Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Leaf Sort

Fall leaves have been beautiful here this week! Yesterday we (more me than her, to be truthful) picked up some pretty ones on a walk. I got out a big pan and put one leaf in each compartment. A few times yesterday I showed her how to dump the pan, say "uhhh-ohhh" and then put one leaf back into each compartment. However, a much more fun game happened sporadically. The dog shoved her snout under my hand as I was demonstrating the leaf sort, and I placed a leaf on Alie-Dog's head. HILARIOUS to the 14-month-old. So the game changed to seeing how many leaves we could stack on the doggy's head.
I am definitely about letting children guide learning experiences. Who knows better than them what processes their little minds and bodies are in the middle of working through.....and when they direct a learning experience, I always try to go with it! I may try to stretch what they are doing a Liiiiitle farther (the technical term for this is scaffolding...good ole Vygotsky...) but I honor their input.

For older children you could get a big pile of leaves and practice "dealing" them among the compartments. This is a foundational skill for counting, multiplication and division. Anytime you can give your preschooler/early elementary-age child practice "dealing" various items, go for it!

You could also turn to a science realm and sort the leaves by different characteristics.
-jagged/smooth edges

Do an online search for the different vocabulary words associated with leaves--what is the stem called when it goes into the leaf?
Can you identify what species?
Monocot or dicot?

Preschoolers eat this stuff up!!

We also took a walk to Grandbob's house yesterday and practiced "crunching" leaves with our feet. Momma was soooo funny when she kicked up a big cloud of leaves, too! Raking and jumping might just be in today's plans!!
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