Just from the way that things worked out today, I had some chunks of quiet time with each Maddy, Owen, and Cora. As much as I love watching my little ones play with each other and the craziness of a full house, it’s so nice sometimes to just sit back and see how my children choose to use their alone time with me. Sometimes it’s cars, dolls, drawing, or games; sometimes it’s a book marathon or just chatting. Today, here’s what unfolded:
- Muffin Making with Cora: Cora, like Maddy and Owen, loves to help in the kitchen, but she doesn’t always get to take the lead on baking or cooking because she’s the youngest. So when just she and I put on our aprons and got to work while the others were at preschool, she was ecstatic. I really tried to let her do what she could while I ignored the mess. She put the muffin papers in the pans, mashed bananas, dumped ingredients in the bowl, and tried her hand at cracking the eggs (ugh). Even though it’s so much easier to do it myself, I know how important it is for her to feel the textures of sugar, flour, and eggs and taste what is safe along the way. Even watching the process of ingredients moving toward finished product–mixing, watching rising muffins, and tasting them when they’re finished–is so important.
Rhyme Bingo & Sound Sort: Owen ran upstairs for his “before rest book” with the Rhyme Bingo game from yesterday in his hands. We played that a few times, again using the Foamies as our tokins, but then we switched gears and tried a Sound Sort.
- Sound Sort: I could tell Owen had some energy and wanted to try something new. I grabbed a Beginning Consonant Sort for Emergent Spellers, featuring pictures of words that began with r- and s- . These should be an easily contrasting sort since /r/ and /s/ are continuant sounds and come from different parts of the mouth. Owen knows his letters, but I was curious as to how well he could distinguish and isolate beginning sounds. Here’s how it went:
I showed Owen the r- and s- word and letter cards: Owen, we are going to play with the beginning sounds of words. Look at this card. It has a picture of a ring. RRRRRing. Ring starts with r sound. Now look at this card. It has a picture of a sun. SSSSSun. Sun begins with the s sound. Sssssun, so I’ll put it here (put it at the top of new column). Now look at this card. It is a picture of a rope. Rrrrope. Rope begins with the r sound, too. I’m going to put it under the ring. Rrrrope and rrrrring both start with r. I literally walked him through the activity the first time, talking him through the process and asking him for help along the way. We did it together the first time, and then we mixed up all of the cards and he did it on his own.
Tomorrow I’ll add cards with /b/ sounds to the mix and see how that goes. He had no idea that he was learning (and I was, too!) during his sorting game. . .
FYI: Here are some things to remember for Beginning Sound Picture Sorts:
- Start with meaningful text–sounds can come from a familiar rhyme, book, etc.
- Start with obvious contrasting sounds, then get harder as needed.
- Use a key word and letter as headers so that children have a reference for subsequent words or pictures.
- Begin with directed sorts–discuss the sound and letter name, then model the placement of two or three words in each category.
- Use pictures that are easy to name and sort.
- Correct mistakes on the first sort but wait to correct later–allow children to sort independently, show you what they’ve done, then ask, Is there a picture in this row that needs to be changed? Can you find it?
- Vary the group sorting–place all of the pictures face up and allow children to choose ones that they are confident they can name correctly. Ask them to say, ___ begins with the ___ sound and goes under the letter ____. Consider adding a “?” category for words or pictures they are not sure of.
- Give them lots of time for practice–have bags of sorts where you keep your puzzles so that children can grab them and play when they want.
**This activity and information is from: