Sunday, July 20, 2014

Print Motivation: Tracing with Chalk

Adelyn has become very interested in writing her name.  She was really wanting to write in on the driveway when we were drawing with chalk.  Long story short, I picked the orange and she picked the green. I wrote her name with orange and then she traced over it with green.  

We have many of our sensory systems working here and many skills developing! It's fun to see some of the many many things happening in our brains while we do some of our daily activities. The large letters and bright colors are taken in by our visual system.  We can hear the sound of the chalk making each line and curve.  We don't realize it, but our auditory system does play a part in our writing.  The very sounds of the markings on the surface as well as the sounds each letter makes that we hear in our heads.  We have got our proprioceptive system working here as we figure out how much pressure to use to hold the chalk in our hand, move the chalk and push on the concrete. Our vestibular system is keeping us upright and balanced as we lean over.  Last and still important, the tactile is system is at play.  The wide piece of chalk may work well for young kids who have not refined their fine motor skills yet.  They may also really like the texture of the chalk although some do not.

Writing can be a very frustrating skill for young children to learn so don't get discouraged if your child is not into this whole writing thing yet. Creative ways to write and imaginative play like pretending to mail letters are great ways to spark an interest!

Space Shuttle and Astronomy Play

I love and value those exceptional opportunities of being in the quiet moments of night, when you find yourself standing outside in the backyard, the neighbors have shut off their outside lights, there are no street lights in view, the moon is no where to be seen, the crickets are chirping, the breeze blows in your face and you glance up at the magnificent beyond.  A black sky full of millions and billions of bright specks stands before you and continues to creep into the corner of your eye no matter where you glance or turn your head. My husband and I just love it and find ourselves time after time in continuous amazement.  Quite honestly, it eventually makes my neck hurt.  It leaves me in awe as an adult and definitely did as a child!  You may be able to think back to how small you felt as a child, standing in front of the big dark beyond. It's just amazing and it's no wonder that kids love to dream about space shuttles, outer space, or blasting off to the moon to a place of wonder and adventure.  It probably explains some of my Star Wars excitement too.

This spring we had a fun week of outer space amazement and exploration.  We got to think about being in the shoes of an astronaut blasting off facing the ceiling, imagine just how big our solar system is, take a ride on the Magic School Bus with Ms. Frizzle, learn about how our earth moves, listen to some astronomy songs, and make some "astronomy" themed food too.

 Getting ready for lift off!

Getting the controls ready.  Navigation system is ready!

Stars and planet jello jigglers!

 Making the planets go around the sun!  Check out our cool video below!

I even have on an astronomy shirt!

Solar System Pizza!