Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Preparing to Impress {How to Use the Objective Checklist}

Objective Pre and Post Checklist

If you have visited the website or the Week 1 Lesson Plan of the 3, 4, or 5 Year Curricula, you may have noticed that I suggest using the Objective Checklist to begin the curriculum.  This may lead to wondering, "How do I use the Objective Checklist?”

A few things to remember:  First, this checklist may take more than one day to complete.  You will not get a true picture if your child becomes too tired or frustrated.  Second, some things will surprise you.  There are concepts that you will think the child should know and others that you are surprised that the child does know.  Third, this is not a test and should not be treated as such.  Remember this information is for your sake only. 

Here is how I used the Objective Checklist a couple of years ago:

Little Man gathered all of the magnetic Leap Frog Letters off the refrigerator and put them in a basket.  We took the letters, the Leap Frog Letter base, and the objective checklist into the living room and sat on the floor.  I told him to pick up a letter and tell me the letter’s name.  Then I asked for the letter’s sound.  Once he answered the questions, he was able to put the letter into the Leap Frog base and listen to the song.  If he knew the name of the letter, I put a check mark beside that letter.  If he did not, I circled it.  On some letters, once I gave him the letter name he could tell me the phonetic sound.  In these cases, I put a circle with a dash through it to remind me that he got this correct with a little guidance.  He also named colors.  Some answers were “I don’t know.”  If I felt he had an idea, I asked him to give me some type of answer. 

On the second day, we finished the checklist.  Using a writing board, I wrote numbers 0-13 on the board in random order.  I told him to point to a number that he knew.  Once he told me the name of the number, he got to erase it.  Then I proceeded to numbers 13-25, doing the same thing.  Following that, I asked him to write various numbers.  The same thing was done with drawing shapes.

To demonstrate the "placement" words, we used the writing board and some stuffed animals.  Here are some examples:
      - Draw a triangle, square, and circle in a vertical line.  Ask "Which shape is on top?"
      - Draw an "x".  Say "Draw a line next to the "x"."
      - Say "Put your bear near the other bear."
Some items were not checked, such as "calling 911" because I know that we have never discussed this. 

This is what I learned. 
• Colors are something that we can gloss over this year.  A simple review is all that is needed. 
• I was surprised to learn how many phonetic sounds he knew but letter names he did not know.  I discovered which letters would require more focus and which letters were solid in his mind.
• He is excited to learn and loved the one-on-one time with me. 
• If you are checking both lower and uppercase letters, remember that you are actually doing each letter sound twice.  Do not let that throw off your data by doing upper and lowercase letters back to back. 
• Keep it light and fun.  There was no pressure for my son to “perform.” 

I would love to know what you learned from the checklist time with your child.  If you have specific questions, please leave a comment.

Tomorrow:  Breaking the Weekly Lesson Plans into Daily Activities

What did you learn from the Objective Checklist?

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.