Friday, November 2, 2012

Collecting Leaves

Lesson adapted from The Mailbox, Exploring Nature with Your Kids

We may not have the beautiful Autumn colors here in South Texas, but we can still collect and study leaves this time of year. We gathered leaves from trees as well as other plants and shrubs to give the collection diversity. We couldn't talk about color but discussed size, shape, softness and counted.

Then Madelyn showed her book to her sister after she woke up from her nap.

Beginning Sounds

Wow! Madelyn has been amazing me lately. I often create items anticipating that she will eventually be ready for them. When I finally introduce something and she nails it, it confirms what little sponges they are.

Here's a sheet from The Mailbox magazine. I cut small foam rectangles and mounted foam letters to it. She does wonderfully handling these types of pieces and placing them on the pictures. I like it more than just another paper with the written letter.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Storing & Organizing Letters

Once again I found a great little item at the Dollar Tree. This was a 10 pack of the cutest little boxes found next to the other 'Tupperware' items. What on earth could you put in this tiny box? A single serving of peanuts I guess. Well, they're perfect for all the letters I buy. Now when I need a particular letter I know exactly where to find it!

Number Order Turkey

Ok, here's what I came up with to lead in to November. I copied the turkey from a Mailbox book onto brown construction paper. It wasn't as thick as I'd like so I glued it to thick card-stock. The clothes pins are from Walmart. I buy the cheapest ones, which is a better deal than the Dollar Tree. However they don't always stay together so my husband, the brilliant man he is, suggested a dab of glue on each side of the metal pin to keep it in place. It's working well so far!

I wanted a pattern to the colors to help Madelyn see the order of the numbers. It makes sense to me... We shall see once I introduce it to her.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Matching Numbers

I love the Dollar Tree!

Here are magnetic numbers (we usually use on a cookie sheet tray) paired with a frog/ lilly pad set. I printed and taped numbers on the frogs, then used a sharpie to write dots on a corresponding lilly pad.

Madelyn can use this several ways. She can count to ten with me very well. Mostly she needs to work on recognition of the written number.

If I were really on top of things I would have an activity that was Fall themed. Maybe next time...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bat activity-

Working on letters & sounds

Here's a list of things we used in the lesson:
  • Stellaluna, by, Janell Cannon
  • Brown construction paper 
  • Letters B A T
  • Glue
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Pre-cut bats- I let Madelyn cut parts, then help her

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Word Family Manipulative

Even though my little one isn't yet reading, I am already getting ready for it and being creative with ideas I've gathered. I've seen so many cute ideas with toilet paper rolls, both twisting and sliding word family manipulatives. But nothing I saw had simple sentence strips attached to it. So here's my version. One thing I will do differently next time is not use paper clips while waiting for the glue to dry. They rub off too easily onto the white paper.

Button Snake

I love the idea of a quite manipulative, that's super easy, very inexpensive! Here's were I got my inspiration. I can't wait to make more of the great thing from this site.

As I watched my 2 & a half yr old play with it the morning I finally got around to creating it I noticed she referred to the colors as I had taught her- "yellow like the sun". I am now inspired to create themed items to keep in separate zip-loc bags:

Book/ Story themes

The story themed set could also be used as dramatic play on a felt lap board or as we are reading.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall crafts

I had not intended on using this blog to post my crafts & home decor, but I just have to share. I've been SO inspired by Pinterest!

Letter recognition

We've been working onletter recognition, mostly A, B, E & M. It just seemed that these letters were ones that came naturally to her. She watches the Sesame Street DVDs so often I would be shocked if she didn't reiterate what she heard. E for Elmo and C for cookie...

I saw a picture on Pinterest of coins glued to craft sticks & I thought it be fun to do this with letters. I used all Dollar Tree items, and I already had everything I needed: foam alphabet stickers, craft sticks, card stock (index cards work too) and a hot glue gun.

Potty Training Ups and Downs

This month my oldest is officially two and a half. If you had asked me a month ago how potty training was going I would have told you 'GREAT, we are 80% there!' But now we are 100% back in diaper and she doesn't even want to go near the toilet.

What happened? I'm so frustrated... I feel I was off to such a good start. I won't give up. I know she will do it in her own time.

Here's a picture of her bathroom with all the items my research revealed:
1. potty seat- just her size to keep her from falling in and padded to keep her hinny-bo-bo from getting sore when we wait there forever
2. potty books- I buy every book I find on the subject to reinforce the concept
3. small (frog) potty- this can be moved into the other room or taken with us when we leave the house
4. potty chart & stickers- most charts were only numbered to 20 or 30 but I wanted to go all out. Besides it gives her exposure to the 'big' numbers
5. stool- for washing her hands after doing her business

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Making Pizza

Yesterday we counted while we made pizza.

Today we took a couple of worksheets on classifying and turned them into a pocket folder manipulative that can be used over again and again.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

9 Skills to Know Before Kindergarden

I'm not sure how some people keep up with giving credit to their source.s- I'll do my best at siting where I get information or ideas, but I can see it getting a bit rediculous. When you site a source (from Pinterest) that is linked to a blog, who seemed to repost another womans blog... how does that work? I'm just glad this isn't Freshman Comp where I'd get an F for my Works Sited.

Here's an idea I had to use foam letters on craft sticks as pointers. I simply mounted them to the back side of index cards, cut them out, then hot glued each letter to a craft stick.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Math with Our Snack

I've been reading so much about the Daily 5, and with my back ground in secondary education, there's a lot for me to learn. One teacher blogged about wanting to turn the concept of the Daily 5 into a math program for her classroom. I thought this is a great way for me to structure Madelyn's play time and even her snack time.

I pasted frogs (from Dollar Tree) onto a sheet of construction paper. I thought I could slip it into a page protector to keep it clean, but I forgot construction paper is not 8 1/2 X 11. So, It already has finger prints. Next time I'll remember to trim it down first. Anyway, once I numbered each frog, 1-3 on the front and 4-6 on the back, Madelyn and I counted as we 'fed' the frogs Teddy Grams.

I tried another math game later in the day to see if she could do some matching. I used store bought cards and a die that I had from my classroom. She did what a typical 2 yr. old would do. She looked at me for cues as to whether her guesses were correct. Her favorite part of the game was tossing the die in the air. That's when we moved on to bowling.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Blogging Journey Begins

Today I begin my journey as a blogger. I never thought I would be one to blog. I thought it was for women with too much time on their hands or who had nothing better to do. I for one ALWAYS have housework to do. Then I discovered Pinterest and searched for activities to do with my toddler. I began reading blogs for the first time. I cried as I read one woman's blog to her Mother and was inspired to really start potty training my two year old. I read about teachers sharing their ideas, opening up thier classrooms and giving hope to secondary teachers turned stay-at-home moms like me.

In the beginning, I wanted to simply share with my family the daily activities and crafts I do with my kiddos. I'm not a writer and I don't exactly enjoy it, but throwing few sentences between pictures is pretty easy, right? Well, the more blogs I read and the more I searched, the more I realized that I have a lot to share with other educators. Just because I'm not in the classroom teaching right now doesn't mean I don't think about it. Actually, I miss teaching tremendously, but I'd rather be with my own kiddos until they're school. So for now this will be my outlet. I will share my crafts and ideas with anyone interested in reading about them. And I will continue organizing my thoughts and lessons ideas for when I'm back in the classroom.

I'm still trying to figure out all that I'm able to do blogging from my phone. I really would like my posts to be works in progress in categories, but we'll see. I don't think that the pictures are between paragraphs. I looks as if they are at the bottom of the post. So much for that idea...