Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week 1 Activities

In case you are at all interested in checking out some of the stuff we are doing, feel free to browse through, post comments, questions or new ideas!  Actually, I'd REALLY love it if you posted or emailed me with other fun game ideas to incorporate into our routine!

Otherwise, these next 8 or so posts will mainly be a platform for my documentation of our activities to look back and reflect on after our 60 days are completed.

K's special education teacher was very supportive and excited about the project, and is actually coming to our house after school tomorrow to teach me how to use the literacy program that they use at school (her idea!!) How fun!

I am also keeping track of our activities in a spreadsheet along with time notations.  I've found that K's threshold seems to be about 20-30 minutes of engaged learning time, so I've adjusted my time expectations accordingly!

We have been focusing a lot on math.  Since reading is her natural strength, she chooses to read and write above every other activity.  Most behavior issues at school arise when it's time to transition to math and she refuses to go... So we have started at the beginning (one to one correspondence! at least my preschool training is still being used!)  K seems to have an easy time memorizing, but actually understanding concrete math concepts is really tricky for her.  She is great at counting, but it's fairly memorization based and not a true understanding of the numbers.  Here we just are practicing putting one peg in each circle.  She decided to categorize them by color on her own  :-)

Because she is so tactile-oriented, I found these really fun ideas at theimaginationtree.com for learning play doh mats.  We also used these a lot in preschool. I just drew pictures on plain computer paper and laminated them, along with numbers 1-25.  One is a cake (although K called it her hamburger... a little embarrassed to be showcasing my artwork here...) and she makes play doh candles to correspond to different number tiles.  The other is a tree that she makes apples to put on top of.
*We also have a bumblebee that she has to make stripes for
*A Ladybug, and she makes the play doh spots
*And a cat food bowl, and she makes pieces of cat food (she loves cats!)

This was another play doh math activity. It's very simple and self explanatory I think. She did very well with this one, and I noticed that she created her play doh balls in a pattern that looked just like the pattern on dice! Funny. I assume she plays a lot of dice games at school!

Another thing that they had suggested at school was continuing to strengthen her fine motor skills, which contributes to handwriting technique, and in turn affects literacy (it's funny how so many academic skills are based on things like cutting, coloring, painting, just playing really...) So this activity was her cutting out triangles (another good opportunity for building math concepts) and then counting how many triangles she had cut out and gluing them onto paper.

The reading that we are working on is mainly phonics based reading, because she is getting a LOT of sight word practice at school.  I know sight words are the way of the future, and building a huge memory bank of thousands of memorized words now comes before reading phonetically, but I still want K to be able to sound out unfamiliar words.  Especially simple 3-4 letter common words. Now, I realize that this could backfire.  I myself often say things out loud phonetically... like the time I asked my husband if he had ever read Don Quicks-Oat (Quixote... who knew...) Or told my best friend that God was Omny-Potent..

but that's neither here nor there.  Here's the system we've been using.  It's a program I purchased awhile ago, Intensive Phonics.

It's practicing sounding out words using large letters so she really can isolate the letter sounds slowly. A lot of the words are nonsense and she laughs out loud. But it is a totally different process watching her sound out words without picture cues.  Often she sees the pictures and guesses the word based on the first letter (an example: she'll see a picture of a woman at a grocery store with round produce in a basket.  The sentence will say, She will eat oranges with dinner.  And K will say "She will eat onions with dinner".... she saw round produce and the letter "O" and just makes an educated guess)

Like I said before, if you made it all the way to the bottom of this very long posting, I'd love to hear any other ideas for problem solving, math and literacy games and activities!


1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited to follow this series! I like education and I'll be on the lookout for things that may work. I see a lot of good stuff on Pinterest, I have an Education Ideas board, maybe check some of those out?