i took advantage of the great weather to explore our front yard! i spread out "discovery" activities on the front lawn for infant and toddlers, invited some mommies from the library story time and DWM! playgroup session and had tons of fun! we painted (with watercolors) lines, circles and such on the garage door, pushed baby doll strollers and mini-shopping carts up and down the driveway, blew bubbles, dug up dirt, bathed a baby doll in the baby tub, watched boats float and golf balls sink in a cooking wok pan, rode mini-trikes, slid down a slide, and then ended with snacks and picnic lunch! we had a blast as the children practiced their fine motor skills, gross motor skills, tracked the bubbles, learned to share and take turns with the toys, listened to directions while playing with parachute, and ate healthy snacks. the babies had tummy time, jumped on the baby einstein jumper and scooted (safely) on a walker.
....as a teacher and administrator i included the outdoors as the backdrop to my instruction. lots of exploring and discovery can happen outdoors - try it!
i discovered last week that citlahli, the 21 month old, can identify a group of 3 and 2 objects and when i ask her to count she counts up to 2 and 3!!!! so excited!!! how did this happen.... well, the only thing i've done is count objects around the house, when out shopping etc. i've learned that at this age one should focus on counting up to three objects. i do not believe in teaching new concepts with flashcards and drill/repeat (as i did before). i'm introducing concepts in context... what does that mean... (it took me some time as a teacher to figure that out too). when citlahli is interested in something, say cheerios, i take the time to count them out loud. (you teach the skill with an every day/common interest). i touch each one (one to one correspondence) and say the number, i also define what we are doing by telling her we are counting i.e. cheerios. i also learned to teach the concept before introducing the "symbol" that represents the amount. for example, i have not connect the "symbols" 2 and 3 yet until she shows mastery with identifying groups of objects and counting up to that number when asked.
so when did this happen for the first time... we were reading a mary had a little lamb book and she said "thu cheep." i acknowledged but wasn't sure what she said. she looked and repeated when i said, "show me." she then put a finger on each sheep (two) then said again "thu cheep." i finally realized she said, "two sheep." this was a major discover for her and i! she has then gone on to identify two and three groups spontaneously. great times! :)
last thursday, while changing citlahli's diaper, she looked to my t-shirt which read USC (college t-shirt) and sang the entire ABC song as she pointed to the letters over and over! i've also noticed how she has become more interested in her name. we write her name together every day, after breakfast while sitting on the high chair. just some paper and crayons/markers/color pencils. i say each letter as i write it. i've also written her name on sentence strips, while she watches on-she tries to say the letters with me as i write and she also "writes" over the letters after i've written it. i've put out the letter magnets of her name on the fridge, she lines the letters up and also says random letters. she is now exploring and discovering on her own with little prompt from me. now that she is showing more interest in letters and her name, i'm going ot start labeling her personal items (with her) such as her snack cup, sippy cup etc so that she can discriminate between her name and i.e. her sister's name. the main thing here is that i'm NOT making her memorize the letter names or sounds or shapes of the letters with flashcards or by watching a video/dvd. i'm using the "name curriculum" approach to exposing her to letters. another note: she is now pointing to herself and calling herself by her name - this notion will also make the connection between the letters (or "hieroglyphics") of her name and how they "belong" to her. in this approach, i'm letting her "discover" letters and what they represent.
Here goes my blog!!!!
just so u know...this is totally new to me. everyone else is tweeting... but i'm giving the blog a chance! i tend to write in lowercase, yes i know, i'm an educator and this is probably a no-no.... but i'm a mommy. i've got to use my time wisely and FAST!
i'll use this a forum on education, child development, parenting ideas i discovered, and the latest discoveries my girls have made! sometimes i'll post significant life events or to do's.
well nighty night to all!