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Some Kids I Have Known
Teaching Ross, Our three year old

Thursday, January 24, 2002
Circles from Play Dough
Recipe for Play Dough

1 cup flour
1 cup salt
1 Tablespoon cooking oil

Add small amounts of water slowly until you have worked up a dough. Allow your child to help you with this, punching it with their fingers, rolling it with a rolling pin, until it forms a solid ball.

Have child roll dough into cylinders, "snakes" and form them into a circle. Some of the circles cut off one edge with a dull knife to make a C. Put this on a cookie sheet into a cool over 200 degrees to dry.

While play dough is drying in the oven pull out old magazines. Look for circles and show the child what they are, as soon as they learn allow them to find their own circles. You will be surprised to see them find circles from round flowers, faces, car tires and on and on.

With a pair of children's scissors allow the child to cut these circles out after you have torn the page from the old magazine. You may have to shape them a little yourself if they have never used scissors before.

On a large piece of poster board glue these circles in place. Take the now dry circles and C's out of the oven and allow them to cool a bit. Paint them with acrylic paint, allow to dry. Glue them to the large piece of poster board with the cut out circles of things there. Paste one of the C's at the top and write the word circle there.

Painting his name:

With a flat bristle brush John Ross was allowed to paint his name on anything and everything possible. You will have to hold their hand to help them with this. His name is now on his wagon, sides, back and underneath. His shoes have his name on the soles. His name is on his rubber ball, and on the back of the chair where he sits (the chair is a fold up chair with a plastic seat. His grandfather fixed it so it is steady and will not fold up).

We shaped some of the play dough into his name and glued it onto a board his grandfather had prepared with his help. The board had two holes drilled in the top and the knotted a small rope for a hanger. After the name was glued to the board, Ross painted the whole thing with a wide, wall painting brush. He now has a sign for the door to his room.

We used a cookie sheet with salt sprinkled on it to draw the letters in his name.

Friday, January 25, 2002 We used a ruler to draw straight lines across a paper. We used lined note book paper so we could see the lines. Colored felt tip pins are good for this because of the many colors. After we drew the lines, we cut the paper into strips. We glued the strips together at the ends creating a chain, making circles from a strip of paper.

Next we took colored pins and drew "straight lines," without the benefit of the ruler. This was almost an instant ability since the practice was already done with the ruler.

We drew straight lines, cut out wider strips, glued the edges together to make cylinders. We did numbers of these. After we practiced on the paper, we took heavier colored paper (old note book folders are good for this) cut the strips from these and made heavier cylinders.

We took paper plates, cut a straight line to the radius (center) of the circle. Use the correct terms, children are amazing sponge like in their learning and will use the correct term also. With the radius line cut you then can fold the circle into a cone.

You can trim it to fit atop the cylinder and it becomes a "silo," for feed for the imaginary cattle. Put the cone upside down, place the cylinder into it, drop glue on the edges, hold for a moment and it will stay for a roof.

We drew a straight line, set a half circle at the top, drew around it, angled a straight line for the letter R. A straight line, a half circle with a kick, for the letter R.

We took an old catalogue and cut out all the ladies who looked like Ross's mother Kathy. He cut them out and glued them to a sheet of paper. We wrote Kathy's name across the bottom. We did the same for his Aunt Kay. It was fun to see him pick out the people who looked amazingly like the person, same hair style, body size, clothing preference. We wrote the letter Kay under his aunt's pictures.

As we wrote the two names, we emphasized that these letters were all made from straight lines.

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