You know how every now and then you see an idea that makes you stop and say 'I must do that'. Well this post is about one of those moments. My friend Rachel over at Racheous - Lovable Learning had shared a collection of rock provocations including this one from Creative Star Learning. It was such a simple idea but I saw so many different ways these rocks with their hand drawn lines could be used by young children.
As with the original post, these rocks with lines will be perfect for exploring shapes. I've created rocks with straight lines, right angles as well as acute and obtuse angles to allow many different shapes to be made.
To draw the lines I used a Liquid Chalk marker (you can buy a 4 pack of these Liquid Chalk Markers for only slightly more than I paid for one UniBall pen). Alternatively this MEGA 10Pk of Chalk Markers is great value if you want other colours too. I'm counting on the rocks being porous and then the lines will remain longer than if used on chalkboards. If not, I can simply retrace them or use these Giotto Permanent Pens that I used to create our DIY Frozen peg people with. I bought the rocks from the garden section of our local hardware store.
I also created a number of rocks with curved lines and some with both curved and straight lines with the intention of using them to explore lines. I'm using them with the preschoolers I work with during our intentional teaching time this week to look at correct letter formation and start introducing the sort of language they will expect to hear next year when they start school.
The largest school locally uses the WRAP for their school wide approach to literacy. I've completed the first 3 day WRAP training (or in the US it's more commonly referred to the Spalding method I believe) so I use this language when teaching formal handwriting lessons and believe the same language can be used here with pre-writers. Balls and sticks are out, straight lines along with round and curved lines are used to make tall and short letters, those that sit on the baseline and those that go below.
When introducing them to the children I started with a selection of rocks with both straight lines, curved lines and the combination of curved and straight lines in front of us. What do we notice? 'They're different.' Can we sort them and how shall we sort them?
A simply drawn venn diagram can help create a suitable framework for sorting the rocks or a pair of hula hoops would work just as well.
I then gave each child a lower-case letter and we discussed what we could see. Could we see straight lines? Curved lines? Or a little of each?
Can we sort them like we sorted our rocks? Yes, we can.
I also tried the same exercise at home with my five year old and numbers thinking it can be used to explore number the same way.
How else would you use these rocks?
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