September 21, 2005

Preschool Lessons

Ciaran and I had a fun morning. We have a big foam alphabet mat and alphabet wooden blocks and we made a game of it. I handed him a letter and he had to identify it - I would say he got about 1/2 the letters right the first guess. Then he had to bring it over to the matching letter on the mat. We did it with the whole alphabet, he got nearly every match right (W, M, and E, F were confusing for him). Then for cleanup I would say a letter and he had to try to find it and bring it to me, this was much harder for him. Even with using the sounds and words that started with the letter, it was tough for him to put it all together. He got about 1/4 of them right the first time but with help was able to manage it.

Then we played a number game with a big foam number mat. I lined them all up in order 1-10 and then had him jump the numbers and say them aloud several times. After he got that down - I would say a number and he had to jump to it, I jumped, forward and back, skipped numbers and repeated them and he did very well at this game.

We finished up with some foam blocks. I would say "Can you find three purple blocks" and put them on the right number, he would count them and bring them to the right number. It was great fun and it worked on colors, matching, counting, sets and number recognition. When this became too easy I had him start counting the blocks on several numbers (for example 2 and 3) and then he said he had 5 - I told him that was adding and he just added 2 plus 3 to equal 5. Then he picked up the numbers from 4 and added them to make 9 and brought all the blocks over to 9 and then added one more to make 10 and all the blocks were on the number 10. I had him build a house with them. To which he said I will build a strong and safe house.

Then I asked him to take away 2 of his blocks and he carried them over to the number two and I asked him how many were left and he counted 8 and moved the blocks to 8. I talked about subtraction and how he had just done that. We did a few more of these and then he wanted to add them back together again. He wanted to make another house with 10 blocks and I asked him how he would get them together. He said he needed more blocks from what he had on the number 5. I sadi what would you do to get more blocks and he smiled up at me and said "Say please?" I laughed and smiled and so did he then he brought over more blocks counting them and putting them on the right number until he got 10 and made another house.

It was great fun, a gentle and easy way to introduce math skills even addition and subtraction and the whole time we were playing a game in his mind. He did surprise me with the fact that he recognizes all his numbers 1-10 pretty consistently. I did not realize he knew them. He also can easily match number and set.

We had fun. While we were doing all this Rhiannon read The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White. She is sick today and we are taking it easy, doing mostly reading work for school. I do believe she will finish this book today, having just started it last night. Sirah joined in as she could and played and jumped and tried to do everything we were.


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