I have a confession to make. I love plastic zipper bags. I use them to contain the mini-books for lap books on which the boys are working. I love to place just anything in a zipper bag.
This week, someone on the Notebooking Yahoo Group suggested this site: http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/preschool_activities.htm#MrsD for preschool activities. Although I don't have a preschooler I was drawn to many of the messages on the list of activities found at this site. And, of course, I loved the activities that are contained in a zipper bag!
OK, I've gone a little overboard about the plastic zipper bags. But I do find them so convenient and easy to use to contain and organize many things. Yesterday I bought a box of 3 gallon zipper bags. I will be using these to hold each of McLane's lapbooks that must be placed in his three-ring binder portfolio for our year-end evaluation.
As I was reading through the ideas for preschoolers, I got an idea for an older student. All of the materials could be contained in, you guessed it, a plastic zipper bag! On 3x5 cards, write large numbers like 1,543 or 245,690. On the back of the card, draw a picture of the appropriate cuisinaire rods that would reflect this number. The student pulls the cards out of the bag and one by one, makes those large numbers out of cuisinaire rods. He or she can check their answers by looking on the back of the card.
We don't use Cuisinaire rods (now I'm thinking I might want to find some!) but each of the boys has a mini-abacus. I could do this same activity, replacing the rods with the abacus, for my guys to help them manage large numbers.
This same technique could be used to make different shapes from tangram pieces, or from pattern blocks. Draw the complete shape on the front of the card and then repeat the shape on the back with the outline of each piece represented so that it shows the child how the shape is made from all the pieces.
So, invest in some zipper bags today. Let me know if you come up with some great ideas!