September 28, 2013

Funny Story

Have you ever bought a gift for a toddler and they enjoyed the box more than the big thing that was inside?  Well, that is sort of what I experienced this week.  We spend all of our time creating lessons & activities, and every now and then, what we think is the big thing takes a back seat to some seemingly insignificant thing. 

This past week, I made a printer friendly apples centers packet.  I always try to fit in a few skills, even during centers.  I printed out all 27 pages of this packet (b&w); copied it onto red, green, and yellow construction paper; laminated it; and cut it all apart.  My idea was that since the theme for the week was apples, I would also incorporate apples in my table toys & writing centers.  I paired the items I made with manipulatives.  I never took any of this work home so it took me a couple of days to put together during planning & nap periods (this is to show the effort). :)

Anyway, I placed the components in my centers.  This is what I put in there:

This is what I had in mind:
ABC Memory Matching (uppercase to lowercase)
 Counting 0-10 Objects
 Number Matching 0-10
I knew that these things weren't going to be the favorites.  Most kids go for housekeeping, blocks, sand, or computers.  Academic tasks can be a hard sell, but sometimes there are a few eager beavers. 
Anyway, I never would have figured that the thing that would be the BIG HIT would be something so simple.  A thing that I put absolutely ZERO EFFORT into.  Here's my writing center.  The big thing is neatly tucked away in the 1st container on the top shelf.
Here are close ups of the items I made that I was so proud of:

So insignificant that I didn't even think to take a picture of it.  Guess what it was? 
That was the HOT ITEM of the week! Evidently, 4 year olds don't get to use scissors very often because the kids were so excited over them, you would have thought that Santa himself was in my writing center.  The scissors, glue sticks & trash can certainly got a work-out this week.  I had to restock the paper supply twice!   

In case you're wondering, my apples packet wasn't a total waste.  I did use it with my autistic students (the other children came from the general ed pre-k for reverse inclusion).  I was able to make anecdotal notes and snap a few photos of my students working for their portfolios, and even got in a little assessment so that was good.  But, SCISSORS!  Who knew?

Just Asia

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