Saturday, October 18, 2008

A New Memory Work with Coins

Last year, several students worked with the money mystery bag - purse. They carefully rubbed the tips of their fingers over the edges of the coins, felt their thickness and determined which coins they were while blindfolded. It is a lesson included in my sensorial album.

This past week, a wonderful living example of the three/four year Primary program happened. It is also a great image of mentoring as the older child was using the money mystery bag and was observed by a new three year old. The three year old then went to get the first mystery bag of small objects and returned to sit next to the older boy. He placed a large tissue between the blindfold and his eyes (to help prevent the spread of eye infections)and went to work. I love this image of a three year old and a soon to be six year old sitting side by side working.

Several of the older children have mastered the coin mystery bag. Last week I presented a new work that had them working intensely. It required pure focus, concentration and memorization. Adults are very familiar with this type of work. I have it on the shelf in the math area in a metal tin mirroring the color of most of the coins within.

Inside the tin are two small cloths, and two of each coin kept in a small blue box.

More are added later. One child takes out the small cloths and the coins and returns the tin to the shelf. The child then places the coins vertically on the cloth in an order that they select independently. They allow the seoond child to have a few moments to study and make a mental impression of the coins order. Next, the first child covers the coins with the second small piece of cloth. The second child then attempts to duplicate the covered coins placement. When the second child is confident that he has placed the coins in same order as they are under the cloth, the cloth is lifted and the placement is compared.

This is not an easy exercise. I heard several moans regarding mis-placement. The first child changes seats with the second and the work is repeated with the second child now placing the coins in a vertical order and covering them with a cloth.

Two more coins were added to make the work more challenging. When I was walking by one of the children looked over at me and said, "This is hard, Miss Dyer." I answered, "Good."

This is a two person work, although a single child may also do it challenging himself.

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