Here is an idea for an easy matching game for colors and sizes using recycled materials you probably have in abundance. Start saving the plastic lids from jars – peanut butter, mayonnaise, milk and juice jugs, pop-up wipes, etc. When you have a collection of lids, take a plain file folder and arrange the lids however you like on top of the file. Trace around the lids, then remove them and color in the circles to match the lid colors. I didn’t color in the circles for the small milk jug size since most of my small lids are the same color, but you could match colors on that size as well if you have a variety in your own collection. I outlined my circles in black to provide a greater contrast to make the target stand out. Store the lids in a gallon-sized zipper bag and you have a quick and easy matching game. The larger lids are great for little hands or for those who find fine motor tasks difficult. To make the game more durable, laminate the file folder. You’ll be able to re-use this game with your own children, plus it’s a great portable game to take with you since it’s lightweight and doesn’t take up much room. It’s an inexpensive, fun way to help kids learn and a great way to recycle those lids.
Beckie and I finished reading Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and I wanted to give her a non-traditional assignment in addition to traditional assessment measures. So I went through two week’s worth of advertisements from the Sunday newspaper and cut out pictures that could be tied in somehow to a line from the play. For example, I used a picture from an ad for Glade air freshener and paired it with this line from Act 4, Scene 3 when Juliet says, “Shall I not then be stifled in the vault, to whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in, and there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?” Beckie’s assignment was to tell me the context for the line. The pictures were not in a sequential order, and Beckie surprised herself with her ability to remember details from the play. Her favorite quote was paired with a picture of Yoplait Go-gurt with large letters proclaiming “With calcium for STRONG BONES!” and Juliet’s line again from Act 4, Scene 3 asking “And, in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone, as with a club, dash out my desperate brains?” I chuckled at the picture from the Hamburger Helper ad with the friendly little hand for Act 5, Scene 3 when the feuding families are reconciling and Capulet says, “O brother Mountague, give me thy hand.” Beckie had fun with that part of the assessment, and also wrote an essay response and took a multiple choice test. Those were the three components for her final exam on Romeo and Juliet. Just for fun we also watched a movie version, and I found a “Shakespeare Manga Romeo and Juliet” in graphic novel form at the library. Manga is a Japanese art form, I think, and this one portrayed the story as taking place in Japan with the two main families being rival mafia families. Now that Beckie has the idea of using pictures from ads as part of her assessment, she can find the pictures herself for the next time we want to use that option as part of an assessment.