Monday, April 26, 2010

Colored Rice, Etc.

My favorite activity this week, and I think N's also, was gluing colored rice onto patterns. We'd seen the idea at the library, and N was really interested, so I decided to try it. I found instructions on coloring rice here, and it turned out really well. I used NEON food coloring, and the rice is beautiful! N, of course, mixed all of the colors soon after starting, but it was still a hit!

We played with Discovery Toys Playful Patterns. She was able to do the basic shapes, and even figured out how to combine the foam shapes to make larger shapes.

We looked for our words (and, to, the, at, is) in some of her books, and marked them with a sticky note. At first she did really well and was pretty interested, but it didn't last for long. It did show me which words she really knows and which ones she still needs to work on, though.

N had randomly checked out a book about Dinosaurs, so we did a day of them. From 1+1+1=1, we used the dinosaur puzzles. Once I got her pointed in the right direction, she did an amazing job. I thought she would need a lot more help. We also talked (briefly) about the life cycle of a dinosaur (egg, hatchling, little dinosaur, big dinosaur). Then we used the Dinosaur Life Sequence Cards from Making Learning Fun, and N put them in order, naming each part as she went.

Once again, I didn't do well on the picture front. I'm really trying to do better.

Tot School

Friday, April 16, 2010

Seize the Moment

Letters C and D. Turns out that N can't make the "k" sound for C. I've known this, but didn't think about how hard it would be to see what the pictures start with if you can't make the sound (she makes the "t" sound instead).

Our books this week were about grasshoppers. So we made grasshoppers out of clothespins and pipe-cleaners (no pictures though. Sorry! I'll see if I can remedy that!). We then colored a picture that matched. Okay, that didn't really make sense, so I'll explain. I printed out two identical copies of a picture of a grasshopper. Then we took turns choosing what color to color the parts - I chose to color the wings green, so both N and I colored our wings green. She choose to color the legs pink, so we both did, etc. She's been really sloppy with her coloring lately and I thought this might motivate her to do a better job. Turns out she really can color inside the lines! And I wrote a poem about grasshoppers (after an extensive internet search that turned up NOTHING for a simple grasshopper poem). Here it is, in case you want a simple grasshopper poem (we put actions with it):

Grasshoppers all go
Hop, hop, hop.
When they hop on my nose I say
Stop, stop, stop!

We talked about big and small, large, medium and small. N was pretty determined to put them in correct order when I gave her 3 objects.

We started with 5 simple sight words: at, and, is, the, to. I gave her magnets and she had to make each word. With only the right magnets out, she had a lot of fun. I think that if she'd have had 26 instead of 10 letters, she would have been overwhelmed. Then she matched the words to each other (I had 2 copies of the words), and then we played memory with them.

We made playdough faces on playdough mats that I made with the egg template that I can't for the life of me find again. I cut out the eggs, glued them to construction paper, then covered them with clear contact paper. I think she got the idea, but didn't really do it. We'll try again another time.

And, on one of our walks, we found pinecones. So we brought them home, smeared peanut butter on, then rolled them in bird seed. So far, no birds have enjoyed their treat. Maybe we don't have the right kind of birds around here...

Tot School

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The First Week

This week we began our new schedule.

Monday we did A and B. I really like the alphabet cut and paste sheets found at Homeschool Creations. I wanted to do something like it, so finding some that were already done was a huge time saver to me. I also had N do the B do-a-dot page, found at Confessions of a Homeschooler, but we used dot stickers instead of markers. Once she understood what I wanted her to do, she did really well.

Tuesday we did the Number Book found at TLS Books. N loved this! At the top, she had to circle all of the number (there is a page for each number 1-1o). At the bottom, she had to trace the number three times. I gave her a smiley face on the best traced number. She worked really hard to trace well. She liked the smiley faces!

Wednesday we were all out with colds. But because N does best with routine, we pulled out some worksheets, also from TSL Books, and she had a good time and we counted it as school.

Thursday we went to the early storytime and left A with Grandma, so that he could get a good nap and hopefully get over his cold. So, no school happened. But our Tray Time that afternoon was a hit (of sorts). I had seen at many blogs the idea of freezing small plastic toys in a container of water, and then giving the children tools to get them out. So we gave it a try. At first, N had no idea, but after I showed her that the warm water melted the ice, she was all for it. After she got the toys out, she played with them in the extra water.
Friday we made bread. N loves helping with bread, so this was a good fill in for school.

I already have next week planned and it should be great. It feel FANTASTIC to already know what's going to happen each day.

For more great ideas and to be inspired, visit Preschool Corner and 1+1+1=1.

Tot School

Friday, April 9, 2010

Long Time

It's been a long time. We haven't been slacking on school, I've just been trying to find a better system for us. Here's what we've been trying:

Instead of using a book for the whole week, I've made a theme for each day.
  • Monday - Letters -2 a week. Review their sounds, how to write them, words that start with them, etc.
  • Tuesday - Book activity/poem activity. Read a book/poem, do activities that correlate.
  • Wednesday - Math - review shapes, numbers (we're working on recognizing numbers up to 20, as well as counting).
  • Thursday - Beginning sight words.
  • Friday - Hands-on learning
N likes knowing what to expect each day, so we've started having a schedule. It makes life a lot easier for both of us. As N gets older, this will grow into calendar time, but she's not there yet.

We still do tray time, but not as a part of school. It's an afternoon activity and N continues to look forward to it everyday!