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Colorful Counters

100_7874  My new wooden dolls came in this great divider and I thought it was perfect for my new colorful counters!  Reusing items you already have is not only more cost effective but easier on our environment as well. 🙂  

100_7872  Using colorful counters to incorporate shapes and letters are a couple ways of using this very versatile tool!  I roughly drew some common shapes on the perimeter of the paper and then used the counters to outline, then I made a capital letter “S”.  This would be an example for children of a more close ended provocation.  However, it is only close ended if the children do the same thing with their attempts or if this turns them off to trying.  Most young minds will take note of what they see and do exactly what they want, which is what I want, so it is a win, win situation for all.   🙂

100_7873 With this provocation I am incorporating both mathematics and literacy.  Children can either continue with making shapes, separate the colors for each shape or move on to letter formations.  More creative minds will use the counters to create more imaginary pictures and if they are in the mood to share I can scribe their ideas, explanations and stories.  One thing to always remember is that when you become a young child’s scribe you are capturing a child’s imagination and showing him/ her your respect for their thoughts.  You are also helping that child develop an appreciation and understanding for literacy.  Children value their own words more and want to learn about letters and words with more intensity if they are learning literacy through their own creative  and purposeful thoughts.  Never underestimate a child’s imaginative stories or real life explanations for his/ her thoughts.  A child’s own words can be just as powerful if not more so than books at certain points during their young development.

100_7951 This is also another example of how to use small learning spaces to their maximum.  Two provocations are set up for standing work, counters and painting.  Just think about how often you see your child standing and engaging in an art or craft project.  Think about how often you offer him/ her a chair and they refuse by pushing it away.  Sometimes children learn better by standing and allowing their whole being to be involved in the learning process rather than sitting in a more confined and restful pose.  We want children to literally be active learners because they are by nature.  So why not set up a learning environment that supports how they naturally learn. 🙂


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Heidi Scott, BA & MIT  The Marigold School of Early Learning

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