Monday, January 31, 2011

Tying it all together!

Sometimes, when I was teaching, the best lessons I ever taught were never written down in my plan book. Gasp! I know, right? These lessons would just happen because of the direction my students were going, and I've realize playing with your own children is very very similar!
You don't have to plan, or have all these supplies on hand to make meaningful connections to what you are doing with you kids. You just have to think outside the box a little bit and tie it all together!

For Example:
We played in the 'snow', at my MIL's preschool.

She gave us a bag of sugar cookie mix and a snowman ornament to keep the snow theme going at home.  Well the universe works in amazing ways and that afternoon one of my oldest friends sent me a fun recipe to make snow ball cookies! Ta-Da! (Check out her baking blog, she is pretty good about posting stuff that actually tastes good!)
Picture from:  Kitchen Sweetness 
 I just extended our learning and it literally took no effort on my part, other than grabbing everything out of the pantry! (Not to mention all the fun cooking with mommy brings too!)

Another Extension Example:
We have been reading non-fiction books about zoo animals. I also bought the boys a subscription to Zoobies.  (It is a small, hard paged, short and to the point magazine subscription about one animal each time.)
And, remember our picture cubes from Thanksgiving?  Now they have Eric Carle Animal Cards in them.  The boys find the animals and we say the name and sound that animal makes. I also have certain letters showing on some cubes. Like the letter L for Luke and H for Hudson....
So, no time like the present to take the boys to the Houston Zoo!
So once again, they had all this stuff that we do everyday leading up to the actual real experience of seeing these animals ALIVE!

And my random connection to the zoo:
Some nights after dinner we dance.  Either the radio or whatever CD I have in the player in their room. Tonights CD was the Wiggles.  Hudson kept wanting me to fast forward to the next song and low and behold, we hit the learning jackpot!  The song was called Do the Monkey. (Keep in mind, my kids have no idea who The Wiggles are, or that they make movies, etc. So I made up my own dance moves!!) But it sings about Monkeys, Elephants, and Tigers!
And there you have it, connections being made, talked about, danced around!!!

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Use everyday outings and turn them into something a little more special! ((Like the grocery store; let them pick our some veggies or fruits and go home and let your children help turn it into something yummy! See, this could go on forever!))

I have a few more Valentine ideas too, I will post soon!

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