Monday, August 22, 2011

Fun with Language Objects and Frog & Toad

This summer, the boys have had a very loosely structured sort of schedule.
Although we more or less homeschool as a way of life year round, we are gradually working our way back into a little more structure for our "regular" school year.
Our schedule is much more relaxed and focused on play and spending time at the pool or beach when it is exceptionally hot during June through August.

Since many blogs focus on Montessori Monday, thought I would share with you one of the Montessori inspired works that has been a hit with Little Bro this summer, as well as a fun, more play based activity that the boys have enjoyed doing together. If the boys were awake right now and he had started his work, I would show you photos of him doing this work, as to me, it is fun to see children enjoying doing their work, not just the work itself. But both boys are sleeping in today, so for now, will just show you the work itself...

The shelf work is a Montessori inspired language work using familiar language objects.

Basically, the work consists of:
a little wicker basket,
a command card asking the child if they can find the items in the basket,
subject cards with either the article, adjective, and noun or in some cases just the article and noun of the language objects (for example "a red apple" or "a baby")
then, all of the little language objects that they are to find.

How this work is completed:

(Assuming that Little Bro has chosen this work to be his first morning work)
Little Bro gets the work (consisting of the basket, language objects, and cards) from the shelf and places it on the table so it is ready for the morning.
In the morning, he will go back into the playroom and will get himself a rug, as this work is done on the floor.
He then finds the command card, removes it from the basket, reads it,  and places it at the top of his work space on his rug.
Little Bro selects a card, reads it, and then finds the item on the card.
He places the card down on the mat and places the language object next to the card.
Little Bro then continues to do this until all of the items from the basket have been found.
For the control of error, the cards have a Rebus style picture of what he was to have found on the back of the cards.
After he has laid out all of his language objects matched with their respective cards, he then chooses if he wants to share his work with either me or with Big Bro.

If he chooses that he does not want to share, then he puts away his work neatly onto the shelf.

If he chooses to share, Little Bro will read the command card, then will read the individual cards and will then touch each language object as he has laid them out with the cards.
He then places all of the language objects and cards back into the basket.
Little Bro then rolls his rug and picks up both the rug and the little filled basket.
He puts away his rug and then puts the shelf work back in its spot.

I switch up what is in the basket every so often, probably about once or twice a week...
Always keep a few of the same things from the last few days but then, I add new language objects and cards.
This has made it a work that Little Bro really looks forward to, as he is not sure as to what he will find in the basket each time he chooses this work.

Here are some photos of this work:

Language Objects from this week's basket: A green turtle, a teddy bear, a rug, a baby, a map, and a red apple.

Close Up of the basket and the cards and language objects

This work has made Big Bro curious about it. Have decided that for the school year, I am going to set up a similar in concept work for Big Bro, but at a much higher level of learning, whereby he will have to solve the riddles to figure out the items. Am going to do little baskets for him that tie in with what he is learning, such as tidbits related to American History or else to botany, zoology, or chemistry.

For a more play based activity that has been a hit with the boys here this summer, here is a bit about what the boys do to go along with the Frog & Toad books by Arnold Lobel:

Generally, when they decide that they want to do this activity, it ends up being a family event, as even our Dear Pup likes to come and join in the fun!

When the boys say they "feel like doing a little Frog & Toad", we all go sit on our sofa.
Generally, Dear Pup comes right up and sits too.
Big Bro loves to be Toad for the activity and Little Bro enjoys being Frog.
Big Bro will read the chapter and as they come to a place where Toad is talking, he uses the Toad stuffed toy that we have like a puppet and does his best Toad impersonation with the lines he has to say.
Little Bro does the same when Frog speaks. I am there to kind of help guide Little Bro through his lines, as well as to prevent our pup from deciding to make either of the stuffed toys into his chew toys.
The boys pretty much act out one or two chapters at a time.
When they wrap up their chapter or chapters for the day, they free play with the story characters, and come up with their own ideas for a new chapter  / new adventure for Frog & Toad.

Big Bro loves " doing a little Frog & Toad time" because he gets to revisit stories that he loved when he was first learning to read.

Little Bro loves it because these books are still a bit more challenging than his current reading level.
Dear Pup loves it, as he seems to thoroughly enjoy when it is calm and everyone is snuggled on the sofa reading.

Here is a photo of the books and the toys that the boys use for this. Really a fun way to get in some reading and some play for the summer!!!

We purchased both the books and the toy Frog & Toad characters from Barnes & Noble. 
 Happy Monday to everyone! 

I look forward to checking out what others are up to and will have to check to see if anyone is still linking up for Montessori Mondays or not for the summer.

Happy summer to those of you who are still in laid back summer mode like we are here!

1 comment:

Leptir (Nataša) said...

Colleen, welcome back!
I am glad that I will be able to read your interesting posts again!


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