Thursday, March 15, 2012

Letter W

Short and busy week this week so getting to just one more post about our letter W week.  Weather and watermelon and other misc. W activities.  :-)
W is for Weather
Creating a picture bubble map....

Thinking about what we might see out the window during each specific type of weather and then drawing about it.

Maybe I'll just slip in here for you to notice the expression on the girl's face in this picture.  There is a sad face drawn on.  Please don't encourage your child/students to draw only "happy face" drawings.  We are never "happy" all the time.  I do understand that sometimes parents might get the wrong impression because they weren't there hearing the conversation or story that went along with it.  So I encourage you to just jot down the story and send it along with their work.  :-)  Because a child draws a sad face on their person does not mean they are not happy with being in your program or having you as a parent/aunt/uncle/teacher...whatever the case might be.  What that does tell us is that they are learning to express feelings!  In this picture, the child isn't "sad".  This picture the child is "shy", which is what the child was saying but after listening a bit more I encouraged her to use the word "scared" so that she's labeling the feeling correctly.  The adult word I would have used would have been "leery".  :-)  That hill is big, do you see?  The girl is scared to go down that big hill all by herself on the sled.  Note that she is not on the sled...but behind the sled!

Gluing on strips to make it look like we are looking out a window.
There is another "sad" picture here.  The top picture.  Her brother is now a baby (in reality he's about a year older) and "he's mad because he wants to walk by himself but I have to hold onto him because we need to share the umbrella and he's a baby!"  The middle picture are happy happy people because she was drawing about going to the park with her mom (did that over the weekend).  The bottom picture is obviously a scenery picture.  She's drawing a picture of our trees and my house and the play house.  :-D

Creating "curtains" and writing about the pictures.
Definitely takes more than one session but so worth the process!  See those sight words!  She drew the lines on the paper.  Note that they are getting smaller in between on the left curtain.  :-)  She is becoming to realize that it's a lot easier to write smaller.  This is also a sign of progressing development in writing! 
Science Experiment
A picture similar to what we did was uploaded by a user of Pinterest.  So no site to really take you too.  Was very cool!  Fill the jar partially with water and spray shaving cream on the top.  Use eye droppers top drop the colored water on the shaving cream.  Won't really do it as a "cloud/rain" experiment since there are other experiments that show it a bit better but what a very cool COLOR MIXING experiment!

Water Cycle Song
Tune: Oh My Darling
Evaporation, condensation, precipitation on my mind.
These are part of the water cycle,
and they happen all the time.
Top picture you can get at Maggie Lindner Water Cycle Lesson Plan.
The bottom picture is from
Today, we were outside and we were having off and on spring showers.  Yes, we play in the rain when given the opportunity.  :-)  And the kids were in the playscape and pretty soon I hear...Evaporation, condensation, precipitation....  Love it!  We wiggle and raise our fingers with evaporation, clap up high in the air for condensation, and wiggle and lower our fingers for precipitation; we then sign water and rotate our pointer around in a circle for cycle.  Preschoolers LOVE big words!  And it's building a great vocabulary!

I had mentioned with the weather themed math kit that I added the dots to represent touchspots to the numeral on the umbrella mats (where the umbrella are various representation of the number). 
Just before using this activity I decided that really, I want a more hands-on approach to introducing TouchPoints so I simply created number mats with circles.
I really do not plan to do more than allowing the children to become familiar with the concept of touch points as they'll be introduced (depending on the teacher) in most elementary schools.  For our spots I used foam circles, the large size was just under an inch in diameter.  The small foam circles were 1/2 inch in diameter.  Feel free to print your copy of these number mats.  I did include numbers without circles and with circles with the thought in mind that I'll eventually make a set front/back so that those with more experience can add their spots without the guide circle on their numbers.

The TouchPoint image I used as a reference for the children can be found here.

U is for Umbrella
Inspired by Country Fun Lessons.
Obviously this was something we did last week with our letter U.  Well, we started it didn't get finished.  So we finished this week.  

Rainy Day=Muddy Day
W is for Watermelon

Sewing Watermelon Seeds
 Fine Motor/Scissors
They first cut out their half oval and then used a yarn needed and black yarn to create their seeds.  The middle one was mine that I was exploring with.  I used black embroidery thread vs. yarn.  The yarn makes the seeds "pop" out but the thread makes it easier to sew.  So...explore on your own and see what works best for you. 

Watermelon Slushies
Inspired by JuJuBee Preschool
3 C. Watermelon- chunked
1 C. Raspberry Sherbet
1 C. Crushed Ice
4 tsp. Lime Juice
Blend together in a blender.
I wouldn't say these were a favorite but they were much better than I thought they would be!  The lime juice makes it taste like there is Sprite in it.  My husband says it tasted like Watermelon Jolly Ranchers.  The process of cutting up the watermelon and following a recipe and making something for a meal/snack is ALWAYS beneficial though!
We tried the melon baller today for the older children vs. cutting up strips of watermelon like we normally do.  HA!  It was good practice for rotating their wrist but yes, I did have watermelon catapulting through the kitchen and red juice on my walls and floor...but that all cleans up.  We had a good time!

Watermelon Maracas
A good ol' oldie!  Paper plate maracas.  After we cut the watermelon and half and saw how the watermelon's green rind went around the perimeter of the circle, they also painted the one side of their plate, green around the perimeter and red in the center.  We used tempera cakes so that the paint would dry quicker.  They used black crayons to draw seeds.  Fold in half and staple almost all the way around and put your chosen noise maker material out for them to put inside.  Finish stapling and shake!  They had a grand ol' time.  They even noticed how the sounds were different and so I led them to the conclusion that the more beans in the maraca the deeper the sound.

Watermelon Seed Counting
A very giving teacher has made this beautiful file folder game available to us.  You can get your copy at Kindergarten...Kindergarten.
Often, I don't actually create the file folder game out of a file folder because I don't have access to a large laminator.  So I cut out her pages, glued to colored paper and laminated on my personal laminator.  Kids loved this simple activity!
W is for Water
Animals That Live In or Like the Water

A great use of scrap paper to reinforce the shades of blue!  Children snipped at least one of each of the colors onto a tray.  
Then they used a paste spread to spread glue in a drawn in rectangle.  They placed their snipits in the glued area.  In the above picture, K. is gluing around the perimeter of her collage and is getting ready to fold the W side down.  Then they added stickers of their choice as long as the animal lived in the water or spent quite a bit of their time in water.
Water Bead Sensory Play
Cool!  I've seen these around on different blogs and could never find them in the stores.  Guess I just wasn't looking in the right spot.  So this week I went through the flower area at Meijer again and voila! I found one container.  Well, after today, we definitely need more than container so as soon as they stock up. 
We explored with putting the water gems into colored water...and yes, they do absorb the colors.  Makes it really neat!  So my own boys have tomorrow off of school so I'm going to put the now blue water gems into red or yellow water and we'll see what happens.  :-)  That color changing adds a whole new dimension to these gems!  Some have expressed concerns about choking hazards.  Any small sensory item can be a choking hazard so sensory (and most other activities) should be supervised.  Some mentioned that these can go "flat".  I've found that they smush and break apart easily.  We had "jello" in the bottom of today's container.  So I don't imagine these will hold to much use but so worth it!  We WILL be purchasing more!  I paid $2.99 for 25 oz container of Water Gems.
W is for Wagon
These beginnings sound pictures came from
Even Mr. T. wanted to be involved in a wagon!
This is impressive!  He normally steers clear of anything with a glue stick since it gets his fingers sticky but he stuck through this activity...not the typical do one thing and say "I'm done."  He glued the wagon together and then wanted every single picture on the page to put inside of his wagon!  Then he told me he wanted me to put it up on the wall.  :-D  He did pitch a crying fit when I got involved with another child and didn't come right away to help wash his hands.  But once he got his hands washed he was fine.  So PROGRESS!  (For those that haven't been following... T. has some sensory issues.  :-P)

And the one of the things that, without a doubt, makes me smile!
My smile was even bigger today though!  It became very clear to me that K. recognizes the difference between a fiction and nonfiction text.  She was very "informational" in her reading today!

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