Quality not Quantity Proves True Again!
When I used to stay with my grandma over night, she would sometimes bring out the craft supplies. This wasn't a box overflowing with ribbons, beads, and glitter. It was an empty tomato basket with used twist ties, milk caps, and paper towel rolls. And it was FUN! The things that we could make from those simple items was incredible! (Note: "incredible" to my five-year-old self, maybe not so impressive today!)
I thought of this today when the kids & I enjoyed an impromptu activity that turned out to provide some of the best learning of the day!
The atmosphere in our little classroom was getting antsy, so I threw our meticulously planned lessons out the window. I told the kids to get on their shoes and meet me outside. They were excited right away- this wasn't on our whiteboard to-do list!
We have been talking about the Ancient Greeks for the past two weeks, and we've brushed over the Olympics. The kids knew the facts- but we haven't done anything "hands-on" with it. I figured this was a good time.
There, on the sidewalk, in the rain (the kids were troopers!), we held our very own Ancient Greek Olympics! The kids participated in three of the four major events:
1) Running (Sprinting from one drive way to the other)
2) Long Jump (Three chances to jump as far as possible)
3) Throwing (This was very makeshift and included a Styrofoam ball)
(We omitted wrestling!)
This whole process took about 10-15 minutes (selecting shoes to wear may have been the most time consuming!)
When we went back inside, I had the kids write about what they experienced combine with the facts they had previously learned about the ancient Olympics. Their writing was *wonderful!* It was as if the brief, barely planned, hands-on time sunk concepts right into their brains.
The reason I mention this is because I find it is so easy to get caught up in the details and the plans, but sometimes the most simplistic things are just as good (maybe even better!)