Toddler Tuesdays: Shape puzzles

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We have these shape puzzles. They are wooden and come with shapes of various colors and sizes. The puzzles boards have holes for the shapes that the kids have to fill in. The puzzles are basic things like birds and planes, trains and cars.

They are a great activity to do all together. They help my youngest learn her shapes and colors. She has to put the right shape of the right color in the right spot in order to make the complete puzzle. Nicholas gets the experience of learning to teach her. There is something very rewarding about watching him patiently show her where the green circle is and pointing to where it goes in the puzzle.

But we can also use this as German time. In addition to doing the colors and shapes in English, we do then in German. When I ask Abby what shape and color she needs for a puzzle, and Nicholas responds in English, I then ask the question in German and get a German answer.

Differentiated learning, where you teach children of different levels in one setting or lesson, is difficult but not impossible. Part of differentiated learning is letting the more advanced children teach. Teaching reinforces knowledge and doesn’t require a child to engage in pointless repetition. Another part of differentiated learning is finding a way of using the basics to teach a new lesson – in this case German.

Regardless, it is a blast for all concerned.

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