Sunday, December 14, 2008

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Do you remember the poem?

It goes like this.

1 2 3-4-5
Once I caught a fish alive.
6 7 8-9-10
But I let him go again.

Why did you let him go?
Because he bit my finger so.
Which finger did he bite?
This little finger on my right.

Yes, I have been thinking back to my teaching days when I taught 1st grade and preschool. Then, too, I have been doing a lot of remembering the early days with my own children. What brought on this hint of nostalgia? Making Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews, of course.

Yes, I promised to have pictures up, one a day to be exact, and that was to have begun on Friday night, but you know me. I can not do anything the easy way. No, instead of making one item at a time I have been working on six items.

Here is the project. Ten little fishes with numbers 0-9 appliqued on their sides swim around in a little pond of blue. The blue pond is a circle of fabric lined with bandanna fabric. There is a draw string that runs around the circumference of the play mat so that when the game is finished it can be cinched up and easily put away. Each fish has a key ring sewn inside so that little ones can catch them with the hook and line. The hook is cut from magnetic strip and attached by heavy string to a short dowel rod "fishing pole".

The idea came from my days teaching preschool lessons to my own children. Actually, it may have come from my mom's teaching days. She was a fantastic teacher and I was always very involved in her classrooms.

Here is how the game with a lesson goes.
"Kaylynn, will you fish for me?"
"Yes, which fish should I catch?"
"The one with the number four."

When Kaylynn remembers the number she proceeds to fish for him with her magnetic hook. This game can be used to reinforce number recognition, simple addition and subtraction problems, place value and number spelling (when the number words are written out on flash cards and the child fishes for the corresponding number fish).

These games were originally made using paper clips on the mouth of paper fish and the pole was made of a dowel rod a piece of string and a magnet. Same concept exists here only the game is much more permanent and the little pieces are concealed inside cloth fishes.

I hope the little ones receiving these have a lot of learning fun catching fish and learning their numbers.


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