Friday, August 30, 2013

Moms of Multiples

I know I've posted this before, but it still makes me laugh every time. I wish it wasn't so true.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Orbit and States

We were driving to school on Wednesday and Sweet Daughter notices the moon still up in the sky. She says, "Mommy, the moon needs to orbit faster. I shouldn't be able to see it right now. Why isn't it on the other side of the Earth?"

Um... Do I answer her like she's a 2 year old (she is)? Do I answer like she's a kid who just used the word orbit correctly? I don't even remember what my answer was, but these questions are just getting harder. I miss the "what's that?" and "why?" stages... I can't imagine what she's going to ask in a couple more years.

I've also decided the kids need a globe. They have never seen a 3D representation of the earth and yet seem to understand it. They also know 40 states (not the same 40 interestingly enough), and can correctly place them on a map. Some days I feel like I'm not doing enough for them and other days I feel like I must not be doing too badly, if they are picking up this much without me doing very much.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Purchases

I know I've explained how my kids don't get paid for their basic family contributions, but do get paid for doing extra jobs around the house. After saving up, they each had just over $1. I let them pick anything they wanted from the dollar store. (I did take them straight to the toy aisle before letting them look.)

She is holding up her pink maracas. He won't even look up from his blue truck. They were so happy to have something they earned and paid for. They also quickly learned that toys from the dollar store don't hold up to typical wear and tear from preschoolers. They decided next time they will spend more than $1 on a toy.

The best part of this experience from my perspective is when they ask for something. I simply ask if they have enough money to buy it. The answer is always no and they stop asking. I don't have to tell them no. I don't have to explain any more than that. They get it. They understand the value of money. There are times they will find out a toy costs $10 and say it's not worth that much. This is one of the best skills everyone, not just children, needs to have in our society.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Blog Recommendation: More Kids Than Suitcases

I haven't told you about one of my favorite blogs in over a year. This time I'm featuring More Kids Than Suitcases.

Written by Steve, a father of three who lives in Canada, you will be laughing at every post. While they are often found at Disneyland, you can read the tales of their travels all over. Here are some of my favorite posts:

Five Signs You've Entered Disney Withdrawal  This post does make me wonder just how he gets his entire family to cooperate. I still haven't mastered getting my kids to look at the camera at the same time and he gets them to practice splash mountain poses.

For a more serious post, Why Travel Can't Wait holds lessons we all need to remember.

There are helpful posts Choosing a Vegas Magic Show For Kids, How Not to Look Stupid While Hotel Hopping,  funny posts (though almost every post makes me laugh) Our Worst Travel Plays of 2012, My Families Problem with Following Instructions, and posts that are both helpful and funny How to Pay Extra for Your BC Ferry Ride.

This is one of those blogs you find and then spend the next two days going back and reading. I've even been known to complain when he doesn't post regularly - sorry about that Steve! I love blogs where I can learn and laugh at the same time.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Birthday Plans

We are talking about the kids birthday party next month. Sweet Son ask if there would be food - his world revolves around food. I assured him there would be pizza. Sweet Daughter asks (with a look of disgust) if there would be cake. I turned it around and said, "Do you want cake?" That's when she told me her idea. She wants pizza and quesadillas instead of cake. She even added that they could have lots of veggies and cheese so it would be like dessert.

This child is weird. Can you imagine the looks on the faces of the other kids if I tried serving quesadillas filled with veggies instead of cake? This is the same child that asked her teacher why she had to eat her broccoli before her plums since broccoli is so much better.

I'm weird, but I can't remember ever turning down cake - or liking broccoli for that matter. I blame her father. haha

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Other research notes

I learned a lot at the conference that I want to share, but wouldn't make a good post on it's own. So here's some random notes from various sessions.

  • A child's attachment at 18 months is a better predictor of college graduation than I.Q.
  • The job of retail/marketing is to make you unhappy with what you already have.
  • In order to survive the young of our species need defenses against social manipulation - the earlier the better. 
  • No accurate assessment for executive function, however Kindergarten teachers can accurately judge.
  • The first two months of life and adolescence are the two biggest periods of brain growth. They are both noted by lack of sleep, moodiness, overwhelming emotions. Nutrition during these times is crucial.
  • Some brain training works and some doesn't.
  • C8 program for kids and Lumosity for adults are currently the best two on market.
  • Use fMRI to confirm training with far transfer and durability for 1 year.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Your Brain as a House

I've previously shared a few different Theories of Mind. (It's a really good post, you should go read it.) Now I'm going to present a slightly different look at the way the brain works.

Everyone has seen the maps of the brain that show which part of the brain does what. However, that's an extreme oversimplification. If you are born blind, the part of the brain that would typically be used for sight is taken over by other functions - typically hearing and memory. Every part of the brain can do multiple functions depending on how it is trained/used.

Think of your brain like a house. You can completely remodel it with only a few limitations. The basic structure can't be easily changed, but you can always rearrange furniture. Turn a bedroom into an office, upgrade the bathroom, etc. Moving the entire kitchen into the half bath isn't feasible though. The brain works essentially the same way. You can upgrade and do some basic remodeling, but you can't completely shift functions too far away from where they should be located. Your brain can always be improved (as can your IQ).

One of the ways researchers study the functions of the brain is by looking at the effects of lesions. If you look at 100 people who all have just one brain lesion in the exact same place, you would expect them to all have the same symptom or behavioral abnormality. However that isn't the case. The reverse would be looking at 100 people who all have the same symptom or behavioral abnormality. You would expect to find they all have the same lesion. Once again this isn't true. One brain lesion can affect many behaviors and the same behavioral abnormality can be caused by damage in multiple places.

There is so much more we still need to learn about the brain. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ice Breakers

Being August, it's still over 100 degrees here regularly. Clearly we needed another fun activity to keep us cool outside. I filled some balloons with water and a small toy. Then I stuck them in the freezer until they were solid. We then went outside and I let the kids try to figure out how to get their toys out.
I cut the balloons off and showed the kids the hidden toys.
See the frozen Elmo? He is waving for help.
They started with tools and tried hitting and smashing the ice.
Then they decided they could just throw it on the ground and some would break off.
Then they realized the higher you lifted it, the more ice broke off.
After all of this time (notice all of the wet ground now), they finally noticed the ice is cold and ask for their mittens.
Following the theory that the higher you drop it the more breaks off, they stood up.
Checking to see how much farther till the toy.
Both throwing it against the ground.
We started with 6 ice balloons and the entire activity took almost an hour. Even after sitting in the ice water they weren't too cold and their shorts dried before we went inside. It was fun and we will certainly do this activity again.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ultimate Back to School Bash

Welcome to the Ultimate Back to School Bash #bts2013!

This is my first year participating in the Ultimate Back to School Bash, but I knew my readers would love it. There are some amazing prizes for everyone (even those of you without kids). From preschool to Algebra curriculum, healthy snacks, even a $100 Visa card. I'm excited to be a part of this and I hope some of my readers win!

3BoysandaDog has teamed up with A+ Interactive Math and some fabulous other brands to bring you this giveaway.
Back to School Bash 2013
  • A+ Interactive Math - 1 year FREE Online Full Curriculum - A+ Interactive Math - 1 winner (choice of: grades K - Algebra I) Value $124.99 . A+ Interactive Math is dedicated to making math enjoyable and learnable for all ages. A+ Interactive is perfect for homeschooling parents or parents that just want to give the child some extra math help. A + Interactive Math offers full curriculum books, workbooks, online education and interactive math CD's. You can purchase A+ Interactive Math or view their catalog here.
    Door Prize for all participants:
    Multiplication for Elementary & Middle School - download (value $21.99)
    Code: enter 3DOGSMATH upon checkout
  • $100 Visa Card - This fabulous gift card is being brought to you by! This is the perfect way to get a great jump start on your back to school shopping! You can use this $100 Visa gift card at any location that accepts Visa.
  • Back to School Survival Guide - This back to school guide is brought to you by The Confident Mom. In this Back to School Survival Guide you will find everything you need to help you ensure the school year runs seamlessly. This guide is an 80 page printable that will help you keep your child safe while using the internet, help with homework, making packing school lunches easier, become a savvy back to school shopper and much more! You can read more about the Back to School Survival Guide or purchase one here.
  • Office Depot Sackpack of School Supplies -Office Depot is committed to providing affordable school supplies! You will find $25 worth of school supplies in this sack pack. The Office Depot Foundation donates over 30,000 backpacks to school children each and every year!
  • BYOU Magazine Subscription
  • Go Picnic Ready to Eat Meals - Go Picnic makes packing lunches and snacks a breeze. They offer gluten-free, kosher, all-natural and a variety of other snacks that are perfect for back to school lunches and snacks. You can view the large variety of products they offer here.
  • Tummy Calm - Have a little one with an upset stomach? Tummy Calm is a safe option to helping your child feel better. Tummy Calm is made with all-natural FDA regulated ingredients. You can read more about Tummy Calm and place an order here.
  • BIC School Supplies - BIC offers a wide range of back to school items from pens, pencils, markers, highlighters and much more! BIC is your one stop shop for your back to school supplies.
  • Teach My Preschooler - Teach My is your one stop solution for giving babies, toddlers and preschoolers a jump start on education. You will find interactive learning products that promote learning in a fun manner. You can order a Teach My learning program here.
  • Wild Planet Foods - Wild Planet Foods has tuna like you have never tasted before. This tuna is the perfect ingredient for a healthy and delicious school lunch. Wild Planet offers tuna that has 6 times the Omega 3 and 1/2 the mercury other brands have. Order up your own supply of Wild Planet Foods here.
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Go to The Ultimate Back to School Bash (<<----click there) post to enter for your chance to win this HUGE giveaway worth well over $350 dollars!

Why are you still reading? Go enter!!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Daddy Come Home

About 5 o'clock my kids start demanding Daddy come home from work. They will look out the windows, repeatedly ask me when he will come home, etc. On this day I suggested they use their play phones to call him. Sweet daughter immediately did so, while sweet son was distracted by something being out of place.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Family Contributions and Money Management

This is another repost from last year, but since I included photos of the kids doing the chores in June and July of this year it seems appropriate. I also included an update at the end.

As I mentioned in the post on Tuesday, once the kids were interested in money, we started family contributions. Family contributions are things you are expected to do as part of the family. They don't earn you money or rewards, but they will earn you a smiley face. For our two year olds, we have make bed, push in chairs, help with laundry, clean up toys, make good choices, take out garbage, child's choice, and mom/dad choice. If you have toys in multiple rooms, you might want to list them separately. We include putting away their plates with pushing in chairs because it is all done at the same time. Other ideas could include watering plants, feeding animals, getting dressed, and anything else you can think of.

 Once they have completed all of their family contributions for the day, they have the option of doing jobs to make money. These are things they are still learning, need more supervision, or don't need to be done daily.  Ours include vacuuming, cleaning mirrors, cleaning windows, dusting, watering the grass, sweeping the floor, moping the floor, and mom/dad choice. You could also include cooking, or any of the things above. Since we are working on money starting with coins, each job pays 5 cents (paid in pennies) and pay day is on Friday. We started by marking who did each job by color. However, as you can see in the picture, the green marker exploded, so now we just write the first letter of their name on the job.

As they get older and can do more, we will introduce new jobs. We can move the already masters jobs to the family contributions chart and take things off the family contribution chart that should already be a habit and not need to be reminded or rewarded. For example, my kids fully dress themselves without being told, so that isn't on any chart. They are almost at the point of not needing a reminder about pushing in their chairs and cleaning up their dishes, so that will be removed next. They are awesome at dusting and no longer need supervision to do a good job, so that will be moved onto the family contribution chart and we can add another job.

Pay days are exciting. I couldn't find the type of bank I wanted, so I created one. I found a 4 part divided container at The Container Store and I put sticker letters on each section. We have save, spend, invest, and donate. Once I pay out their pennies, they place them one at a time in each section, in order. So the save always gets the most and the donate always gets the fewest. After their money has been sorted, they take the money out of one section at a time. They start by counting pennies. If they have 5, then they trade them for a nickle and so on. This works on one to one correspondence, counting, and of course money.

The save is a long term savings. Once they get at least $5 in it, they will open their own savings account. The spend is the immediate, fun money. If they ever say they want to buy something, this is where that would come from. They will be introduced to this idea once they have just over $1. We will take them to one of the dollar stores and let them buy whatever they want. If they want a toy later, we will cut out a photo and price of the toy to place in the spend section so they can see it and remember what they are saving for. The invest is a little more tricky. We want the kids to know that you can either work to make money or make wise investments to make money. Once they have $5, we will let them start with micro-investing. There are many ways to do this, but most require $25. We figure if they can save $5, we can throw in the other $20. They will get their money plus the interest back and we will only get the $20 back. This way they see it grow faster and it helps them to understand. The donate is self explanatory. They will get to choose the charity and how often they donate money.

It has worked out that after 2 months, the save has just over 30% of the money and the donate has around 23% with the spend and invest coming in around 23/24%. I'm sure you could figure out a way to make it come out differently, but this works for us. It doesn't matter how much they earn, each section always gets at least one penny and it's very easy for a toddler to understand.

UPDATE: The first time I took them to the dollar store they each selected a toy. Sweet Daughter chose a set of pink maracas and sweet son selected a blue truck. They were so proud and told everyone how they paid for the toys. They weren't high quality and didn't last very long. Now the kids are saving up for "better" toys.

The kids also spent some of their donate money buying cans of peas to donate at their school food drive. So far the invest and save don't have the $5 minimum before we can use them. I've also discovered that mico-investing isn't legal in my state. I'm still pondering that one. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Circle Time

This was originally posted last year, but I wanted to repost since it was so popular. (And possibly because I'm being exceptionally lazy...)

As a former teacher, I started circle time at home with my kids. I bought a complete pack that would include everything I would need for the next few years. Yes, I could have made it cheaper and cuter, but this was so much easier and with two toddlers at home, I didn't want to. When we started circle time it was only 2-3 minutes long. We kept increasing it so that by the time they were 3 years old, they could sit and focus for around 12 minutes. I should state that when I say sit and focus it includes many different activities and songs, not just being still and listening.

We started when the kids were 21 months old with just the calendar. At first we didn't even pay attention to the numbers. We started with a simple AB pattern using colors. Once the kids could continue the pattern independently, we did start counting the numbers on the calendar as well. Following the patten and counting the numbers while pointing at them also teaches an important pre-reading skill... left to right and top to bottom. Knowing this is how we follow text is crucial to reading when the time is right. Eventually we moved onto other patterns and focusing on the day of the week.

I taught them a song about the Days of the Week - pointing at each word as we sang it. We would figure out what day it was and then add that to the strips you see above the calendar. Pointing at the current day, moving back one for yesterday, and forward one (from today) for tomorrow to help them visualize the time. By using the phrases "Yesterday was..." "Today is..." and "Tomorrow will be..." will seem repetitive, but it's a great way to teach proper grammar.

Once this was all going well, we added a song about the Months. I held up the words and pointed as we sang each one. This is beginning word recognition.

 At the same time we started the calendar, I introduced these two concepts as well. The weather one is fairly self explanatory - we look outside and move the arrow to what the weather is that day. I also taught my kids the Water Cycle Song. It's a great way to introduce evaporation, condensation, and precipitation all of which are directly related to the weather.

We also talk about the seasons. Rather than introducing them all at once, we started with the current season (Summer) and talked about what happens. I introduced each season as we came upon it so it took a full year before they knew all 4 seasons. They can even tell you 3-4 things that happen in each season as a way to help remember it. "Summer is hot, hot, hot and we wear sunscreen." "In Autumn the leaves change colors and fall off the trees." "In Winter we wear coats and it might snow." "In Spring trees grow leaves and flowers bloom." There are more, but you get the idea. This, of course, depends on where you live. If we lived in Canada, I would be able to promise snow in the Winter.

We didn't add graphing for a full year after starting the other things. I would love to say this was a good idea, but honestly I put it off too long. I should have introduced graphing much earlier. We graph the weather over the course of the month, the number of books by specific authors on the bookshelf, and above is a graph of what vehicles drive by our street. This is a great way to introduce collecting data, graphing, more/less/equal, and interpreting information.

We also keep track of the number of days in school. Of course, this actually is just a count of how many times we have done circle time. While this obviously teaches counting, it later helps teach other things. We added a discussion on place value, carrying in addition, and counting up from a number other than 1. It's much more difficult for a child to start counting at 12, 23, or 64. We also decided that once we got to 250 we should start over again. That's more than enough days in a "school year." 

When the kids were 33 months old, they became fascinated with money. They knew that Daddy goes to work to make money and that things cost money. Yet, it isn't very often they actually saw money. We tend to pay for things with our card and between auto bill pay and online shopping, it was all very abstract. We learned a song (notice the theme) about each of the coins and this was the same time we introduced family contributions (jobs they do because they are part of the family) and chores (jobs they can do to make money). I will get into that in another post.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bad Mommy

A good mom would have seen this happening and stopped them before someone gets hurt. I grabbed the camera. They were trying to make a ladder to climb. They were working together and using their creativity. I should note that they did not get hurt doing this. I did eventually stop them. :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Dallas Arboretum Artist Houses

One of the hands-on exhibits at the Dallas Arboretum when we visited was "Small Houses of Great Artists."

Each house reflects a different well known artist. (Georgia O'Keefe, Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet)

The kids got to go in and out of the houses. The shade was a nice break even if it wasn't much.

While the outside of the houses usually gave enough clues to know which artist it represented, sometimes the inside was a little too obvious.

The kids carried their water bottles around to keep hydrated as they explored the art.

They wanted to play, not pose for photos, but this was just the perfect set up!

Later when we were looking at art cards, the kids pointed to one of the Monet paintings and said, "We've been there!" This is a great way to literally bring art to life.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Importance of Early Education

 So my post on Tuesday was about how to develop the brain for better reading success. Now I'm going to do a post on why your child doesn't need to know how to read early.

Kids were tested going into Kindergarten on their knowledge of reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies. What was the best predictor of later reading and Math tests (2nd grade and up)? Science and Social Studies, in that order. Kindergarten reading was not even correlated to 2nd grade reading. Early reading certainly didn't cause higher reading scores. It is much more important to do Science with your kids than any other subject when they are young. This is great because most young kids would rather do Science than reading anyway. Everyone's happy! Also interesting is that early reading doesn't improve later Science and Social Studies scores. Since those subjects are most traditionally taught through reading, I found that interesting. So far the research hasn't figured out why, but still fascinating.

The best way to improve Math scores is going to surprise you. Fine motor skills help with Math. The larger the fine motor deficit, the more impaired later Math becomes. This is most obvious when replicating figures or models, but is true for all areas of Math. They tested many different ways to improve Math scores and the top interventions are: drawing (but not coloring), Legos, fuse beads, pattern blocks, Montessori triangles, puzzles, paper folding, blocks, knob cylinders, and Colorforms. No worksheets, flashcards, or tutoring made the list. Kids tend to shut down when forced to do something they think they aren't good at, but hand them a bucket of Legos or teach them paper folding and they are willing and successful.

Now for something that makes me feel old. These studies weren't just done with young children. These studies went all the way through college students. At the beginning and the end of the college student study they needed a novel way to test their ability to do mental rotation. Something the kids hadn't done before and were unlikely to practice in between the two tests. They used Tetris. For those of you who are around my age you just freaked out a little that college students have never played Tetris. I was presented with this information at a conference. The group of young guys in the row in front of me spent about 5 minutes debating what Tetris is before using their smart phones to look it up. They decided it must be a game for old people.

It's well known that the current educational policy is dill and kill. Everyone says they want their kids to have critical thinking skills. You need to know that these are learned before/after and outside school, usually through play. Music, sports, fine motor, problem solving, etc. It's also important to realize that most colleges care more about these activities than you might expect. When looking at two kids with identical grades and test scores the one that will stand out is the one who was involved in things outside of school. This is also one reasons the homeschooling movement is growing in the United States.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Neuroscience of Reading

With most traditional education focused on reading, it's no surprise that there has been a lot of research in this area. First we must realize our brain was not designed to read. When we learn to read, our brain uses parts that would otherwise be used for other skills. In non-readers, the part of the brain that we would expect to use when reading is used for processing faces.

fMRI shows that different languages use different parts of the brain. Symbolic languages use a different part than phonetic languages for example. Even more interesting, dyslexics use a different part of their brain to read phonetic languages than typical readers.

Some people believed that visual motion problems were the cause for dyslexia. It has now been proven that it is a result of dyslexia, not the cause. In fact in a study treating dyslexia in adults (the Lindamood-Bell program), as the reading level improved so did the visual motion ability. This is important to note because these two skills are in unrelated parts of the brain.

So, if you want your child to have an easier time reading, where should you start? First by playing with spoken language. When kids practice rhyming it uses the same part of the brain that will later be used for reading. That's why so many kids books are written in rhyme. Once your child can identify (does cat rhyme with bat), produce (what rhymes with cat), and produce (tell me two words that rhyme) rhymes, you can move onto other skills.

From there I usually introduce two different skills. One is clapping syllables. This is fairly simple, but will take most kids awhile before they are accurate. The other skills is isolating the initial sound (cat, cow, kangaroo, cup, kickoff). Notice we are just using what it sounds like. It doesn't matter what letters it starts with. It's usually around this time most kids notice that when you read there are words on the page. Simply pointing to the words as you are reading helps them understand that words and letters have meaning. This seems like an overly simple concept, but without it you really can't read anything.

Once all of these are mastered you can start isolating other parts of words. Typical examples would be end sounds (cat, pit, blanket, put) or vowel sounds (cat, ham, pass, tad). From this point, learning which letters make which sounds is fairly simple. You are just adding symbolic recognition to the mix. I don't even bother teaching letter names at this point. When they see t they say "t", not "tee" or "tuh." Once they know all of the sounds (42 total), then putting them together just seems to click.

I am dyslexic so this didn't work for me at all. I couldn't rhyme. I couldn't clap syllables. I couldn't isolate sounds. I also couldn't read for a long time. It has now been proven with intervention (intensive learning to rhyme, isolate sound, etc) reading can be easier. When I was a kid I just thought I was stupid. When I finally learned to read it was through word recognition rather than sounding out words. Basically I read English the way most people read a symbolic language. This also explains why my spelling is so horrible. I don't see words as chunks of sounds, I seem them as complete words.

I suspect one of my children is also dyslexic. However knowing all of this, I was able to offer the intensive verbal work to help. Now I have one child who is advanced with reading and one child who is right on track. It is important to note that the child who is now right on track has worked much harder to get there. I'm willing to bet that by Kindergarten neither child will qualify as dyslexic. I'm not saying this would work with every child. Just as there is no one solution for anything else when it comes to kids. Every kid is different. This blog is just where I post what I have done and why.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013


We went to see the Chihuly exhibit when it was at the Dallas Arboretum. Granted since this blog is a year behind, you will have to see his work somewhere else. Because it is so hot outside in August, the arboretum offers discounts if you visit in August.

The sun was just a bit bright, but look they all dressed to match the art! Sculptures and Grandma, what more could a kid want?

I loved the way this mist was coming off this stream with the art appearing to crawl up out of it.

Mean Mommy wouldn't let them swim in the water or climb on the boats. The art was spread throughout the arboretum so we got in a lot of walking and the kids loved running around and seeing all of the bright colors.

The Texas Star was my favorite. If you ever get a chance to see a Chihuly exhibit, you should go.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Non-Standard Units of Measure

Somehow I didn't get any photos of us doing this. Sorry about that!

We started by talking about how to measure things by comparing them to something else. For example, a piece of paper was 5 crayons long. Then my very active kids needed a way to make this more about movement.

I had them stand at the entry to our living room and jump as far as they could. Then I marked with a piece of tape where they landed. They got to pick 3 different things to measure their jump. We made a chart and repeated the activity over and over. This kept the kids engaged for just over 30 minutes.

Quickly my kids started picking smaller and smaller items so it seemed like they jumped farther. Bonus: This made them practice counting and one-to-one correspondence. Seeing how easily they could manipulate the numbers, I added an additional challenge. I would tell them to find something so that their jump would be 3 of that item. I didn't mention that this was an introduction to fractions.

Once they were tired calm enough to sit and listen, we were able to discuss the importance of a standard unit of measure. They got it. Two years old and they understood why we need standard units of measure. Yes, that impressed me. This is an activity that we will keep revisiting because it practices so many different skills.