Tuesday, February 19, 2013

An Unplanned Learning Day

Today we "winged it". 

Vada's oldest sister, Jasmine, is spending her third day home sick and in bed so Vada and I stayed home as well. Usually, on Tuesdays we have a Women's Bible study that I bring Vada along for. Currently, we are reading Calm My Anxious Heart: A Womens Guide to Finding Contentment. It's not our typical "route" for a Bible study but it is a really good study and it gets us into His word nonetheless! Anyway, since Jasmine is sick with a pretty good fever (103.5), I decided it was best to stay close by, if she needs me, which left some free time for Vada and I to "do school". That's what we say, "Do school". I dunno, it still feels weird calling it class and school. Kind of like I am playing or pretending or something...

I had the math flash cards and counting cubes still out from yesterday as well as the family sight word packet but other than that I had to quickly pull some things out for us to do. Vada loves being in our classroom. She likes to explore through the cabinets as well as through the book shelves, so I had plenty of time to decide what I wanted to do. However  I know that Vada's best time to learn is right after she eats breakfast, that's why most mornings I bring her down here right in her p'j's. We were already forty-five minutes into the normal morning class routine time which gave me a little over an hour with her to get some lesson time in before lunch.

I started with this Melissa and Doug Wooden Shape counter. I thought that it would be good to talk about the colors, shapes, numbers and then to help transition into more math-like lessons.

She wasn't overly excited with this toy but that may be because she hasn't had much experience with it. She needed some coaching and cheering on to finish it but she did and then we moved on from it. 

We worked on the Get Set For School Touch and Flip flash cards and the cube counters again today. I changed one step, however. Today, where the animals cards were only used to represent a number yesterday, they only represented a number half of the time today. Once Vada had filled the 'square' cards with the cubes we slid the cards under its corresponding 'animal' card and then flipped the animal card over to show the number. Once I did that, I would then say " Look Vada, this number ___ means this and count, this" and then point to the picture, the square and so on...

She did fifty times better with this activity today, than she did yesterday and  I thought that she did a really good job yesterday! I cant wait to see what she does next time we do this! (I plan on doing math and some kind of reading or literacy activity everyday that we have school.)

Not the best photo of Little Miss but check out her pincer grasp!!!

Another fun activity that we did was the Super Sorting Pie! This awesome learning game came from Vada's Grandpa and Grandma all of the way in Texas! Thanks guys she loves it! See, she's blowing you her thank you kisses!

 She really picks up things quickly! Don't get me wrong, she doesn't know her colors at least not all of them but today, when she slowed down and focused, she seemed to recognize them and that was pretty cool!

As you can see in the pictures above and below, I poured the fruit piece into the pie topper/lid and sat them next to Vada for easy acceptability.  It worked for a few minutes, until she figured out that she could spin the lid into circles and then that was all that she wanted to do! Then I had to hold the  lid for her and let her pick out the pieces. For awhile, that too worked and then she began to try to take hand fulls of the fruit pieces. She was getting bored. Since we were close to being done I took the last few pieces that were left and one by one handed them to Vada and while saying the color of each piece as I had been doing through this whole activity, I asked her to put it into the correct spots. That did it for her and she sorted out every single piece of fruit that there was to be sorted!

See how Vada's thumb and pointer goes inward in this grasp? This is why she has thumb splints and should be wearing them! In my defense, she is down to one pair that fits and they were drying from being cleaned :)

Elmo Count Along Crayons was another fun learning activity that we did today. I really liked this toy when I found it a few months ago and so it became one of Vada's Christmas! 

It has had many days of "free play" but today was its first day of "serious learning". Actually, before today, all Vada wanted to do was push the center yellow button which played the main song. Today we actually listened to what Elmo asked us to do. "Find the Yellow crayon. Find the number four." and "How many crayons are lit up?" Elmo is pretty impatient and doesn't give much time to answer his questions, so I quickly repeated the question for Vada, counted out loud using her pointer and then I would tell her which button to push. She is new to this way of playing with this Elmo game so in the beginning I also had to take her pointer and push the correct button to give Elmo his answer but towards the end of our time she was getting it.

After Vada practiced her writing I got out these handy dandy loop scissors that I borrowed from Vada's awesome occupational therapist, Christy. 
Did You know that at Vada's age, (almost 3 on March 2) she should be able to use or at the very least be practicing on using scissors?! It seems so young to me. I completely forgot at what age my older two girls were when they were doing some of these things and maybe it's just Vada's sie or the fact that she is very quiet verbally that throws me when it comes to theses things but to me, somethings, she still seems like a little baby and not a little girl who should be learning math and how to cut paper! I'm glad that I have books, therapists and websites to keep me on track!

I held Vada's hand and together we made several cuts through the paper and then she wanted to do it on her own. She is becoming very independent these days. So I let her explore the scissors on her own. There is a great deal of work to be done here but again I am so blessed that she is actually interested in learning!

Oh and these stinkin' blocks! I have mentioned before that Vada does not enjoy plying with blocks (unless it involves knocking them down). However this is another thing that needs to be worked on. Stacking. So we worked on stacking today. 

For Vada's second birthday she received this Fisher Price Snap n' Style Doll. When she got the doll it was a beyond what she was into for playing. At that time she wasn't playing pretend with dolls and she certainly wasn't dressing them up but this doll set was so cute and the snap clothes was such a different idea that I kept them with the idea that Vada might enjoy this doll later on. 

Vada loved this doll today and we had such a fun time snapping and unsnapping her outfits. I even made it into a learning experience by talking about everything that we were doing and everywhere about the doll itself, the dolls hair color, her eye color, where her feet, head, hands etc... were, the color of the clothing that Vada choose and so on. 

Vada's speech and occupational therapists often used the Mr. Potato Head for therapy sessions and this doll kind of reminds me of those sessions. I personally loved the old Mr. Potato Head, from when I was younger. We bought Vada her own Mrs. Potato Head for Christmas this last year because of of how it was used in therapies and the new versions of the toys stink! I don't like them at all and now I am on the hunt for an "old school" Mr. Potato Head.

We learned more about animals and the different sounds that they make by singing Old McDonald Had a Farm while I put up felt figures on our felt board. I sang through each animal and their sounds twice before Vada seemed to ready to move on and then I slipped in one more round of "what does the animal say", when I was picking up. 

We ended our day the same way we end every day, with Vada taking all of the books off of the shelves and looking through them...

And then she helped me clean it all up. She rocks!

1 comment:

teal915 said...

Looks like a great learning day. Ka dyn has the shape sorter. I think she would eat the little cubes though lol. She used those kind of scissors in OT. I guess I should get her some. I've seen the pie sorter on the toys r us website. I'm looking for birthday ideas now, so that might be a good one.