Monday, January 3, 2011

Makeshift Monday - Letter Tracing at the Fridge

As much as I want to consistently plan and carry through on well-thought out and creative lessons and projects for my children, it never fails that "life happens".  Consequently, spontaneous, semi-structured lessons become the order of the day at times.  So, I thought I would begin documenting these through occasional Makeshift Monday posts -- brief explanations which evidence impromptu ways to keep the kids engaged (or not) with varying degrees of success.

First up?

During some rather important and lengthy (due to holds) phone calls I had to make one morning, Luke and Nina got a bit antsy.  Likewise, I felt guilty that I was on hold on the phone instead of engaged in quality learning and play time with them.  That was when I spotted a poster that had fallen out of a pile of clutter I had been going through earlier in the day.  It reminded me of some recent yahoogroup conversations on interactive posters with workboxing and- BINGO!  Guilt assuaged.  Focus on writing engaged in.  A makeshift Letter Tracing at the Fridge activity commenced!

I attached the poster to one side of the fridge with magnets and gave Luke a dry-erase marker and a page protector to trace away with.  He quickly became involved.  Success!  (Even if he did get some marker on the actual poster when the page protector slipped.)

And Nina?  She, of course, wanted to join in, but (a)  there was not enough room on the side of the fridge for them both to work on the poster at once and (b) the letters to be traced on the poster were a bit too small for Nina's stage of pre-writing skill.  So, I wrote her name -- which she is still learning to recognize the letters for -- largely on the back of a piece of recycled paper, slipped it into another page protector and - viola! - a tracer for her was soon attached to the front of the fridge. 

Who cares if she went at it right to left instead of left to right without my guiding her to do otherwise?  She felt "big" and proud and I was able to attend to the service person that had just come back onto the phone line...

So, deep, thoughtful and hugely effective lesson?  No!  Fun and engaging for the kids while abating my guilt and helping to keep the house a bit quieter during an important call?  You bet!

What makeshift lessons have you been doing recently?  Leave a comment or link to share!


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