About me and my blog

miércoles, 5 de septiembre de 2012

First week of Tot school. Days 1-3

The idea was to throw a party to celebrate the beginning of our school, but we haven't had time to arrange everything in the way we want, plus many friends were still away on vacation. So, today tot school has started without any previous event.
By "home or tot school" I mean all the activities M and me do in the morning. Activities I have scheduled for our first trimester, that is the next 16 weeks, or until the baby is born.
Having around 16 topics in mind, I will set up the environment for M to learn as much as she wants. I try to plan inviting set-ups where she decides what she wants to do in a way that is connected with the topic that is displayed that week. I won't push her to do anything, just support her in what she decides to do, observe her and let her be.
This first morning, for instance, after getting up and having breakfast, she's been toying around with the first items that were displayed on her shelves:
After some minutes, she has realized the weather was a bit cool and we have headed for the bathroom to get dressed and groomed. Curiously, she has decided to wear a red jumper, just like the bottle she was playing with a second ago. "Red" is the color she knows best. Then comes "blue". And as for "yellow"she gets a bit mixed up sometimes, saying "purple" instead or not saying anything. We did enough activities in the past so that I can ask her now "what color is this?" Of course, here I mean only the three basic colors, although some weeks ago, when I made her rock crayons I was surprised to see that she was able to correctly associate each of the six colors we had.
Already dressed, she has headed for the kitchen on her own account and has come back with a pot of yellow finger paint. I guess something has made her associate the bottles activity with the paint. Although we often draw and paint with a variety of supplies, we have only used those pots of finger paint three times. I have set up a table and brush, glass with water and cardboard outside, and this is what she's made.
Then, we've gone downstairs to load a washing machine; activity she often wants to do all by herself. We've had a snack and we intended to go to the library to get some color related books. M was very excited about the idea of library books but since she has not been willing to seat in her car seat, we've come back home.
Quick lunch and before 12 she was napping.
Today is also my first day of work -ehem- I will be working around 5 hours a week as of now so I don't know if I should call it "work". Anyway, since I am teaching this afternoon, today we're done with school activities.
As you can guess, this week will be devoted to "colors" and I intend to display secondary colors and see how we get along. If you are interested, be sure to check back with us soon.

Notice how empty our notice board and working table look at the beginning of the week:
This is a very easy activity that took me just five minutes to put together. The wooden blocks belong to the box you can see on the right in the pic above. I took three red blocks and three blue ones from the set and placed them in the tiny basket. Then, I painted the equivalent shapes with markers, and voilà. 
 M found the activity on her table and set to work straight away. I actually didn't notice because I was in the kitchen but she had done it right and I noticed it was very easy for her. I regretted not having included yellow and green as I had first intended, but the yellow was too pale for the cardboard and when I prepare things close to midnight I am too tired to look for solutions... She liked it anyway and wanted to play while waiting for lunch.
 In the meantime, as well, I took the opportunity she was so concentrated and interested to introduce "light blue". We toyed with some light blue items and then filled in a bottle with light blue glitter and water. Wonderful activity to foster practical skills such as using a funnel. It's a pity I forgot to take a picture of our new blue light bottle.


However sick and hopeless I felt yesterday, I guess you would call today a "very successful day". Well, M has dropped her nap, but for the rest she has been fine. I had prepared three activities but she has only had time to explore one, which is fine, since the rest will be there ready for her to use if she chooses to tomorrow.
As you already know, if you have been reading this Tot school journal of ours, this week we are exploring colors and doing color activities. It might be an obsession with my profession, but I was a bit worried we don't own any books about colors, so a visit to the local library was a must this week. I really wanted to make one of those books where vegetables, fruits and other items are grouped by color but I haven't had time at all.
We attempted to go to the library on Monday but M didn't want to get into the car. We were far too busy yesterday, and I wasn't feeling well, so we have attempted it again today and it's been a great hit. Both car rides were fine; among the six ore seven color related books we've borrowed three which are quite beautiful; M has enjoyed the kid's space, painted a bit, given her painting to the librarian, gotten her library card, played with the colored cushions.
In the afternoon, after no nap--- we've gone to our favorite park, where we had a date with M's two friends, and both car rides have been fine, which is incredibly good, given the state M can be in after a whole day of activity, no nap and her absolute dislike of cars.
(Sorry for the quality of the shots. For practical reasons, I only use my cell phone.)

4 comentarios:

  1. It's really neat to get a sense of M's flow through her days. Your set-up sounds like it's suiting her perfectly well and the connections she makes are fascinating. I'm impressed that you're able to organize so much, even when feeling unwell.

    1. Thanks for your words, Melissa. I felt very happy last week 'cause M was interested in every single set-up I devised.

  2. I love the matching the blocks to the colored squares work. I'll have try that with my tot.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Jessica. I'd like to know how he likes it. M has enjoyed this several times this week.