Friday, December 16, 2011

All About Snowmen!

We went to the library last week and got lots of books on Christmas and Winter. A lot of the Christmas ones were taken, so I adapted my plans more about snowmen. In fact, one of the days we went to the library it was actually snowing, (though it didn't stick) so that was fun!

Here is the coloring page, courtesy of making learning fun...which by the way is a great source of free printables and thematic ideas. I used it all the time when I was teaching kindergarten.
I usually just let him color however he wants, but this time, I wanted him to take his time and talk about what the real colors are for each of the items. For each one, he would either tell me the color or ask what the items was and what color it "should" be. I even saw him looking at the Christmas tree in the living room so he could color it the same color.
Here's the finished product, proudly displayed!

Speaking of displays...I referred to Mav's wall of work in a previous post and finally snapped a photo with my phone. It's not as good quality as the other photos, but gives you an idea. I used yarn and tacks, but I've seen better ones made with rope or twine and nails. It's heavier and can handle more paper.
(Notice the frame above with the factory pictures still in it...haven't gotten to that project yet)
I think it's very beneficial to keep his work displayed to serve as a constant review of what we've been learning. Also, he is so proud of all his work and loves seeing it hanging in his room. 

Back to this week... We learned the letter Ss and glued snowballs (cotton balls) on the S.
We are multi-tasking here...eating snack and doing school!

Getting better about SMALL glue dots.

I happened to find a snowman gel cling kit in the dollar bins at Target. I got it out the other day and let Mav rearrange the pieces and build his snowman. He loved it and came back to it several times.

Download these activities and more in Week 4 lesson plans here.

In case I don't get on here in the next week, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and remember the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh me, oh my, boy does time fly!

Has it really been two weeks since my last post?! The holidays are so busy!! Here's what we've been up to the last few weeks (besides the busy holiday stuff).

These examples are from week three lesson plans which you can download here. We finished up the "obvious shapes," as I call them, with the square page and hopscotch. 

Can I just say it was absolutely hilarious to see my almost 3 year old try to coordinate jumping and hopping on one foot. It takes quite a bit of skill to do hopscotch! We had an unusually 71 degree sunny day today so it was the perfect time to play outside!

Tomorrow,  I will post week four's plans as well as some pictures of the activities we've done so far. I hope you are enjoying this holiday season and not letting the busyness get the best of you (which is what I remind myself of every single day)!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More Lesson Plans and Examples

To finish out our study of circles, Maverick hunted in a magazine and found pictures of circles.

I cut them out and he glued them.

After we finished the circle page, he wanted to look for triangles....all on his own! I let him, then after one picture, he started tearing out magazine pages and throwing them on the floor (see, just when you thought I had the perfect little child, hahaha) and I put an end to his "exploratory learning."

Sorting is another important foundational skill. Here, Maverick sorted buttons. These were random buttons that I probably have been collecting for YEARS from my clothes that have that extra button attached. As you can see I wear far too much black!
Originally I had wanted him to sort by color, but since there were only like 3 colors, I decided to let him figure out how he wanted to sort them. I simply told him, "Can you put the buttons that are alike or the same in piles?" He then lined them up like he does his Hot Wheels, like this.
Then we worked together sorting more of them by size, since that is the trait he chose. We talked about the biggest ones (which he calls Daddy buttons), the medium ones (mama buttons) smaller buttons and tiny buttons (baby buttons).

For each letter and sound we learn, I am having him make that letter with something on it that makes that sound. For the letter Q I chose quarters. Now, I could have found some picture on clip art or gotten those paper coins at the teacher store, BUT, after teaching in the public schools and seeing how many children in this generation don't handle cash/coins (think about how much debit, online payments, etc. we use) I thought it was important for Maverick to handle the real thing. (Yes, a very expensive letter Q, but don't worry, I will be borrowing quarters off his Q when I need them :)
I pre-drew and taped the Q so he could easily place the quarters.

I showed him what a quarter looks like (wow! another circle!) and we talked about what's on a quarter (good vocabulary exposure, I don't expect him to remember) then I had him hunt for them in our coin jar.
Looking for quarters...

The finished product!
Click here and here for a few more weeks worth of lesson plans. Just a note, these are loose sketches of what to do. There are SO many other blogs out there with cute ideas but quite frankly, with two small kids, I really need SIMPLE. So, here ya go! :)