Monday, June 22, 2015

Alphabet Puzzle- ABC Pactice


This is our Alphabet Puzzle. It is a great puzzle for practice with the alphabet because it shows a community and community members that work. This sparks interest and discussion while putting it together. Joey is not interested in doing activities that he thinks are learning activities. So he is able to have fun and practice motor skills while still learning identifying the letters of the alphabet. 
Now I helped Joey find the next letter by singing the ABCs. I was also able to help him find letters by telling him what the picture looked like. Ie: M is a mailman look for the mailman, now look at the letter at the top, that is an M.
There it is complete. Joey would not be able to do this alone but was more than willing to do it with me! Eventually he will be able to do it alone! 

Beach Theme- Week 4

Sorry, we were out of town for a week and although we did do some activities from our Structured Play plans, I did not get a chance to post. Here is Week 4 Plans...

Week 4 Beach Theme


Monday, June 8, 2015

Counting Shells- 5 year old

I gave Jacob a bag of shells to count. He said it would take a year to count all 7 billion shells in the bag. I told him he could organize the shells to help him.
He decided to organize the shells by the look of the shell. I let him do it and just said, "that is one way to do it." He quickly lost count and started over numerous times before telling me he could not do it wil us in the room, we were too distracting. I suggested he organize them in another way to count. He couldn't possible think of any other ways to organize the shells and was getting frustrated so I stepped in. I suggested we put them all together again. He did not like that idea so we kept them in 3 piles. I suggested we do one pile at a time and put them in small groups of 10. Explaining it would be easy to count by 10s. (He does know how to count by 10s. He liked this and put all 3 piles of shells into groups of ten by himself. He ran into a problem when we did not have for a pile of ten. I suggested we put the left overs in a pile to make them in piles of 10. He again, did not like mixing the different shells. So I suggested we count all the one style. I let him count the 10s but jumped in to count the extra as a model for him. 23. He continued to do that for all 3 piles of groups of 10. At the end I asked, "now how do we know the number of shells altogether?" He thought for a while and didn't have ideas. I suggested we keep the groups of ten but all the leftovers together so we can easily and quickly find the total as he is not doing double digit addition yet. When he hears fast and easy, he is on board. We had 72 shells.
This activity was a great way to explore numbers and counting. There was a lot of letting him fail to find the answer. That can be hard sometimes but needs to happen if you want to raise thinkers. We also were able to talk about his complaint at the beginning of the activity. He suggested there were 7 billion shells. We talked about how 72 is a lot but not 7 billion! And we talked about how to easily count a large number of things. 
This was a great activity to put Mr. know-it-All 5 year old in his place and show him he still was learning! 

Color Practice- 22 months old

I gave Jack our color buckets again. (Target dollar station) and some sponge fish. We stuck to 4 colors this time.
I modeled how to match the color to the box then placed them in the box saying the color.
He did it with a little guidance then quickly lost interest and carried around the boxes to play. He used the fish to dump and refill the boxes. Sometimes he would put them in the coordinating boxes other times he would not. The whole activity lasted about 5 minutes.

ABC Game- 3 year old

Joey and I worked on letter recognition and letter sounds with this easy game. (Link to site on week two plans) I wrote the letters into the colored circles. We rolled a die and moved our pieces to the letter. 
Once on the letter we said the letter name and the sound or a word that started with that letter. This was as much a number activity as a letter activity. Counting the dots on the die and counting the spots on the game board. The whole game took about 10 minutes. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June Plans- Week 2

We are getting into Week 2 of our summer Structured Play activities. Here are our plans, we are continuing with the Beach Theme.

Week 2 June Structured Play


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sight Word Book- 5 year old

One of the activities we are doing this summer with my big boy (5 year old), is a sight word book (Pre-K, Kindergarten) in preparation for kindergarten. I bought this printable book on Teachers Pay Teachers. This is a great site where teachers provide the work they have done either for free or a small amount. 
Once you buy the printable you print and have the child cut and glue the pages into a notebook. This is a great resource because it builds not only sight word recognition but also gives them an opportunity to cut, glue and color.
And write! This is the first sight word and the first two pages. I worked with Jacob to put it all together in hopes that next time he will know how to do it himself. I did not nit-pick, this time, for a number of reasons; I want him to feel sucess so it it not a fight every time we do it, I want him to see grown with cutting, coloring and writing skills as the summer continues, and I want him to see that it might not look his best next time so he starts noticing his own ability. I try to teach the boys that their brain is a muscle that needs exercise to grow. They need to try hard to be "smart," it is not something they were born with. I am starting with a word a week and hope to move to a word (2 pages) a day.

This book was well worth the $7.50 it cost and I am sure we will work our way through this summer. I do not like to use a lot of printables (paper/pencils) but sometimes you need to. When this is the case I am so happy that hardworking teachers share their excellent work! Thanks to Jill Bell for all her resources! 



Number Practice- 3 year old

We read, The pout-pout Fish Goes to School. It is a cute story but also counts to 4 repeatedly. I used the number cards (1-4) while reading. I used this to start out counting activity. After the story I laid out the number cards randomly. I told Joey we were going to put them in order. Numbers 1-4 were fairly easy for him since we just used them for the story. 
After 4 he knew 5 but was confused by 6 and 9. I had him look at the fish on the cards to help him. The fish were placed similarly to the Touch Math Method (Google it, it is a great resource!) 
He had to count the fish for 8 and nine but was able to put them in order using that method. After finishing placing them in order, I mixed them up again and asked him to hand them to me in order. I did this as a little assessment to see which numbers he knew by recognition and which he did not. He knew 6/9 and the higher numbers were the ones he had trouble with. This data collection will help me know what to focus on when we do numbers again. 

Feed the Frog- 22 months


Today we worked on motor skills. Jack had to feed the frog! I used an old Parmesan cheese container, drew a face and grabbed some craft balls we had on hand. 
He loved it! He practiced putting the balls through the whole and even added opening and closing the "mouth" each time. 
He got silly and said the frog was eating his fingers! This is a sign of success! When a child takes a skill building activity and expands the play creating a game and getting "lost" in play, that is when you know learning is happening. 
Big brother even wanted a turn! This is the definition of Structured Play! They are learning through play. You take a little for thought preparing a skill building activity and let them go from there! 

Alphabet Practice- 3 year old

We practiced letter identification. Joey knows his letters by singing them but we are working on identifying them. I laid out cards with shells and letters. I started by modeling singing "A" then finding the A. He jumped right in and as we worked I gave him silly identifers. Joey is my silly dude so by telling him B has two bubblers- one in the mouth and one in the belly, he will laugh and remember the letter. I just made things up as I went. Some letters he knows others he confuses.
We made it all the way through the alphabet without him losing patience or getting distracted. That is totally readiness on his part. I have tried similar activities awith him and he just wasn't ready. Happy that at 3 1/2, he is ready now! 
By the way his favorite letter clue is Q. Q is an O sticking his tongue out! 😛

Monday, June 1, 2015

Color Sorting- 22 months

I set three color buckets out for Jack (22 months). We sorted color cards into the buckets. This was his first time trying this activity so I worked with him and was very slow and deliberate with my words. I pointed to the color on the bucket and to the color on the picture card. I kept repeating "match." 
Although I have many color buckets, I only started with 3 as to not 
overwhelm. I would pick a card, say the picture, then say the color. I read an article on toddlers learning vocabulary and a key take away was to make the last word, the most important word they are learning. So we were learning/practicing colors, the color needed to be the last word. (Not typical in English language.) 
"Jack you have a duck. Duck is yellow. Find the bucket, yellow, where is yellow?" All the while pointing to the duck and then the yellow bucket being careful to articulate yellow. 

There were about 4 cards in each bucket. The entire activity lasted aproximently 10 minutes. I put the buckets away after we were finished so he does not play with them as his toys so the next time he knows what they are used for and how to play with them. (Although we will do different activities with them from time to time. 

Buckets came from Target's dollar section. Color cards were printed from Home School Creation. You can find the link here: http://structuredplay.blogspot.com/2012/01/every-month-i-try-to-include-new-color.html?m=0 

Comment and/or share pictures to our Facebook page if you try this activity or one similar! Have fun! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

June Structured Play Plans


With three boys Structured Play time is a little difficult but Jack (the baby) is old enough that we start getting things done all together. The Blue boxes are the activities the children will do with me. While I am working with one of the boys, the other two will have an activity that they can work on alone. I will be right there with them so if someone has a question or needs help I will be there but I will be working one-on-one with one for the most part. I will work hard to do posting of each activity but have linked to activities that I have done before so you can see the general idea. If it is an activity I have sourced, I added the link to the original source. 

Summer 2015

Our summer schedule for this year...

This will be our basic schedule for the summer. Some days may be different but I like to have a general plan because the kids thrive on routine. This is the last summer before Jacob starts kindergarten. I want to make sure we do all the fun things we can do before school starts.
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