Monday, April 14, 2008

Magnet letters and a cookie sheet

All moms have great ideas and good tips that could help other moms. I have decided to post my ideas here and I'd love for you to share your ideas, whether they be as a mom, teacher, auntie, grandmother, cousin, etc. If you have a little idea or variation of what I have posted, share it in the comments. If you have a big idea or an idea with a great story, email me (fisforfischer at gmail dot com) and I'll post it here for others to see and gain from. Of course some of the very best ideas are stolen from someone else, I'm going to share those too, and so should you!

Cookie Sheet and Magnet Letters
  1. Letter identification: Fisch and I like to play games with magnet letters. We like to put a letter on a cookie sheet and talk about what it is called and what it is for (Example: A is for Annika, B is for Brad, C is for cat...). It is also fun to give him a pile of letters and ask him to "find an F for Fischer" "Find a b". You could also put up a lowercase letter and ask the child to find the corresponding upper case letter. You can also write a letter with a Vis-A-Vis marker and ask them to find a match. Kids love to put the letters on and off and slide them around. Another one that Fisch likes, is to put up the letters in his name, then turn one upside down and ask him "which letter is upside down?" He likes to quiz me too.
  2. Spelling: In the classroom, I often had kids practice their spelling words with magnet letters. They love it because it is a good change form writing their list 3 times. Fischer and I work on spelling his name this way. I give him all of the letters for his name and then I ask for each one by name, and he puts them on. Even if he doesn't know the letter yet, he likes looking for them, and I can show him the right one. Sometimes I'll put up F-i- and ask him "What comes next?" (You could do that to practice the alphabet too). We also like to put his name on the cookie sheet and then I "secretly" take a letter away (and stick it to the back of the sheet), "Who is hiding?" He loves to peek on the back, but often he can guess it first. With students who really struggle with spelling their own name you can even write their name on the cookie sheet with a Vis-A-Vis (the wet-erase markers people use on overhead projectors) and they can find the letters to match. It gives them practice putting the letters in the correct order and they can do it independently which always builds self confidence.
  3. Reading and Word Chunks: A fun one to practice reading with (no, I'm not doing this with Fisch yet) is to practice making and reading words. I like to put up a "chunk" such as: at, it , ar, ate, ill, ell, etc. and let the child practice making different words. I might ask them to make a certain word, and they have to figure out the beginning sound and/or let them come up with words. For example: we put up the letters "at" and the child thinks of cat, bat, hat, sat, rat, brat, flat, etc. Don't forget that a chunk can be in the middle or beginning of a word too like: attitude, flatter, atom.
  4. Reading and word rules: I'm currently tutoring a student who is struggling with the "silent e". We practice making words like "mat" and changing it to "mate" or vice verse changing "care" to "car".
  5. Letter reversals: Magnet letters are a fun way to practice b versus d and p versus q. Practice making words with these letters... the child sees them positioned the correct way without the anxiety of having to write them correctly. It is easier to grab a different letter than to erase!

So many fun ideas! Please share yours! The letters shown in this picture came from Lakeshore, the upper and lowercase are sold separately. You can buy magnet letters anywhere and the good thing about the cookie sheet is that they don't have to be that high of quality because you can keep the cookie sheet flat (so, you can have those letters that are too heavy for their annoyingly placed magnets and either tip over or slide right off the fridge!). Magnet letters come in all sizes and fonts, we even have some magnet letters that glow in the dark! You could quiz your child while they are in the tub and you've turned out the light! Super fun! Oh, and I bought cheap cookie sheets years ago at Wal Mart to use for this very thing, you could use the same ones you cook with - I guess.

P.S. Fischer's alter ego is "Naked Boy". Mommy and Daddy make Naked Boy wear a diaper though! We're not very brave. Fischer would be Naked Boy all day long if possible, hence Naked Boy practicing his letters in the picture above.


Jessica said...

I have naked time also. It is pretty much the best part of my day. Ha ha ha ha! Not really. But I just laughed after writing that. Fischer is a smarty !!! Next time I see him instead a HI YA, we will work on Boo Yeah!

Jenny said...

Fisch totally looks like a little nudist teacher in this picture. But at least he is an adorable, nudist teacher.

Liz and Jake said...

Seriously Naked Boy is probably the cutest thing in the whole world, how do you stand it. I don't think I could tell Naked Boy NO, if he were mine he would probably get away without wearing a diaper!