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September 17, 2012

Tot School Circles and Strikes

 After a few week break to get our lives back in order, Henry and I were back to tot school this week! We officially moved on from colors to shapes. Our first shape was circle. Along with the focus on shapes, I have  decided to start adding a theme or context which we will use to teach the shape. Each theme will last two weeks. The first theme is fruit! 

Sadly, Henry wasn't nearly as excited to be back to tot school as I was. He was basically on strike. He cried every single day. He wanted nothing to do with the trays and downright refused to even go to the classroom twice. I'm really hoping he just didn't feel good this week -- he's getting four teeth right now. But, part of me also thinks he just hated the trays this week, and I'm the first to admit they were a little uninspired -- I just don't know. 
The activity wall was made of the same three components as for the colors series -- the magnet board, felt board, and the weather wall. On the magnet board, I had round fruit slice magnets {Target dollar spot}. Hen ignored them. On the felt board, I took away all of the colored related characters and replaced them with different sized circles. Henry liked those, but kept asking about "Elmo." The weather wall was the same.

The tot trays this week were alright. Henry ignored them for the most part. The first was a take on the sensory bins we had done with colors. It was meant to be a transitional piece from colors to shapes. But with the time gap, it didn't quite work. For the tray, I put a bunch of circles and round objects in a round muffin tin. Each object or group had its own spot. It allowed Hen to play with a variety of things, but in a little more ordered way. It included balls, buttons, squeeze tops, slinky, sponge, wooden blocks and several other objects. Henry enjoyed dumping the tray out, and trying to put the smaller things in his mouth.

The second tray was a paper puzzle that I made and laminated. I traced different sized circles from scrap booking paper to make three circles, then cut those circles into shapes. The shapes were then numbered to correspond to their place on the laminated sheet. Henry never played with it. Sad.

The third tray was a large circle with the question, "What would you like in your fruit salad?" I then had a small apple/tomato {not really sure - Target dollar spot} shaped container with fruit cards from 1+1+1=1 inside. Henry really loved the cards. He didn't really put them in the circle, but we went over and over the names of the fruit. His favorite was coconut and he carried it everywhere when we were in our classroom.

The book bin was empty this week for no reason other than I forgot my library card when we went. Oops. Lesson learned -- check your wallet before leaving the house.

And sadly, we didn't get to any of the other crafts/activities I had planned. He just wasn't interested, and I didn't have the energy to fight him.

Anyone else dealt with a tot school strike? How did you deal with it?

Tot SchoolMontessori Monday

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Anonymous said…
Henry is on strike!
Emily said…
I found your post through Montessori Monday! Love the idea of using the muffin tins for sorting. Also the fruit cards for language. My seventeen-month-old will love it. But yes, one of the biggest disappointments with doing things the "Montessori way" (carefully prepared environment) is when they just don't seem to care how much effort you put in! Happens all the time.
Margaret said…
I also found this post through Montessori Monday. Great ideas here! I'm no expert but I would say lack of interest in certain materials might just mean your son isn't ready for it. My 25-month-old would probably ignore the fraction puzzle, too! He is much more interested in other things compared to math materials, just like your son responded to the fruit. I read a post the other day ( that summed up the experience with a quote from Maria Montessori and "In other words, the child’s lack of interest shows that he or she is not ready for the material, don’t push it. Put it away and do it again another day." Despite "going on strike" against some things, your son has found something he is interested in, so that's great!
Lauren said…
We have had many days and weeks like that! It can be discouraging but when you do find something they get totally involved with- it's so amazing! For example- the moveable alphabet? My son hates it. Reading the language cards? All day. Just keep introducing things- you'll get there! I love the fraction idea, I am planning on using it for my 4 year old.
Lindsay said…
Ethan is horrified by the felt board I made! He hates it. It makes him scream and cry so I have to hide it and all the pieces I made for it. Ugh. I have no idea why! It's been 3 weeks!

I love the fruit salad idea, too cute!
Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report
That's a really great perspective. And really true. This isn't the first time, he hasn't like one of his trays, but it's certainly the first time he wanted to boycot altogether.
Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report
Ugh, babies are so weird! How frustrating for you.
Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report
It really is disappointing. Thanks for stopping by!
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood said…
You have lots of great activities, Nicole! It is frustrating when kids aren't interested in what you offer, but their interests really can change drastically at different ages. In a year, you might find that your son loves some of the activities he didn't like at all right now. For children who were hesitant about learning activities, I tried to especially design them around their particular interests (for example some dinosaur-themed activities for dinosaur lovers or vehicle-themed activities for vehicle lovers like my son always was).

Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday! I shared your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: