So if you read this blog at all, you know that I'm a bit of a rebel. Even though we are supposed to teach to the test and my Kinder students are supposed to read 40 words per minute and count money effectively by the end of the year--I still sneak in the "fun" stuff when I can. One of the things I don't think youngsters play with enough anymore is blocks. Good for spatial reasoning, for learning patience and control-I think they should be a staple of every classroom. Unfortunately, I have to be clever and find ways to sneak it in instead.
One way I do this is with my writing workstations. I try to change out what they are working on every week, but this one has been a big hit. I let them turn over my sand timer and build with the blocks for 5 minutes and then they have to write a story using their structure. I've gotten some great fairy tales with these:
I also have a dollhouse where I do the same thing. Play for 5 minutes and then tell me a story about what happened. The kiddos LOVE going to the writing station and I am sneaking in some new vocabulary skills!