Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Teaching tools

     Here are a couple of our (homemade) teaching tools.

     The girls are working on reading, and I can across some very colorful kindergarten sight word flash cards. http://www.education.com/slideshow/kindergarten-sight-words/kindergarten-sight-words-a-are/  Instead of using them as flash cards I thought the girls might like them as magnets. They can use them to make sentences kind of like the little magnetic word sets everyone seemed to have on their fridge in college (you know the ones). All it required was printing, cutting, and sticking the words onto a sheet magnet from hobby lobby.  1 sheet magnet isn't enough even if you cut all the words as small as possible! I keep intending to go over them with clear acrylic, so they will hold up better, but that hasn't happened.

     The second is a clock made of paper plates. Just 2 paper plates (1 bigger then the other), a brad, 2 hands cut out of paper, glue, and a marker to write numbers. Pretty straight forward really. I tried to make the short hand point at the hour and then big hand point at the minutes.  I think it helps when they actually look at it!

     These are quite a bit older, but they were easy to make and use.  Basically you need some cardboard, paper, scissors, permanent marker, and tiny clothespins (got mine at Hobby Lobby).  Trace something circular on the cardboard and cut out. Then do the same with the paper. If you don't want to mess with circles you could just make straight lines. Divide the paper into the number of sections you need and draw your lines, letters, dots, or whatever really; then glue the paper to the cardboard.  Write the corresponding letter, number, etc on the clothespin.  Then they can match them. We did upper and lowercase letters, numbers through 1-10 and 11-20 (on the back of 1-10).  After doing it I realized it would have been easier to use little stickers for the dots to count, but drawing dots worked too.

     This last one is newer, but the girls haven't played with it much. I think it will be better for Eli once he is a bit older. It is a number snake made of plastic eggs.  Here are the instructions I used for it: http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2012/04/number-snake-threading-made-with-plastic-eggs/  Cutting between the holes is not nearly as easy as it sounds, and most of my holes did not come out very pretty.  You definitely need small, sharp scissors! I did numbers 1-20, but I suppose you could make it as long as you want. I have considered making some to count by 5's and 10's as well.