Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lines That Wiggle

Wow!  What an awesome morning.  Full load (6) here this morning and I was wondering how it was going to go because my own boys were CRAZY this morning.  (4 days before a full moon, by the way-some are effected the day before or on...usually the week of the full moon we can see a bit of "craziness" but I find that our worse day is 4 days before, for my own boys).  Anyway.  It went SO well this morning. I cut some things out this morning so we could take more time in other activities and it just was about perfect for timing!  Love days like this.  :-P

We are at the end of our High Frequency booklets so I decided to move into the We Both Read series to put in action the reading concepts I've been teaching.  That was a nice change of pace . Then we read another book called Silent Letters Loud and Clear.  I would really only read this with older kiddos.  It's very busy and introduces multiple silent letters.  I'd say K-1+ but I do think my PreK summer students had been introduced to enough about words and the english language that they did enjoy it and they "got it" when I read the "letter to the editor" without the silent letters.  They thought it sounded funny. 
The silent letter I focus on at this stage is "silent e" and the typical rule that when an e is at the end of a word, it's silent and makes the vowel long.  A long vowel "says it's name".   If you use the book Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Lesson this is a concept introduced very soon in the lessons as it's commonplace in the English language.    The activity we did in place of our moveable letters activity was from the Teachers Pay Teachers website . It's free to register so the downloadable was free also.  The children seemed to enjoy it and I liked how we could review all five of the short vowel sounds and then make a new word by adding the silent e.

And then our focus book (wow, we got in 3 books this morning!) was the awesome book I just recently came across called Lines That Wiggle.
What a neat book!  There is a blue "glitter" line that the children can feel and trace on every page.  We spent quite a bit of time just tracing the lines (which is a benefit in itself for young students as it helps reinforce that lines are straight, zigzag, curve, and so on.   Just somethign to remember is that many of the words are in cursive as it's easier to "write" the words with a continuous line when it's cursive.  Still a very good book for preschoolers though!

For our numeral formation activity we used wikki stix to make the numbers.  To help keep the activity from taking too much time we each chose two numbers to create with the wikki stix and then they created sets to go with their number.  This is one of the activities I wanted to be able to spend more time as my question to them was "Now, what can we do with our numbers?"  We came up comparing our sets by using terms more/less.  They came up with adding and subtrating their sets as well as figuring out if their numbers were odd or even.  By then it was time to move on but use your imagination.  Perhaps you can set it up so they are creating patterns with their manipulatives in their set and so on.  We used a foam mat because I thought the stix would stick to it but it doesn't.  I'd suggest a plastic tray or a laminated piece of paper.  Here's what a couple looked like.  We used pom poms, foam shapes, bears, and transportation manipulatives.  You can use anything and make it theme related, if you wish. 

We also used jump ropes today...a line that wiggles.  The two main "games" were to "cross the river" where two people holds the rope taunt as another child tries to jump the river.  Then the river gets higher and higher.  The other jumping activity we did today with jump ropes was to have the children jump the rope as I moved the rope in a circular motion.  Needs to be done on a smooth/flat surface and with someone who doesn't get dizzy!  LOL  We ended up doing it on the cement pad of our driveway...with me sitting on the ground and switching hands to circulate the rope all the way around.  :-P  Got all the kids involved by counting loudly.  :-) 

We created yarn art.  The process was amazing. 

I placed many balls of yarn on trays with the thought that this would be perfect for practicing our manners and patience and it worked out just like that.  We talked about how it could be a design or could be an actual picture.  We had other basic coloring supplies available also.  Then the children thought for a few minutes and started to work with the yarn to get an idea of what they wanted.  Then they glued.  Most of the end products were completely different then the first layout but that's fine.  However, with my preschool students I'd let them start gluing and adding to their picture as they go along.  It was definitely the process that was the benefit in this art project.  I took pictures of the work before the glue was dried to remind me to remind you all that using a liquid glue bottle (without the tap and glue caps) works on hand strengthening and control.    I was going to do glitter glue line art but that is very close to the activity that we WERE going to do in accordance to the book The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle...but then went and forgot to pick it up at the library yesterday as planned.  Oh well...we can do that one another day.  :-)  The top two pictures ended up as designs.  One child actually had a unicorn on hers in her initial work and then turned it into a design because she was "done".  The other planned a design from the beginning.  The bottom left is a pond, with fog and stars.  The bottom right in a TV.  This child had another picture also but the glue was frustrating him and he was "giving up".  Because I know this child well I encouraged him to continue and put something on his paper.  You do what you feel is needed with your own children, if in a similar situation.

Another activity we did today was "build a sentence".  As soon as I got the board and the index cards out they were all excited.  We did this before with the Rabbit Stew book. 
The blue words "The line wiggled." was the sentence we started out with and then the children added more words to make a longer sentence.  Please allow time for silliness and switching the words around.  They sure get a kick out of it!  The activity I added to it was putting numbers under the words and providing dice to roll.  The children rolled the diced, used a pointer to point to that word and tell us what it was.  I will definitely do this activity again.  It definitely helps with word awareness and the dice work (counting dots, learning what each number looks like with dots, and learning to start with the biggest amount of dots and then adding the smaller number of dots all will be a benefit).

For our letter formation activity we did a very simple activity that was very helpful.  I reviewed the magic C move.  I'm always reminding them to start at the top right when forming circles because it leads into so many other letters and numbers . The "magic c" comes from Handwriting Without Tears.  I made a simple table for them to practice their magic c capital letters.  Check out this one!
That last G!  WOW!  "Practice makes perfect."  :-D  I doubt that she'll do every magic c letter as beautiful as that one but she was so proud and that definitely boosted her confidence.

A lovely morning indeed...hope you all had one also!

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