Thursday, July 27, 2017

Campfires and Campfire Stories

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We have continued to steadily and randomly work our way through this months Camping theme with Mother Goose Time.  This day was all about the Campfire.  I thought it was pretty darn clever to work in the character trait of being responsible.  For the Circle Time song we sang "Can You Be Responsible"? to the tune of "The Muffin Man".  The last line changed.  First it was "And put out the fire?", then "pick up the trash" and lastly "stay on the path".   These are all concepts taught in our Cub Scout Troop, but it was an excellent reminder.  We had just returned from camping and I was able to give clear examples as to why it is important to be responsible with campfires, picking up your trash and staying on the path.  When we were done singing our song and discussing these concepts I handed them each a "Responsible" friendship feather.
During the summer months the Mother Goose Time boxes typically review all the letters instead of just learning the three we do during the school year.  In this camping box each child received a My Little Journal with all the letters of the alphabet along with a set of alphabet cards.
On campfire day we taped the F alphabet card to the F page for fire.  Adam first spotted the campfire on the page next to the F page and colored that in.  Look at him color in the lines!  Oh and his arms are colored orange so he can "be like Daddy".  If you can figure that out, more power to ya.
 These manipulatives make an appearance all the time.  They create all sorts of creatures with them.
 Next he drew a "fire" on the fire page.
 Pretty good, right?
 Then, on his own accord, he started tracing the Fs across the bottom of the page.
He spent quite a lot of time in his journal.  Could it be?  Could I have one child that actually doesn't mind workbooks?!?!
On Campfire day we got a recipe card to make Campfire Snacks.  First we discussed what you can cook over a fire.  Marshmallows and hotdogs were the obvious answers.  Mother Goose Time had us give them cream cheese and lunch meat.  Since I didn't have cream cheese, well at least I didn't have any that wasn't growing mold, I cut up cheddar cheese into cubes.  Then I cut the lunch meat into strips which they rolled up to look like hotdogs and we pretended the cheese cubes were marshmallows.  We stuck them on our pretzels and pretended to roast them over the fire before we ate them.  This actually turned into lunch.  I just added a few sides.
This game was left over from Sleeping Bag day and I just couldn't skip it.  The idea was to have them face down, have the child flip two over to see if they go together.  I knew this would be too challenging for Adam so I just simply put the cards face up.  I thought this might intrigue him, but he quickly refused to do it.
What did happen was Lucy and Peter played the game while Adam watched.  I have NO doubt that he was picking things up as they played.
I made sure to make the sounds of the letters and sound out the names of the items on each picture for him to hear.
Now it's my turn to tell a little campfire story.  When we were camping this last weekend we were sitting around the campfire in the early morning and my uncle asked me if Adam new his numbers.  My reply was not a simple one.  I told him that there are a few parts to learning numbers.  First they typically learn to count, then they learn the one to one correspondence, where they count out objects learning that each number actually represents a quantity and then they learn to recognize the actual symbols for numbers.
I told him that Adam can count really high, even way past twenty.  He can recognize the pattern in counting and will fill in the blank if I stop, 32, 33, 3?.  I also explained that Adam is getting better and better about understanding that a number refers to a quantity.  So when I tell him to give me 5 crackers he can do so with out hesitation.  He's even done a bit of math when he has asked me for 4 crackers and I only give him 2 he corrects me and asks for 2 more.  Lastly I told him that Adam has surprised me quite a bit with recognizing written numbers.  He for sure knows numbers 1, 2, and 3 thanks to our sandcastle game, but he knows more than that too.  I just haven't pinned down which ones he knows exactly.
My uncle looked at me amazed and said "you probably could be a teacher by now."  (Like an official one in an official school, he wasn't trying to be offensive, and I wasn't offended.)  I don't think he was expecting such a detailed explanation and honestly it surprised me a bit too.  How in the heck did I know all this?
I know this because I have used Mother Goose Time for five years now.  I knew none of this when I started.  Mother Goose Time has trained me to be the educator I am today.  In fact I would have never called myself an educator before and they have given me the courage to do so.  They have helped me grow in ways I would have never imagined.  They have given me so many ideas on how to learn beyond a piece of paper and a pencil.  They have given me a deeper understanding of my children and how they learn, which is a priceless gift.
If you want to teach your children and you don't know where to start, Mother Goose Time is your answer.  I had no clue what a little child needed to know or how to teach it and apparently, now I do!

I  know I put a disclaimer at the end of each of my posts about Mother Goose Time saying all these opinions are my own.  But I just have to reiterate that.  I don't get commission, no referral discounts, nothing.  This company has a Blog Ambassador program, not for marketing purposes, but to support other educators.  I LOVE this company and this curriculum and what it has done for my family.  It has created priceless memories, it has given me insights into my children I would not have had with out it.  If I were to talk about it with you in person you would see tears in my eyes.  It has impacted me so deeply and I want other families to have what we have had.  That is all, that is why I share.

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