Thursday, September 27, 2012

We All Fall - Word Family

I know everyone has certain book your kid(s) insist you read over and over and over...until they remind you when you accidentally skip a page (and by accidentally I mean let's get this book over).  Our latest book like that is We All Fall for Apples.  Since they love this book, even the Wee One has it memorized, I took the word family -all and made an activity.

I cut out a tree and some fall leaves to put on the tree.  In the middle of the tree I wrote -all and asked them to think of words that had -all in them.  When they found one, I wrote it and they glued it on.  When it was finished, I put the tree on our wall for reference.

Then, on the shelf was the materials to make their own tree. 

Ladybug is writing her -all words.
I hung up their trees for our -all family wall.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Other Than The Kids

I have interests outside of my children.  No really I do.  My husband and I like to remodel, but like most things it never fully gets finished.  There is still a piece of tile that needs to be grouted in the kid bath and that was finished 3 years ago.  It's those little things that we will do tomorrow, but I can say that this project is finished.  Really finished.



As Ladybug would say, "Are you proud of yourself mommy?"  Yes, yes I am.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Love Birds - Canvas

I feel like I am a crafty DIY person, but I am a lot better in my head.  Ask my family and they will tell you that I think I can build furniture, paint pictures, landscape, and make clothes.  Then ask them what I really can do.  Vastly different.  My lofty ideas usually take more effort and more money to create than paying somebody else to do it for me.  So, when this only took me two tries I had to share it.

It's a 10x10 canvas from Michaels and since they never have coupons (like Kohl's never has a sale), it was around $7.00.  I painted the canvas using leftover paint from the walls and I first attempted to cover it with pretty paper.  Modpodge and I battled a few times and clearly I wasn't the winner.  The "love" is from the Cricut on 4".  The birds are hand cut from clip art on white paper with a hint of a pattern.  The branch is drawn and hand cut from the webs.  Finally the leaves were cut from silver paper to add some shine.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Down Came an Apple

Yesterday, I wrote about the apple subtraction rhyme we have been singing and now the activity.

We started off my sitting on the rug and each person had a chance to shake some apples off the tree.  We talked about how many apples we had, how many fell off, and how many were left.  I like to think of it as a verbal word problem and for many kids word problems are a big thumbs down.

On the shelf was the same kind of activity, but in written as a word problem.

___ red apples handing in the tree
Looking red and delicious as can be!
I shook that tree as hard as I could
Down came ____ apple(s)
Mmm it was good.

How many apples are left in the tree?

Ladybug adding the apples to her tree.
Ladybug giving the apple tree a shake.
This is a self-checking activity with the correct answer on the back.  I hope it was a stress free introduction to word problems.  Happy apple shaking and subtracting.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Apple Investigation

I can't believe this month is almost finished and I feel like we have so much to do!  Tomorrow is the last day of summer and it's time for all things fall.  Like every year, we will be going to the apple orchard to pick apples for apple butter, apple pies, apple eating, and what ever else we can make.  As a preview to our annual apple picking I read the book Life On An Apple Orchard.  It's pretty long, so I picked out the most important and interesting parts on each page.  

After we read, we did some movement with 5 Little Apples, but I changed to the words in preparation for a subtraction activity.  

Five red apples hanging in the tree (Hold up 5 fingers)
Red and delicious as can be (Rub tummy)
(Name) shook that tree as hard as she/he could (Shake the tree)
Down came one apple (Apple falling)
Mmm it was good (Take a bite)

They were ready to refocus and sit after our song, so we cut open an apple for investigating.  As they looked at the apple, we talked about each part and made chart as reference for their work.  

I didn't plan on including the core, but Ladybug noticed that the middle of the apple looked different from the rest of the apple.

Parts of an Apple was available on the shelf along with the cut apple and magnifying glass.

Being a good scientist - It's hard not to just take a lick.
I realize that this activity isn't original, but it's fun and easy to expand on the original idea.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Acorn Transfer

Easy, peasy activity and if I was really on it I would have picked up acorns outside.  The Wee One really liked these sparkly acorns, so here they are.

The Wee One used wooden salad tongs to transfer the acorns from apple dish to apple dish.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A is for Activities

Mean what you say and say what you mean.  I am not sure how many times that phrase has passed through my lips and now I can't help think, do as I say not as I do.  Just a few days ago I said that I wasn't going to put together many activities for Mister and Ladybug and I lied.  


Mister and Ladybug can self check by looking on the back of the apple.


Word families - Dot all the word families that belong together
Mister and Ladybug color the apples and cut it apart to make a book
Pages 3 and 4 of their apple book.
Practical Life

You may be thinking this doesn't look like a lot, but there is more to come and I have the Wee One's activities too.  Sometimes it just all comes together...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two Little Apples Hanging From Our Tree

The neat thing about doing a theme two years in a row is watching kids grow in their learning.  I have been able to see what they remembered and how much more they are learning this time around.  And let's be honest, it's also nice to have a lot of materials ready too.

As a baseline for their knowledge, I presented them with 4 apples.  I asked them to tell everything they knew  about the apples.  I put all their ideas inside the apple.  The Wee One took no part in this and told me, "NO!"

After we gathered their ides, we read Apples Here and added to our knowledge.  I put all the things we learned on the outside of the apple.

By this point they were all ready to "just get started" with painting.  They stuffed a brown paper bag, put a leaf on a string, tied it around to make a stem and painted.  After Mister and Ladybug (the Wee One told me, "NO!") finished we hung them in the tree.  Now, we have our very own apple tree.

My husband came home and home and asked me why there acorns in the tree.  Sigh.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Hope I Didn't Miss It

The Wee One has always been interested in numbers, shapes, and counting, but letter haven't been on her radar until about a month ago.  She started asking me to tell her the names of all the letters she saw and I complied, but with a busy last month of summer I put off putting together any real activities.  Now, I am hoping that I didn't miss the critical timing for her interest in literacy.  Then again, I am not sure I would trade our last month hurrah anyway.

To kick off the our month I introduced the sensory bin, as usual, and brought back homemade play dough.

Apple cookies, apple pie, and apple muffins
While Mister and Ladybug were at school, I took opportunity to formally introduce the letter Aa. I started off by showing her the miniatures and we named each one.  Next, I showed her the sand paper letter and made the short a sound.  After she repeated the sound a few times we looked at pictures of the miniatures and matched them.

By this time she was ready to do some actual work, so I gave her a new alphabet notebook - the same I used with Mister and Ladybug.

Mister's Alphabet Book from when he was 2-3.
I apologize for the blurry image.  The camera battery went dead right after I took this shot and my dear husband blew up my camera trying to fix it with his man tools.  I am at the mercy of any camera that I can find in the house.

The Wee One pasting her pictures.  You may notice the scissors and she did help me cut out the Aa.

Friday, September 7, 2012

September - A is for Apple

  • Yellow lentils
  • Apples
  • Pom-poms
  • Safari LTD squirrel
  • Apple bag
  • Tongs (used as a crow by Mister and Ladybug)
  • Leaves
  • Letter a's
  • Scarecrows
  • Acorns
  • Spoon
  • Fork

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September - Change All Around

There was an eruption of clapping and cheering from the backstreet of the hip minivan when I announced Mister and Ladybug would be returning to school on Wednesday.  I witnessed fist pumps and air high fives from my rear view mirror and I cried.  Actually, I lie because there were no tears but an eruption, albeit smaller, from the front of the van too.

I remember when parents used to skip their children to my door of my classroom on the first day of school and I knew they were excited, but I really didn't know how excited until I became that mom.  See, it's not that I don't love my kids and want them home with me, but they LOVE preschool.  Now they get to love it three times a week.

What does the mean for me and this blog?  Well, I am going to take a few steps back and focus on the Wee One.  To kick of her learning we will be starting letters and a fall theme.  I know, I know it's not creative, but it's fun an easy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Desert - Part 2

Remember when you were a kid and an hour felt like forever and summer dragged on?  By August I couldn't wait to get back to school and I am sure that's  how my kids have been feeling.  They have been lamenting that they NEVER get to play in the snow and they NEVER get to have hot chocolate.  Really, because I feel like we just finished winter.  This summer went by so fast and it wasn't until Monday that I realized it was September.

A little late, but here are the final Desert activities on our shelf.


Cactus flower addition


-th blend matching
Science/Practical Life

The Wee One

Matching the diamonds on the diamondback rattlesnake.

And now I must wake Ladybug and Mister from a nap.  How much longer do you think I am going to get of this peaceful mid afternoon break?