Friday, August 13, 2010

Drew's Little Monkeys

This week my little monkey has been learning about other little monkeys.   HERE's the video of the beginning of our "Monkey Week 2010" (Karen, that title was just for you).
Last week when we went to the library I came across a bunch of the "5 Little Monkeys" series.  I didn't realize how many of them there were.  So as the kids were exploring (under my very watchful eye.... such a hard balance because I want them to be able to explore, but the last thing I want is to be "that mom" who lets her kids run wild).
So we came back home with a "barrel full" of those little monkeys.  ;)

We've been reading about those tricky little monkeys shopping sprees, their used-car-salesmen abilities, and how they trick the babysitter into playing hide and seek to get out of bedtime.  We've been reading all kinds of stories about those little critters.
We also came home with a nonfiction book about monkeys.  Drew likes to point out their different body parts.  The tails are his favorites.  He's actually picked up on the fact that they all have such different noses too.
We've been working with the letter "M" in lots of ways.  Here Drew is filling in the M with his Play-Dough (with my help pinching together the ends obviously).  This lasted for all of 1 1/2 minutes, then it was on to making a road with his roller for McQueen to drive on.

I found the retelling activity in the video at 1+1+1=1.  I think it's neat to watch Drew retelling "5 Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed" using his pictures to help him with the sequence.  Printing out these pictures was well worth it because you can see him looking at them to help prompt him through the story.  And even when he messes up, it helps him get back on track.  
As a teacher, I always said that I loved watching students make mistakes because then I could really "see" their learning and how to help them.  With my own child, it's hard to practice what I preached though.  You want things to go perfectly, so I have to really go back and remember what I've told students' parents for years.
It's also been a discipline issue for me to allow Drew to work at his own pace.  This is REALLY hard!  Again, it's the teacher in me.  I'm used to due dates, deadlines, and well.... inspiring (aka forcing) kids to work even when they don't want to.  Even when I taught the gifted program, I had plenty of kids who dragged their heels when it came to their work.  But with a 3 year old.... well, it's just not wise to force it.  So we stop when he wants to stop.... even if that means that all of the materials that I prepared went unused for now.
Anyways, enough of my "teacher talk."  Back to Monkey Week 2010!

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