Saturday, March 7, 2009

Celebrating "The Seuss"

Happy Birthday! Here is a glimpse of our week with Dr. Seuss, followed by a preview of plans for the rest of the month. I may go a bit overboard with this- but really, who doesn't have a favorite Dr. Seuss book? If you don't, here are a few to try.

The Cat in the Hat:

We worked on phonics, as we wrote all the "-at" words we could think of on the board. This is such a fun story, and it is fun to hear the kids respond to the question at the end. . . would you tell your mother if a cat came to play for the day?

And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street. . .Our word for the day was "imagination". We talked about the changes in little Marco's story of what he saw on his way home from school. After binwork, we used our own imaginations to come up with what we saw on our familiar street of Glacier Drive. . .

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. . .After reading the story- which brought out a lot of giggles as I attempted the many tounge twisters within- we listed words with the same endings (again with the phonics). The kids had a fun time, and both girls insisted on writing the words themselves on the list!

Then it was time for the introduction of the Venn Diagram! The kids had a fun time placing the fish in their spots on the graph, and then they made diagrams of their own. It is a fun way to introduce a tool that will be used throughout their educational careers!

Next, it was onto "Graphing with Gummies". I brought out a special treat of gummy fish, and it was up to the children to figure out how many of each color they had- the best part was eating them at the end!

And a note on binwork. . . Binwork is a time when each kiddo pulls out their "bin" and does an activity in Math, Reading, and Writing. Abigail and Breanna have really done well, and it is so fun to watch them work together. In Tyler's bin, I usually just put paper and crayons for him to color. Some days, he sits with us through our school time, other days he chooses to play with his trains. This week, he has sat through each lesson, and insisted on participating fully! It was so fun! He even started saying the names of the letters, and he was very responsible to show me his work when he was finished. I love seeing the glow in a child's eye when they are pleased with something they worked hard to accomplish! Here's a picture of them each working hard on their binwork. . .

The rest of the month we will do one Seuss book a week. . . On the agenda are "The Foot Book", "Green Eggs and Ham" (of course, for St. Patty's Day), and Dr. Seuss's ABC's.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We are still here!

We have been having so much fun with our school this month that I havn't had any time to post our activities- so here it goes!

First, I LOVE Saxon Math! This math program is designed so well, and is so fun for the children to do. I use the "calendar time" section of the lesson in our group calendar lesson every morning. This is comprised of shape patterns, counting, month/date/year, left and right, weather graphing, etc.

I am using Saxon Math 1 for Abigail, and Breanna joins in when she pleases. Here they are using the geo-blocks. So much fun! This program is designed so well to have each lesson build upon the previous one and there is tons of review. I could go on and on (just ask Peter. . . :) I just TOTALLY LOVE this program!

Second, for figuring out our "word of the day" this month, we have been doing "music math". In piano, the girls are learning quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes. So each day I put rhythms on the board, we clap them, figure the beats and add the measures together. It is fun to be able to integrate what they are learning in piano into our daily morning routine as well!

Next, February can be all about learning the presidents and learning about our country! I have a great book called "We the Kids" which is the preamble to the constitution, illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators- David Catrow. Anyway, we talked about Betsy Ross and the design of the American flag. We also talked about peace (in the preamble the word "tranquility" is used- thats a fun one for kids to say!) and being peacemakers. We also spent a day talking about the blessings of liberty and what it means to be free. It was a really fun week!

This week it has been all about Valentines Day! I will post our activities soon. Next week will be all about Abraham Lincoln and the next about George Washington- so much to learn and we are having a great time doing it together!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

We had such a fun week with this book. It is a darling story about a Grandpa telling his grandchildren a bedtime story about the town of Chewandswallow. In the town of ChewandSwallow there are no stores for food- because the weather provides all the food they need. Everything from pancakes and syrup, to hamburgers and spagetti- the townspeople of ChewandSwallow have it made. . . that is until the weather takes a turn for the worse!

So this week, our "words of the day" were Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Each day we pulled out our pretend food and discussed what we eat for each meal. We also did word/picture matching as well as sequencing (ie which meal do we eat first, second, third. . .)

The girls each wrote stories of their own town of ChewandSwallow- each day picking 3 things for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Then they each got to pick their own ending for their story (I just wrote the paraphrased version on their storybooks).

In the end, we had two darling versions of the story and we celebrated by having our own "popcorn rainstorm"! I used our air popper without the lid to pop the popcorn. The kids had a blast and it was fun to imagine what life would be like if it really did rain chocolate milk or if hamburgers really blew in from the west. It was a fun week!

Abigail's Story. . . you could tell her favorite foods by what she picked each day. . . hot chocolate for breakfast, PB&J for lunch, and of course "chicken on the bone" for dinner!

Breanna's Story. . . of course my little sweet-tooth ended her story with a stormy dessert. . . ice cream, chocolate syrup, and M&M's gave her story a very sweet ending!

And our Popcorn Rainstorm. . . so much fun!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Mitten

This weeks story was The Mitten, told by Jan Brett. Jan Brett is one of my favorite authors to use with children. Her illustrations are beautiful, and she hides clues in the borders of her pages as to what is coming next and what just happened in the story- great for teaching predictions and sequencing. Anyway, we had a fun week with this story. The kids each made their own mitten and a set of animals to go inside. The Mitten is a Ukranian folktale- so the real author is not known. At the end of the week, I had the girls tell the story as if they were the authors- it was so fun! So here is "The Mitten" as told by Breanna and Abigail Raven.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Our First Week Back. . . a review

Story of the Week: Stone Soup
I love this story, and the kids did too! The first day we read the story, did our story map, and then made stone soup! While I cut up all the ingredients for the soup, Peter and the kids went outside to find stones. I boiled the stones in one pot, and made the soup in the other (using the stone after boiling it probably would have been fine, but, oh well). Each child got to put in or "share" their ingredient (ie potatoes, carrots, onions, etc.) It was so fun and so yummy! Especially for a warm lunch on a cold winter day!
For the rest of the week, we had fun acting out the story and retelling it with the felt board figures. We even made up a song! We sang the song all week and just had a blast with this story!

We're makin' Stone Soup, We're makin' Stone Soup,
Ya mix it up, ya mix it up, and stir it around,
We're makin' Stone Soup, We're makin' Stone Soup,
Ya mix it up, ya mix it up, and stir it aroud,

You grab some carrots and some onions too,
You chop them up, you know what to do,
Get the potatoe, and the celery,
Put em in the pot, you know what we've got,

We're makin' Stone Soup, We're makin' Stone Soup,
Ya mix it up, ya mix it up, and stir it around. . . .

Mirror, Mirror
What do I see?
Beautiful, wonderful, fabulous. . . ME!

Tracing ourselves on paper!

Our Finished Product. . .

Other topics of the week. . .
Polar Bears (did you know that polar bears eat mainly seals? there is some fun video of baby polar bears on the national geographic kids website- so cute!)

Snowmen (we talked about shapes, then cut out shapes to make our own snowmen. . . we finished the morning with a lunch of snowmen bagals, yum!)

Our New Schoolroom

Calendar Time. . .

Bin Work. . .

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

School is Back in Session!

After a long and unexpected break (due to a sick, pregnant mama and an across town move. . .) WE ARE BACK!

The past couple of days have been so fun! We are back to our couple hours each morning of learning together and I am so happy! Pictures and more activities will follow, but for now, just know that we are glad to be back in session!