Oh how I love it when I find an interest in a child that captures his attention for a long time and today was one of those fine days!
I think there are a many reasons why I love it so much. Some of these are the following:
- There is no resistance from the child.
- The child is in his element of “play”.
- The child’s heart is open and learning happens so much more effectively.
- The teacher feels no frustration or need to force.
From our previous time at the park, I had noticed his curiosity in a shovel that another child was playing with in the sand. So, this time I decided to bring a hand shovel , some letters, and a container. I wondered if his curiosity with a shovel would be great enough to pull off this activity I had in mind.
To my excitement, it fully captured his attention. Yes!!! I began by asking him if he would like to bury the large assortment of letters that I had in a container. These letters consisted of a’s, b’s, and c’s.
After the entire container was full of dirt, I mentioned to him that this container now contained treasures that needed to be discovered. I asked him if he would be willing to help me find all the neat treasures by digging them out. He was up for the task and began digging up each letter. I reinforced the letter sound as each treasure was found.
After he found each treasure, he placed them on the sidewalk. I decided to take his treasures and organize the letters for him. I thought this might help him recognize the difference between each letter. I do not know how much this helped him but he did seem to grasp the idea, when in the end, he placed a letter “a’ in the “a” column that I had created.
After we found all of the letters, he wanted to repeat the activity over and over. It felt so good to find something that we could play with together and that would reinforce the sounds of each of these letters. We continued to bury and find treasures for ALMOST AN HOUR before he finally lost interest and wanted to move on to something else.
It was no surprise to me with what he wanted to do next with the letters. He wanted to throw the letters. 🙂 This was exactly what he had wanted to do the previous time we were at the park with the paper letter airplanes. I went with this next interest and made it a game similar to hide and seek.
After throwing one of the letters, I would ask him where the letter went. As we went in search of the letter, I would reinforce the name of the letter sound and call out for it until we found it. “Oh “a” where are you?”
He continued to play this type of game with me for a long time as well. It was so fun to see him so engaged with this activity as well. Through it, I was able to reinforce each letter sound so easily without any resistance. We finished up the day with eating lunch at the park. While he sat there, I decided to play a simple and quick game in my hand to test his retention for the day. Watch the video below to see how I did this.
It was definitely a great day playing with this amazing child.