Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pincer Grasp and Finger Counting - 3/31/11

Started the day more organized today :)  We had wood blocks to build with, big knobbed animal stampers form Lakekshore with big stamp pads, puzzles to do and books to read. I also got out (after much digging) my Montessori knobbed cylinder blocks. According to Parenting " This activity to designed to help develop the child’s visual discrimination of size. An indirect aim is to prepare the child for writing, through the handling of the cylinders by their knobs by the pincher grasp. Another indirect aim is to prepare the child for later work in Mathematics."  One thing I am really trying to work with Freddie on is his pincher grasp. I keep reminding him, "You're holding you're crayon like a caveman again! You're a smart boy. Hold you're crayon like a school boy."  He tries but struggles. He is going to need lots of different activities to retrain his brain to make his fingers do the right thing. Pincher grasp activities will help. Another things I did was break some crayons into tiny pieces. This forces him to hold them with just his finger tips instead of his whole hand. There are lots more things we can do. I'm hoping we can get it corrected before the fall when Kindergarten starts. It will just make life in K easier for him.

After our morning free play time, we started working on school stuff. Freddie and Flossie took turns either on the computer or working with me with the Montessori number tiles. These are used for number recognition, counting, and one-to-one correspondence. Both did well. Freddie was a little more able to work on his own, but Flossie isn't too far behind. Interestingly, for some reason, not only did Freddie need to count the tiles each time but he also had to count them on his fingers too. It was an extra step that sometimes got him mixed up. I'm not sure why he felt he needed to do that, but he did and couldn't be persuaded not to. I could tell that his brain was really working hard to complete the activity so when he got done and said, "Now what?" I said, "Do you want to take a break now or do you want to do some more work?" He wanted to do more work :)  Why was I not surprised? So I got out the accompanying worksheet I had for the activity. Flossie had been on the computer so I called her over to join us. She stuck in there for about half of it and then needed to bail, which was fine. Freddie finished his whole thing up, again with the counting out loud and on his hands, and lots of serious brain work, plus his little fingers having to use the tiny crayons and getting their workout. He did great and didn't complain once. Once again he was ready for more, but I told him it was time to give his brain a break and sent him outside to play with Jem for awhile. By this time it was about time to get ready to take Bella to work and go to lunch with Gramps anyway.

Lunch was good. Flossie was a grump for some unknown reason but came home and happily ate her lunch here. While the kids napped, the big kids worked on their Academic Fair projects. Jem was learning about ants, and Scout researched some of the explorers of the Mississippi river.  After that everyone had a fun afternoon just hanging out and playing, and then it was off to Winnie the Pooh rehearsals!

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