Preschool Farm Theme Week 2

We continued with our Preschool Farm Theme, though what I had hoped to do in one week ended up getting done in 2, as Filip came down with a nasty cold half way through! Poor little person: he’s still not completely over it as I write this post ūüôĀ We started our Farm theme with a completely new concept: non-standard measurement using unifix cubes. We have used our cubes previously to make patterns, so they were not something entirely new. He LOVED it! We took turns guessing how many cubes we thought each picture would measure. Here is a picture of him assembling a “ruler cube”. We then ordered them from shortest to tallest. We did the build-a-word activity again, this time using the 4-letter cards. He also matched our farm animals to the cards. Filip really enjoyed this activity. He was actually sounding out each letter as he put it down and I started wondering whether he’s ready to begin reading CVC words…? Next, we did a count and graph activity. I laminated the pages, intending to use them with whiteboard markers. However, when we pulled the lids off to use the markers, we discovered that the tips had all been pushed in. Lesson learnt: never leave Filip unsupervised with the whiteboard markers as he pushes the tips in :/ So he used the dot-paints instead. They turned out OK, though I do NOT recommend it to anyone!! Especially if your child tends to touch paint before it dries! ¬†We started our first worksheet with this word counting page. The aim is to reinforce 1 to 1 correspondence. We then did a measurement activity – same concept as with the unifix cubes previously, only this time we had our “cube ruler” already built. We coloured the cubes to make them look nice ūüôā ¬†He measured and counted… … and recorded his answers using dot-paints to show how many cubes tall each picture was. We did this because he can’t write numbers, just yet! We used dot paints again… can you tell that they are a favourite in our house?? …This time for the count and graph worksheet. One day, Filip was playing with our “magic” kinetic sand like this…. ¬†… Which gave me an idea for this… Animal prints!! We lined up the animals on one side and took them for a walk/trot across the sand. We talked about how each animal has a unique print. One thing... read more

Grade 2 Homework An Introduction

Allow me to introduce my eldest son, Alex. ¬† He is an athletic boy. He loves to run. He loves to jump. In fact, he loves to run and jump at the same time. ALL. DAY. LONG. Well, he would, if I allowed it! Alex is also a fidgeter. After many tests and what seemed like forever, our pediatrician told us that he doesn’t have ADHD/ADD, as we feared, and that he is a perfectly healthy little boy with a LOT of energy. He will – eventually – learn to control his impulse to move and fidget. In the meantime, we have to be patient and help as best as we know how.¬†If you have a boy like Alex at home or in your class, you will ¬†totally understand that patience really is a virtue!! And you’ll also understand how hard it can be to get him to sit still and do his work. So, what does homework look like with my fidgety 8-year old? Let’s begin with this photo: It’s what his desk looks like on a good day. I believe organisation is an important key to happiness in the home and EVERYTHING must have a place. Alex does not agree with my philosophy, but he admits that putting things away in “the spot they should go” ensures that will be there when you need them again ūüôā His homework books and other things from school are stored in the pull-out drawer under the writing area of his desk. His corrected worksheets, salt writing tray and other resources go under his desk as shown in the photo below. Alex and I have come up with a little homework routine that usually goes like this: 1. Phonogram Review 2. Literacy/Grammar 3. Spelling & Word Work 4. Maths 5. Reading 6. Piano 7. Scripture Memorisation (need to work on this one!!) 1. PHONOGRAM REVIEW usually includes these beauties: While he can recognise them when reading, he has trouble writing them. I have a set of flash cards (available here if you’d like a set) which I get him to identify, then he writes a few of the ones he doesn’t seem quite certain about in a salt or sand tray. We had a bit of a set-back this week because Mr. Alex came home on Monday with ONLY his Literacy homework book. No¬†Maths book. No Spelling words book…¬† So, on Monday, he finished his homework in less than 5 minutes.... read more

Preschool Farm Theme Week 1

We’ve had heaps of fun with our Preschool Letter of the Week, but there comes a time when a break is needed! I made a couple of Farm printables a few weeks ago and thought now would be a great time to use them! So, out came my laminator (not that it had been in storage as I’d used it just the previous day), my A3 guillotine and my mummy scissors. Then I got busy printing, laminating and cutting ūüôā Can anyone else relate to this scenario or am I the only crazy one that does this??? So… once all the prep work was done, Filip and I got busy setting up our school room (which is really half of our garage done into a room).¬†I set up a cute Farm scene on our white board using some printables I’ve had for years. ¬†They could be from Teacher Created Resources, but not 100% sure. Included is a a coop/sty scene, field scene and inside the barn. It gave us lots of opportunities to talk about farm life and who lives where. Here is what it looked like: We also set up this display using my daughter’s Little People. And, a day before I announced my plans for the next 2 weeks, Filip and I headed to our local library and borrowed some farm themed books for us to read over the next two weeks; here they are on display. We also made a sensory bin. The kid inside me¬†Filip LOVES sensory play, and he helped to make up this little bin: ¬† We used some green tissue paper for the grass, corn kernels, sand, some blue gems and play dough to separate everything. It didn’t stay neat for long. So glad I snapped a few photos before he started playing!! And here is my newest favourite sensory play item: What is this? you may ask. Super sand! It’s a no-mess sand and polymer mixture that feels so great to play with. You can even make sculptures and they don’t fall apart – straight away… And the best thing: it’s totally kid-safe. I did not take a picture of the box, but if it’s something you might be interested in, it’s called Sand in Motion. If you’re from Australia and would like to buy a packet for your kiddos, it’s available at Toy Kingdom. This week I borrowed a Montessori method and set out all our learning materials on trays.... read more

Preschool Letter F

And here we are: Preschool Letter F; almost one quarter of the way into the alphabet and we are loving every bit of it! We skipped our beginning sounds basket again and started with our¬†Alphabet Play Dough Mat. I’m loving the fact that Filip has already grasped the concept that letter formation starts from the top and heads downward and that we go from left to right. Practice really does make perfect and, after seeing these results with my little man, I honestly wish I had done this with my older kids too. Anyhow, here is a picture of him and the Letter F play dough mat. Next, I lined up a few of our vocabulary cards face down and Filip turned them over one by one. I covered the word at the top with my hand and asked him to say the word for me and identify the beginning sound. He then matched magnetic letters to each card. Next, he did an uppercase and lowercase letter identification activity using dot-paints. Then we did a¬†pre-writing practice sheet (From the Pond) using glue and glitter. You can tell which parts he did and where I helped him ūüėÄ Then we did our Preschool Letter of the Week craft. F=fish… f=flower… And the end result: He asked for the¬†Alphabet Find It¬†game this week, mostly to do this: He loves squishing the contents of the sensory bin (a mixture of beans, lentils, barley, corn and some others I’m not quite sure about). And here we are, playing the game together. Day 2 started with a beginning sounds worksheet. We love these worksheets as they are visually appealing (huge thanks to my clipart suppliers!!) and age-appropriate. Filip sometimes has a hard time figuring out what each object is, but repetition is the key and seeing those same pictures again on vocabulary cards and other worksheets and booklets that we do has helped him to remember the new words and expand his vocabulary. He also did a¬†Letter Maze page¬†and he got an idea of a funky way to dot the uppercase letters in one colour and lowercase letters in a different colour… Look below. It was an epic fail as he ended up confusing the colours ūüôā We continued with our capital letter tracing sheets from¬†The Measured Mom. … Our¬†Preschool Letter of the Week F Number Puzzle. And then we did a craft. Since F is for flowers, we decided to do a flower... read more

Preschool Letter E

We started out Preschool Letter of the Week E with an alphabet pinwheel. I would have liked to start with our beginning sounds basket, but all I could find in our house were eggs and envelopes…. and I wasn’t sure whether filling a frail basket with some eggs for a preschooler to handle would have been all that great of an idea… I suppose I could have boiled them. ¬†But, of course, I didn’t think of that then! Oh well – moving on! Here is what the pinwheel looked like. (You can get the E pinwheel here). I showed Filip how to rotate the second wheel and he loved watching the images appear in the little window. We then moved on to our¬†Alphabet Play Dough Mat. As usual, he started by finger tracing both uppercase and lowercase e, and then he used play dough to form the letters. I’d like to mention here that these mats are one of my favourite tools for teaching preschoolers their ABCs! ¬†Not only are they fun and help with development of fine motor skills, but they are also very practical and can be used in many different ways to focus on different skills and concepts! I personally LOVE the directional arrows which show kids how to form the letter correctly AND the fact that they are placed on handwriting lines so that children can begin to understand that each letter has a specific height and has a correct position on the writing line. While we are not focusing on the writing line at the moment, I’m hoping really bad quite certain that when we get around to reading and writing words on a handwriting line, he will not struggle too much with letter placement. Anyhow, here is the end result! We tried a new letter recognition worksheet this week by Mariela Santillana, which you can get for free here.¬†Filip loved it! He traced the letters at the top using his “smelly” markers, and then he dot-painted the capital and lowercase e’s. And then he used a stamp to fill in the big E. End result: Filip has been playing with his building blocks a lot this week, making houses and all sorts of shapes, and I thought it would be nice to extend his building experience to include our Letter of the Week! I saw this idea somewhere on the net and came up with my own version:¬†Letter building for cubes! We finished... read more

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