What a delightful day!
Our day unfolded much differently than I had thought. That never happens for you, right? Ha!
A little learner presented a borrowed library book, one of my childhood favorites, No Roses for Harry by Gene Zion. A fun read about curious, adventurous Harry, a black spotted terrier. Children relate to Harry, his personified adventures and feelings because they resemble those of a young child.
In this read, Harry receives a rose adorned sweater from grandma. He is not enthused. How often do children receive gifts perhaps they don't like or didn't expect? What do they do with those feelings? What discussions ensue because of those feelings? As this plot unfolds, the reader tells of Harry's experience. In our home, conversations followed. Thoughts were shared and lessons learned in a non-threatening manner, because, of course, they began with a playful friend to whom my children could relate.
Oh, the discussions we had!
Our little learners--one turned to three when they heard me reading aloud--wanted to continue learning with Harry.
Thinking it would be fun to learn counting by putting printed paint spots on Harry, I drew an outline sketch of Harry and littles began stamping circles of paint on this body. First one spot, then two, then three and so on to ten.
With ten Harry prints drying on the kitchen floor, I cut the end off a celery bunch and we printed "roses" on green paper. This printing project became our cover.
We practiced counting to ten, forward and backward. To further counting we put chocolate sandwich cookies (spots) in sets. I called out a number and a little learner counted a set of corresponding cookies. This activity reinforced my childrens' ability to count to ten, to visually remember a specific set of objects, and to convert audible information into a visual representation.
They loved the learning time. We all loved the time together.
When all the pages were dry, we bound our Counting with No Roses for Harry with pieces of scrap fabric.
Our counting book is now "read" as much as No Roses for Harry.
There's a learning moment in every story.
Thankfully, there's always a story!