Planting Seeds

The weather has turned here, bringing highs of 75 and beautiful sunny days.  Who knows how long this will last, so we’ve been taking advantage of this time and spending several hours each day outside (BONUS: longer naptimes!!)

Yesterday, we took a trip to the hardware/garden store and brought back potting soil and seeds.  This morning, after Baby’s nap, we all went outside and planted the seeds that will (hopefully) grow into some bright flowers.

(I say “hopefully” because I have the most non-green thumb you can imagine and my flowers never seem to thrive.  But, every spring, I get optimistic and give it another shot.)

There was also a deliberate lesson here in sequencing and following directions for Preschooler.  She is a strong-willed little girl, and following directions is something we struggle with daily right now.  My plan was to combine something she really wanted to do (plant flowers) with a lesson on how important it is to do things in the right order, and the way she was told.

Together we:

  • added soil
  • dug holes for the seeds
  • put a few seeds in each hole
  • covered the hole
  • added more soil
  • watered the soil

We also talked about how we’d have to water the seeds every day, and how, after many, many days, the seed would turn into little plants, and the little plants would grow into “pretty blue and pink flowers”.

I know, cute story, but I do have a point.  When I taught, I had otherwise very intelligent fourth and fifth graders who could not correctly describe a sequence of events to save their lives.  We assume this is an inherent skill, but it’s not.  Nor, actually, is following directions.  Both are important literacy skills.  So important, in fact, that in many states it’s included in the curriculum standards at the elementary level.

So here’s an opportunity to “plant seeds” for future learning.  Sometimes, teaching reading skills doesn’t have to involve a book, or an app.  Sometimes, it’s just about digging in the dirt, and talking while you do it.

And did I mention the longer naptimes?

Just making sure.

(See?  Even the tiniest learners can take part)

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