Saturday, February 11, 2012

T is for Trees

We've really enjoyed our week doing so many different activities around trees and seasons!
  A new take on a circle collage!  Love it!  K. was much more into doing a collage with this tree in mind than if I just gave her paper background and the circles for a "free" collage.   Been tempted to do this project myself.  Really what I want to do is the 4 seasons with circle trees and maybe a black border around them all.  But since we still have one 4 seasons project in the works...and I can't find my circle cutter at the moment...we'll do it another time!

Here's a child who has "perimeter" and "magic c formation" engrained in her mind.  :-P  And another comment...those "tap and glue" caps for glue bottles really do not benefit a child.  They don't learn to control liquid glue as a child who uses a normal liquid glue cap.  That's all they used in my boys' K class.  I wasn't all that impressed.  :-D   Yes, less mess/waste but really...not as beneficial (and usually more frustration!).  Use them on occasion if you must but please use regular caps as much as possible.

Four Seasons of the Year
At calendar time we reviewed the four seasons and are learning a new song. To listen to this Four Seasons song:    Simple to remember the two verses and we are beginning to learn it in sign language.  So far we have introduced the words: four, seasons, Autumn, Winter, Spring and Fall.   

We did use this as a sorting activity also.  These trees can be found at...hmmm.  Well, the website address at the bottom of the printable says  But that address "can't be found" for some odd reason.  ???  I thought it was a recent save on my part but perhaps it wasn't.  Anyway...can't find this printable on any of the general google searches either.  So if someone knows where we can find this...please let me know and I'll continue to search for it also.  It's a very nice seasonal sorting activity.  My other thought was it was a link from TeachersPayTeachers.  But searched through there and didn't find it either.  Hmmm.

Back to the topic...we did review the months, as usual, but this time I led them to see that there are, in general, three months to every season.  The Months of the Year printable (Montessori for Everyone) has lovely realistic pictures that go right along with seasonal talk.  :-D

Word Family Trees
In our course of talking about trees we remembered that fruit grows on trees.  :-)  So, to help extend their thinking beyond just apple trees...we looked at various fruit trees in a magazine.  Then did this very simple activity using pears vs. apples.  I chose 5 trees/word family chunks because I wanted to reinforce short vowel sounds.  The pears each have a picture of a word that end in the family chunk.  She was able to check her work by seeing if the other words in the tree rhymed with the one she was placing there.  Good practice for rhyming!

Ten Frame
Apple Tree Recording Sheet:
And why haven't I've used ten frames consistently before?  I don't know.  But I will from now on!  These are often used in the K/1 class here in town.  Another way to give children a visual representation of a number.  Lately, I've really encouraged K. to "not count" the dice when we are doing an activity that utilizes dice.  She's done really good with longer has to take the time to count those itty bitty dots.  So today I introduced the 10 Frame to her.  And how I did it was through the "Flash" method.  Flashed a card, 3 seconds only, and encouraged her to make what she saw on her 10 frame.  Then she compared her frame with the flash card and recorded that she did that number.  She enjoyed this and, surprisingly, she was able to leave her dots on her frame and just change them to make the new frame, which I didn't expect her to be able to do right away.  I expected that she'd have to clear off her board and start new.  Awesome!  She immediately began to tell me that a number was "1 more than 5" or "almost to 10".  I didn't expect her to do that right away either!  When I flashed the 10 dots she said, "two five rows" and held up one hand and then the other "5+5=10".  Seriously!  I was impressed!  We will definitely be doing more 10 frame work.  Actually- next week I have something planned for that to go along with I is for icecream.

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