Friday, November 30, 2012

Guest Post: Christmas Countdown Chain



Thank you to Miss Cheryl for her second Guest Post...

Christmas Countdown Chain--numbers and counting----AND fine motor skill learning (for the children and the teachers!)--Oh My!

I had forgotten about a countdown chain so when I saw the idea in ABC JESUS LOVES ME, I was so excited! The Christmas Countdown Chain activity was so much more than a math activity! What a wonderful addition to our daily calendar time.

We decided to have the children involved in making the links to this chain. We had 25 strips of paper precut and numbered 1-25. We had the strips about an inch longer than needed to make each link. We drew a bold black line on the strip about one inch from one of the edges.  The children each cut on the bold line to make a link.

We then asked "Who has number 1?" The child brought it to me and helped me tape it into a link. We continued with each number until all the children helped add a link to the chain.

On December 1st, our Calendar Helper was asked to rip the link with the number 25 off of our chain.

She tried and tried! She pulled the whole chain, she pulled just the number 25 chain, but could not get it off. That is when we realized that children don't instinctively know how to "tear"! Of course, we should have known this by the number of children who ask "Can you please open this for me" while handing us their snack bags of goldfish or other bagged snacks at snack time!

We decided to take this opportunity to have a practice ripping and tearing activity! We provided different colors and sizes of construction paper at the art table along with glue sticks and a large Christmas Tree shaped piece of paper. We then demonstrated how to rip and tear. As they tore a piece of paper off, they glued it to our tree shape.

They are now all tearing and ripping experts! Not only are they excited and ready to rip off a chain when it is their day to help with the Countdown Chain, but many can now open their own snacks as well!

We have all re-learned about preschoolers by the preschoolers: never assume a skill has been learned or practiced!

Merry Christmas! From a humbled and ever-learning Miss Cheryl!

Miss Cheryl is a preschool teacher in Massachusetts. She is going to be blessing us with blogs about using the ABCJLM Preschool Curriculum in her preschool classroom.


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