Homework time is still a little bit nutty for us, but I’ve been trying a few new things now and again to keep everyone focused and everyone smiling.
One thing that I try to keep in mind with Cora is that she loves independent work, and she loves beautiful things. So this week, she’s been busy with a simple sorting activity that has worked her fine motor skills and creative thinking skills.
I called it her ‘crazy’ sort because I was so ‘craaaa-zy’ I put a huge mix of items in a plastic container for her to sort. It wasn’t just beads; it wasn’t coins; it wasn’t candy or paper clips. It wasn’t silly bands.
It was everything. And she loved it.
- Simple, Beautiful CRAZY Sorting: I used the old labels we’ve used many times before for our candy sorting for the first few times she sorted, because I wanted to give her an initial focus.
I grabbed our kid-happy chopsticks, an empty egg carton, and a plastic tray (also saved from the recycling bin!), and I literally dumped a little bit of this and a little bit of that into the tray. I raided our sequins (for a bit of a challenge), random beads, buttons, pom-poms, shells, gems, coins, and some things I can’t even identify.
Then I said, Okay, Cora, your homework time is going to be a little bit crazy today, and I’m not even kidding. You’re in PreK now, so we’re kicking things up a notch for you, since you’re in the big leagues.
Today you’re going to do some sorting–big time. First you’re going to use your strong eyes to sort all of these crazy beautiful things by color. You can read the color words here. (I pointed to each and read the word as I went along.)
So do your best to sort by color, but the tricky part is that you’re going to rock it out with choppies. Chop sticks. Can you handle it? Now if there’s something you’re not sure of, you’ll put it in this section, by the question mark. A question mark shows us that you’re not sure of something–you have a question about it. So if there’s a color you can’t identify, put it here, okay?
And she sorted and sorted and sorted some more.
The CRA-ZEEE mix of sorting items. . .
And she was quiet and focused for a long, long time–long enough for me to complete both Owen and Maddy’s homework with them.
She didn’t want to stop after homework was finished, either. She closed up her egg carton and put it up high (so Brady wouldn’t get it) during dinner, and she returned to her little sorting table after dinner.
I said, Okay, so yesterday you sorted by colors, and you did an incredible job. Today, you can sort any way you want–so you use your brain to figure out how you want to sort these things–by size, shape, texture, how you use them–you name it.
She started before I moved, and I was impressed.
Items were organized a little bit by color, a little bit by size, and a little bit by shape. She did a mix of ways, and that was totally cool with me. The best thing about it is that she’s asked to do it every day.
Next steps: (You know I’m running with this if she is!)
- create a simple grid so she can count the number of items in each section
- help her create patterns with the items
- use these pretties to practice using some math vocabulary
- making some jewelry–stringing some beads
- making collages or pictures with them. . .
And that’s it–just a little bit o’ beautiful sorting this week for Cora. We’re keeping it fun, light, and trying to keep on sneaking in some learning over here. . .