January 10, 2014
Comments Off on Have You Ever Wondered About Snowmen at Night?
In exposing children to books so that their world expands it is important as part of that to help them understand the parts of a book. Title pages, author, illustrator, beginning, middle and ending are all easy to develop an understanding of. In many of the picture books used for infants through preschool there are no “dust jackets”, especially with an introduction (found on the inside lap – I always thought of as the fly) or opening question to get you excited about what you will find once you start reading. So when I find one you can be sure I use it.
Our library copy of Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner had a great one and it was nice to be able to start this reading and extension project off from there.
“Have you ever wondered about the secret life of a snowman? Maybe one morning his grin is a little crooked, or his tree-branch arms have drooped, and you’ve thought…. what do snowmen do at night?”
How much more fun to peak the interest in a story, than to just start right in reading? Some interesting answers to this opening.
As a follow up activity we took black paper – a little different for a snowman picture – and some unusual painting tools to make a snowy night time background for our snowman.
November 18, 2013
Comments Off on Finishing Up with Pumpkins
We have finally finished up our lessons with pumpkins. Over the years I have found that pumpkins are great for learning about a plants life cycle and pant parts. There are so many uses for pumpkin and lessons can go in many directions. It all depends on interest and taking hold of opportunities.
This year there has been a lot of prior discussions on recycling, composting, and rotting. Now I know what a wonderful mess a Jack-O-Lantern turns into, but most children do not see theirs once Halloween is done. Our garden pumpkins were not great this year, but definitely good enough to do a bit of exploring with.
To top our lessons off I found this new book while on my lesson search. It was a perfect fit with it’s wonderful real photos and scientific information. For me this book was a non-fiction find, even though it’s story is told in 15 voices. These voices added to our discussions and knowledge gained.
Here’s the cover of this new book. Can you see why I knew it would catch the children’s attention from the start?
Here’s a quick look at our pumpkin observations over the last few weeks.
September 10, 2013
Who could do a farm unit without including this old favorite – Old MacDonald Had a Farm?
Not me, especially when there are so many materials available for extension activities.[material links and lesson details] I went with stick puppet printables from Making Learning Fun and a fun YouTube video from Kids Fun Online.
April 24, 2013
Comments Off on Name That Letter
For years I have used individual printed sheets of letters randomly placed and sized for children to practice letter recognition.
Sometimes they were upper and lower case. Sometimes just letters learning, ie A…….H. Sometimes letters and number mixed together.
I’ve used pages from the newspaper or magazines for Letter Hunts – find and circle the letter called out or pulled on a flashcard.
I recently saw an idea on Little Miss Glamour Goes To Kindergarten for a way to practice sight words.
Now we are not practicing sight words, but the idea was so similar to those sheets of random letters that a light bulb went on (so to speak).
Why couldn’t I do this using letters?
It was the use of a large sheet of paper and doing as a group that was new to me.
As you can see we had fun! We used our social skills, letter recognition skills and fine motor skills, even with the youngest ones joining in. What would a few scribbles hurt? And they felt part of the group.