Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Week 2. Math and Reading and a fun trip to the museum!

This week my resolve was *slightly* weakened due to an exhausting busy schedule, and it is very clear to me why most parents are willing to pay $150/hour for specialized tutoring rather than doing it themselves... it's really not because the work is SO difficult... or that they don't have the time to do it, it's just that it is a lot of work, and requires a LOT of patience, and repetition!

So on to our week 2 activities!

Day 1 of week 2:
We played a VERY simple new game that I learned at an early childhood class I took last week. I spy with letters. We had a free printable "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" Tree, a toilet paper tube that was decorated with construction paper and letter stickers, and a marker.  In school, K is working on using the correct sentence structure "I (want/like/have)..." instead of saying "Me (want/like/have/see/hear/etc)..."  so we played "I Spy the Letter __"  then once she found the letter, she would color it and tell me a few words that begin with that sound.  She LOVED this game.  Like I've said before, she enjoys phonics, so maybe kids who are reading-averse wouldn't have so much fun with it.

Day 2:
Due to the success of the tree idea, I painted a tree on an old cookie dough tray and used our letter magnets.  I made up a little rhyme that went like this:  "Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom, Uh oh! There is not enough room!  Letter ___ wants off the tree, Where can the letter ___ Be?"

Even the boys were fighting to get in on this game with her!!  After we were done with all of the letters, she begged to begin again... and in addition to working on the sounds of the letters, she was actually reciting the rhyme by herself by the third letter, so she's working on rhyming literacy skills as well as speech & communication.

Day 3: I didn't take a picture of this one because it wasn't all that interesting!  I just found some easy to read beginner books that you could print online.  I printed one called The Snowman. K practiced reading it and then we colored it together.

Day 4: Although technically we didn't do "table" work on this day, we went to the Minnesota Children's Museum in St Paul, and it was AMAZING!  They had a special Dora and Diego exhibit and the kids *LOVED* it.  We had so much fun, and learned SO much.  There were tons of counting opportunities, reading opportunities, social interaction opportunities, science discovery areas.  But K's favorite was an interactive Animal Rescue Center.

Could she be any cuter?  This was set up as sort of a vet clinic.  But each animal had a tag in it, you place it under a scanner, and the computer would actually scan it, tell you which animal it was, where it's habitat was, what sound it makes, and what was wrong with the animal.  It varied from broken limbs, sore toes, an infection that needed a shot, the animal was just dirty and needed a bath, etc.  There were several "vet" kits to fix the animals.  A "bathing" area for the animals, complete with automatic dryers.  It was amazing.

Days 5 & 6 we focused on math.  She had a really rough time with math at school this week, and actually missed two recesses because of her refusal to go into the math classroom.  Really not fun :(

So Day 5:

All we used were magnets and dice.  She would roll the die, see how many she rolled, then choose that many magnets.  She could then use the magnets to create something.  There are magnet sticks and magnet balls in our little play kit. We then counted how many she had collected in total.

Day 6:
You probably can't see this picture Too clearly. But I just have a piece of paper that says: ____ +___=____
I probably wouldn't even be working on addition with her, except that she's working on addition in school and I know that it's a source of frustration for her, so I wanted to see if I could help with it at all.  We used pegs, which I LOVE.   Then, I cut out numbers 1-10, and switched them out to create easy math problems for her.  I'm hoping that the concrete objects will help solidify the concept of addition for her.  A lot of special education math programs use manipulatives to teach math concepts instead of using just worksheets.

Day 7:
This was more of a problem solving game.  I used the little song I learned from Elmo (not kidding)  Two of these things belong together, two of these things are kind of the same, but one of these things just doesn't belong here, now we're going to play our game.... She thought it was hilarious.  So I just found random things around our toy room.  I'd set out three things, two of which were similar, one didn't belong.  The picture above is an apple, orange, ice cream cone. This one was pretty easy for her, but some were really tricky.  I used a lot of language to try to make her connect concepts.  For one I had two items from our doctor kit: a syringe and a stethoscope and the third object was a spoon from the kitchen.  She chose the syringe and spoon to go together, and it took a lot of communication to finally realize she was saying they were "kind of the same size"  so it was definitely an interesting process!!

Bring on this week!

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