Our process began with adding any and all wanted items to the Educational Insights Wish List, that was the EASY part! The arduous process of narrowing down was very difficult. Have you ever heard the saying “children are the best negotiators?” Let me tell you, these two tried every bargaining method they could think of to up the number of items. We celebrated the end of the selection process with popcorn and two very anxious children who thought I could go to my “stash” to magically pull out the selected items. Oh, we have to wait for package??….bummer!
Through our process, J, kept choosing this adorable “Kat” – the Talking, Teaching Kitty….wonder why she selected a cat? (couldn’t be the two I have and revolving door of rescued kittens here?) Here comes the irony. What good is the “Kat” without the Hot Dots Jr.cards? Sly little booger, isn’t she?
It’s HERE! Our Kat and Hot Dots Jr. Card Set Patterns & Sequencing arrived! One item I always totally forget about….batteries. Luckily, I stockpile batteries for days like this. Then it hits me, arghhh, does this have one of those teeny tiny screws because I don’t have the teeny tiny screwdriver. Overjoyed doesn’t even describe how I felt when I saw the size of the screw. I send J to the piggy bank for a nickel. Yep, that is our screw driver. Once I modeled and explained how to hold the nickel, J, goes to work opening, putting in batteries and replacing the screw with the nickel. That is the ONLY set up required.
The sequencing and patterns on the Hot Dots Jr Card Set are amazing. We began with the patterns which are not the boring colored shapes. Each card presented a new exciting object that J was excited to see. As we worked through the cards, I ask J to verbalize what she was seeing, tossing a few more skills. Directions words, left, right, forward, backward, colors, shapes, you name it, she was doing it all.
Each card presents three potential answers with a black circle beside of each. Select the answer by placing the tip of the Kat on the black dot. The tip of the pen must completely meet the black dot meaning the pen should be at a 90 degree angle to the card. Once J understood the proper placement, she said: “Penny, I can do it by myself, you sit in the chair.” I was allowed to take pictures:-) I enjoyed watching and listening to J walk herself through each card, only stopping to ask clarification when necessary.
All of a sudden, J hops up and crawls into my lap, “Lets have a girls night dinner and call grandma!” Uh? Okay. Where did that come from? J called grandma asking her to meet us at the restaurant. When grandma agreed, J excitedly explains the AWESOME purple kitty she has to show her.
Proudly J is walking to the restaurant holding my hand while swinging the Hot Dots Jr. box. Look at the picture, the box has a super sturdy handle with a heavy duty hook and loop closure that is not going to accidentally open. Grandma arrived before us getting us on the wait list…PERFECT! Running to sit beside of grandma opening the Hot Dots Jr., J demonstrates her newly acquired knowledge with the patterning cards. Flipping over the cards revealed the sequencing cards where J begins telling grandma the story of what is happening in the sequence placing the Kat on the correct dot every time.
Now, who can resist an excited adorable 5 year old with banana curls cascading down her back? Certainly not another child waiting patiently with mom and dad for a table. The little guy walks over to see what J is doing. J explains the process and hands the Kat to the child so he can have a turn. Everyone waiting did the “awwwww!” Ka-ching! Those two took the cards walking to everyone waiting, to show off the pattern and sequencing skills necessary to elicit the eyes of the cat to light up green and hear the variety of correct response recordings. Wait time for a table at a restaurant goes much quicker when the crowd is entertained by a couple of energetic, happy children. Nothing like free entertainment! The kids reminded me of those salesmen with the microphone slicing and dicing as they took the box, cards and Kat pen around to anyone who smiled at them. Both even placed the Kat on the incorrect answers to show how you knew the answer was wrong and to see the red eyes!
Our Hot Dots Jr Patterns and Sequencing set is scheduled to debut at the weekly Kindergarten classroom show and tell! I’m trying to convince J that the Hot Dots Jr should stay in her classroom but am facing reluctance for now.
We are totally thrilled with the learning disguised as fun the Hot Dot Jr provides. Children can complete activities individually, in small groups, and even as large group with the assistance of a doc camera. The Kat pen tops off the fun with a variety of positive and encouraging reinforcement. J’s favorite response from the Kat? “You’re the cat’s meow!” She giggled every time!
Would you like Kat, the Talking, Teaching Kitty and the Hot Dots Jr. Card Set Patterns & Sequencing for your classroom? The wonderful folks at Educational Insights who provided the products to us for review want to give one lucky Penniless Teacher reader this fantastic teaching tool. Complete the Rafflecopter entry below.
Giveaway is open to US only and will end at 12:01 am EST on October 14, 2012. Winner will be selected randomly and will have 48 hours to claim prize before a new winner is chosen.
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