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Presentation:  Stapling.

We did the Snipping...but not the stapling.
By his request, we are introducing the stapling skill.
A no brainer set up, just offer a stapler and some paper.
But we kicked it up a notch by combining stapling WITH letter writing and word recognition.

The Goal
Learn hand grip, coordination, and pressure level for stapling
Combine handwriting and word recognition through stapling game

The Set Up
1)  Tray
2)  SMALL Stapler *We opted for a clear one so that Zozie can see the staples inside and refill when empty.
3)  Cut pieces of paper
4)  Write a few cursive letters
5)  Make smaller word pictures to be stapled on to the letter sheets (see below)

The Presentation
1)  Invite child to bring tray to the table
2)  Hold corner of paper with one hand
3)  Grip stapler with other hand, thumb on top, rest of fingers on the bottom
4)  Hold over the corner and apply down pressure until stapler clicks (important that it's a small stapler so they can do the ONE hand hold)
5)  Have child do a series of staples till he is comfortable with the one hand hold and push.
6)  Add a second piece of paper ontop, secure with thumb over the layered paper.
7)  Same one hand stapling action, repeat.
8)  Variation:  If not comfortable with the ONE hand grip, try showing the Double hand grip - Have one hand over another on top of the stapler.  With a swift push down, staple papers with hands cupped.
We included paper with cursive letters and cut up small pictures that start with each letter.  "T" had small papers with words like "Table," "Train," "Tent", "Turtle," "Tail"....
Child can color the small pictures, as well as practice writing the cursive letters they see.  Zozie liked to repeat what he just stapled phonetically...

One hand grip.

Double Hand Grip
A straightforward exercise... challenging, but rewarding.
Almost as easy as the easy button @ Staples, but with alittle more UMFFF on the push down.
See the phonic game below!


Spring Scroll.

Spring is Here!
At the close of the holiday season, we are moving into the start of Chinese New Year...
One of the ways to welcome in spring is to write Chinese Spring Scrolls.
These are usually done on red banner type paper with black or gold brushwork.  A large variety of "well wishes & blessings" for the new year are commonly seen on these scrolls, which are then hung on doors and walls to share these blessings with all.

This morning, Zozie wanted to try his first Chinese Spring Scroll.  We opted for a washable black marker instead of the usual brush and ink.  Hey, black is black.  One of the most basic one is of the character "SPRING" or "春".  I wrote a sample for him to observe and copy onto his own red paper.

By displaying the banner "upside down", or "dao" (到), it is visually & phonetically the Chinese word for "Here" or "Arrived"...so thus, "Spring is Here" or "Spring has Arrived".  So you may frequently see these character being hung inverted for this double meaning.

Zo tried another variation of " ".
And of course, any mention of the Chinese New Year makes Zozie draw Chinese Lions.  The obsession is deep, it doesn't take much for him to draw Lions and Dragons these days!
What's after Christmas, mama?
Zozo kept asking what month are what things happening once the new year comes.  So we decided to write out a pictoral monthly LIST, breaking down what is to be expected in the next couple of months in the new year.  You can see his own Chinese number writing down the right side of the pictures on the chalkboard.

Jan:  Chinese New Year (Dragon Face)
Feb:  Zozie's 4th Birthday
Mar:  Moon is full
Apr:  Beanie's 0th Birthday

And with that, he was satisfied.
See Zozie scroll away in the clip below, followed by his all Chinese New Year Chant to offer blessings to all in the second clip!  Then, his blue lion drawing in action...
Our Home Chinese New Year Celebration has begun.


Meet BOB.

Zozie...Meet BOB.
Bob.  A funny name that Zozie could not stop laughing at in the beginning. "Bob? What's BOB?" giggle...giggle...giggggggle.
He's really really wanting to read these days.
At nearly the end of his 3rd year, the reading urge is really kicking in.
Big Time.

We have been doing phonics reading with him for a few months now, as this is the preferred Montessori method of teaching the alphabets.  Instead of reading the "Name" of the letters, the Montessori approach is to teach the "sound" of each letter.  This gives a more accurate tool for a child to use when trying to sound out a new word in a book.
"Ah, Buh, Cuh/Ccc, Duh..."

Our BOB first reader series was a total FIND at a garage sale.  But don't worry if you are not a rummage shopper, these can easily be purchased on Amazon for a decent price.  Just under $12 for a set of 10 small books!

The 1st set consist of all 3-letter words with short vowels and simple sentences.  Book 1 of Set 1 is has only 4 letters for a child to read...they were clever enough to combine these 4 letters in various ways to build a short story for a child to repeat and build literacy confidence.
It was a short "click" for Zozie to get the idea of sounding out letters in a string to form a word.  Before then, he had a rough understanding of single phonics, but piecing together for word creation is the new milestone. Now...like blowing bubble gum, or anything else worth wanting in life, it is just practice, practice, practice.

Mind you, this is a self-motivated practice.
You really can't force a toddler to do something they don't want to do already. Believe me.  I can't even get him to wear a shirt in the morning that he didn't pick out, let alone push early reading, yicks.

Below you will see Zozie's reading of Book2 in Set 1, SAM.
This was the 3rd time he read this particular book within the week.

We are careful to NEVER read these books TO HIM.
What?  So cruel?
Never!  You know we are not like that at the LAB.
This is just so he would not be given the chance to just memorize and repeat.  
Kids have spongy sharp memories and can "appear" to be reading when they have just memorized the script!  Instead, we tell him that we will read any "Storybook" to him but that these are his "Reading Books".
Reading books are ones that HE reads to US so that he too can be a storyteller!  So far, that has worked. Zo is pretty proud when he can tell us a story too.

All Done?
Note that he starts to say "ALL DONE" at the end of the clip.  Dalee is careful to cue him with the phonics of "th" to get him to look at the word itself.  Zozo then proceeds to sound out correctly "The End".

As with all FIRSTS in a toddlers life, this is actually just "The Beginning."
The ride, of course, just got more fun now with BOB in the mix...giggle.
Must say, it is a pretty funny sounding name.  
Like Zozo.