Sunday, September 30, 2012

October Plans

Fall is here and it feels oh so good! Windows open, cool breeze flowing!
This month our Theme is Pumpkins. We will spend time on alphabet and number practice as well as spending time working on motor skills and the always fun crafts! Keep checking in for free printables and examples of each activity.

 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dramatic Play- Apple Orchard

Today we set up an apple orchard in our playroom. We took the apple cards we have and placed them around the room. Jacob then grabbed a couple baskets and his dump truck tractor. 
Then we got busy being "farmers." We went apple picking and loaded up the back of the tractor. 
Next, on the farm we fed the animals. Jake said that farmers must feed the animals and since we were apple farmers the animals eat apples! ;) 
We went on to do some plowing of the fields and planting seeds. I asked what we were planting and Jake told me we were planting crops! He has learned all about farms from books and field trips. I let him lead the play and only suggest when his seems to be losing interest. I want Jake to learn to extend play and stick to a game for a longer time. This will help him pretend and play by himself and with others friends. It is an important skill to be able to do. And will actually help in creative thinking, writing, and creating. 

Apple Shaker

We took the apple seeds we have been collecting and put them between two plates to make an apple shaker. I had Jake count the seeds again just as extra practice. I then hot glued the pieces together because hot glue dries so much faster.
I added a Popsicle stick while gluing then handed it over to Jake to decorate. He decided that he needed to draw an apple tree. He really focused making a long tree trunk, leaves and two apples on the tree.
Isn't it cute? 
 

Next we did a little singing and shaking! Our little guy even got to try it out! Shake, Shake, Shake!



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Name Writing Practice

Jacob did a little name writing practice today. He was asked to trace the dotted lines to write letters for his name. This is good practice with spelling as well. I had him say each letter as he wrote the letter. 
As you can see he is very choppy and not exactly on the dotted lines. His motor skills are not quite sharp enough yet to be able to hold the crayon and he especially loses control as he works on towards the end.
We also did a Missing Letter Name Practice. Both of these ideas came from Cherrios and Lattes' Play to Write, Write to Read. These are good ways to practice names and writing.
He gets very angry if he thinks he made a mistake. See the scribbling. I have to reinforce that it is ok to make a mistake and that everyone makes mistakes but we just keep trying. Practice is the only way to get better. When this happens I cannot help but think of my former students that did the very same thing and proceeded to throw fits and give up. I hope to help Jacob get over this frustration and anger at himself before he starts elementary school. This will help to alleviate trouble in school. 
I had a sweet surprise later this evening. Jake was coloring while I was making dinner. He called me over because he, "made a J!" I looked on his paper and he sure did make a J! I encouraged him to make his whole name and he did! As you can see from the picture above, he made a J A (little line next to the circle) C (backwards) O (very big) and B (backwards). This is the first time his has written his name by himself! I was so shocked and so proud! I think for a- just turned 3 year old that is not in love with writing or any kind of academic "work," he did great!!





Monday, September 17, 2012

Number Practice- Apple Picking

Today we did some Apple Picking! I drew (sorry for the lack of ability) an apple tree and some baskets. I taped apples onto the tree with numbers on them and behind them on the tree. I then added numbers to the baskets. I told Jake we were going apple picking to practice letter recognition. I asked him to pick an apple and place it in the basket with the matching number. 
He, of course, grabbed 9 instead of starting with number one. But I let him keep going moving backwards. He was still matching and saying the numbers. I took turns with him we both said the numbers while matching.
After we picked all the apples and placed them in the baskets we decided to put them back on the trees. This time I told him to start with one and count up to 9 as he put the apples back on the tree. 
He enjoyed sticking the apples in the baskets and back onto the tree. It is amazing how much kiddos like tape. He loved that they stuck when he pushed them onto the paper. Keeping him interested and excited really helps Jacob learn.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Apple Memory


We did a little matching today through a Apple Memory Game I made.
 
 I just printed these apple pictures on card stock, cut them apart and laminated them. For children too young for a memory game just spread the cards out face up and have them find the matches.  
 
Jacob has just been playing memory for the last 6 months or so. We started with very limited pieces (3 matches, six cards total) at about 2 1/2 now at three we have worked up to about 12 pieces. Still not ready for a whole game.
He needs to be reminded to take one turn and to try to remember where the pieces are before looking at them but he is getting there! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Counting Apple Seeds

Today we started our Structured Play time by reading Apple Countdown by Joan Holub. This is a great counting book. We did some counting practice as we read. It is important that I do not push Jake but keep him wanting to count so I do not make him count on each page.
After reading I cut an apple and allowed Jake to pull out the seeds with a pumpkin carving knife. He is very interested in helping in the kitchen and always wants to help cutting. I decided to teach him how to use a knife safely. For starters I have him use this rounded edge knife. It is not sharp on it's end and the edges are rounded. It is great for sawing instead of slicing. Jake used his knife to pull out the seeds of the apple.
The story told us that an apple can have between 5 and 10 seeds so we lined up our seeds and counted them. Our apple had seven.



Monday, September 10, 2012

Alphabet Practice

On our wall at home we have the alphabet letters stretched out. We have a pointer that I have Jacob use to point at the letters and sing the ABCs! This makes it interactive, gets him moving and helps connect the visual of each letter with it's name. I use the letters on the wall not just as decoration but to practice singing as well. My hope is that he will see the letters while playing and it will just be more print exposure. (This is our playroom)
After he sings and points I ask him to identify random letters as I call them out. I would say he has about a 80% mastery level for the letters as of now. The best way I have found for him to learn to identify the letters is to put a word to them. The first ones he could identify were M and D- Mommy and Daddy. He was actually so young he didn't know or wouldn't say the letter but point to D and say dada. 
Next we put together an alphabet puzzle for more practice. This puzzle is great! It has a little town scene in the middle and all the letters around the middle with a person/career that fit together along the outside. It is a great puzzle for alphabet practice. 
Jacob sings the song to find which letter is next but it is great practice for him! He loves looking at the different careers and talking about what those "workers" do. I feel this puzzle is good practice in identifying the letters and connecting the letters with a word!



Apple Sensory Box

This month's Sensory Box is filled with red! We have apples, flowers, feathers, puff balls and more! I used rice as the filler and put a couple bowls and spoons in. 
I let him explore on his own for a while then I started asking questions and exploring/modeling with him. After seeing him count the puff balls I pulled out an egg carton and some tweezers to add a little motor skill practice. 
A Sensory Box is purely exploration. Children are to just have free rein to play and explore. Do not push and do not "ask" of them during this time. If they are at a loss of what to do with the box then it is a good idea to model playing yourself but try not to "tell" them how or what to play. 



Apples in a Basket

For our number practice we took a pile of apple cards and five bowls (could not find baskets to suit my need). I printed the numerals 1-5 and set them in front of the bowls. Next I had Jacob put apple cards into the bowls. One apple for each number. This made him have to recognize the number and then count out the apples. 
The numbers were in order so it wasn't too difficult. He was able to identify the numbers and correctly count out the apples. After he did the task I had him take out all the apples and line them up to count. 
There were 15 apples which was perfect for him to have to count because he can successfully count to 13 on his own. This works out because it is just above his level. He will count without frustration but still be pushed to a level above where he is performing. As the month continues we will add bowls/baskets and apples to continue the practice. 


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Apple Printing

We decided to do a little art project to start our first week plans. I grabbed two apples, some paint and a paper bag. I used a paper bag because of the texture. It helps with the stamping of the apples.
I cut the apples opposite directions showing Jake the seed pods and how if you cut them horizontally or vertically you get different results. I asked him what the seed pods looked like on the apples. His response was unexpected! He said the first apple pod above looked like a moon and the second looked like a flower. I was so happy I asked him before telling him what I thought it looked like. I always have said/thought the second apple looked like a star.
I put some paint on a plate and demonstrated to Jake how to use the apple as a stamp. He went right to work. He did have some difficulty picking up the apple after it was in the paint but he figured it out and did not want help!
He really liked the stamping process. I suggested that he draw on some stems and leaves but he was more interested in the stamping so I let him be.



Saturday, September 1, 2012

September Plans- Apple Theme 3 Year Old Plans

Well, my little guy is now 3 years old! It is so hard to believe! Now that he is 3 I have decided to change our Structured Play time a bit. I have a new format for the plans and a new plan for our daily schedule. Jacob is doing great and I am very proud of his progress. I have decided to make goals for each week and try to hit 5 activities in a week. I am sure we will be doing repeats of activities but my goal is hitting 5 new a week plus Letter of the Week. I want to hit letters and numbers and a craft each week.

September Plans

 
As far as literature this month, I have chosen to take a different approach now. We will be reading and rereading one theme book a week. I want to instill in Jacob the importance of re-reading. I want to hit the same story repeatedly so that we can to some pre-reading practice with him. More on that to come.

Hope you are "Playing" along with us!


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