Today Maddy was not keen on any sort of learning game or activity; she wanted to play with a calculator after her dad showed her how to use it.
She was doing simple addition problems–Mommy, two plus two equals four! See? You just press this. . .
Why didn’t I think of introducing my kiddos to a calculator before? Leave it to dad to show them the really fun stuff.
But Owen was up for some sorting after he played some music and sang some songs for Golden and Guinea. Seriously, the excitement never ends here.
It was a long swim-team and playground morning, so I grabbed an activity that I thought would be engaging and interesting for him:
- Font Sort: We did the A/B sort and the D/G/E sort; I did not enter the M/N/H sort into the mix because I thought it would be too much. (One or two concepts at a time is plenty, unless a student has known challenges, the sorts have been previously introduced, or you’re doing a wrap-up. I thought Owen would feel comfortable with this activity, so I started with two; if a student has difficulty distinguishing letters, focus only on one.)
This sort didn’t involve rhyme sounds, tricky beginning sounds, or word families. It just focused on categorizing similar letters written in different fonts, and some of the fonts that are out there are pretty tricky. So I set it up more as a game, like I did with letter sorting and other sorting games we’ve played before.
I said, Okay, Owen, I have a bunch of letters here, all typed differently. Some are uppercase letters, and some are lowercase letters. Some are fancy and some are plain. You will recognize most letters–because you have a great eye for letters and you know so many already. But let’s see if you can put these letters in groups–put the A’s in a line here, the D’s in a line here. . .
He started grabbing at the letters to put them in lines. He was cookin’ with steam for a while, sorting tricky lowercase a’s, d’s, and b’s. But then he glanced up and saw Maddy hanging with G & G, and he jumped up to join her.
I left the sort where it was, said, All right, Owen. You finish when you’re ready. And I dodged into the kitchen to finish cleaning up lunch. Why pressure him? It’s supposed to be fun for goodness’ sake–
When I came back, someone–either Maddy or Owen–had finished “chatting” with G & G and had completed the sort. I heard tiny sneaky feet running up the stairs by the time I made it to the living room, though, so I wasn’t able to do much follow-up with him–them?–and was kind of happy they had headed up for their rests on their own.
Hey, if they’re going to be sneaky about things, I’ll be happy with it being something like this, right? I am hoping they didn’t sneak any toys into G & G’s cage as well. . .
If I were able to do a follow-up with them, I would have:
- asked Owen to tell me which letters were the hardest to organize and why;
- talked about which letters looked the most alike and different;
- asked what ways we could continue the sort–uppercase vs. lowercase letters;
- mixed them up again to do a “speedy sort”;
- looked in whatever book we read before rest time to see if we could identify any of the letters we had just sorted. . .
Tomorrow or this evening, I’ll bring this sort out again and try to wrap it up a little more cleanly if I can.
Thanks to Bear’s Words Their Way (2003) once again for providing today’s little bit o’ learning.
What a great idea!
I need to get a bigger calculator for my kids to use.
Do your children nap or just rest? What can they do during rest time? Just curious because my children don't nap anymore but they could really use some down time and I just don't know how to implement it.
Thanks–Cora naps only a few days a week, but Maddy and Owen "rest" in their rooms for an hour each day. If you get a sec, check out Quick Trick V for my rest time recipe. :*)
Just wondering – did you print the font source from a WTW book? I don't have my copies anymore, but do have the CD somewhere (I think…). I remember making my own font sort & it was tedious (worthwhile, but tedious). Also, I only just recently started reading your blog & was curious about your kids ages/age spread (mine are 3 1/2 & 13 months). Oh – in response to quiet time, we're still figuring it out b/c the 3 1/2 year old is Loud during her "quite time" (dramatic play). I have no problem getting her upstairs, but the issue is her waking her brother (and his nap is desperately needed). Suggestions?
I printed the font sort from the cd from WTW. WOW! Making one yourself would be tedious–but it does give you some more control over which letters you use, I suppose!
My kids are 5, 3 (4 in Aug.), and 2. Our rest time is certainly not always quiet, but I do what I can and keep my fingers crossed every day. :*)
After rest time, they watch one 30-min show and eat their snack before we go do whatever. If rest was loud and no one cooperated, they do not watch tv. Instead, they listen to a cd or book on tape for that 20-30 min time. They don't watch a ton of tv so that "reward" usually works.
Good luck–thanks so much for reading!
love the new look –
Thank you so much for this blog! I just love it! I was wondering where I can get the rest of the letters for the font match up game.