Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday K-Readiness

Theme Book: We read the book The Ants Go Marching illustrated by Jeffrey Scherer.  I had a hard time choosing this morning out of these three books...but ended up with The Ants as we were doing a number rhyming activity for our phonological awareness and I could use "ant" to reinforce the short a sound.

Phonological Awareness:  I had mentioned this activity in a previous blog but could not find a picture of it.  It's actually kind of hard to get a good picture. One makes raindrops (foam or laminated paper) with whatever basic concept you wish to review.  Child stands with the umbrella upside down and the raindrops inside.  All of us sing "Rain, Rain Go Away" and at the end of the song the child flips the umbrella so the raindrops all come falling out.  When I first created this activity I used number raindrops and we ordered them.  The more raindrops inside the umbrella the more of the "effect" of it raining.  The children love it.  Today I used raindrops with the numbers 0-10 and then a corresponding rhyming picture for each number.  So 0-hero, 1-sun, 2-shoe, 3-tree and so on.  
I do like the foam rain drops as they are softer and more durable!  We used those rain drops during large motor.

Large Motor: Puddle Jumping.  Another hard one to get a picture of!
I used foam again.  A. set them out on the floor and after we ordered the raindrops from 0-10, we put some of them upside down on the foam puddles.  Then a child would jump over a puddle and flip the rain drop over, telling us what number it is.  Then they'd "run laps" around our 'circle' (talked about that before).  Wow, they were tired!  :-)  Good for them!  C. has an energy problem that most likely correlates with his allergies so we made an exception and as long as he was walking while the others were moving then that was okay.  Sometimes they galloped, walked like a detective, tried rolling but that didn't work very well and so on.  When they knew it was their turn they'd take a flying jump over a puddle as they came back from their last lap.  FYI, if you are allowing your child to run on noncarpeted floor I suggest skid socks or no socks.  :-) 

Moveable Letters:  We reviewed short vowel sounds, a-e-i-o and u  I sorted the pictures, vowels, and consonants in separate containers.  The child put the pictures on his page, then matched the vowel sound and finally added the beginning and ending sound.  We also reinforced "reading" the word by using the dot and arrow method (Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons).    This is a great way to provide a visual for sounding out and reinforcing that we go from left to right. 
Thought we'd move onto a few blends but I think I'll do another few days of vowels.  :-)  I'll be mixing up some of the vowels, not all five but 2 or maybe 3 of them.  I'm taking the route of some Montessori thinking of the pink/blue/green series.  I really don't think we'll get into green but my goal is that, the one child in specific, will have the pink (cvc-short vowels) down pat and green (blends-short vowels) down pretty good.  We'll probably stick in the silent e rule also as it's often used in beginning reading.

Not sure if you all do DVD's or not.  We don't have television but I do allow DVD's on occasion and computer games...all leaning toward educational.  One of my favorite is Word World and I've mentioned it in the past.  One thing I like about it is that the segments are only about 10-12 minutes.  I'm not big in allowing a lot of "screen time".  But this is one we made time for today.  It goes a little longer then Word World segments but very educational.  It's called The Talking Word Factory by LeapFrog.  Actually I like most of the LeapFrog DVD's...Letter Factory, Math Circus, Numbers Ahoy, and so on.  All very educational...just runs longer then I really would want them too.  :-)
This one in particular talks about the short vowels and how they "stick the words together".  And it also introduces blends.

Art:  Still working on our color mixing.  We'll do a couple more "longer" sessions so we can get the book completed.  Today was blue+yellow=green. 
Doesn't that one on the bottom right remind you a big of Vincent van Gogh's work? Must be the colors.  Need a bit more and we got a "Starry Night" going on.  :-)

If you've been following along you probably have noticed that with each color mixing exploration, we use different brushes.  Today we used our tactile brushes.  Remember you can make your own!  You don't have to purchase them.  Just fasten whatever you want to paint with to a craft stick or clothespin  :-)

Wacky Painting Tools

Scissors:   Wanted to incorporate rain/rainbow with short vowels so this is what we came up with. 
Can't see it in the picture but they wrote the letters a-e-i-o-u on the raindrops and on the other side drew a picture (my preK student had help from an 8 yr old...with my preschoolers I'll have pictures available for them to choose from if I every do this activity with them) of a word that had that short vowel sound.  You can see the ripples so can probably tell these are just half of paper plate.

Letter Formation:  On the same note as above...we created Rainbow R's on one side of a piece of card stock and for fun made a watercolor rainbow on the back. 
And T. decided not to nap...think he knows he's "missing out".  Guess that's fine as it'll get him ready for this fall.  Thank goodness for washable markers!  However, we can see all the scratches in the top of the high chair now.  He was saying "urple, urple, urple!" so that makes it all worth it!

Number Formation:  Number Bingo!  :-)  They were provided umbrella pages which A. used crayon to trace around and create a pattern so we could reinforce patterning.  Then the children wrote the numbers 0-15 randomly in their umbrellas.  Side note:  If you have a child that finds writing a challenge then create larger umbrellas!  :-P  At five they are starting to write smaller but for those children who do not have great control, they need a larger space to write.  
Of course, the Skittles were their favorite part of it all.  :-)  I found out one child didn't know what "4 in a row" meant so you should probably clarify what you mean before you get started by putting 4 items in a row.  A good time to reinforce some vocab!  Horizontal, vertical and diagonal. 

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