Friday, May 6, 2011

T is for Trees (Part 1) and Tall Towers - 5/2/11

This morning I put out my Waldorf Trees.  I have a whole bunch of these. I love Waldorf stuff. In this day of plastic everything, it's nice to play with some wooden toys now and then.  It's just so expensive! I bought some little by little over the years. Turns out I have a pretty good forest going now. Worked out well on our tree day :) We walked about trees and their parts and what animals live in them.  I put out a few animals with them and also some little people.

At some point Jem decided he wanted to play a game with Freddie. I don't know why but he got out Money Sense. I figured it would be too hard for both of them. Boy was I wrong. When you land on a space, it tells you which coins to take from the pot. First, Freddie was able to do that just by matching the pictures, then to my surprise, Jem was actually counting money. I heard him saying, "That says pay 17 cents. So you need one dime, one nickel, and two pennies."  I asked, "How do you know that?? I've never taught you counting money?"  And he just said he knew how much each coin was worth and he added them up in his head. He keeps surprising me with how easy he finds math concepts. The other two weren't like that.

I also put out some stacking blocks with some pictures of high rise buildings. We talked about how T was for Tall Towers and we tried to see who could build the tallest tower.

The other thing I put out for free play was a Ravensburger game I found called "Rivers, Roads, and Rails." It's a type of cooperative matching game where each card has either a train track, a river, or a road, or any combination of the three, and you match them up to make a long trail. It can be pretty challenging to find the perfect pieces, but it is fun too. You can do it alone or work together.  Freddie worked alone for awhile, and when he got frustrated, Jem or I would step in and get him past the place where he was stuck. He seemed to enjoy the challenge. 

 For school the little guys worked on the tracing table tracing big and small Ts, traced Ts on a beginning letter T worksheet from Raising Rock Stars, used the letter trains and consonant card pictures to for sorting and working on beginning word sounds, made a Triangle collage, and did some ipod school! I found some good preschool apps for my ipod touch so when there was some down time for one of them, they could sit quietly and review their numbers, letters, colors, etc. on the ipod. They thought this was pretty cool!

While the little kids were busy with all of that, the big kids worked on their Calculadders . These are just daily 2 minute math drills to help them get faster and more at ease with math facts. They also both did handwriting and online geography quizzes. Jem also worked on his sight words with a matching game I found online. He usually uses flash cards for his sight words but I thought he was getting a bit bored with that so I looked for something to liven that up. Both then had free-reading time. Scout is reading Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins , and Jem "read" his Ranger Rick magazine. 

After lunchtime and naps we went out to look for trees. We found lots in our neighborhood and especially down at the grass park. We took lots of pictures so we could make a tree book tomorrow.

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