UPDATE 4/25/09 - I have just added this post to the Works for Me Wednesday weekly blogging carnival, my first time participating: The reason this works for me is because when I do these learning activities with my two and a half year old, I am reminded how lucky I am to be at home with her and how glad I am to be the one teaching her! It is such a joy to see her growth and how after all these activities she is finally becoming more aware of colors.
This week we've been playing a little game that was inspired by the guided reading beach balls I used to use in conjunction with the Building Blocks Literacy Model I used with my kindergarteners. After reading a story, I'd ask one of the questions on one of the sections of the ball and then toss it to one of the kids who then answered it. This was a big hit and since they never knew when I'd bring out the beach balls, they'd pay attention so they'd be prepared to answer the questions just in case.
Keep in mind this one was inspired by those beach balls; it's really quite different and on another learning level completely. As many of you know we're working on colors, and working and working...I am happy to share that several times she's finally been able to correctly tell me the color of an object spontaneously in conversation. She'll be talking and then mention, that no she wants her green plate or something along those lines. Interestingly she's rarely able to identify a color correctly during an a structured learning activity, but I know she's more aware of color names as she's been identifying things by color more and more.
This is called generalization and is actually a very important step to mastering a skill. Meaning that a student can apply the skill in circumstances other than a lesson. When I taught special ed., my students with special needs had an especially hard time with this and is why these students benefit greatly from real life application as opposed to traditional book and worksheet practice AKA drill and kill (some teacher talk thrown in there:). For instance the student when a student is shown ABC flashcards she can identify them by name, but when asked to look at a sign outside cannot. But I digress, back to the subject at hand this week's language activity.
Color Dice Game
Learing Objective: Identify color by name, match by color
large sheets or neutral colored paper, ours are from drawing pad & two sheets were needed
colored construction paper
a variety of household items and toys
To prepare for this activity: Tape a small box together to form a cube or "dice" shape. Cover with neutral paper. Cover each side of the dice with a piece of colored paper representing the target colors. To give you an idea of the size of our box, I cut the colored paper to about 6x6 inches and then trimmed a bit to fit each side. I did not choose to include pink, as this is the one color my daughter can identify and name consistently - go figure!
- Read a color book together to activate prior knowledge and to get your child thinking about colors.
- Explain that you are going to play a color game with a really big dice. Demonstrate how to roll dice and have your child roll it a few times, discuss which color show up on top of the dice after each roll.
- Begin play by saying, "Did you notice that red is on top? Can you find me something red in the room?"
- Your child should then look around the room for an object, toy, picture that has the target color in it. If your child picks a multicolored object, have her point to the target color within it. This was challenging for her, which let me know this is an appropriate activity for her:)
- Reinforce color names, "Yes, good for you that bracelet is red just like the top of the dice!"
- Continue play for several color searches, below are some of the objects we found while playing.
Green Play AppleOrange Pumpkin PhotobookModifications: This same concept could be used with letters, write one on each side of a paper dice template. Have your learner give the letter sound for the letter that's on top or say a word that begins with the target letter ex. bat for B. For numbers, write a numeral on each side and have your child count out manipulatives to that number.
I was talking with my partner in crime, Katie at A Listmaker's Life and she noted that since we're both using the free version, Mr. Linky will disappear with all it's links from this post the next time I go to use it, as in this Thursday for 123 Learn with Me. So I'd have to go in and transfer all the links to the bottom of my post before I added Mr. Linky to the next post I want to include him on. So for now, if you've got a learning activity you'd like to share please add a comment on this post with the URL of your activity's post so we can all go by and see it.
And don't forget to start sending us your activities to ABC and 123: A Learning Cooperative too! You can more about that here.