My mother-in-law is a genius. Really. Well, maybe not literally, but Emma and I think she is pretty smart.
Yesterday, Emma, Gramma, and I were driving back from an impromptu trip to La Cross when Gramma and I starting talking (well, started would not really be correct, I don't know if we ever stop talking when we are together) about homemade notebooks and the alphabet. We arrived at this topic after looking at the really fun pictures Emma had drawn in her homemade notebook on the way to Gramma's house.
Anyway, before Gramma retired, she was a 3rd grade teacher. A really great 3rd grade teacher. She did lots of fun things with her kids to help them have fun learning. Lucky for me, she remembers just about everything she has ever tried in the classroom, which means I can pick her brain for ideas of things to do with Emma.
That is where the hidden alphabet comes in. She was explaining to me that she made small notebooks (1/4 of standard 8.5X11 paper) for each child in her class. These books kept the kids busy when they had down time.
There was a page for each letter of the alphabet. Starting with A and working to Z, the kids would draw a picture and hide a letter in the picture.
So for example: A might have a picture of a playground where the supports for the swing set form the letter A.
Gramma had the kids go in order so that it was easier to view their progress. For Emma, I would probably have all of the letters printed on the front or back of the book and she could just mark each letter off as she goes. Emma likes some letters better then others, so having the letters printed for her to see would serve 2 purposes:
1. She could do the letters she is comfortable with first without forgetting which ones she had already done.
2. If she wants to try out "tougher" letter, she can see what the letter looks like because it is printed on the cover.
This would be a notebook that is always available to her, but not something she has to work on. We actually don't plan on having anything she "has" to work on. Her interested are pretty rounded, so we really don't need to give her much direction.
Fun random picture:
Emma "Wula Hooping"