I believe the children are our future.

7 notes

Sometimes the kids say something like “in three days, I will get treasure box!!”

She looked at her sticker chart yesterday and said, “On Wednesday, I will get treasure box.”

Sometimes the kids say something like “in three days, I will get treasure box!!”

She looked at her sticker chart yesterday and said, “On Wednesday, I will get treasure box.”

6 notes

My mother created the bugs for this preschool game. She’s such an awesome artist!

This is a strategy game. The goal is smash the last bug in the game. There is one row each of seven, five, three and one bugs. When it is his turn, a child may choose to smash one, two or three bugs, but they MUST be in the SAME row. The child who smashes the last bug wins. After we finished playing the game, each child was rewarded with a creepy-crawly.

In order to encourage the children to slow down and think, they are required to call out how many bugs they will smash before they begin smashing. Some children will call out “three!” when there are only one or two bugs left in each row. When this happens, I advise them to look at the board and add, “Are there three bugs left in any of the rows?” 

This game is meant for two players, and that is how we will play it now that the children can remember the rules. 

Some children will begin to naturally form strategies on their own. Others can be encouraged to think ahead with questioning. What will happen if you smash two bugs? What do you think Michael (the opponent) will do next if you smash THREE bugs?

I can not overstate how important it is to expose these children to as many areas of mathematical thought and problem solving as possible. Some children will just enjoy playing the game, and that’s fine, too. They will develop strategies in their own time. 

Filed under math strategy preschool kinderchat edchat teaching learning parenting school unschool children kids counting

3 notes

In 1989 NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) developed a set of standards for mathematics as a framework to guide each state in developing mathematical standards. 

We  use these standards as part of the framework in creating our preschool math curriculum because these standards are established, research-based and designed by professionals “dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of mathematics” and “to ensure the highest quality mathematics education to all students”.

We had a very successful day solving word problems. The chocolate chip cookie cereal we used might have something to do with that! Today we were solving with manipulatives (the cereal), but soon we will begin to increase the children’s repertoire of problem solving techniques. (I can’t wait!)

The second game, “Snack Attack!” is just a fun way to practice one-to-one correspondence, counting, and following directions.

Attention WCLC Parents and Grandparents:
We are in the process of transitioning this blog to a new website (www.learnwithjoy.net). We feel that this will be a better platform for some of our future projects. 

On the new site you will be able to leave comments/questions on the blog entries. I’d love to hear your feedback (constructive criticism is always welcome)! The sidebar of the new blog has blog entries categorized - this means you can search the archives for entries on a specific subject, We also plan to (one day soon!) launch some educational games that you, grandma or even the babysitter can play with your kids. 

We’re just getting started, but there are great things ahead!

Filed under math nctm problemsolving preschool kids children parenting

6 notes

Preschoolers working on the short ‘a’ sound.

We use the lowercase letter ‘a’ because the lowercase letters are more frequently used (and therefore more important for children to be able to recognize and write).

I always refer to it as ‘the aaaaa letter’ (drawing out the short ‘a’ sound, as in ‘alligator’) to prevent confusion.

Filed under phonics phonemic awareness auditory discrimination teaching preschool kindergarten education parenting kids children unschooling unschool homeschool kinderchat edchat kinders kinder

11 notes

Figure-Ground discrimination is a component of visual discrimination.

It is the ability to distinguish a shape, letter, or (as in this case) a number from its background.

Children who have difficulties with Figure-Ground discrimination may have trouble finding their place on a page, reading graphs/charts, and finding details in a picture.

In this game, each child receives two cards with overlapping numbers on them. We take turns spinning the spinner, and every child with that number on their card traces it with their finger.

Yes - we managed to sneak “numeral recognition” into this game, too!

Filed under math teaching education parenting kids children unschool homeschool visualdiscrimination numbers numeralrecognition kinderchat edchat

6 notes

While we have teacher planned art available for the children in another art area, we encourage “process art” with this “Do It Yourself Art Studio”. 

The children have crayons, glue, collage supplies, magazines, scissors, tissue paper (and more!) available to them at all times. This is one way we “recycle” some art materials. Rather than throw away all of those extra heart (or tissue paper squares) that we’ve cut out, we make them accessible to the children for their own creations.   We also have easels with paint available most of the time. 

Filed under art preschool parenting children kids

10 notes

More ways to practice counting! 

Sometimes in Small Group, we open a “store”. These children are rolling a die to earn money. At the end of the round, they can exchange  pennies (if they have five) for a nickel, and go ‘shopping’.

This is one way that we practice counting and one-to-one correspondence. It also helps us learn (and remember) that a nickel is worth five pennies.

Filed under couting math preschool onetoonecorrespondence kinderchat edchat school learning education kids children parenting

9 notes

For the first game, the children are choosing the correct beginning letter sound and stamping it beside the picture. The second part is an assessment (as well as additional practice) because each child is doing his/her own work.

We have to always be assessing (not necessarily formally) whether or not our students are understanding the concepts we are teaching. If we move on before the children are MASTERING the concepts, we are creating confusion and frustration.

I’m aware that we practice these letter sounds - s, m, f, l (and now ‘a’!) - a LOT, but our goal is to commit them to the students’ long term memories. As these activities get easier and easier (turning into ‘rote’ learning) the children can commit more of their brain to higher level thinking and problem solving.

Filed under phonics phonemic awareness letters kindergarten education teachersfollowteachers edchat kinderchat prereading parenting school teaching learning kids children