Monday, May 17, 2010

How we teach and Zelda the hamster keeps me up

I was reading a post on (e's blog about learning colors. It got me thinking how much it helps to share ideas. In my class we play several games that could be played at home. My children range in age from 3-5. Here are a couple of ideas off the top of my head.

I came up with one when my kids were starting to run in class during free time. I don't like to constantly be telling children not to do something instead I like to redirect their attention. On the fly I blurted out, "Who wants to play Chutes and Ladders?" Of course they all did. I had to quickly come up with a game. We have a large basket of solid colored play silks. I started covering the floor with them. Laying them out in perfect squares next to each other. The children helped me grabbing the colors I was signing. When the floor was covered I told them to stand at one end and I was on the other end. I would sign a child's name and a color. The child then would jump to the color I signed. This continues until they have jumped to my end. They love this new game.

Another thing I do is add sign lessons to our regular lesson plan. If we are using modeling beeswax I hold up each color first and show them the sign for that color. Then I call on a child and sign "which color you want?" . They then sign the response and get the wax to play with. New students often ask with a single sign and the others with, "I want red please". I usually voice off during projects like this. The older students help the new and younger students. I find adults are more stressed about voice off than kids. The kids adapt so quickly to any language.

On another topic, my son got a hamster. She is so cute! The only problem is hamsters are nocturnal and Zelda loves to workout on her wheel all night. So well, my son soundly sleeps the rest of the family strains to ignore Zeldas squeaky wheel. Good thing she is so cute.


  1. Aww...Zelda! Love the name (hope you get some sleep, though)...


  2. You can try rubbing some olive oil at the joints of the wheel... if it comes apart even better. Take it apart and use a Q-tip.

    The wheels we had for class-pet-gerbils were metal and that helped. Fortunately, gerbils are not completely nocturnal but when I brought them home I still had the occasional SQUEAAAAKKKK at 2 am.

  3. Great idea! I bet the kids had fun. :)