Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I could not find a lapbook with all the elements I wanted to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I wanted to focus on Dr. King's hopes and dreams but also introduce the historic significance of those dreams. TS has friends of all colors so it was important for him to understand the history but also understand his reality is part of the dreams of Dr. King. To that end I wanted to focus on dreams and hopes.
TS "I have a dream…."
- That there will be eco friendly cars with roll cages.
- That there will be eco friendly computers.
- That everyone will learn to share.
- That there will be no poor people
The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane Derolf
As a mother of color I knew the day would come when we would have the discussion about race in America and this was the year. The questions started during the 2008 campaign and as we approach the historic events of Tuesday I wanted him to a sense of the big picture. Because of when and where we live he doesn't have the concept of what it all means. He can't really as a child, but I wanted him to begin that journey to understanding the African American experience in a positive light.
Having grown up in Mississippi in the 1970s I have always know about race, segregation and the history of hate. My earliest memories were playing on blankets at protest rallies and sit ins during the early 1970s. My grandmother was very active in the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi and we grandkids spent many a Saturday at NAACP functions. It wasn't until I was 13 that I realized Mr. Charles who visited our church was actually Charles Evers brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. I remember being sick ( 1976) with the mumps and having to sit in the waiting room of the local doctor's office with others of color while Caucasian patients walked right in off the street and got seen ahead of us.
The heart break of feeling that kind of hate makes you want to protect your child at all cost. But as Grandma use to say "You got air out that sore, get some sunlight on it so it can heal. If we don't talk about it, wrap it up and keep it ourselves it is just gonna fester and rot the whole body."
It is important to us that TS has pride in his heritage and knowledge that hate exists but not to become consumed with it.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Here is the master list:
Shape a Do Dot Art and cut out the picture.
Cut your own snowflakes.
Cut out of old magazines, clip coupons, or pieces of scrap paper. Make a collage about yourself.
Tearing newspaper into strips and then crumpling them into balls. Use to stuff scarecrow art creation or other.
Take a paper plate draw a spiral and cut along lines for a neat window decoration.
Pick up items with tongs or tweezers-most picking up blocks, cotton balls, & small toys.
Play with squeeze toys or items such as water bottles, squeezing play-dough or water out of a sponge.
Make confetti!! Using single hole punches or hole punches that make different shapes (stars, hearts, etc.).
Cut different textures such as different grades of sandpaper, foil and/or rice paper. Make a chart from smooth to rough.
Tear pieces of paper to create a picture with torn paper.
Use clothespins to hang pictures. This works on the concept of squeezing and releasing.
Us Playdough garlic presses to make tool. This will help strengthen their hands for scissor use.
Try gluing pieces of thin cardboard to either side of a piece of construction paper, leaving about an inch or two of space down the middle. Then encourage the child to cut between the two pieces. The resulting pieces can be made into a craft activity--butterflies, airplanes, etc.
Snip smaller piece of paper.
Rolling play dough into tiny balls (peas) using only the finger tips.
Using pegs or toothpicks to make designs in play dough.
Cutting play dough with a plastic knife or with a pizza wheel by holding the implement in a diagonal volar grasp.
Scrunching up 1 sheet of newspaper in one hand. This is a super strength builder.
Using small-sized screwdrivers like those found in an erector set.
Lacing and sewing activities such as stringing beads, Cheerios, macaroni, etc.
Using eye droppers to "pick up" colored water for color mixing or to make artistic designs on paper.
Rolling small balls out of tissue paper, then gluing the balls onto construction paper to form pictures or designs.
Turning over cards, coins, checkers, or buttons, without bringing them to the edge of the table.
Playing games with the "puppet fingers" -the thumb, index, and middle fingers. At circle time have each child's puppet fingers tell about what happened over the weekend, or use them in songs and finger plays.
I am tweaking my Spring curriculum and I am narrowing my focus on some fine motor issues. I have known for some time that we need to work on scissors skills. I still remember his daycare teacher writing "TS is a gifted child who is verbally and linguistically gifted, but delayed in fine motor skill development."
During the fall I focused on overall fine motor skills because most boys seem to be a little slower in developing these skills and need extra encouragement. My thinking was a focus on fine motor work and the rest such as handwriting, cutting and shoe tying will come once those muscles are strengthened. I read somewhere that cutting "requires a lot of hand and eye coordination and by doing regular scissor-cutting activities, fine motor skills are improved and the small muscles are regularly exercised."
During December I noticed TS became frustrated with his scissor work, so now it's time focus in on that skill.
TS's scissor skills have improved over the last year. In the past he would get frustrated with cutting and just rip the paper. Now he really works at cutting out patterns for his lapbooks but they are not as smooth as he would like. I remind him that it is a process of practice but in true TS style he wants it "now".
So I worked with a friend who is an OT as well as internet searches to develop fun and gradually challenging cutting activities. The goal was to have at least 30 days of activities. At the end of the 30 days we will evaluate where we are and what should be our next steps.
Thirty Plus Days of Scissors Fun
The plan is to use what I have in house and not to purchase anything new.
Primary Tools for the Adventure
Do Dot Art
Letter and Number Cutters
A special thanks to Angela at Homeschooling The Chaotic Family for her inspiration and direction fine motor activities for boys.