Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers II

Well, today started a little differently but it all worked out.  :-)  Here are some of the activities we did today.  Maybe there will be something that can be used as a jumping board for your own kiddos!

First off, I had someone ask me whether I did the weather with the children.  I had in the past but this year we mainly talked about it informally.  But as I went through the weather tub I found what we used before and so decided to pop it up with our calendar and see how it went.  There was so much excitement from the children who were here previously.  :-)  We're doing it differently as space/time doesn't allow for us to get into it too much but we'll play it by ear.
Hmmm...it looks like my days of the week pockets are crooked :-) Didn't notice it until I took the picture.  That'll need to change!  LOL  Not that the kids care.  Anyway...it's getting cluttered here.  I won't be able to add too much more. I had a lot larger place for my calendar wall before we remodeled the kitchen and took the wall/cupboards out.  We use to have all this and a weekly nursery rhyme and it never looked too cluttered to me.  Oh well, we do what we can.  Changed the alphabet display to flowers and butterflies.  http://www.childcareland.com/ is where I got this printable. I have it so that we can remove the lower case letters.  The typical progression of themes seems to go rain...flowers...bees/bugs/insects.  So I'll be keeping this display up for a bit instead of changing it out...I think!  Below is a closer up of the weather section.  All laminated for durability and also so we can write and rewrite on the page.
Excuse the smeary look of our weather helper page.  We found out that the dry erase marker we used yesterday does NOT erase easily with even the Expo spray.  I find that the easiest way to get that smear off is to keep writing over top of it with a different brand and eventually it will come clean.  We sing a weather helper song and that child goes to the window and tells us about the weather and clips the clothespin on the weather wheel.  We put the symbol in the "actual" column and the child predicts what tomorrow is going to be like. (Must be a MI boy...he told me he thinks it's going to snow tomorrow!)  We place that symbol in the "prediction" column.  Then they give a weather message.  Since it's the end of the school year I do talk about punctuation briefly with each dictation.  Previously we did a weather graph book where we took the actual pictures and glued them onto a page for the month and then we could compare from month to month.

We had a perfect start of our week.  Goes right along with the theme!
Here is a little language activity we also did today.  I like to include these simple activities for each theme.  It makes them think!  And of course they are getting print concept reinforcement.  I use a different color for each child when I'm writing their thought.  Here's what I got to my statement, "Tell me about rain."
* It makes it muddy out.
* Flowers grow!
*  It makes leaves wet.
* It goes to ice.
* Rainbow!
*  It dropped down and get super, super wet!
*  It make plants grow.
* It gets my hair wet!
*  Kenzie had a umbrella and I get dirty on my feet.
Note:  I repeat their thought back exactly how they said it and get confirmation that I understood correctly and then I write it down exactly as they said, saying each word as I write it.

April showers bring May Flowers!
I saw this at the school yesterday.  :-)  Well, something similar.  Their's all looked the same and had no writing on it.  We turned it into a math and fine motor activity.  Children cut out their clouds and wrote the words "April" and "May" (hand over hand for the younger one).  The far left on is actually mine.  I don't normally display my work but this time I did because I wanted the additional math problem. Things we talked about
* primary colors
*  number sentence
* adding/addition
* more/less
* long/short
* couple means 2.

K. is cutting out her 9 piece rainbow puzzle.  www.kidssparkz.com
These make great scissor activities.  All the puzzle printables from this site are so bold and some are realistic pictures, which I like.  This one had a sun in the upper left hand corner and rain in the lower right hand corner with a rainbow in the center.

Hunt and Write
This was a Mailbox idea.  Well, I'll give them credit.  I've been doing things like this for a long time but I was reminded of it in a Mailbox magazine.  :-P  I placed rainbow rice in a tub and hid large magnetic letters, A-Z.  Provided a metal pan for them to put their letters on. The found a letter, put it on the pan, and wrote it on their paper.  At this point, he had already filled one side of the pan and flipped it over (nice thing about metal pans!). Since he's my oldest student I had folded his paper into rectangles to help him make his letters a wee bit smaller and more organized.  He also found all (or almost all) the letters.  The younger children had no folds and they only did it as interest kept them.  They stayed interested for quite a while though!  Consider putting shape and numbers in sensory tubs also.  If you have an older child you can do sight words or CVC words.  I did the CVC words with my own children.  Had small picture of the words in the sensory tub and they wrote the word down on their paper.

Well, that's a few of the things we did.  Enjoy! 

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