Well pals, yesterday was a blast. We learned a ton of very obscure, most likely unimportant, shark facts, and highly enjoyed making our moveable sharks. They’ve been played with repeatedly, and Im proud to announce the google-y eyes have all held up. Thanks a bunch Elmer’s glue. I was skeptical.
I just wanted to add a quick note about the lay out of our day. We do craft straight after lunch, then we do an academic hour. I find that it works best to set the craft up whilst the kids are eating. It also sort of piques their interest to see all the things being put together. Once craft is over this is when I set them up with their video on the computer. Whilst they’re watching I clean up craft and set out their academic stuff. I try and stick the routine Mon-Fri. They thrive off the predictability.
Today the craft was origami paper sharks. It was a mega simple one with regards to set up/clean up and supplies. It did require a printer to print out the template (link in supply list). However one wouldn’t necessarily absolutely need this. You could draw or color your own. Back when I was a kid in England we called these things fortune tellers. You wrote numbers on them and little fortunes inside like you’ll have 3 kids” then you’d make people choose numbers and roll around giggling on the floor for ages. Oh 1996 you were good to me. The website I got this template from refers to them as “Cootie Catchers”. Frankly every single thing about this name makes me cringe. However my friend Marielle, source of all knowledge, tells me that when they’re not being used to tell you your future, this is in fact their name. Gross. Let’s just call them shark origami and never talk of this again. The boys pretty successfully cut out their template squares, however only William mangled the fins. I cut Teddy’s for him. Another hand hint I discovered was that if you draw a mark in the center on the soarer it makes it easier for kids to have something “to aim for” when folding in their corners.
For the craft you will need
- Printer to print the template
- Template for shark origami
- Paper for printer, or to draw your own template
- Glue stick/ tape
For our educational time today both boys worked on Math. Teddy is a complete perfectionist, and hates to do “scribble scrabble”, so getting him to use a pencil or pen is very difficult. The minute he makes any mark that isn’t up to his standard, (pretty much every single mark as he’s 4) he completely loses it and stops wanting to take part. Today, to encourage him to practice, I printed and laminated him some shark number cards with dotted numbers on them for him to trace and wipe off. Of course not everyone has a laminator lying around, so a great alternative is sliding the cards into a plastic wallet, or a sheet protector from a ring binder etc. Im going to be honest though if there was one individual product that bought me maximum joy, it would be a laminator, and I 10/10 recommend them to a friend. Mrs Hinch has her dynamo label maker, I have my laminator. It’s a lifestyle.
Teddy had a slow start to the activity. I’ve got tons of expo markers from my days as a classroom teacher, and he had to trial every single blue, until he found one that was the right shade he wanted. They were all identical. Once that hurdle was over I was sure his obsessive attention to detail would mean he lost it. I’d just watched him critically compare 14 of the same pen, and my hopes were not high. However I’m excited to report that once he got going he completely adore the activity. He finished a little early, so I gave him a second set of the shark cards, with solid line numbers on them, and he busied himself matching them to his drawn ones.
At the other end of the table was William. He had a shark “More than/less than” game that I invented about 9 minutes before he sat down. The basic premise was two math equations, either side of a square. He had to figure out the answers, then decide whether the left had equation was more than, or less than, the equation on the right. I made horrendously ugly little chubby sharks with their mouths in < and > shapes. Had I have had more time I would have searched the internet to print prettier ones, maybe added some teeth. I’ve attached a picture, feel free to screenshot it and use if desperate, but pretty much ANYONE could draw better ones! I put his number blocks out for him to use if he needed help with an equation. He actually didn’t use them, because his mental math is strong, so I need to up my game and look at some more complicated problems to give him. I highly recommend getting a set of unifix cubes for at home math. In the USA you can get them here and if you’re in the UK you can get them here. We use them all the time, and the boys like to just play and fiddle with them even when we’re not using them academically.
Tomorrow we are going to perhaps give a go to writing a poem about sharks, unsure how that will work out, or maybe some sort of shark teeth in mouth sight word thing. The world is my oyster, I’ll give it some thought whilst I’m binge watching “My 600lb life” this evening. I like to watch it whilst snacking on piles of chocolate chips, and a mental workout is still a workout. At least 2 out the eventual 400 chips I eat won’t count. Until next time friends!
LINKS AND SOURCES TO RESOURCES
- Craft: Shark Cootie Catcher (Origami)
- Read: National Geographic Kids Sharks
- Educate: Shark number cards
- Watch: Shark facts for kids