Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Favorite Microscope for Little Learners

"Mom, look at this wasp's nest. Quick! Go get the microscope!"

Little learners are curious. Curious about everything, big or small, wanting to take a second, closer look. That is when our Magiscope comes in handy. No slide preparation. Built-in light source. Removable ocular for odd- shaped specimens. What else could a curious little learner hope for?

When our oldest son was six years old, grandparents asked what he would like for Christmas. The Magiscope made a  perfect present, one which satisfied him (as well as his siblings) for years. In fact, 17 years later, it is still one of our favorite learning tools.

As I speak to parents, whether in a living room chat or at a large convention, I often mention our fascination with this portable scientific tool, one that gives little learners a simple, age-appropriate introduction to magnification. We carry ours outside to the swing set fort or to the front yard. We have even taken it on vacation. When the Magiscope is not with us, we collect the specimen in a baggie for observation at home. The Magiscope helps to foster a curiosity for natural science in our eager learners. For that, I am  grateful.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Counting by 5 with Smarties and Spree

Found a few packs of Smarties and Spree today. Instead of dividing them out freely among the masses, I decided to take math in another direction, counting by 5s. Eager (we don't make a habit of having little candies on hand), children circled.

"If each Smarty cost us 5 cents, how much would we have to pay for this little pack?" I asked.

Gears began to turn.

Seconds passed. Thoughts continued. Finally, an answer.

"85!" shouted a little learner.

We counted together in four-part harmony. Yes, indeed, 85.

Then we divided up small treats evenly.

All in all...great fun, eager learning.