the chicken inspiration photo, glue, feathers, red tissue paper, small white paper plate and a green paper.
 Mother Goose Time gave us a half dozen egg carton, tweezers and a bunch of white pom poms.  They also gave us those chicken cards with numbers up to 20, I think.  Since this activity was being set up for a two year old, I opted to just cut out cards to number six and only provide 6 pom poms.
The last tray I set up was not specifically from this day but I finally got some new play-doh around here and so it was our first opportunity to use the new cookie cutter letters we are collecting this year. I also put the two shape stamps on the tray because they can be pressed into the dough.  That's the thing about MGT, you get so much stuff, you can really make it fit you and your children.  If Adam was a bit older and really understanding letters I could have him do this everyday and build some words as he played.
Peter was the first to sit down to the Invitation to Create.  His goal - to make his look exactly like the picture.
When your goal is perfection, it can be a bit tricky.  He was not happy with how he was cutting the red paper.

He started cutting the white paper plate next and was not happy with that either.  I tried to encourage him and tell him that I thought it looked great, but it didn't help.Then I drew a shape of a chicken body on a white piece of paper for him to cut out, I thought that would help.
Ultimately this is how our invitation to create ended.  I took this picture with out him knowing.  It's very real obviously.  Have you ever had this kind of an ending to a project?  He was a bit tired when he chose to create and he set his standards a pretty high.  We need to have more conversations about how art can look anyway you want it, which for Peter is the normal route he takes.  He usually does his own thing whether he is supposed to or not.  This was new and hard to see.  But was there still learning happening?  Absolutely.  Identifying emotions, controlling anger and frustration.  Not necessarily the lessons I had planned for this art project, but very important parts of social and emotional development none the less.
I would have felt a lot worse had I imposed this pressure on him by asking him to make an exact replica of something.  So glad, with the Invitation to Create, that is not the case.

Next Adam had his turn and it went a lot smoother.  Mostly because he did not have any expectations for himself, it was more about the process.
 First he cut the plate into a bunch of small pieces.
 Then glue, lots and lots of glue.
 He had to get glue on every square inch of that green paper.
 The hardest part was reaching the far corner.
 He had to do it one handed.
 After a lot of glue he would eventually put something down.
I personally love this picture because you can see his left hand in the air willing his right hand to squeeze hard enough to get some glue out.
 And there it is, the look of approval.

 Here you have his finished product!  Totally looks like a chicken. ;)
I didn't get picture of him working with the play-doh and cookie cutters but I did get some of him using the last tray that I set up, the pom pom eggs and the egg carton.
I put the pom poms in the lid of the egg carton, gave him tweezers and showed him how to move one at a time to the other side.  As he moved, I counted and he soon joined in.  I didn't say the number until it was placed either into the lid or into the carton side so that he would learn you only count when one is moved.  This is good one to one correspondence.  Until now, he just knew counting to be counting, but not that it meant something and that each number had value.
He went back and forth quite a few times with all six pom poms.  I set up the number cards one through six across the top of the tray and pointed to those as I counted as well.  Ta-da!
 So much concentration.
 And joy when accomplishing something new!
 The egg carton is full and now it's time to close up shop.
 Here is a video of our counting in action.

So don't get discouraged if one of your kiddos has a hard time.  Just refocus on what the lesson for the day is.  It may no longer be about fine motor skills, and counting.  Your lesson for the day is now social and emotional development and how to deal with those tricky tricky emotions!  

One certainly has to be flexible when teaching in Early Childhood!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment