Growing Every Day

Archive for October, 2013

Comfort Zone

A trend is developing in our lessons.  

I find it easy and natural to quickly prepare math and language arts lessons, two areas in which I feel comfortable and confident.  I have seen this trend developing for a few weeks now, but didn’t give it much thought.  Armed with this observation, I am going to challenge myself to bring in a few more science and social studies based activities (areas I do not gravitate to naturally).

The coming of Fall is lending me a helping hand in this area.  One of our kindergarten standards in science is to describe characteristics of the four seasons.  So, we have already done a lot of talking about the Fall – change of weather, leaves changing color, leaves falling, wearing jackets, etc.  I downloaded a cute Fall pack from www.servingjoyfully.com.  It is a great resource of really cute activities.

all about fall image

In printing out and using this Fall pack, I made note that many of the activities were review for Mason (4 yrs).  However, more pages than I expected would interest Madison (2 yrs).  This is a great shift for all of us, I simply need to expand my searching in regards to lessons for Mason, and begin making a more conscious effort to think of activities on Madison’s level.

Week-in-Review

Math:  

Basic Facts Addition Practice – Addition Blackout

  • Write the numbers 2-12 on a piece of paper.  Roll two dice and add the numbers showing.  Cover up or mark off the number on your sheet that matches the sum rolled.  The first person to cover or mark off all the answers wins.

Basic Facts Addition Practice – Addition Bingo

  • We used the portion of the game that focuses on addition facts 1s – 5s.  The answers are on the BINGO cards, and the question cards have simple addition questions such as 1 + 4.

bingo copy

Reading: 

Sight Word Practice

  • Mason used the PowerPoint for Dolch sight words, Kindergarten List 1.  More details about the list and download option, here.

(K)List1 image

  • We then made a sight word “parking lot” to match the words on this new list.  Below is an example parking lot picture, but not the one that actually matches the (K)List 1 words.  Click here for more details on the “parking lot”.

Sight Word parking

Science:

Season Characteristics – Fall Trees

  • I went on a search for cut-and-paste activities, and this Fall Leaves download came across my path.  It is so simple and perfect.  As the kiddos are cutting and glueing, it gives a great opportunity to discuss fall characteristics such as leaves changing and falling, weather growing colder and more rainy, etc.  Not to mention, I absolutely loved seeing the artwork side of things, and how differently their pictures turned out.

MandM fall trees

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Don’t Blink

Don’t Blink

Yep, I blinked and all of a sudden it was Sunday!  As I look back, it is hard to remember what happened throughout the week – with myself as well as our learning activities.  At the beginning of the week, I found myself in a dangerous postition…I had no more lesson recording sheets.  It was on my mind to print some…and then, I got distracted!  I am not at all worried about it, simply humored by how fast a week can pass.

In light of this, I want to simply share some new resources I have recently completed:

1)  Dolch Sight Word PowerPoint – Kindergarten List 1 – using the lists found at spellingcity.com, I created a PowerPoint presentation including 13 sight words, a sentence with each word, and a review slide at the end.  These are a compliment to the pre-k set that I made last month.

  • The words in (K)List 1 are:  they, under, now, ate, four, soon, saw, all, please, will, into, good, brown

(K)List1 image

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2)  Dolch Sight Word Tracing Sheets – Kindergarten List 1 – dashed words to match the (K)List 1 words above.  This document is a little plain at the moment.  Working to update it soon.

(K)List 1 tracing image

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3)  ABC tot Tracing – Many times, Madison wants to work on the same thing as her big brother, sight words included.  I created this document so that a toddler can trace inside the letters A-Z.

ABC tot tracing image

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I have an ABC tot PowerPoint but it is a little too rough to upload at the moment.  Look for it to come soon.  Also, look for a download and/or printables tab coming soon.

Blessings to you as you venture on this week.

Learn without Limits

As I spend time pondering each “next step” of my children’s learning, their next activity or concept, I many times find myself out on the web looking for that just right activity.  I find myself searching for an activity I already have a vision for in my mind.  If I find what I’m looking for relatively quickly, great.  

If not, I’ll create it.

However, there have been some times in which I know what I want to cover and not had any idea of how to approach it.  This is where I am finding it incredibly useful to have my list of websites offering educational resources that I enjoy and are a good fit for our family.  Sometimes, it is nice to have three or four websites to check rather than the entire web!  Whether a child attends public schools, charter or magnet schools, private schools, or home school, it is wonderful to have a “go-to” list of resources to fill in gaps, maintain, or advance your child’s learning.

That is why I want to share with you an up-and-coming website that is sure to be filled with valuable resources that will be on my “go-to” list of curriculum needs.  The website is Learn Without Limits.

Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 4.32.02 PM

www.learn-without-limits.com

The vision of this website is to provide students and parents with access to a variety of independent professional educators, classes, and resources to help students gain skills needed to advance into their future.  Currently Spanish and music/sound resources are available, with a broader spectrum of subject areas and resources to come.

It is the mission of “Learn without Limits” to provide students with learning opportunities outside of the traditional classroom and to provide parents with access to professional education for their children outside of the public school classroom in order to meet requirements for higher education.

This is definitely a website to add to your bookmarks and to check back periodically to peruse the resources that will be available.  We all desire for our children to succeed and advance into new realms of understanding as well as walking alongside them to help usher them into the unique individual they were designed to be.  This is a website that offers connections with those whose heart is to not simply offer education, but to take the limits off learning.

Week-in-Review

Math:

Practice Basic Addition

  • We played Addition Bingo.  This is the game described in the post Just Do It.  The Bingo cards have the BINGO columns containing the sums of the BINGO question cards (B 1+3).  Each time we play, I am still amazed at how many addition problems are completed.  This time Mason did 15 problems without realizing it was a lesson.  Love it!

bingo copy

Practice Saying 3 and 4 digit numbers

  • Mason has mastered counting to one hundred and has been naturally going beyond.  I have also noticed as we are playing games and simply in every day life that he is noticing 3 digit numbers and working to say them.
  • To practice the correct way of saying 3 digit numbers, I drew three lines on a sheet of paper, slipped it into a page protector and used a dry erase marker to fill in the blanks with random numbers.
  • Once he was doing well at the 3-digit numbers, we moved onto a few 4-digit to stretch him to the next level.

Naming 3-dimensional Objects

  • I found some clean, simple flashcards showing and naming 3-dimensional objects.  I printed them onto cardstock and went through them with Mason.  We then layed them out on the floor and Mason went around the house in search of objects that he could bring to the appropriate card.  This actually turned into a fun challenge for the whole family.

Candy Corn Math – more addition practice

  • Mason has found a new favorite this Fall season – candy corn!  With that in mind, I could not pass on this incredibly cute Candy Corn Math Pack from RoyalBaloo.
  • There are several pages available in the pack.  We started this week with an activity that has three bowls with a sum (14, 15, and 17).  There are candy corn shapes with an addition problem on each that must be placed in the correct bowl.
  • Mason was really into this activity once we started using real candy corn as our manipulatives.  He was really into it when he realized he could eat the manipulatives when we were done!

Candy Corn Mason

  • When the candy corn was brought out, Madison also wanted to be involved.  We have been working on number quantity, so using the numbers 1-5, I drew a number on each piece of paper and then spaces to place the appropriate amount of candy corn.

Candy Corn Madison

Reading: 

Sight Word Practice

  • Taking a piece of 12″ x 12″ cardstock, I drew lines and made a “parking lot”.  I wrote one of our sight words in each parking place.  Then using the lists of sight words we have been working on, I called out a word and he was to drive a car into the correct spot.
  • I started saying a sentence for each word.  Mason caught onto this and started saying sentences himself.

Sight Word parking

Picture Perfect

One of many aspects that has been challenging to adjust to in the home schooling arena is the fact that what I make may only be used once or twice.  I know there is a possibility that the activities, manipulatives, etc. that I make may be used by Madison, but they may not.  She is a completely different learner and may never use these same items I am now creating for Mason.  Don’t get me wrong, it is still worth the time to create that which I know is right for each child.  I simply had not realized how much I took comfort in finding a good tool that would work year after year when I was teaching in the public school setting.

With that said, earlier this year I had found a cute emergent reader book that I downloaded and printed from thisreadingmama.com.  It was a garden theme since we had just planted our garden.  Mason loved it, read it once, and had it down pat.  We read it maybe two more times, if that, and it was done – forgotten.

The point to this story, you ask?

I love it when something can be repurposed.  I am not always able to see how an item can be used in a new unique way.  My husband is much better at this than I.  He saw the garden emergent reader, knew we were ‘done with it’, chopped off the sentence, separating it from the picture.  Now Mason’s task was to match the sentence to the picture.  Perfect!  It was great as a new fresh spin on an activity Mason was already familiar with, and it also gave us an idea of how much of the sentences he was reading simply from context as opposed to actually knowing the words.  I may also have Mason draw his own pictures for the sentences.  Can’t wait to try it!

story match

Week-in-Review

Handwriting:

Creation Mini-book

  • We have started a new lapbook covering Creation.  The first activity was a cute mini-book that showed a picture of each day and what was created that day.  Mason enjoyed tracing the words on each page: ‘Day 1’, ‘Day 2’, etc.  As he completed a page, we read that portion of the creation account together.
  • Here is a picture of the mini book as an accordian book.  We, however, simply stapled ours on the side as a normal book.  (Our little book has gone missing at this time, hence the lack of a picture!)
  • This link will take you to the site to download the creation mini book.

Reading: 

Sight Word Practice

  • Using the Dolch sight words, I created a set of PowerPoints.  Each Power Point presentation is comprised of 10 sight words and a sentence to accompany each of the words, as well as a list review slide at the end.  We reviewed Lists 2-4.  This could be a great way to do a spelling list if desired.

list example

Free download:  List 2,  List 3,  List 4

  • As another sight word practice activity, I printed a ‘Color by Sight Word’ coloring sheet.

sight word owl

(Click the pic to download.)

Sentence Match

  • This is the activity described in the post above.  Mason had to match the sentences to the correct story pictures.

Word Blend Review

  • We reviewed beginning consonant blends.  We looked through the word blend wall cards from 3 Dinosaurs.

Blend Wallcards

  • As we read each card, Mason named another word starting with the same blend.  (i.e. for ‘bl’ock, he also stated ‘bl’ue)

Love at First Sight

Love at first sight – sight words that is.

Using the Dolch sight word lists found hereI created a Power Point presentation for each.  All I wanted was a presentation that showed the word, and then a simple sentence using that word in context.  My goal was to create sentences that Mason could read, either with words he already knew, or words that could be inferred through the picture displayed.

My initial thought had simply been to sit down at the computer and go through the slideshow with Mason.  Standing by the television one evening, it dawned on me…show the lesson on the tv.  So, I hooked up the computer to show on the big screen and voila, Mason’s lesson large as life in our living room!  He thought this was amazing and devoured List 1.  The next day, I prepared List 2 and he devoured that as well.  I could tell the fact that his work was on the big tv screen was exciting.  The next day, he complained because we simply reviewed List 1.

This led me to create Lists 3 and 4.

We then moved to the next level of technology…a presentation clicker.  From my days in public teaching, I had a presentation clicker to use with my Power Point presentations.  This device allows you to change the slide remotely.  I showed Mason how the clicker worked, and now he was able to practice the word lists at his own pace.  Oh the power of technology.  I cannot tell you how many times he went back and forth through the lists, reading the words and sentences.  Then again, of course, one list was not enough…he wanted to use the clicker more with different words.

By all means, go for it!

These Power Point presentations have been such a blessing to our hosuehold, we want to share them with you.  Please note, these are labeled as PreK lists.  Sight words are really not grade specific and each child advances in their own unique timing.  There will be more lists and presentations to come for additional Dolch sight words.

list example

Click below to download each list:

  • List 1 – and, for, a can, make, me, my, not, red, run
  • List 2 – it, in, here, I, help, go, jump, little, is, funny
  • List 3 – blue, come, big, down, away, find, play, look, one, said
  • List 4 – see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you
  • Please note, these lists may be downloaded and housed on your personal or school computer.  It may be used with individual students, collaborative learning groups, or classrooms.  Please feel free to adapt the words, sentences, or images if needed.  Do not sell this or any part of the template.  Do not directly link to the PowerPoint file, if placing on a blog, please give credit and a link to this blog post.  If sharing the file with others, please direct them to this blog post to download.  Thank you!

Week-in-Review

Math:  

Basic Facts Addition Practice – Addition Blackout

  • Write the numbers 2-12 on a piece of paper.  Roll two dice and add the numbers showing.  Cover up or mark off the number on your sheet that matches the sum rolled.  The first person to cover or mark off all the answers wins.

Reading: 

Sight Word Practice

  • Mason’s reading has really been progressing recently, so I thought it would be good to begin to add to his sight words.  Using the Dolch sight words, I created the PowerPoints discussed above.  Each Power Point presentation is comprised of 10 sight words and a sentence to accompany each of the words, as well as a list review slide at the end.  This could be a great way to do a spelling list if desired.

Library Time

  • We went to the library and Mason requested a specific book.  This was an excellent opportunity to show him the book identification letters and how to find a book on the shelf.  Very teachable moment that turned into a wonderful life lesson.

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