Monday, April 21, 2008


Just to update things, I will be posting a lesson for this week, but probably not until Wednesday. We are spending all day tomorrow at the zoo, and then on Thursday we'll be doing a review of all the letters/numbers/shapes/colors/concepts we've learned so far (since we will only be having sit down school one day this week). I'm also going to use this week to attempt to plan further in advance....we'll see.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A great link

This is another blog, and it has some great stuff in general, but these free downloads (there are more than just the veggie cards) are GREAT!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Letter F

Fractions: 1/2 using fraction circles
Counting, recognizing numbers, and number correspondence

On top of, underneath: using blocks (put the red one on top of the blue one; now the blue one is underneath the red one)

The Farmer in the Dell
Old McDonald Had a Farm

Growing Flowers (Fingerplay)
Little flowers in the ground (wiggle fingers on the floor),
Watch the wind blow you round and round (move fingers in circular motion)
Grow up to the sky so tall (wiggle fingers slowly upward),
If I don't water you, you will fall (quickly move fingers back to ground).

Flowers: basic flower parts, and what flowers need to grow;
Plant some flower seeds.
File Folder game labeling the basic parts (stem, leaf, roots, petals)

Social Studies:
Life on the Farm and a trip to the Farmer's Market;
Visit a farm

Game: Printout of a barn and printouts of several animals (both farm animals and non-farm animals), have child match all the animals that belong with the barn.

Smells and touching the animals at the farm; Smells at the Farmer's martket;

The Rainbow Fish
I want to be a Firefighter

Flag (create your own)
Trace childs hand onto yellow construction paper, twice each hand. Have student cut out hands. Take round black circle from construction paper and glue all hands to back of (this is the center of the sunflower) finish by adding a green stem.
Use a cutout of a sheep and glue onto a paper plate. Spread glue onto the sheep's body and let the children put on the "wool" using dry oatmeal.
Milk Carton Barns

Dramatic Play:
Play with farm (little people farm house) and farm magnets (Melissa and Doug Farm Magnets in a Box is what I have).
Firefighters (dress up and pretend to be fireman rushing to an emergency in the truck with the siren going, put out the fire) and of course play with firetrucks!

Fine Motor:
Accordion Folding

Gross motor:
Tossing a football
Tossing a frisbee

Flower shaped sugar cookies

Shape: Oval

Monday, April 7, 2008

Twister! and why EVERY home should have this game

Twister is such an EXCELLENT learning tool!

You can use it to teach colors (blue, red, green, yellow).

It teaches right and left!

It teaches body parts--hand and foot anyway. (this is the way in which we'll be using it with my toddler this week).

You can tape letters/numbers onto the dots and then call things like "Put your left foot on a red R."

You can use it to teach ordinals. "Put your right hand on the third blue dot."

You can use it to teach addition/multiplication, tape the numbers into place. Spin the spinner twice. Have child do the math operation. "Add your left foot and your right hand."

You can use it for geography! Tape the names of states, countries, capitals, continents, etc to the dots. Spin the spinner. Have the child name the capital of the state/country they are on, have them identify the bordering countries, or bodies of water, etc.

Don't let your own imagination stop here! I'm telling you Twister can be used for just about anything!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Our Schedule

We do school 2 mornings a week, for 2 1/2 hours each time. I thought some of you might like to see exactly how I schedule that time.

9-9:10--Free Time
9:10-9:30--Circle Time
Finger Play/Felt Board Rhyme
Active Activity (Parachute Play, Obstacle Course, Musical Instruments)
Weather Watcher
Material Preview (what's on board for today??)
9:30-9:45--Learning Time
9:45-10--Arts and Crafts
10-10:15—Block/Building play
10:30-10:45--Math/Fine Motor
10-45-11--Concept/Gross Motor
11-11:15--Sensory Activity/Dramatic Play
11:15-11:20--Learning Time (review)
11:25-11:30--Free Time

"Material Preview"--I have a chalkboard where I put the letter we are working on, as well as draw pictures (with my limited ability) of things that begin with that letter. I also put up the shape we are working on. And anything else that comes to mind that works up there.

"Learning Time"--We focus on the letter of the week on the chalkboard, writing it with his finger, then erasing it with both a dry and a wet cloth (small piece of tissue paper, and a small piece of cut sponge).

"Weather Watcher"--One of the kids goes to the window and looks out and the others ask questions: "Is it sunny??" "Is it rainy??" etc. until we've decided what the weather is.

Sometimes the free time doesn't happen because our activities run longer than the time allotted for them...and all times are approximate! :-) I TRY to keep on schedule because I try to pack our time full of FUN FUN learning activity, but sometimes he gets very into the activity and it extends. Usually though, something else will be shorter than I planned and it all works out.

That's the dish.

Letter B


Finger Paint Balloons! Fill paint cups with 5 different colors of paint. Have child dip one finger in each color and use them to make ballloons on white paper. After paint has dried, add lines (ribbons) to the balloons.

Binoculars: Use empty toilet paper (or paper towel if you have them, we don't use paper towels in our home so I'll use tp) rolls. Glue the rolls together. Punch holes in the outside of the rolls on one end to tie a string around. Decorate the rolls.

Bird feeder: Use peanut butter spread on tp rolls or pine cones rolled in birdseed. Hang outside.

Fingerbugs: using ink pads make finger bugs on paper; give them antennae and legs.

Bubble painting! Best used as an outside activity probably. Mix paint and bubble solution. Lay out a large piece of paper (you could put it inside a box if doing it inside). Dip the bubble wand into the mixture, and blow bubbles onto the paper. When they pop they leave different colored bubble prints.

Glue Beans onto the letter B

Social Studies:
This week we're going to work on learning parents names and possibly phone number.


Counting blueberries. Draw (or print) a picture of a pail. Draw (or print) pictures of blueberries, number the blueberries according to how many you are learning to count (or which numerals you are learning to recognize). Make a blueberry bush, and have the blueberries "growing" on the bush. Give the child a number: "Pick 6 blueberries" and have them add the correct number of blueberries to their pail. Glue/tape them into the pail.

Numberal recognition: I put the numbers on an index card, along with stickers for the appropriate numbers. I show a card, and he jumps the appropriate number of times after telling me what number is on the card.

Sorting buttons

Below: we do this with stickers in the number book: Put the stickers BELOW the number. Then we'll move to ABOVE, and beside.

Review number book, add a number if the child is ready.

Shape: Review of Square and Triangle and Circle. Will sort the buttons into categories by these shapes.

Little Boy Blue
Blueberries for Sal


Same and different (I have some worksheets that go along with this). Also, point out how things are the same, and different. Example: Blue beanbag and red beanbag. They are both square (same) but they are different colors.

Colors: Play twister! If your child is ready to learn left/right this is a great game for that as well. We'll just be playing it with a "put ANY foot/hand on..." whatever color way to reinforce the colors red, yellow, green and blue. I'm going to make an entire post dedicated to the ways you can teach with Twister!

Dramatic Play:
take care of babies (give the baby dolls a bath, dress them, feed them, etc)

Building/Block Play:
Just with regular blocks this week (last week we used castle blocks to build castles for the king!)

Fine motor:

Lacing beads. lace large wooden/plastic beads onto a string.
Lacing the Letter B
moving beans from one bowl to another using small tongs (from a bug kits I got a $Tree).


Beans! playing in beans is suprisingly relaxing. My big kids still love to do this. We'll put cars in there too and run them around.

Birds. We are lucky enough to have a birds nest right on our front porch. We'll continue to observe her as she sits on her nest (which we can't see into, but are assuming there are eggs in). We'll talk about how all birds are similar (all have wings and a beak) and how they are different (not all birds can fly). We'll look at pictures of birds, and listen to some bird calls (I have a friend who has a CD set of bird calls from all over the world).

Gross Motor:

Bounce balls
balance bean bags on your head
walk on a balance beam
Bowling (we have a small set great for inside), but you could make a set really easy with empty water bottles (or on a larger scale 2 liter bottles).
Walking backwards

Nursery Rhyme:
Baa Baa Black Sheep and/or Little Boy Blue

Bubbles (tune: twinkle twinkle)
Bubbles floating all around (pretend to catch the bubbles)
Bubbles fat and bubbles round (make a big circle with arms)
Bubbles on my toes and nose (point to toes and nose)
Blow a bubble...up it goes! (pretend to blow bubbles; point up)
bubbles floating all around (pretend to catch the bubbles)
Bub...bles to...the...ground (sing slowly and sink to the ground)

Little Bunny Foo Foo (this is only the first two verses, google if you want more)

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head
Down came the good fairy and she said
"Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head.
I'll give you three chances,
And if you don't behave
I'll turn you into a goon!"

Have a Band!


banana splits!
blueberry banana bread
make your own butter (easy...whipping cream and a touch of salt in a glass jar and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE)
Make brown cows (root bear floats)

Toddler Time:
Life Skills: filling and emptying
Art: finger paint
Color: Colors Book
Vocabulary building: The colors book that I have is a great vocabulary book. It has great pictures and we'll be talking about and naming all of the objects in it.
Fine Motor: Stacking blocks
Song: Little Bunny Foo Foo
Spanish: Music CD
Outside Play: Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles
Sign Language: Ball and Bath
Gross Motor: Bowling and blowing

Materials Needed:
Paint (in 5 different colors)
Paint cups
White paper
Empty Toilet Paper/paper towel tubes
Peanut Butter
Plastic knife
Ink pads
bubble solution (or make your own)
beans (you can buy a wide selection for very little money)
lacing beads/letters
small tongs
bowls (for sorting)--I actually use empty plastic fruit cups (they are a great size) or yogurt cups
pictures of birds
bowling set
pictures of birds
baby doll
small wash cloth
bowl of water
baby doll clothes
baby doll food
building blocks
musical instruments
ingredients for whatever snacks you choose