Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Perfect Nest

I've enjoyed planning around a book.  Done it in in the past but find it's easier to plan books around the themes when they are a week or two long.  But since each day of our K Readiness program is "seperate"...not connected to another...planning around a book has been pleasant.  Might be something you are interested in doing. So, today's book was The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend.  I initially had planned to start into blends with our moveable letters because the main child was flying through the short vowel sounds but when I mixed them up it was more difficult so we'll spend a bit of time mastering the vowel sounds before moving onto the new concept of blends.  Anyway...the nest in the title was going to be our jumping board...short e and a st blend at the end.  But that's fine...we just subtracted a letter and got "net".  :-)  One of our words from our CVC-short 3 set.  So for moveable letters we sorted /a/ and /e/ sound words.  I encouraged them to sort and glue first, then write the vowel in the center then figure out the beginning and ending sounds.  Went well.

To incorporate some movement, after sitting for a bit, we played Duck, Duck, Goose.  Not my favorite game but it did the trick.  The concept we incorporated was odd and even numbers.  I used a hula hoop for the "nest" (instead of having chicken soup) and used masking tape to divide the nest in half.  I also used the  masking tape to make x's for the children to sit on.  This gives them a visual of where to sit.  Before each child started into their "duck, duck, goosing" they chose an numbered egg and counted out that many craft sticks.  Then they put them in sets of two.  If there were no "odd ones out" it was an even number and they put the egg on the even side of the nest .  If it did have an odd one out then the number is "odd" and they put it on the odd side of the nest.  If a child was tagged before they got back to the other child's place then they sat on the eggs.  :-)
I don't have a picture of the "nest" that I can actually post but I'm sure you can imagine it. This picture shows how I encouraged them to organize their sticks so all the children could see what they were doing.

Our numeral formation activity incorporated seriation also.  
Ordering a set of ten will be very difficult for some preschoolers.  It all depends on how much experience they have with this type of activity.  You may wish to use a smaller set.  I glued the birds on already as we have minimal time to do the activities and the focus was numeral formation.  They ordered the nests, glued them on and then wrote the numerals.  I included the numeral words on the wings to slip is a bit more literacy and used a different color for each bird to review color recognition.  They work with color, shape and number words right from the beginning of the year in our Kindergarten.  

Our art today focused on pastel colors. 

Again, is my inspiration for this summer's art.  We are in the process of creating a book.  I plan to do something similar this fall.  It'll go a lot quicker since I run a 4 day program during the school year.  We started with mixing primary colors to make secondary colors.  Today I provided white paint with a dot of all the primary and secondary colors.  They used q-tips to make the lighter color.  I encouraged them not to mix the colors on their paper as they did with the previous color mixing paintings.  Since I had that "suggestion" they were also allowed as many pieces of extra paper to explore with after their first work was done.  They all know that about me now and all of them asked for extra to explore with today.  It ended up as fingerpaint. Good thing the colors were so light!  :-)

Our letter formation activity...N- "long line down, leapfrog up, diagonal and back up".
We reinforced the letter formation by first writing with our finger on the paper (a few times for some children), then writing it with pencil, then tracing it with liquid glue (squeezing a liquid glue bottle is very beneficial for hand strengthening and control) and then they placed the lowercase n noodles on their N using the same formation-line down, leapfrog up, etc.  If you are doing this type of activity with young preschoolers, remember their fine motor control isn't that developed...nor is their attention span so you may only wish to suggest it but don't push the children to make sure the noodles look like n's or that they are placed one right after the other.  Actually, I would say that for any child.  :-)  My students here usually take my suggestions but in the long run "it's their work".  You can tell, in the picture above, which child has strong fine motor skills and a good attention span which one doesn't.  That's a-okay!  Every child develops at their own speed.  I believe in helping children take steps from where they are vs. trying to get them all to one level.  Manipulating these small noodles takes coordination and the use of those muscles in the hand.  If your child needs a hand work out...this type of activity will do it!

Scissors today was a net of -et words.  Most of the scissors activities relate to a word family.  Today's work came from Word Family Helpers by Mailbox. 

Another activity we did today was regarding sight words.  I don't expect the children to have these memorized before the end of summer.  My goal is to introduce them so that when the teacher begins to speak about them at school it'll all click into place relatively easy.  My goal is for them to have a strong foundation to build upon once they start into formal schooling.  I had birds sticky tacked around the livingroom with 12 sight words.  Hmmm, funny thing.  They all corresponded with the sight words on the word search that Caleb was doing.  :-P  Anyway...they took the birds off the wall and flew back to Caleb. I helped them with the words and they stuck it on the wall near Caleb who then found the word in his word search.  A quick, active activity that incorporated various levels of development. 
The bird patterns were from

Hope you all are having a good week so far!

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