Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hats Off to H

Hats Off to H!

It was another week of balancing schedule changes. Between a home school museum program for Ava, foster care obligations, and church school we had a full week.We had two full mornings of preschool and finished up the remainder of our work on Saturday. This will be my last post for a couple of weeks. This coming week we will focus on reviewing letters A-H and numbers 1-10 using the activities I have created over the last 8 weeks. We will also learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin and do some pumpkin carving. Then, we will spend one week enjoying a visit from Mimi and Papa! Ava and Dominic can't wait! (And I can't either!)

Here is a look at our fun with letter H!

Tuesday: H is for Hats!
Book: Caps for Sale By: Esphyr Slobodkina (I replaced the word cap with hat while reading it. We talked about how a cap is another word for a hat.)
Song: Hats are Blowing

Beginning our week with our sound box is a must!The kids can't wait to reach in and see what they will find.Of course, this week the box was filled with objects that start with H. 

Ava's turn 

I gathered several different types of hats such as a fire hat, construction hat, bike helmet, sun hat, baseball cap, crown, baker's hat, and winter hat. We talked about the different kinds of hats and what they are used for. We sorted them and found hats that might be different, but have similarities (ie. the fire helmet, construction hat, and bike helmet are all hard and can protect your head, but they are used for different reasons.)

We had fun trying on the different hats! I had the kids each pick a hat they wanted to wear while we sang our hat song.

We sang Hats are Blowing using hat puppets. 

During our art time, we made heart hats out of paper plates.


One of the activities that I introduced on Tuesday and brought out  throughout the rest of the week was  the hammering activity. I was so excited about this activity. I knew that they would just love it! (Especially since lately Dominic is into making anything that is easy to bang a hammer!) I found clip art of objects that start with H. I laminated each picture and punched holes along the perimeter of the pictures. The kid then had to "nail" the pictures to foam insulation using plastic hammers and golf tees. This activity was a hit and so good for hand eye coordination!

We used 2 inch foam insulation. You can purchase it at any hardware store.  My father in law happen to have some scraps left over from a project he has been working on! I can see us taking this activity out over and over again.

The sensory activity for this week was Halloween play dough. I made orange play dough and added cinnamon to give it an extra fall feel. At the dollar store, I found some little Halloween bats, bugs, and spiders to use with the play dough. I also got out all the Halloween cookie cutters. 
Lots of spooky cookies were made! 
Wednesday: H is for Halloween!
Book: The Spooky Smells of Halloween By: Mary Man Kong
Songs: I brought back out the ghost songs and puppets from last week!
 Baby Ghost and I Saw a Ghost

Ava started her day off with the alphabet train puzzle. 

Our calendar pattern is going strong! 

We brought back our ghost songs in honor of Halloween.

During our art time, we painted pumpkins. Dominic was all about this! He worked on this for a long time and didn't even try to eat the paint! 

It is fun to see how having something different to paint on makes painting even more exciting! We added glitter to the pumpkins when they were finished painting. They love to use the glitter!

More spooky cookies were made today!

I found a fun number workbook at the Dollar Store. Ava needs some extra practice with one to one correspondence and recognizing numbers. Since she loves coloring and writing, this workbook is a fun way for her to practice. We worked on numbers 6 and 7 today.

During math time, Ava also sorted three types of candy corn. 

Using the sorted candy, we worked on creating patterns in our pumpkin tray. She may have also had found the pattern of sort one, eat one, sort one, eat one...though I am not sure she would ever admit it! 

Dominic's finished masterpiece!

Ava's work of art!

Practicing writing the letter H. Ava was all about practicing this letter because one of her best friends name's starts with the letter H!

She worked on the letter H for her alphabet book
Saturday: On Saturday we continued to work on some math review in Ava's math workbook and she created her own letter H book.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Good Week With the Letter G!

G is for Gorilla 
Book: Good Night Gorilla By: Peggy Rathmann 
Magnetic Board Story: 5 Little Leaves (Reusing from last week!)

We started our morning off with making apple sauce with our Golden Delicious Apples (I was glad it tied into our letter G week!). There was a slight malfunction with the applesauce maker. Since some of the apples were ready and I had two anxious applesauce makers, we used the baby food mill. It worked! (Thank you Miss Susie for coming over to fix the applesauce maker! It worked great once we located a replacement bolt! I was glad I didn't have to grind a 1/2 bushel of apples in a baby food maker!) 

 We read Good Night Gorilla. This is one of my favorite stories and Ava's too. It was fun to incorporate it in our day. We read it two times. The first time we read it for enjoyment and talked about the story as we went. The second time, we used sequencing cards from http://www.first-school.ws/activities/books/animals/wild/gngorilla.htm. As we read the story, Ava had to recall which animal the zoo keeper said goodnight to next. We lined them up in the correct order. 
During art time Ava and Dominic painted upper and lower case letters the color green. We then used glue to add gold and green glitter! 
Ava's green and glittery letter G! 
Dominic's green and glittery letter G! 

I was super excited about our gooey green gak sensory table this week ! Both kids loved it and couldn't wait to get the chance to spend some time at this center each day. I included scissors, small containers, and plastic knives along with the gak. 
Ava said it felt like worms (probably why she loved it so much!) It was a  great way for her to be able to practice her cutting skills. Dominic liked being allowed to play with the scissors too! There are a couple different ways to make it. We used liquid starch instead of borax. You can find the recipe at http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/extras/Gak.htm. I do recommend wearing old clothes or smock. It does stick to clothes. 

Okay, so our Monday was kind of a hodge podge of activities  For math, Ava had to sort pom poms by color using tongs. Once she had sorted all the colors into the correct cups, we practice counting each color. 

Dominic did the same activity. He focused on picking up the pom poms with the tongs and placing them in any cup, rather than sorting. 

I found a great little gorilla work packet from www.1plus1plus1equals1.com. There were several pages to the packet. I printed a few pages that fit some of the skills I am working on with Ava. She gets so excited to have independent work. She was working on it while I was making lunch. When lunch was ready, she told me that she couldn't eat because she wanted to work more and would eat after. I hope this enthusiasm for homework keeps up! 

Tuesday: G is for Gumball! 
Book: (Okay, I dropped the ball on this one. I never made it to the library prior to the start of the week. We read several books throughout the day, but had to opt out of a themed one!) 

Songs: Bubble Gum By: Rick Charette (If you grew up in New England it was probably a childhood favorite or you at least heard it live in concert several times!)

During our circle time we worked on ordering gumball machines from smallest to largest.

I printed these various sized gumball machines from http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2010/11/letter-g-for-gumball.html  

Ava loves to help Dominic so he can participate too! 

During our art time today we created gumball machines. I cut the middle out of a paper plate to serve as the outside of the machine. Using another paper plate, Ava had to glue pom poms to the center of the plate (gumballs). I attached her painted plate in front of the plate with the gumballs. We added a little stand complete with the slot to put the quarter! 

The finished product! 

This math activity came from http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2010/11/letter-g-for-gumball.html. Each gumball machine was numbered from 1-10. Ava had to put the correct number of gumballs (pom poms) in each machine. Dominic enjoyed putting gumballs in the machines too! 

Letter G handwriting practice. 
Wednesday: G is for Ghost! 

With Halloween just a couple weeks away, there is lots of talk of costumes and trick or treating. This was a fun theme for the day! 

Book: Halloween Hooks and Howls By: Joan Horton 
Fingerplays: Baby Ghost (from www.preschoolexpress.com) 
 I Saw a Ghost 
During our circle time this morning we, again, practiced ordering by size. This time we used different sized ghosts. We put them in order from biggest to smallest. 

I created little ghost puppets to use while we recited our ghost finger plays.

During art time, Ava created a ghost windsock! 
Ava's finished friendly ghost! 
Today is when I discovered that gak does stick to clothes (the one day I gave in and said they didn't have to wear smocks to play with it!). 

I think the gak will have to make more appearances in the sensory table! 

We revisited our letter of the week box. Except, today there were objects in there that not only started with g, but other sounds as well! 

The kid's took turns pulling items out of the box. Ava was the big helper when it came to deciding if the object should go on the plate with the letter G on it or the plate for all the objects that did not start with the letter G. 

Everything can be found online. When I was searching for a math activity with the ghost theme, I came across an entire blog dedicated to the ghost theme. Perfect! I printed this activity from http://www.threeghostfriends.com/2012/05/toddler-busy-bags-counting-wheels.html. Ava had to count the ghost on each section of the wheel and clip a clothes pin labeled with the right number. 

There were two sides to the counting wheel. The first side had numbers 1-5 and the second side had numbers 5-10. 

We also worked on patterning using different colored ghosts. For this activity I just found a clip art of a fun little ghost and printed enough to have 6 orange, 6 yellow, 6 purple, and 6 gray. I let Ava create the patterns.

Ava chose to use the same activity to sort the ghost by colors too.

Ava loves hear and tell stories! I gave her a coloring sheet of a pumpkin with flowers and a ghost beside the flowers. I told her that while she was coloring it, I wanted her to think about what was happening in the picture. She was going to tell her own ghost story inspired by the picture!
Here is the finished product. I typed as she dictated her story. It was fun to hear her even add dialogue to her story. I hope to start adding more creative writing activities to our preschool program.