Growing Every Day

Posts tagged ‘pre k’

Handwriting Happiness

Wow, life has taken a jump to hyper speed recently!  It can be amazing how fast each day goes and before you know it months have gone by.  I like writing more lengthy detailed posts, but for the time being I may simply be popping up some great resources and short updates of what we are doing, here in our little schoolhouse.

I do want to invite you to follow my The Learning Leaf facebook page.  Facebook is where I will be posting most of the resources and activities that we are doing daily/weekly.  It is a wealth of information whether you homeschool, teach public school, or have littles at home.

Today’s share is this fun FREE gem that I found via pinterest.  It was created by Lacey Yates (find her blog here) and is housed on her store at www.teacherspayteachers.com.

Handwriting is a focus write now for my Princess.  She has most letters down, but a few still need some work.  She enjoyed this simple, yet rich page of activities.  She loves to color, and the uppercase/lowercase practice is much appreciated by her momma.  These sheets are long enough to get a good amount of practice, but short enough that she doesn’t lose interest.

Handwriting clip

Truckin’ Along

We have completed two weeks of school after our six week break.  It has been good having many activities to pass the day.  However, it has been a challenge to get our rhythm back.

I have faith; it will come.

Adding an increased amount of activities for Sunshine has “leveled up” my preparations a bit, but it is well worth it.  There have been many times recently that she has asked to have her “school stuff”.

At first having two to prep for was a little daunting.  I was thinking that there was a need for two separate streams of preparations…Builder doing such-and-such, Sunshine doing such-and-such.  Then the realization hit…all that’s needed is to take what Builder is doing and find an age appropriate version for Sunshine.

This approach has worked well.

For example, Builder was working on spelling using the short a sound. (We have been using the All About Spelling materials and he is growing by leaps and bounds.  Spelling/Writing is not his favorite so this is a wonderful thing.)

Photo Jul 14, 11 51 21 AM

(Yes, that is him under that puppy blanket!)

So, for Sunshine I found a cute, fun activity over at Growing in Pre K that focused on alphabet familiarity and recognition of upper and lowercase letters.  The initial activity was to place letters in a bottle filled with rice.  There is a sheet with all the letters of the alphabet.  Once the letter is found you color the letter on the sheet with the corresponding color.

Builder thought this looked fun so he decided to have a go.  Sunshine was not as intrigued, so I left her supplies out on the table and let her come back to it in her own timing.

Photo Jul 13, 12 28 51 PM

The next day, she came back to it and asked to pour the letters out of the bottle to find them.  We ended up pouring the rice and letters into a bowl so that she could sift through with her fingers.  This kept her busy for a long while.  She was very much involved with the activity this way and decided she wanted to color the letter and then stick the foam letter on top.  Love it!  What a great hands-on version of this activity.  Honestly, one I never would have thought of myself.

Photo Jul 14, 11 51 31 AM

It took coming back to the activity two or three times before she finished, but she always came back to it.  Thank you Lord for the creativity you give to each of your children.  And, thank you Lord for giving me the eyes to see it.

My Goals 2015-2016

Yes!

We journeyed our way through the first year of homeschooling…with one.  Toward the end of the school year, the rhythm, technique, and schedule were beginning to fall in place.  M1’s learning style and a structure he responds to well were taking shape.  An ideal time and routine for me to plan lessons, units, etc. was coming together…

and then we stopped for our “summer” break.

We take 6 weeks off from the end of May to beginning of July, and now I sit and think on how to start back to school.  So many plans have formulated and then dissipated in the last two to three weeks.  Where to start has eluded me around each corner.  I am still, somewhat, battling a public education mentality.  It really is such a different paradigm going from a middle school setting of 120 in one hour periods, to two little ones under 6 at our home all day!

Remembering that I don’t have to have a full year of school planned is key for me.  We work in 6 week sessions, so just having a direction for the first six weeks is great.  The question then becomes…

What now?

The answer revealed itself today.  If I can list out the goals for this school year in general and for each child (M2 will be working on some pre-k material, with much less structure than M1) then the direction and beginning momentum will be there.  So without further ado, the goals:

red-schoolhouse

Goals – School in General

1)  One fieldtrip a month – will utilize as many in town resources as possible and some fun options in nearby towns

2) Stick to the schedule – this I say loosely.  I do want to do a better job sticking to the 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off schedule, but I also want the Lord to be our ultimate Schedule Maker.

3) Create a family tree on the wall – going back as far as we can!

4)  Documentation –  keeping better track/organization of pictures, projects, and progress to pull together for an end of school year binder/book.

 

boy-putting-puzzle-together

Goals – M1 (First Grade)

1) Writing – A focus on writing and spelling – would like him to be comfortable writing sentences and possibly paragraphs by the end of the year (he does not like writing so this will be a place to learn discipline for both of us!)

2) Math – finish up our first grade units and progress onto a second grade path, focusing on as many skip counting charts as possible

3) Science – definitely want to cover weather, plants, animals, energy (more may come into play as we go).  Also we will focus on asking three extra questions to explore on each topic we cover.

4) Handwriting – remediate some incorrect/less efficient ways of making letters, practice for more proficiency

5) Art/Music – incorporate it more consistently this year

6) PE – be more consistent in a 3 times a week approach

7) Bible Study- be more consistent in timing, less gaps during a specific focus

 

girl-in-flower-patch-blowing-bubbles

Goals – M2 (pre-k)

1)  Keep it fun and experiential, majority of learning coming through play.

2) Work on beginning handwriting – be familiar and confident in capital letter formation, begin work on correct/efficient number formation.

3) Work on recognizing beginning letter sounds – ‘b’aseball, ‘d’og, etc.  If we progress past that, work on ending sounds

4) Math – recognize and work with groups of 20 objects, rote counting to 30, work on “one more than” and “one less than”, extended 2D shape recognition, begin 3D shape recognition, extend patterning.

5) Fun science experiments, use M1’s topics at pre-k level

 

little-girl-wearing-glasses

Goals – Me

1)  Read 3 fiction books for fun – hopefully I can far exceed this, but I am starting small and realistic for myself.

2) Start writing again – publish two blog posts around the 1st and 15th of each month.

3) Read The Pleasure of His Company by Dutch Sheets.

4) Complete the Make Over Your Mornings course by Crystal Paine.

5) Have a “Me” day once a month.

 

*all clipart courtesy of mycutegraphics.com

 

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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