Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Willow Room: T/TH class:
We read "Little Blue and Little Yellow" by Leo Lionni
We matched the name tags to the correct matching color.
We finger painted using blue and yellow to make the color green.
We used musical instruments and did "Clap, clap, clap your hands," and "I;m a fine musician"
We played a color games using different color honey pots and the children had to guess which color the bee was hiding behind. They love this game.
"The magical snowman" by Catherine Walters was our story today.
We also read, Millie waits for the mail" by Alexander Stoffensmeir
We used glitter paint to make stars to hang around the room.
We did a guessing game with the letter R.
Monday, January 30, 2012
In case you can't tell, this mixture is one of our favorites to use at school. We love the sensory texture, the smell, and the end results too.
We all made snowman with it, depending on the group, we had them make free form, or we gave them a shape to "paint" in the younger classes. On another BLOG posting, I showed the process on a paper plate to make a snowman face. It is great because you can add things to embellish the art and the glue makes it stick. When it dries it has a puffy texture.
The recipe is simple: mix two parts shaving cream and one part glue (like Elmers) and have fun. The amounts don't have to be exact, some of the teachers use half glue, half shaving cream. You could also use twigs and small stones to make the snowman.
We did painting with rollers with various designs on them.
We used tambourines for music. We moved around the room pretending to drive a car.
We did some alphabet file folder games, we did a puzzle road for cars- we assembled the puzzle and drove cars on it.
Willow Room- MWF class:
We read "My 5 senses" by Margaret Miller
We are talking about senses, adn today we asked the children :What do you like to taste with your mouth?"
We did fingerpainting, and then we used objects to make designs int he painting.
We used musical instruments and did "I'm a fine musician", "clap, clap, clap your hands.
We added pictures of items that start with the letter E to our e chart.
Our dramatic play area is a puppet theater until we change it into a post office soon.
We read "A hat for Minerva Louise" by Janet Morgan Stoeke
We had trays with 6 colors of paint and individual paint brushes in each color. The children painted on big paper.
We had rollers with designs at the easels.
We read "The January song," "Alphabet sounds songs", and "This is the way we do it".
We did letter N activities . We transferred our weather information from January to our yearly graph.
We have a new sensory table top with 8 open holes so hands can fit through. We put Mesa flour in the table and the children enjoyed playing with it today.
We read "The smiley snowman"
We cut out heart shapes, then put them in a box and rolled marbles dipped in paint back and forth to paint them. We will use them to decorate our bulletin board for February.
We are talking about the letter R this week.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
We filled some nylon socks with beans and dipped them in white paint. Then the child either dropped them or bounced them onto light blue paper that was on the floor. The resulting splat looks like a snow ball.
We froze blocks of ice and put regular tempra paint in ice cube trays with paint brushes. The way the paint froze onto the surface of the ice gave a unique look and texture. This was all put int the sensory table.
We mixed shaving cream and glue (two parts shaving cream one part glue- but recipe s very forgiving, does not need to be exact at all). Each child
mixed their own and put it on a plate. They then added paper and google eyes to make their own snowman.
We also used this same mixture to put on large snowman shape in Willow Room and added buttons and other embellishments to create their own snowman. In the Oak room, they took the same mixture and put it free form onto paper to make it look like a snowman. This mixture driers with a light puffy feel.
Willow Pizza Dramatic Corner Fun
Our dramatic corner was transformed into our very own pizza kitchen. We made pizza ovens, cut up felt to make pretend pizzas, and we set up a counter with registers and order taking materials. We have fun aprons and checkered table cloths too. After we played in here, we made our own pizza for snack too.
We have a large group on Friday, so we divide them up and take some children next door ot play small group games, Today we played Number Bingo. We also divide the children up for music and gym, half go to each and then switch. For music we did the Freeze dance, Put your finger on, and a walking shoe song using ribbons.
We read Put me in the Zoo" by Robert Lopshire
We used dab a dot markers to make dots all over the paper to look like the story!
Willow Room: MWF class
We have our pizza parlor set up in our dramatic corner and the children pretend to make pizza and bake them in our pretend pizza ovens.
We read Little Nino's Pizzeria" by Karen Barbour
We asked the children if they have the letter E in their name?
We made a group art project using textured sponge rollers today.
We sang The mitten shop song and did an ABC bean bag song.
We made pizza today and ate it at snack time.
We played a listening game today.
We did the story "There was an old lady who swallowed some snow" and we used the big "Old Lady" puppet for the story today. The author was Lucille Colandro
We used the shaving cream and glue mixture to make snowman faces.
We used textured sponge scrubbers with red and blue paint at the easel.
We sang The January song, 1 little snowflake, Way up high in the snowy tree, pirate ship and clap your hands.
We did letter M activities on dry erase boards, we did a winter "What is missing" memory game.
We had water in the sensory table with sink and float using pebbles.
We read Sleepy Bears" by Mem Fox
We used number stampers to make the cover for our number book we will be working on in class.
We had out the letter Q puzzle and some number puzzles.
We did "Wiggles crawling all over me" using ribbons, and "This old man"- a rhyming song
We asked what words start with the letter Q?
We read "Pete's a pizza" by William Steig
We added orange objects to our color train.
We asked the children "What do you like on your pizza?"
We painted with textured mittens for art.
We had black paper at the easel and we used chalk on it.
We made real cheese pizza and we baked them in the oven. We ate them for snack.
We sang Jump up turn around, and face the facts- and your face will surely show it. (all Jim Gill songs)
We rad Katy and the Big SNow" by Virginia Lee Burton
We did "finger skating"- fingerpainting on aluminum foil.
We sang "Sticky Bubble gum, Going on a bear hunt, Freeze dance, Januray song, DEcember song, and the months of the year songs- all kids picks today.
We brought in head phones and listened to stories on CD's.
We used unifix cubes to play some math games - adding and taking away.
We read The Very Cranky Bear" by Nick Bland
We did a shaving cream and glue art mixture- we made snowmen and added items to give them faces and decorations.
We did some graphing and sorting with objects today. WE had out magnetic letter boards
We did the color song- each child had a color and they had to stand up or sit down as the song said. Not just a fun song, but a good listening activity.
We did "Clap if you want to" and we did a group activity with patterns- what comes next in the pattern- they all did a great job.
We asked the children if their name had a letter Q in it.
We read "Elmer in the snow" by David McKee
We did an art activity using crayons and watercolors to make the picture appear.
We sang a snowflake song and used circles made out of netting to be our pretend snowflakes. We also sang Please pass the peas and Toe, leg, knee.
We had fun with the post office int eh classroom, made some structures out of Legos and did a Math game.
Willow Room: MWF class
We read "Pete's a pizza" by William Steig
We asked the children "What begins with the letter D?"
We painted using textured mittens. We had chalk and black paper at the easel.
We sang "Your face will surely show it, face the facts, and jump up turn around for music time today.
We looked at objects that start with the letter D and put pictures on our D chart.
We read "One Winter's Day" by M Christina Butler
We used textured rollers with paint on them for art. WE had paint and brushes at the easel.
We sang The January song, Winter song, "I'll be wearing...." "White snowman, white snowman, (like Brown bear), 1 little snowflake, Herman the worm and 2 little blackbirds.
We had a writing station set up we practiced writing names and words.
We did letter M activities, played find the snowball, a number recognition game for numbers 1-10. We had frozen ice blocks in the sensory table with tempra paint and brushes.
Oak Room- Pre- K class
We read "Time to sleep Alfie Bear" by Catherine Walters and "When will it be spring" by Catherine Walters
We worked in our journals writing the letter O and drawing pictures of somethign that starts with the letter O.
We sang "Stick to the glue, and your face will surely show it.
We did a science experiment today- we took snow and put it in a cup to the top. We set it out and looked to see how long it took it to melt and measured how much water was in the cup after it melted.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
We are continuing to build our color train, we are looking at orange this week. Remember to bring in orange items to put on our train. We read Leo Lionni's book "A color of his own"
We did a rhyme called 5 little snowmen- a counting down rhyme.
We made snowmen using a shaving cream and glue mixture. At the easels we had red and yellow paint out to mix and make orange!
We sang "Come on and join in the game" and "every body has a face"
We are enjoying our pizza shop.
We added items to our orange train car.
We read "Snow Friends" by M. Christina Butler and we also read "Dear Mr. Blueberry" by Simon James
For art, we put beans into a knee sock and the children dipped it in white paint and dropped it up and down onto blue paper to look like snowballs.
We did Five green and speckled frogs and animal actions
We did the guessing bag for the letter Q
Monday, January 23, 2012
Stay & Play: We listened to a book on CD called "Fox in Sox" by Dr. Suess - a book that has fun with words.
We mixed dish soap and powder paint ( the result looks like oil paint). We experimented with colors and we painted on paper.
We used musical mats- when the music stops, you put your hand or foot on the mat to follow directions.
We had fun with the post office in the Oak classroom today.
Willow Room- MWF class
We asked the children if they have a letter d in their name?
We read "All you need for a snowman" by Alice Schertle
We talked about the weather and days of the week at our 2nd circle.
We made our own snowmen out of shaving cream and glue mixture ( a great sensory experience)
We had alphabet letters at the easel.
Do you know the snowman song? using felt pieces to make a snowman
Everybody has a face
Come and join in the game
We had some sensory touch cards out today, and our Pizza shop was popular
We read "The Mitten" by Jan Brett
We cut mitten shapes for our classroom mitten book- we asked the children what animals would be in their mitten?
We had watercolors at the easel.
We used the parachute as a big pretend mitten and the children were the animals who got inside.
We did letter M activities
We had snow in our sensory table and we used water colors to drip color ontot he snow.
Oak Room- Pre- K class:
We read "Sleep Big Bear, Sleep" by Maureen Wright
We made paper snow globes- First we took a circle of contact paper, added glitter to it to look like snow and the children used small paint brushes to add white paint for snow. Then we placed a picture face down on the contact paper and added a stand. The we placed a second piece of contact paper to the back a picture and stand. They look so cute (SEE PICTURE ABOVE).
we did "Deep in the jungle" and used tom tom's to make a drum beat. We also did Old MC Donald had a drum using drums.
Our dramatic play area is now a post office.
We read the story about Geraldine's Big Snow and did a two day project to make our own snowman in a snowstorm. The first part was painting with empty thread spools dipped in white glitter paint. After it dried, we cut out snowman shapes and added our own decorations to them with markers. Then we glued it onto our snowy picture.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
These are one of our favorite art tools. They are plastic back rollers from the Dollar store! The little nubs on the wheels make dots on the paper and they make noise too, which the kids love!
Sometimes we use them on big paper for the large arm movement of rolling back and forth, and sometimes we use them on the easel so they are rolling up and down or across the easel paper.
This project used white paint and black paper. The spots ended up looking like snow at night. We read the book "Snowmen at Night" to tie in a literacy activity. After they were done, we added a frame work to cover part of the picture to look like a snowflake. They came out pretty and it is a wonderful creative art activity.
The pictures even look like a snowstorm is happening.
You can use any kind of bottle cap, but if you choose all the same kind it will allow you to do more things with them.
These are made with Avery labels and printed alphabet letters- pick a font that looks the most like traditional letters children learn to write. You can just put a plain circle sticker on them and use a marker to draw each letter too.
I have upper case letters on the outside and the same lower case letter on the inside and I have multiple of each letter. You could also have a separate set of upper case and a set of lower case- all on the outside of the cap. You could also put the letters on the inside of the cap and put a magnet on the outside of the cap- use on a magnetic board.
Make a set with numbers too- you can do many of the same activities with numbers.
Some of the activities that can be done with these:
- Put them in alphabetical order with the upper case letter showing.
- Find the lower case letter and match it to the correct upper case letter.
- Spell words- start with your child's name
- Sort letters into a box with 26 compartments.
- Find all the letters that have straight lines
- Find all the letters with curves
- Pick a letter and say the sound it makes.
- Put all the letters in a bag and reach in, pull one out and say what letter it is....take turns with your child.
- Put 5 of the letters out on the table in order. Have your child close his/her eyes and remove one letter- see if they can figure out what letter is missing. If they can't guess the letter, make the sound and see if they can guess it. Now you take a turn.
- If you write letters on only one side, and make two sets, play memory with them. Only use a few letters for the game.
- Pick out a letter and on a dry erase board or paper, write that letter.
We asked the children "What kind of pizza do you like?"
We read "Snow Happy to be here!" by Cheryl Hawkinson
We made paper pizzas to decorate the pizza shop.
We had watercolors at the easel.
We did "The snowman Pokey" and "The Sammy song" for music today.
We have a pizza shop in our dramatic corner.
We worked on making our letter C chart.
We read "Sadie and the Snowman" by Allen Morgan
We did the second part of a two part art project. We cut out snowmen and put faces on them to add to our snow picture we made on Wednesday (with glittery spool shape snowflakes)
We did the January song, Jump Jim Joe, Take that bean bag, Bean Bag boogie
We practiced writing letter A-L.
We read "Goldilocks Returns" by Lisa Campbell Ernst
We painted with ice cubes that were made out of two different kinds of paint- some out of tempra paint and some out of watercolors. They had two very different looks when used in this manner. The watercolors melt and look like watercolors, the tempra paint has a waxy look.
We did lacing ABC with blocks
We did color exploring with the light table
We brought in the Mr. Potato head
We did the Mack Chicken Dance and Little Bunny Foo Foo
We did a hot and cold sorting activity.
What starts with the letter P? And Does your name have a letter P in it?
We read "Hi Pizza Man" by Virginia Walter
We did a color bear hunt game at circle time
We looked around for things that are blue
We did a felt pizza rhyme
We made paper pizzas to decorate our pizza shop.
We had magnetic shapes in various colors at the easel today.
We did the Sammy song, and snowman pokey
Our dramatic corner is now a Pizza shop!
We read "One winter's night" by Claire Freedman
We did rubber band painting
For music- We did the January song, Count on Five and Warm Up
We played an alphabet matching game.
We read "The three snow bears" By Jan Brett
We drew pictures in our own Three Bears Book
We have new pink playdough, we played with the little Legos.
We did a musical ABC match - the children rang a bel after they matched the upper and lower case letters.
We did a hard and soft sorting activity.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
We read "This place in the snow" by Rebecca Bond
We mixed cornstarch with paint on dark color paper for art.
We did "List of dances" and "Bean Bag Train" for music.
We played with the props from the Oak room doing "The three bears", so we had puppets, different size bowls, and different size beds.
We read "Alphabet Adventure" by Audrey Wood
We asked the children "Do you have the letter C in your name?
WE had dry erase markers and letter stencils out today and we made snowy pictures using a plastic back roller dipped in paint. The kids like it because it makes a fun sound as it rolls over the paper. The dots looked like snow. We used white paint on black paper.
We did Jump up, turn around, and Face the Facts for music.
We looked at things that start with the letter C and talked about the sound the letter makes.
We read "Geraldines' Big Snow" by Holly Keller
We used spools to paint snowy pictures
We had snowman shapes at the easel with glue and things to glue onto it to make snowmen.
We did the January song, Winter song, Dear Old Frosty, 5 little snowflakes, Herman the worm, and Toe, leg ,Knee for music time.
We did letter L activities.
We did the Three Bear story using felt pieces to tell the story.
We worked in our journals on the letter P and pictures that start with the letter P.
The children are re-telling the Three Bears stories for their own books.
We acted out the Three Bears story.
We did a guessing game with the mystery bag filled with items that start with the letter P.
We brought in the light table.
We read Ice Cream Bear by Jez Alborough
Are you wearing blue? Bring in blue items for our blue train car.
We glued blue glue on to blue paper and glued all kinds of blue objects! Our blue art!
We used fun back rollers with white paint on black paper, a snowy picture.
We sang "Tap your toe and follow me.", "Over the deep blue sea", "Hello everybody"
We opened up a pizza shop in our dramatic corner.
We are doing the "Three Bears". We made covers for "Three Bears Book" . We used prickle pokey rings to paint the covers.
Each child dictated their version of the Three bears story and we will type them up and each child will have it to take home.
We one little bear went out to play, Herman the worm, and bubble gum was our music today.
We are talking about the letter "P" this week.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
We read the book "Elmer in the snow" and then followed up with making our own Elmer the elephant. We had two elephant shapes, one we painted with a salt water wash to make it sparkle like snow, the other we colored in the squares to look like Elmer.
Friday, January 13, 2012
We played in the gym today.
Stay & Play:
We read "Ten on the sled" by Kim Norman
We dipped chalk in sugar water and then drew on dark blue paper. It makes the color brighter.
We did My kitten's mitten rhyme, Sammy song, and snowman pokey for music.
We brought in legos, and snow to drip colored water on to make rainbow snow.
Willow Room: MWF class
We had Pastor Dan as our guest reader today. He read "Thanks to the animals" by Allen Sockabasin
We made a chart of words that start with the letter B
We did a group art activity today- we had a big sheet of paper and all kids of stampers in the shape of the letter B- we used many different colors .
We did the snowflake song and used pretend snowflakes to float down and catch, we did the snowman song.
We made rainbow snow. We brought tubs of snow into the room and used eye droppers with watercolors to drip onto the snow. It was beautiful!
We read "Tacky the Penguin" by Helen Lester
We did a cutting project for the penguins bodies and dab a dot painters
We had snowflake stencils at the easel with roller brushes.
We did the January song, winter song, 5 little penguins, I am a little snowman, Jump, Jim, Joe, and the Freeze dance for music.
We practiced the letter K on dry erase boards.
We read "Bear feels scared" by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
We did a name collage. We made the outline of each child's name and they glued objects on the outline of their name.
We dripped water onto snow using eye droppers.
We used rhythm sticks to tap out the syllables of our names. We did the elephant song and stomped around the room to the beat using the rhythm sticks beat too.\
We talked about what starts with the letter O?
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Willow Room: T/TH class
We read "Mouse Paint" by Ellen Stoll Walsh
We talked about what things are the color yellow?
We painted using liquid yellow paint, powder paint, yellow brushes, yellow sponges, yellow tooth brushes.....everything we painted with and used to paint with was YELLOW!
We did couch potato pokey, If you're happy and you know it, and list of dances for music time
We talked about yellow today, we had fun attaching all the yellow objects the children brought to our yellow color train.
We read "Elmer in the snow" by DAvid McKee
We painted with salt water to create Elmer int he snow- then they created their own patchwork Elmers.
We used Frozen water colors at the easel.
We did the January song, Hands are for clapping, Tommy Thumb, and the Chicken Dance for music time.
We read "The bears in the bed and the great big storm" by Paul Bright and Jane Chapman
We painted with thread spools, we dipped them in white paint and pressed them onto paper. Then we sprinkled silver glitter on the paint to look like sparkly snow.
We did some nursery rhyme sequencing cards, magnetic mazes, and writing boards.
We did wiggy, wiggy, wiggles, (fast and slow dance); and Sally the swinging snake" for music.
We asked the children if their name has the letter O in it and made a graph of the results.
We are working on learning our last names.
Stay & Play:
We read "The snow blew Inn" by Dian Curtis
We put paint in egg cups to mix on paper and make new colors. We did "on the count of 5" and mitten shop at music time.
We had rice in the sensory table.
Willow Room- MWF
We read " ABC animal Jamboree" by Giles Andreae
Do you have the letter B in your name? We graph the results and make comparisons.
We made a texture collage- we used different materials to make a special picture.
We did the couch potato pokey, and dog in school for music.
We talked about our 5 senses- today we focused on touch.
We read "The Hat" by Jan Brett
We painted on textured shelf liner and then made prints, we will turn them into hats. We used blue, and purple glitter paint.
We had hat shapes with textured stampers at the easel.
We did the January song, winter song, snowman pokey, 5 little snow flakes,
WE did several dances using scarves: dancing with blue scarves, sally the swinging snake, and freeze dance.
We did letter K activities, a mitten match game, real mittens the children could use clothespins and attach to a clothesline, and a hidden snowball game (numbers 1-12)
We read "Bear snores on" by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
We worked in our journals on the letter O.
We did a bears sleeping color rhyme and acted it out, and we did a mitten song.
We did an ice cube experiment- which ice cube melts fastest, put in cold water, warm water, wrap in plastic wrap or wrap in foil. The one in foil latest longest.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
We placed a slanted tray and had the children use eye droppers to drip slightly watered down tempra glitter paint to look like icicles on dark blue paper. We sprinkled silver glitter on top. Later, we added a triangle roof to make our house.
We buy packages of precut wax paper, parchment paper, or deli paper, and have the children paint on it using stampers dipped in glitter paint. We then add a shape cut out (another class used a tree shape, we have also used triangles, stars, etc.) and place it over the paper allowing the excess to remain. We like the look of the whole paper showing. We hang them on the windows to decorate our rooms. One of our favorite projects.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Willow Room- Terrific 2's and 3's class (T/TH)
We are talking about colors and we asked the children if they are wearing the color red today?
We read a story called "My crayons talk" by Patricia Hubbard
We dd a color mitten felt rhyme
We made snowflake prints by using empty thread spools dipped in white glitter paint and pressed onto paper. They make a pretty print. We have no snow outside, so we have to pretend inside!
We had snowflakes shapes at the easel that we painted with sparkly paint to decorate our room.
We did the song "I like my hat" and the children each wore a special hat.
We did the ABC letter sound song,
We have rice in our sensory table.
We read "The hat" by Jan Brett
We drew a snow picture by using a white crayon on black paper. Then we painted over the whole paper with water mixed with Epsom salt to give it a sparkly look.
We went on a BEAR Hunt in the school building....we found the bear back in our room!
We did a guessing game of objects hidden in the bag that start with the letter O.
Stay & Play:
We read "When will it snow?" by Kathryn Whit
We made mesh prints for art. We stapled fruit mesh onto boards and painted over them, then pressed paper onto the top to make a print.
We did "Underneath the broomstick" , mitten rhymes, and some sing a long songs for music.
We did a clothespin mitten match game.
Willow Room: MWF
We asked the children today about things that start with the letter A.
We read "Alphabet Mystery" by Audrey Wood
We did the weather and days of the week at our 2nd circle
We made snowflake paintings today by dipping thread spool ends in white glitter paint and pressing them onto paper.
At the easel we had large snowflake shapes to decorate our room.
We sang "I like my hat" and we used paper plates as our hats, we also did the alphabet letter sounds song using letter cards.
We have rice in our sensory table and we brought in big foam colored blocks for building.
We read "Diamond in the snow" by Jonathan Emmett
We did icicle painting- we used watered down white glitter paint and dripped it down a slant board with blue paper on it; then we sprinkled glitter on it. It looks like glimmering icicles.
We had watercolors at the easel.
We did the January song, A-A-A alphabet sounds song, Everybody clap your hands
We did letter K activities.
Oak Room- Pre - K class
We read "The mitten " by Jan Brett and The missing mitten
We cut out mitten shapes but left them connected. We used an eye dropper to add a few drops of paint to one side, folded the mitten over and pressed on it to make a matching print.
We sang "Come and get a mitten" "Cat lost his mittens (a felt board rhyme) and 10 little mittens.
We introduced the letter O today.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Here is a simple number activity you can make to use at home. I used a die cut machine to make mitten shapes, but you can cut any shape or buy shapes at a teacher store and many craft stores. I did each matching mitten a different color so the children just didn't match the colors; you could also make them all out of one color. I laminated the paper for durability, but you may not need to at home. The numbers were also made from a die cut machine, but you also could just write them with a marker. The small circles were made with a shape punch available at local craft stores.
You can do a variety of activities with just these:
- Children find the matching number to amount of dots.
- Children put all the mittens with the dots in order.
- Children put all the numbers in order.
- Children can put the correct number of clothespins on either the number or the dots- great fine motor skill
- If you make them all one color, you can play a memory game, find the match for number and dots. You can play it with the multi color ones too.
- Tie a small rope between two chairs and have the children clip the mittens using clothespins onto the rope like a clothesline in order.
- Pull a number out of a bag and find the matching mitten in dots.
- Pull a number out of a bag and find that number of objects.
- As children get more skilled with numbers, they should be able to look at the dots and without counting each dot, be able to tell how many are there at a glance.
- Use the dots as a simple adding game, take a mitten with one dot and a mitten with two dots and how many dots do you have now, can you find that number?
I am sure you will think of other ideas to do with an activity like this. It does not need to be mitten shape, use any shape you like.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
After the children cut out circles and glue them onto the paper, they add "snow" by dipping Q-tips into white paint. They use markers to add details. This is a multi-step art project, so it is also good for problem solving. This is one of our favorite projects.
Looking at flash cards of alphabet letters is not as helpful as touching the letters- making the letters out of materials, writing the letters in various ways. Here are a few ideas to make learning letters fun, engaging, and worthwhile.
Do one activity a day for a short time. The first letters to work on are the ones in your child's name, they have the most meaning to them. You can expand into other letters later- and concentrate on only a few at a time, not the whole alphabet. If your child's name starts with the letter "C" work on that letter a few minutes a day until they are very comfortable with it. Then move on to another letter. Find a way to highlight the letters your child has learned, get an alphabet poster and put a star next to each letter they know, or buy a big poster board and add each letter as they learn it.
- Take a cookie sheet and put a thin layer of any of the following- flour, salt, cornmeal, cornflour, sand (outside) or any other fine material. Have your child make the letters using their index finger on their dominate hand - it is easy to erase too, just lightly brush the material back into place or shake the pan slightly to smooth it out. You can make the letter first or you can each have a tray. It is OK to have a flash card that shows the letter to your child, the physical movement is what will help make the learning happen. Make this fun, also allow your child to "draw" whatever they want, or you can draw pictures of words that start with that letter and make a guessing game out of it.
- You can also take the cookie sheet and put shaving cream or finger paint on it and make the letters, it provides a tactile experience that is different than the dry material. Do the same letters they are working on.
- Play dough and modeling clay are great materials for young hands, they help develop those fine motor muscles in the hands and fingers that will help children with holding pencils later on. Some children who have trouble writing letters or remembering the letters of their name can do so more easily after they have formed the letters with clay. Something about the tactile feel of the letter helps it get retained easier. So, bring out the clay and roll it into long strips. Make a game of it, you make a letter and have your child guess what it is, then they can make one and you guess. Make all the letters of his/her name and put them on the table. Talk about the letters, what is alike and what is different? Some made have curves, some straight lines.
- As an extension of all of this, some children will like to make the letters out of their bodies, can they make their body look like the letter "C". It may take both of you to make some of the letters and then maybe someone can take a picture of each letter too!
- Take a white piece of paper and draw letters or your child's name on it. Give them watercolors and have them paint over the whole paper to reveal their name.
- When you write your child's name, do a capital letter (uppercase) for the first letter and lower case letters for the rest. This is how they will need to write their name for school so why have to relearn it later.
- Point out letters and words in the world. When you buy a product, if one of the letters you are working on is on the package, point it out or ask your child if they can find it.
- Talk about the letter sounds, this will help your child more than just knowing the letters.
- Put magnetic letters on the door of your refrigerator and ask your child to find you certain letters at first, then make simple words or their name. Have them find the letters in their name. When they are ready, you can make some simple word cards and attach them to the refrigerator with a magnet- ask your child to find those letters to make the word. Remember praise them for their effort too.
- You can get upper and lower case letters at most toy stores, or teacher learning stores. I have some links of this BLOG to a couple of the teacher supply places I especially like. Make sure you buy good quality ones though so the magnets don't fall out, they can be dangerous if swallowed.
- If you want your child to start writing the letters, it is better to start with a crayon or a thick pencil, but since many preschoolers lack the fine motor control over the crayon or pencil, it can become frustrating for them. You can try dry erase boards and dry erase markers too, they are fun and easy to correct mistakes. You will see that they first write the letters really large, and when they write words, some of the letters will be on one line, the rest on another. That doesn't matter, they will learn all that later. It takes a lot of skill to know the letter, know how to make it, have your brain communicate that to your hand and your hand to follow through with what the brain is telling it to do.
Well, that is just a few ideas for how you can teach letters to you child, I hope you will try them, and I hope you will make learning FUN! If it becomes frustrating for your child, back off a bit; try a different activity. If they are getting frustrated or you are fighting to make them do it, they will not get the benefit of the activity- maybe they are not ready yet.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Stay & Play: We did a story called "Stone soup" and we took the children in small groups to another quiet room and played a listening game. We played a CD with household sounds on it and BINGO boards. If they had that sound on their board, they put a marker on the spot.
We did watercolors for art with small brushes and we did Bean Bag boogie for music. We went outside too.
Willow Room: MWF class
We are starting to talk about a different letter each day in class; the sound it makes, words that start with that letter, and how to write that letter. Today was the letter A. We asked the children if they have the letter A in their name and we graph the results....a little math activity too.
We did the story "The mitten" by Jan Brett and we used magnets with the story on it to tell it.
We used stampers with winter items, like snowman, snowflakes, etc. on it to make prints on paper. We will turn them into window decorations for our room.
We had alphabet letters at the easel.
We sang Ring the bells, and Turn around.
We added rice to our sensory table with scoops, spoons, and cups.
We read "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear?" by Bill Martin Jr.
We are making our own Polar Bear, Polar Bear book- so we had the children fold a sheet of dark blue paper in half, then they put a string attached to a clothespin into white paint and placed it between the folded paper. They pulled the string in between the folded paper and made a design. After they open the paper, they told the teacher what it looked like. We will make these the pages of the book, it will take turns going home.
At the easel we painted with fruit mesh rolled and taped to make a fun brush.
We sang The January song, Brown Bear, Going on a bear hunt
We put the blocks of ice in our sensory table and added water- so they were like ice bergs!
We practiced writing our letters A-J
Oak Room: Pre-k
"Sadie and the Snowman" by Allen Morgan and "There was a cold lady who swallowed some snow" by Lucille Colandro were our two stories today.
We had chunks of ice and watercolors, we used watercolors to paint them.
We made snowman pictures. The children used their cutting skills to cut three circles. Then they glued them to a blue piece of paper and added white snowflakes with a Q-tip. They look great.
We did some snowman rhymes, and "Movin everyday" using scarves.
We talked about words that start with the letter N
Thursday, January 5, 2012
We froze liquid water colors into ice cubes with popscicle sticks. The we used them on water color paper. As the ice cube melts, the colors become vibrant.
We froze small winter objects in bowls of ice. Then we put them in our sensory table with eye droppers in some light blue water. The children used the eye droppers to drop water onto the ice and "free" the objects.
We took water balloons and filled them with water, then froze them. We cut the balloons away and sprinkled some Epsom salt in the bottom of a tub and placed the largest ball, then we sprinkled Epsom salt on top of it and stuck the middle size ball next. Finally we sprinkled more Epsom salt and attached the smallest ball.
We were thinking that when the children started "Painting" them with shaving cream (to look like snow); that they might fall over, but they stayed all morning! The children really had fun on this 40 degree day with no snow outside to explore our ice snowman!