Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week of 10/11/13 Preschool Activities

Oh my goodness!  It's been so long since I posted here.  Needless to say we've been VERY busy.  So, I did attempt to enroll Mr. T., into Just 4s this year but they didn't have space for him.  Well, I'm not too disappointed.  Only every once in awhile when he's driving the rest of us bananas!  Ha!  He learns SO much from just being around all the school-agers.  

One struggle I have is that I really do not have time to work with T. on a 1:1 basis.  That really bothers me.  But really, if I'm honest...he probably has learned more just by "listening in" to the other children's lessons.  However, sometimes it's difficult to find independent activities that actually challenge him.  He loves "academics" and would prefer that over anything else.  Yes, that goes against my every preschool teacher grain.  Ha!  

Here are some snapshots of pictures of things he has done independently this last week.  I've been really trying to get back in the groove of planning for him vs. flying by the seat of our pants.  Ha!  Those that know me are aware that  I really don't usually do that..."fly by the seat of my pants" (and that goes beyond the fact that I wear skirts vs. pants!  Tee hee!).  However, I thought he'd get into the preschool program and so I wasn't planning and then things just got too busy with the school-agers needs.   

A great tactile box!  You can make a homemade one with a shoe box or something similar.  One day he made the pipe cleaner bead rods and the next day I had them in our tactile box.  He chose the bead rod and then felt around inside the other side for the correct number.  He enjoyed this!

I've used these mats for long time!  Oriental Trading foam leaves and numbers.  I didn't require him to sort by leaf color/type because we actually used the leaves for a craft project recently and I didn't think he'd find enough of one type.

L is for Leaf Sort
Such a simple thing, 2 "baskets" sticky tacked onto pocket folders.  So, he really isn't putting the leaves in the baskets as much as he is putting them in the pocket of the folder.  The leaves all had pictures on them.  He had to decide if they had a /l/ sound at the beginning or not.

These sight word strips are from  He's doing quite well with beginning reading and I try to pop in these easy sight words every once in awhile.  If I did it in an organized way he'd probably remember them quite quickly so that is on my "to-do" list.  :-)

Fine Motor:  Foam fall-themed beads.  The holes are really small on these beads so we used a real yarn needle.  :-)  They probably came from Oriental Trading also.  Pumpkins, leaves, scarecrows, and candy corn.  This was a challenge for him so he actually stuck with this fine motor skill activity for a bit.

 Could really tell we haven't been cutting regularly lately.  He needed reminders on how to hold his scissors and how to handle the paper.  He'll pick it up again quickly.  A simple leaf traced on a paper bag and then he marble painted it with fall colors.  :-)
Felt Leaf Sort
Not his favorite activity at all.  He seems to think they are too easy.  But I do like to do activities like this every once in awhile to help keep the vocab fresh in his mind.  :-)  I've met school-agers that really didn't know what I meant by "sort", don't want T. to be one of them!  :-)

Not really a "school" activity but he does spend much time in the kitchen.  He loves helping and is quite capable!  Helping me wash apples for applesauce.  :-)  He's the first to notice Grandma picking apples off her tree and wants to be right out there with her picking apples. Unfortunately, I really don't like these apples for cooking up.  The prep of them is plain ol' hard work.  They are more "wild" anymore.  :-)  But, the thrifty part of me can't let them go to waste so here I am making batch after batch of applesauce with the apples off the tree.  Ha!  I'll take any help I can from the kids!

Little booklet I came across from
He's enjoying moving from letters to numbers.   :-)

Pattern practice, preschool style.  :-)

Okay, here is something he absolutely loved!  Craziness!  He sees the first grader practicing her sight words and he wants to write words also.  So, he used the "puzzle cards" to make the picture and figure out the word.  Then he writes it on the magnadoodle.  I tried to get him to write them in capital letters even though the cards were in lowercase...because we have spent very little time with lowercase formation...but can do!  Wrote them all in lowercase and did a pretty good job of it too!

What do you use flashcards for?  Here's an example of how we used shape flash cards.  He loves himself some candy corn and had some left after another activity so we are using them up slowly but surely.  :-)  The deal was he could eat one after each shape he created.  Ha!  We slipped in color review here also.

Now, those look odd!  I really wasn't trying to have a Halloween sensory activity.  Ha!  Actually, it was just the flash/lighting.  They were red and blue water gems.  All my kiddos, no matter the age, love playing with water gems!

Letting the 2nd grader get some extra reading in.  :-)  "Bedtime story."

Another use of flashcards.  :-)  He needed help with the number words, of course, I just wanted to remind him that everything we say has a word form.  :-)  I also strive to teach him how to organize his work.  He does a pretty good job of it.  He laid out the number cards in order and then selected one set to work with and then the other set to work with.  The back of these cards, when the 3 cards match correctly, show a Winnie the Pooh scene.  Dollar Tree find.  :-)

The kiddos all seem to enjoy this activity.  Great fine and visual motor activity!  We purchased this hammer and tack set from Discount School Supply.

Okay, I really can't find manipulatives small enough for this alphabet arc mat.  It must have meant to have been on a legal sheet of paper.  I have such a hard time throwing things out.  Ha!  But I think it's got to go.  I love the idea behind it though!

Unsurprisingly, he loved this page.  Ha!  He had to read the cvc word in the middle and color in the picture that represented it. 

I often incorporate binders/page protectors for fine general writing/fine motor practice.  It's not his favorite but he does them willingly enough every once in awhile and they are REALLY good for his control!

Mr. T has been loving himself some pumpkins!  www.abctwiggles is a nice (have to pay for) site for preschool if you are interested.  Below is another one of their pages.  He was looking for the p's.  They had bs and qs on their page as really good practice for him! 

We saw some preschool or kindergarten pumpkin paintings up at the school when we took the older boys to TKD so he got us going on the pumpkin theme.  He really enjoyed this day!  I tried to get him to paint the top of his fists and print pumpkins but that was taking his sensory issue a bit too far I guess and he would only paint them.  :-)  Turned out cute!  

A cute and simple tree provided to me via a lovely child care provider from WI.  :-)
Considering he does not like to get his hands dirty...he seemed to enjoy this and really only wiped his finger between colors.  Ha!  Progress!

Goof ball!  He loved the candy corn erasers I picked up from the dollar section of Target.  We happen to be doing time with the 1st and 2nd grader and so I had him remove all the numbers and order them for me and add the corresponding number of candy corns.  He really did great at keeping them "about" the same distance apart and could see the progression of the numbers much better.  He's kind of past 0-12 but bigger numbers require me at the moment because he gets confused after about 15.  We'll work with that soon.
Something about this expression.  :-)  I'm not sure what I was saying or what he was thinking because all the other snapshots around this time he was grinning.  However, I must have been taking to K. (in the background) if I can go by her expression.  Maybe this is a "waiting patiently" picture.  Ha!  On the post-it notes are pattern suggestions.  ABAB, ABBABB, etc

So, here he is working with us at morning group.  Breaking spaghetti into the glue/paint to make a spaghetti nest.  More of that was on the school-age blog.  But I might take a moment and tell you about his "schedule" so you get a better idea of how it all works here.

Approximate Times
8:00-8:30: whole group activities.  
T.  just does whatever the rest of us are doing.

8:30-9:45: "school"
This hour and 15 minutes is what I plan for him for "school".

9:45-10:00: clean up, bathroom, snack
Yes, it usually takes this long.  Ha!

10:00-10:30: break
Doing whatever the big kids are doing.  
Often we are doing physical activities/games outside together as a group.

10:30-11:00: educational DVD
I do this for several reasons but the main reason is because the other kids struggle with "getting back in the groove" after break and I really want to get as much done in that half hour to an hour that I can not have him in the kitchen with us.  He's "done" for the morning at that point and getting tired.  Playing at 10:30 became an issue because it was a distraction to the other kids.

11:00-11:45: Free play
At this time the other kids are "finishing up" their tasks and him playing in the living room gives them an incentive to "get 'er done".  When they are done, they can go play too.

11:45-12:50: lunch and outdoors
12:50-1:00: bathroom and book with mom
1:00-2:30/3:00: nap

When I plan "school" for him I think in these general topics....
Fine Motor

I always try to plan more than I think he'll use because NOT having something available for him is not good!  Some days he flies through the activities and other days he takes his time.  If he doesn't get to it, we just do it the next day.  We often have more than one activity that fits into the categories, so yes, I tend to plan more than 6 activities.

So, there is a little insight of how our morning runs while we are schooling at home with a preschooler!