Monday, July 18, 2011

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

This "If you give _____ a ______" book is not my favorite of them all but the children enjoy it just as much as the other versions.  Seems "busier", less easy to sequence.  But that's my opinion.

So our "moveable letters" today focused on short a and short u (cat, cupcake).  We also worked with the -ake word family during and it was a nice little intro, or review for some, of the silent e and it's effect on the vowel.  We actually didn't "move" letters today.  We did more of a chant/cheer and they played along with pom poms.  Nice change of pace. 
Me:  Give me a /s/!
Them:  s!
Me:  Give me a /u/!
Them: u!
Me: Give me a /n/!
Them: n!
Me:  What does that spell?
Them: sun!

I used the dry erase board to write the letters on the board after they told me what it was.  Side note:  I eventually started inserting names at the "what does that spell?" phrase because a couple children were not able to process it fast enough so were losing out on lovely opportunities.  :-) 

Well, our large motor turned out to be much more of a work out (Hey!  The cat went to the gym for a work out!) then I expected.  I will definitely do this very simple activity again. Very easy to make it theme related.  I had made cupcakes with images from the book on them. 
Note that they have different colored muffin liners.  This is so that I can slip in some color review as well as make it easy to talk about each cupcake. We sequenced them, checked our work with the book, and then A. taped them to the carpet in a trail.  :-)  We jumped from one to another, feet together, feet out, feet together, feet out.  At first I thought that they'd be able to count as they go along and we found out that only A. could do it.  So A. counted by 3s.  C. got upset because he couldn't count by 2s and jump correctly so I finally got him (doesn't like any sort of physical activity) to at least jump it without counting.  I know he can count, I want him to do the physical stuff.  The preschoolers I encouraged to try to count by 1s but it really was too difficult.  I will do this activity again, minus the extra counting.  If you have space large enough it would be great to laminate colored shapes and leave them in a path, better yet, let your kiddos make the path and change it when they want.  I left them up for a bit here and they'd often go jumping up and down the path.  

For numeral formation...
Cupcakes, of course!
I helped most of them with the numbers and took this time to reinforce the numeral formation song we sing. As you can imagine...they loved frosting these cupcakes.

Blending sounds together: compound words
In the book the cat went looking for sea shells.  I had prepared shells with little pictures on the inside of the shell.  We put them in a bowl of sand and used a sieve to find a set.  I was going to do this with individual containers of sand and sets of shells but I ran out of time and wasn't able to go search for appropriate containers to use.  I would suggest sand buckets but couldn't do it here as we've just had to throw our last one away.  Time for new ones.  Maybe they'll go on clearance!  So decided to use one large bowl and then practice our please and thank you's as we asked another player for one of their shells to make a match for our own.  Turned out rather nice!  After today's activity, I did decide that, this fall, I will be doing more formal sifting activities.  They really enjoyed this and I could vary it in so many different ways.  Great fine motor.  Stay tuned!  :-)  Typically I just had the sifts along with the other tools but seldom did they get used.  So this way I'm sure they will...would be great for sorting activities.  Hmmm!  :-P

Art today was focused around Marc Chagall...a painter that was born in Russia, I believe.  Always good to bring in a little geography when you can.  :-)  However, he's considered---or considered himself--- a french painter.  From what I can tell was he really found his "niche" and acceptance in France.  We looked at many of his paintings and also some of his stained glass windows.  The kids all made remarks about how it wasn't "real" faces, people floating and so on.  So we talked about dreams and how many of his paintings had things in it that were "real but not really".   That was a comment from one of the children.  They didn't look real because of where they were in space or their color and so on.  I would have gone into more detail with a group of school-agers but since most of my students sometimes struggle with getting realistic pictures down on paper I just simply encouraged them to use the oil pastels and try to fill the paper with something you may see in a dream. 

Each child wrote or dictated a sentence or two about their work, as usual.  Always interesting to hear their thoughts...see it through their eyes.  Most of them had something to do with a monster.   Much better to ask them about their work then to assume you know and start making comments.  :-P  We are inspired by

Our focus formation letter today was K.
K is for kitten
Children chose their color of paper and used their finger to "write" the letter first.  Then used a pencil.  Then they chose what color ink to use for their kittens.  They stamped their K in the correct formation then went back to draw the featured, again, doing it in the correct formation.  Repetition is the way to go!

Speaking about letter formation.  My order from Handwriting Without Tears is on it's way.  Yeah!  I've always done a bit from them but never used their materials so decided to take a more formal route this fall.  I actually purchased their wooden sticks, curves, mat man, and other materials.  I'll keep you posted!


  1. Where did you get the pictures in order to sequence the events?

  2. How can I make the cupcakes with pictures from the book!?! I love yours!! -Stephanie L (