At Tessa, we highly encourage learning through play and open-ended activities. While distance learning presents new obstacles, we are finding creative ways to use the everyday objects that we have at home to continue learning. Here are some learning hacks that you can try with using some common household objects.
Math lessons in school often involve different kinds of manipulatives- like counting blocks- to help students visualize different mathematical concepts. But there are so many substitutes that you can use for counters, including but not limited to: legos, beads, buttons, cheerios, goldfish, bottle caps, pom poms, paper clips, and clothespins. This works best with any repetitive object that children can easily move and visualize.
Addition and Subtraction
For children who are practicing single-digit addition or subtraction you can use a deck of playing cards (uno cards also work). You would need to remove any face cards, or non-numerical cards, and then you can shuffle and choose two (or more) cards to add together.
At home you can also practice grouping objects based on similarities and differences. If you use a muffin or ice cube tray, along with a variety of small objects (this could even be some of the manipulatives listed above) students can form groups based on objects that have similar properties (shape, size, color, etc).
There are other fun alternatives to writing on tablets or on paper. Using dry erase markers, kids can write on glass doors, windows, or other glass surfaces- while being able to stand, sit, and move around. Another method is to spread shaving cream on a tray or other flat surface that children can write in with their fingers. You can also combine these two methods and write in shaving cream on windows!
With some creative problem solving there are still plenty of ways to continue learning at home, while encouraging children to play and explore. We hope that everyone has a relaxing, fun, and safe spring break and we look forward to seeing you again next week!