Monday, March 31, 2014

Trains, Planes, and Patterning Things

What little boy doesn’t have a collection of trains, cars, trucks, or other vehicles? Caleb has all of the above. We were playing together in the camper the other day while Daddy had an event and book signing. As with most days, my toddler is my inspiration. We had all of his Thomas trains pulled out and usually he likes to put all the magnetic ends together to make a really long train, but today, he started putting trains together and mixing the colors. Unintentionally, he created a train combination that was an AB pattern. I spotted this and commented on the colors. 

Me: Look Caleb! What color is this train?

Caleb: Red

Me: What color is this next train?

Caleb: Green

Me: What color is the one after that?

Caleb: Red

Me: And what is the last train color?

Caleb: Green

Me: Let’s say them again. (I point to each one as he names them.)

Me: What color would come next?

Caleb: Red!

Me: Yay! That’s right! Good thinking! You made a pattern!

That one conversation sparked an interest in making more patterns with different color trains. With each success, he excitedly tried new patterns. As he fit together trains, he also, again unintentionally, created an engine, tender, engine, tender pattern. With another little conversation, he noticed what had been created and began to look further than just colors. At one point, he ran to his toy bin and grabbed some cars and trucks. He created a car, truck, car, truck pattern among several others. It was a wonderful experience of fun and learning that day.

On a side note, we had to stay in a hotel last night due to bad weather coming in. As we were unpacking our clothes to prepare for the next day, I noticed Caleb playing again with his cars and trains. He surprises me sometimes with his imagination. He turned the decorative carpet into a cluster of complex roads that he weaved and maneuvered his vehicles around in true boy fashion with sound effects included! Lily is also discovering her world in her own way turning an open cabinet into her own little exploration station.  I hope they can always see what they love in the ordinary things life presents them. 
In my classroom, I used my observations of my students to guide me in know when they were ready to learn something and how I could present it to them, so they could master that skill or concept. As a homeschooling/roadschooling mom, I'm enjoying the inspiring moments my children create that open opportunities for me to teach them something new each day as we play. 

In addition, I wanted to share this inspiration with you, so I created a Train Patterning Product that includes 3 activities to build AB, AAB, ABB, AABB, & ABC concept. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a Blessed Learning Day!

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