Thanks for all of the great feedback and encouragement that you all left me in the comments section yesterday. It gave me a real boost and confirmed for me that I was on the right track. I loved some of the ideas that you all added as well!
I just thought I’d go ahead and expand on two of the things that we did as a part of our school day today as well. I have a new policy that I am going to really try to follow and that is: Have some fun. Every day. Of course school doesn’t all have to be fun and games but I know that I can all too easily fall into a rut where enjoyable lessons become somewhat scarce and I get lazy and so it goes…
Today we took an idea that my sister mentioned in the comments, a sort of Easter egg hunt kind of game, and turned it into a math game using our Math-U-See manipulatives. We played two rounds and had great fun.
First I made my son hide in his room. I then wrote down two lists of the same random numbers. He is working right now on place value to the hundreds so normally he has to build, say and write the numbers out in some fashion as the book dictates. So I wrote down numbers like 123, 17, 222, 741, etc… One list was for him. The other was for me because I am forgetful and lacking in sleep and would likely forget where I hid each of them if I didn’t have it written down. On my list I wrote where I planned to hide each number. I built each number with the manipulatives and then went around the house hiding them whereever I thought might be a good hiding place; under my desk, behind a couch, in the bathtub, under giant piles of laundry (just kidding on that one… though I could have done that as I have a neglected Mount Vesuvius of a laundry pile pining for my attention on the couch.)
When I was done hiding them I called him out of his room and gave him the list without the answers written on it. He then had to go around the house finding the hidden numbers. Then he had to say the number, find it on his paper and X it out with his marker. I think next time I will maybe even see if he can build and hide them for me to find. He loved this game and insisted that we play two rounds.
Next we decided to play the game I mentioned yesterday, The Gross Sentence Game. Or the Silly Sentence Game. Whatever. I made my silly words a long time ago on these pieces of paper that I cut from long lined strips of paper that I got at a teacher’s supply store. As you can see I captured some of the goofiness. There was much talk of gas for some reason. We couldn’t seem to have more than a few sentences go without the word gas in them. What is with boys and their obsession with flatulence?
As mentioned yesterday;
The Gross Sentence Game is played by first making up a whole bunch of 3 x 5 cards with various words on them. You need nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc… They all must be present. Now this game can be tweaked for your own child. Perhaps you have a girl who is obsessed with princesses… make it all about fairyland and Disneyland and Lala Land and any other land of make believe that you can conjure up. For my boys, they really get going with this game when we use words that normally would cause me to cringe. Scabs and toe nails and pustules and the like. Like it or not, these nasty words combined with words like Rhinoceros, ate and the make for some pretty interesting sentences. Basically the children go through your big pile of random words and have to construct, hopefully hilarious, sentences. Sentences like, “I ate rhinoceros toe nails and scabs. Yum!” This of course can get very gross but if your children are like mine they will end up crying in laughter on the floor and begging to build more sentences.
Keep giving me your ideas and things you’ve done, if only a few times, to help break the routine and keep school from being b-o-r-i-n-g!