Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rainbows and a trip to the Theatre

This week Maverick learned about rainbows. We talked about rainbows, how they appear, and sang the rainbow song we learned on Cat in the Hat on PBS Kids. I don't know a song that describes the tune but the words are "Red, Orange, Yellow, Green followed by Blue. Indigo and Violet, that's the rainbow colors for you!" It's cute and catchy and helped Maverick remember the colors of a rainbow in order. In fact a few days after learning about rainbows, the sun was setting and hit the mirror in our kitchen just right so that it reflected a rainbow on the wall of our dining room. It was so clear and Maverick was actually the one to point it out. And he was able to point to each color individually. It was fun to watch him connect his learning to real life.
Next, we read Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. I love her books and they all lend themselves to great art projects. Maverick loved talking about the names of all the plants, over and over and over. The next day we got ready to paint the flowers and I realized I only had three colors: blue, yellow and red. So it turned into an impromptu lesson on mixing colors because we were able to make all the colors of the rainbow using only those three colors!
Painting stems
Here's the finished product...

A couple months ago, one of our local Living Social deals was for tickets to the Nashville Children's theatre. My students have gone on field trips there and I have always wanted to take Maverick. So, I decided this would be a great opportunity. The show was Click Clack Moo, based on the book by Doreen Cronin. Mav loves animals and loves singing so I knew this would be a great show for him to see. Plus, since having Solomon, I am always looking for ways for just me and Maverick to hang out.
First we read the book at home the night before.

Then went to the theatre.

Next, we got a little booster seat so he could see the stage and waited for the show to start.

It was such a cute show and Maverick had a great time. I love this phase of life even despite all the hard work! I hope you all had a great Easter.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"The Mitten" work and new ideas

It seems kind of crazy that I am posting what we did with "The Mitten" when it is 80 degrees and sunny outside, but this is the first chance I have had to sit down and post anything! I now have two work from home jobs doing administrative tasks for an awesome non-profit organization I have been volunteering with from the beginning and taking care of my friend's 3 month old little boy two days a week. Needless to say, things are crazy busy around here and even though I do school with Maverick more than just once a month, posting about it is a whole other thing!

Okay, back to the mitten...we glued macaroni on the M, which of course is Maverick's favorite letter. :)
We also used M&M's to sort and count. Again, talking about more, less and the same, as well as numeral recognition.
I then used the m&m's as his potty treat (yes we are doing the dreaded potty training....remind me again why it is socially unacceptable to have a 5 year old in diapers? ugh!) which was very motivating...until they were gone.

We read "The Mitten" several times one day, then colored the characters another day. While he colored, we referenced the book to see what color the animals were and talked about their names. But, as you can see he went with his own creative interpretation on color.
He got these twistable crayons for his birthday and they are a huge hit! They snap so easily back into the tray so they are very easy for him to clean up independently. They are difficult to break, and come in lots of colors!

I was going to tape an outline of the mitten on the floor like the idea I had seen on Teach Preschool, but I realized I didn't have masking tape. So, I free-handed (obviously) a mitten on white paper, cut it out and taped the edges so just the wrist part was open for him to put the characters into the mitten.
We then read the story again, this time allowing him to pick up each character as I read about it and place it in the mitten.

Next, I let him tell me the story by looking at the pictures, and act it out with his characters and mitten.

Here's what we are working on the next few weeks, and here is why:
Maverick pointing out the crocus sprouting.

Little buds forming on our tree!
It's Spring around here!! Maverick noticed all the flowers starting to bloom and was asking me all sorts of questions. I said, I think it's time to learn about spring! That's the beauty of "homeschooling," the child can often decide what we learn and when. :)

  • Letter: Rr (rainbow or raindrops on the R. note: this is a difficult sound developmentally for a lot of younger preschool students so make sure to show lots of pictures and talk about different words that start with this letter and practice!) and Cc (cookie crisp or clouds (cotton balls) on the C) Pp (Puzzle from the P - color, draw on the letter p, cut it up into different size/shape pieces and take apart and put together as a puzzle)
  • Theme: Spring - Rainbows, Life cycle of butterfly (or any living thing)
  • Reading: We went to the library and got several books about Spring. Here are a few of the good ones:

A Rainbow of Flowers by Lois Ehlert
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

Some other ideas I found:
-Use sponges to paint flowers using the different colors of the rainbow. Focus on order.
-Cloud jars to go with rainbows.
-This is a great time to do plant life cycles and plant seeds and watch them grow. You can plant grass seeds in a plastic bag to easily show how a seed germinates and grows.
-Continue with numeral recognition, counting, shapes, etc.
- Explore different kinds of seeds. Sort by size. Discuss what seeds will grow into, how a small seed can grow into a big plant, etc.
-Egg carton caterpillar craft.

Happy Spring!