I LOVE LAKESHORE! I do. I really, really do! When I first started teaching and before I had kids I would get Lakeshore games under the Christmas tree and often go pick up one game here and there with my own money. Lakeshore is truly a wonderland for early childhood teachers!I was lucky enough to get to go with a friend a few weeks back to do some back to school shopping. She knew I so many of the items already in my class so she wanted to make sure she got the most bang for her buck! (And who I am to turn down that shopping rush with someone else’s money right?!) Here’s a peek inside her cart and I personally recommend all of them for your kindergarten classrooms!
But I have to be honest…. my favorite new part of Lakeshore is one that we teachers don’t typically shop in! It’s the brain game section!
We as teachers we tend to stick to the “reading, writing, and math” sections but I really want to encourage you all to start considering these games for your students! These brain games are so important for struggling readers!
The other day when working with my 2 year old’s OT who visits our house twice a month, she said to me “how can we expect kids to search and find in text if we have never expected them to search and find in play.” I was like… YES!!! Every kid is different and so we must acknowledge as teachers that every child has a different level of necessity when doing tasks like this. My girlfriends kids don’t need puzzle pieces put in rice to have them be high interest for her kids… but mine sure does!
Stay with me… LOL.. sometimes tangents come that are related.
So for kids like my son Braedon who are struggling to read in school… we have to accept that kids also have different levels of using their their brains and strategizing. A child who can’t follow directions, a child who can’t understand the things you are teaching them, or a child who is just not picking up things that others in your class are getting with regular explicit instruction may need help in strengthening brain strategies!
I am not making this up.. it’s what we were told at the developmental pediatrician and I can tell you it’s working! The way it was explained… is your brain is like a muscle… and so some people need to exercise (or even prime) that muscle before they are ready to use it. We left the developmental pediatrician office … headed to Lakeshore … and loaded up on these games to use with Braedon! And actually I noticed some of these very games in the speech and resource room being used with him during his special ed services so I was excited to be helping at home. Got me thinking… why don’t we use these games with our struggling readers in our own classrooms?? Why aren’t we helping them to get those little brain connections firing differently so they are able to learn? We just keep shoving concepts down their throats… but are they really ready for them? Fact is… some need this and although it’s not “reading, writing, and math” it sure is going to get their little brains ready to receive my core instruction so it is academic and it is important!
So I know cannot walk into a Lakeshore without walking out with another one of these great strategy games. Yesterday we went for the Craft Saturday class and walked out with this little gem… creating a laser beam path to win!
Also, while you are there, be sure to check out what the other Freebie-ladies are giving away. Be prepared for some AMAZING prizes. Take a peek at some of them below!