Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oh Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?

Iza Trapani's books.  The illustrations are always beautiful and most of the books (if not all) are a variation of a well-known children's song.  Love these!!!

Anyway... we just leaped into some activities that were related to dogs vs. something specific out of this book.  Though one child did state during our "Dog Show" numeral formation activity that this dog might have gotten the 'most adventurous' award.  :-P  Remember that much learning can take place through conversation so do encourage it.  So maybe I'll share first the Dog Show activity.  This original activity was from  I changed it a bit to work for my goal.  I'd change it a bit more before doing it again.  :-) That's the way it goes sometimes!  
You can't see it well here but here's what I did.  I erased the numbers on the ribbons and also made them smaller (I'd go even smaller if I could but that would effect the amount of space for writing the number.  Hmmmm.)  The children wrote the numbers 1-10 on the ribbons and we talked about ordinal numbers (first, second, third).  Then while the children were gluing their dogs onto their paper, A. and I cut out the ribbons.  I really wanted to keep the ribbons in order to help reinforce left to right and top to bottom.  But...without a helper, not sure I'd do it that way with another group.  Works okay when there are just a limited number of children.  Then we read the order that was provided by Kidssoup and the children pasted on their ribbons to the appropriate dogs.  Though it helped them listen and look for detail...I think next time I'll let them put the ribbons on each of the dogs on their own and then tell us why each dog got 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on.
Another activity we did today was the Number Pokey.  I used various breeds of dogs and the numbers 11-20.   We reviewed the numbers and animals, talking about each of the dogs.  Then I stated a number...if they needed a clue I'd tell them the individual numbers (ex: 15 is a one and a five) and then state the dog's breed and what it looks like as another clue.  We then sang...
Tune:  Hokey Pokey
You put the "golden retriever" in.  You take the "golden retriever" out.
You put the "golden retriever" in and and you shake it all about. 
You do the doggie pokey and you turn (and bark) yourself around.
Put the "golden retriever" back on the floor. 
Hint:  when you are leading a song like this...put yours upside down when you have used it to help you remember which ones you've done.  :-P

For art... we digressed a bit.  Strayed away from The Art Garden lessons.  I've been wanting to do that "take a line for a walk" art project.  So today it fit in well.   We took the dog for a jog.   Each child chose a crayon and sticker and I attached the sticker to the crayon with masking tape.  Ta-da!  Now it was time to take the dog for a jog.  :-P  After a period of time we stopped and then I encouraged them to paint a different color in each section. 
With these older children I've been using the large watercolor sets.  A. uses my Prang set with every color imaginable from my own art classes (requirement for elementary education) A. and L. uses a double set also but one is regular watercolor and sparkly on the bottom and the other is regular watercolor and smelly on the bottom.  They love those!  For my 4 year olds with "Ms. Amber's watercolor experience" I provide the 8 color set and with 3 year olds I often use the 4 color set.  Younger children...I tend to masking tape off colors to provide less.  I heard once ... a good rule of thumb for choices is give them as many choices as they are years old.  So a 2 year old-2 choices, a 3 year old 3 choices.  I'm not so sure about that thought...experience and expectation plays a big part in how many choices I give a child in anything.  :-) But I do feel a two year old can only handle two choices well.
Our scissors-word helper activity was A Jog for Dog.  Pretty cute!  There were other words besides -og words so reading them and deciding if they belonged on the road or not was a good activity. 
Word Family Helpers
a Mailbox publication

And for phonological awareness I did a review of uppercase-lowercase letters.  I really haven't spent a whole lot of time with this because the kiddos this summer know them pretty well.  But we don't want to fall into the "if we don't use it we lose it" rut so I'll bring it in a couple more times this summer.  A. made us a large dog for the wall.  We had dog bones in a dish for the dog but we could only give them to the dog if they were matching.  Because we had five people to do this activity and most knew their upper-lower case letters I did all the pairs.  At first we thought we'd bark if we got a match but we soon found out that with 26+26 letters, the probability of getting a match was not high.  :-)  So we started checking each others for matching letters.  We had the barking session after we were done.  Next time I'll do smaller sets of letters to match so the probability of actually getting a match is higher. 

Didn't really make a theme related H letter formation activity but the kids just thought of it as a dog house.  :-P  There were many pictures available.  They stated the picture word and told me if it started with the /h/ sound or not.  If it did they wrote H or h on the picture.  Then they glue the H pictures onto the windows in the house.  I did a larger H h practice on the back of the house at the beginning.

Listen and Do
Just wanted to make a comment about these.  We do one each session.  I pulled it out on Monday and one child said..."Oh!  The Listen and Do! I love that!" and another piped up and said "so do I!"  Well, this came as a surprise because just recently I was contemplating cutting it out of our morning.  The reason why I was doing it was because in my children's K class they did these ALL the time.  I understand the importance of listening and following directions but...anyway.  :-P  Needless to say, we'll keep it up for a bit more.  During the school year I do not do these types of activities frequently.  Our following directions and noting details are done frequently and informally in a completely different approach then this. 

Moveable Letters
I just wanted to show two pictures here.  The first one was Monday the second one was Wednesday.  Do you see a difference?
Wish I had an "end" picture of L. from Monday.  The words were all over the felt, some running into the others and so on.  Check out the right one.  Do you see what he's doing?!?!?!  He's putting a two finger space between his words.  WOW!  And the best was all without me saying a word.  During journal time I encourage them to at least write some letters on their paper.  Well, L. he doesn't like to just write letters because he knows that they aren't "right".  So we go a step further and he tells me what he wants to say and then I start at the beginning of the sentence saying each word so he can clearly hear the individual sounds.  Then he writes what he hears.  Side note: I don't correct him if he's incorrect.  Whatever he thinks and writes is fine.  Well, during journal time I've encouraged him to do the spacing between his words and very seldom do I need to remind him anymore.  He has brought that over into our moveable letter activities.  Yeah!!!

Better be all for now :-P  You probably can figure out by now that I can talk/type about my days "all day long".  Have a good one!

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