Tuesday, April 13, 2010

tot school: number-recognition and pom-pom placing

Please note: I link to TotSchool once a week, but I actually post our activities one day at a time rather than in a weekly wrap-up. You can see all our Tot School posts by clicking on the "Tot School" link on the right.

Apologies for the long silence! Work always gets crazy at the end of the quarter, so blog-updates fell by the wayside for a while there.

This tot-school session was our usual mix of successful with giant flop. It's odd; Basbusa has been picking up new (Arabic) letters in the blink of an eye, but with numbers, which she sees much more often in the world around her, recognition has been coming much more slowly. Zero, one and six are still the only ones she has completely down, with a few others possible depending on the day. It's lucky we live in an apartment building, or even one and six would probably still be pretty vague! Yay for the joys of elevator-button-pressing :)

So our first activity was to get some use out of the vast number of supermarket fliers that arrive in our mailbox every Thursday:

Lots of pictures of food, which Basbusa always likes to talk about! And numbers of all kinds sprinkled around the page. In the example above, which is the first time we tried it, she was finding the "3"s and I was circling them, and then she found the "9"s and I put a rectangle around them etc, but she wasn't too enthralled, and needed a lot of encouragement and prompting. Since then, however, we've evolved a bit: Now she gets to hold the pen, and we put "stars" (in other words, enthusiastic scribbles) on whichever number we're looking for . We also mix it up a bit by putting stars on the strawberries, or on the noses of the models in clothes-store ads, or on the letter "S"s (the only one she knows so far in English), and she's much more interested. We've had fun with this quite a few times.

Next up: using a teaspoon to put pom-poms into a little tray which used to line a box of chocolates.

Why? Well, I'm not quite sure. The entire tot-school universe and its mother seems to do this kind of thing, whether it's using tweezers to put erasers into egg-cups or using tongs to put marbles onto upside-down bath-sucker-thingies, so I'm sure there must be a good reason behind it. One-to-one correspondence, maybe? Fine motor skills and finger-strength? Their kids also seem to love it, so I thought we'd give it a try, but it didn't really work out. First of all, Basbusa, lover of all things pink, picked out all the pink pom-poms and spent quite a while trying to cram them all into her pocket. She was momentarily intrigued when I started putting one pom-pom into each spot on the tray, but clearly thought it was silly to be using a spoon when fingers were so much easier, and soon lost interest anyway. I held her attention for a few seconds longer by engaging her love of giving orders and letting her dictate which spot I'd put each pom-pom - I figured that if the point is one-to-one correspondence, she'd still be getting some use out of it this way - but we were done pretty quickly. Ah well. Whatever the point was, I don't think we got it!

To see what everyone else and their tots have been up to this week, please check out Tot School headquarters over at 1+1+1=1.

No comments:

Post a Comment