Sunday, 4 October 2009

Pre-school hijinks

Our littlest learners are having a great time with Naomi and Jim, and are constantly coming up with golden chunks of new language. The beauty is that they are learning entirely in context and using words and phrases completely naturally - surprising even us with the speed they are taking things in and reproducing them. We have noticed there is a lag between them being exposed to certain words or expressions and them reproducing. Seems a good sleep or two is necessary for the rough input to be reorganised & processed - Jim is sure dreaming is an important part of this mental magic trick.

Two weeks ago the girls could not 'do' a large ABC floor puzzle and lost interest very quickly. This week a completely different story, as they worked together and at pace to put all eight feet of it together! Wonderful stuff and so pleasing to see the beginnings of teamwork as well.

Thomas is a favourite, and matching the flashcards & telling us the names of the many engines (again and again, because we can't remember!). Organising things is a key stage of learning, and without being asked a couple of different 'systems' soon took shape & needed negotiating to a conclusion. What was agree was that the window sill was the best place to put them all!

Another task we were delighted to see take shape was making sets - in this case felt shapes with velcro on the back. All the same colour but needing 'moving' and putting back. langauge of counting and colours, as well as prepositions and asking for clarification all come into play. That rising intonation to make a question - starts right here!

We have not been neglecting our songs either; we have heard that the songs from the Three Billy Goats video we've watched a couple of times are being sampled at home. "There's grass, green grass, all along the river" all in one go! So we went for a nice little walk along our own river looking for trolls under the bridge. None there, but we did enjoy finding some big insects which could jump a long way, beautiful butterflies and flowers of every colour we could name. (Bad news = the machine ate the video on Friday. Oh no!)

Our pre-schoolers are learning so fast it staggers us!