Learning in All Shapes, Sizes … and Colors

In case anyone reading thinks I have lesson plans … ahem, well, let me set the record straight. I really don’t. I have year-long “maps” of what I hope to accomplish with each child, particularly concerning ELA, math and independent reading book assignments. I also have assignment books that serve as a record of what they actually do, which by and large follows those assignment books and maps closely.

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Last week, I wanted to add in some interactiveness to our middle school boys’ math lessons, and I wanted to have more of a theme for our younger three. I didn’t think long and hard. I just went with what came to me and came together. It turned out to be a colorful week with rainbow-themed learning at the forefront. Some of it was review, and some of it was new concepts. All of it was good for our learners!

I was thinking in light of recent questions I’ve had from others that rather than post about my little learners and big learners in different posts, I would instead post some highlights from last week in our school regardless of the learning levels. I hope someone finds it of interest!

Here’s a peek at our book selections for reading aloud with my littlest learners, who is 3 years old. Her 8YO brother and 7YO sister also love to listen in for many of these books that we’ve read over and over again this past week!

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• Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
• Junior’s Colors by Phil Vischer
• By Book of Color by Crayola
• Fisher Price My Little People Farm
• Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

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During our reading of Planting a Rainbow, I encouraged Li’l Bit to make her rainbow from torn paper. She did so well and loved gluing the pieces of paper on her rainbow.

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She also colored in her rainbow in her file folder. She likes to look at it now and we talk about the colors.

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She loves to hang up her finished creations on her magnetic board on her cabinet! As for the yellow, baby girl decided “I don’t want any yellow on my rainbow.” OK, dokey!

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We also have some color-themed lacing cards. Li’l Bit has a long way to go on the lacing cards, but she enjoyed them … mostly hanging them on doorknobs … we’ll get there *I hope.* 😀

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While baby girl and Momma had some one-on-one while Li’l Bro and Li’l Miss had an early morning annual check-up with the Prez and their cranio-facial doctor, Momma prepared an activity for them. I had seen the rainbow number bonds idea all over pinterest.

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I had also noticed my 2nd graders were not as quick on their feet with number bonds to 10 as I thought they were … so some remediation was in order.

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After coloring the rainbows in as we did some fun drills, they now have a reference tool for number bonds within 10.

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Meanwhile one afternoon, I worked with Larry on reviewing the formulas for area and perimeter of a rectangle.

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I found this great idea for interaction in math, and it did help him SEE math I think!

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Plus, this went into his math notebook for reference at a later date if he needs a refresher.

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While we worked on area and perimeter, two other learners were using our rainbow-colored cubes to build their own creations. One was working on a “symmetrical” picture while the other build a “giraffe eating from a tree.”

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I used the same area and perimeter lesson with Mo.

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Both he and Larry needed a refresher on this important set of formulas, and the rainbow-colored paper strips on black paper definitely stood out!

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We are continuing with some rainbow-inspired learning this week, which is week 4 of our 2013-2014 school year! I hope learning is taking place wherever you find yourself today as well!

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