Friday, February 26, 2010

Tot School Week 11 (February 22nd-February 28th)

No photographed tot school this week!  Sorry.  We are taking a short vacation - daddy surprised us with a trip to the coast.  See ya on tot school next week!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tot School Week 10 (February 15th-February 21st)

Alyssa is 27 Months Old This Week!!!!

All activities are done under VERY CLOSE supervision (small items). 
Please do not use photos of my child on any website, blog, etc.  Enjoy your visit and please come back again soon

Thank goodness we didn't have any computer issues this week.  We had another BUSY week of learning - check it out!  Yes, we are still doing heart themed activities even though it is NOT Valentine's Day.  Enjoy the blog post and I hope to hear from you soon.  
Letter Match Clothespin Clipping
I am so excited about this activity.  The inspiration for this activity came from a paper-based activity found at Making Learning Fun.  I liked the activity, but I didn't like how much paper and ink it would use.  So, I thought about it all day and finally created a reusable version for Alyssa.  First, I gathered the supplies including a magnetic board, magnetic letters, a white envelope, clothespins, and a red marker.  I filled out the envelope to look like a letter sent to Alyssa from me.  I used a ruler to trace a dotted area for the stamp.  I placed heart stickers on three clothespins (really only need one).  Then, I put a magnetic letter (Melissa and Doug) in the stamp area.  Alyssa job is to identify which lowercase letter below the envelope matches the uppercase letter in the stamp area.  I will use this to match uppercase to uppercase (using different foam magnetic letters) and lowercase to uppercase matching.  Alyssa pinched open the heart clothespin to attach it to the magnetic board.  I will be able to change out the stickers on the clothespins seasonally.  Originally, I laminated three hearts and attached them to the board with magnets, however the magnetic letter would not attach through the laminated paper.  I used a red mailbox found at Target for a dollar for letter storage.  

Alpha Spoons
This activity came from Preschool Activities In a Bag (Book 1-page 33) by Paula Reetz and Sherri Maclean.  I created the activity for Alyssa's workboxes.  I gave Alyssa the alphabet strip from last week instead of the one provided in the book.  I bought plastic spoons (2 different colors).  I also found alphabet stickers (uppercase and lowercase) for one dollar at Target.  I stuck the lowercase letters on the red spoons and the uppercase letters on the white spoons.  I haven't yet written both uppercase and lowercase on the back.  First, I had Alyssa sort the letter into two bowls (lowercase and uppercase).  Next, I had Alyssa to place the lowercase letters in alphabetical order using the alphabet strip.  Then, I had her match the uppercase letter spoons to the lowercase ones.  Two letter stickers weren't provided so I wrote them on the spoons.  My suggestion is to use different stickers than I did or to write them all on as mentioned in the book.    

Heart Reader
Alyssa did VERY WELL with this reader.  First, she read the little book aloud.  Then, I had her placed a red glass heart on the word "on" on each page.  This activity was too easy for her, but we will continue doing similar activities to reinforce sight word recognition and to practice reading at easy levels.  The reader was found at here.   

She also spelled the word "on" using her sight word containers mentioned in a previous post.  We used list 1 sight words from Dolch Bell School.

Alphabet File Folder Game
I found the hearts for making this activity at Making Learning Fun.  Instead of creating two different file folder games, I trimmed the hearts to fit on one file folder.  I glued the uppercase letter hearts on the left side of the folder and the lowercase hearts were on the right side.  I also decided that instead of printing off chocolates that I would use real Hershey Kisses (other ideas using these in a previous post).  Alyssa would name the letter and its sound.  We would discuss whether it was uppercase or lowercase.  Then, she would find the letter and place the kiss on top of the letter.  We sang the alphabet afterwards.  
1.) You can make two separate file folder games as mentioned at the website instead of one like I did.
2.) First, have the child sort the kisses into two bowls: uppercase and lowercase.  Then, have them work on the file folder game or games.
3.) Use two different color dots (one for uppercase and one for lowercase) for self-checking purposes or to make it easier.
4.) Draw lines under all or certain letters to help them see the letters upright in the correct position.
5.) Roll up your child's sleeves and work on a flat surface.
6.) If your child needs help offer clues or assistance.  For example, you can find that letter on the top or bottom/left or right side. 
7.) Remind your child to choose one letter at a time.  
8.) I would also sing about the letter as she worked.

Heart Alphabet Mat Matching
Alyssa matched lowercase letters written on colored hearts to an alphabet mat.  Then, I gave her a candle as a pointer and she sang the alphabet letter sound song.  I let her put the hearts away (in a small bag) to work on her pinching and fine motor skills.  I also gave her small letters from my alphabet arcs to match to the mat.  She practiced both lowercase to lowercase matching and uppercase to lowercase matching.  The Valentine Alphabet Game can be found at Prekinders.  

Opposites Slide and Learn Cards
Alyssa really enjoys reading and looking at her Slide and Learn Opposite Cards (Ross).  She used to play with these all the time when she was a lot younger.  This was kind of a spontaneous activity.  She would guess what the opposite was before sliding it open.  Then, she would read each word (while sliding her finger underneath the word).  Finally, I decided we'd act out or find a way to show the opposites using materials we had in the house for as many cards as possible.
Notes: I suggest choosing the cards in advance and gathering materials ahead of time if possible.  The pictures below show her "happy" and "sad."  

Prewriting With Objects
Alyssa moved foam heart stickers or laminated hearts (magnets on the back) from the left side of the board to the right side.  Then, from the top to the bottom.  This idea was found at Early Learning at Home.  I found the colored hearts at Childcareland.
Note: The foam hearts were easier to use than the laminated ones with magnets.  They didn't slide as well and Alyssa had to lift them up each time.

Shapeable Soap Writing 
Alyssa was given Shapeable Foaming Soap (Frosty Gumball) from Bath and Body Works as a Christmas gift last year from her Great Aunt Karen.  It is a beautiful pink color so I decided to try it during our monthly love theme.  I probably should have worked with it myself before starting the activity.  First, I wrote Alyssa's name using the soap which was a little hard due to the sprayer (somewhat clogged).  Next, we traced the letters of her name.  Alyssa wrote different letters in the soap.  I asked her to rub it into the foil so that the letters could be seen better.  Then, we practice left to right and top to bottom directionality.  We also wrote sight and theme words. Notes: We had to work fast since it dries quickly and mommy was a little worried about her hands being in direct contact with the soap for LONG periods.  Anyways, this was a great sensory experience for her.  I suggest allowing children to explore the soap first and then try learning activities on a later date.  Alyssa was quite intrigued by this stuff! LOL!!!        

Pink Whipped Cream Writing
Alyssa practiced writing letters in the whipped cream.  I wrote words and she would read them.  We also wrote her name and my name.  Then, she played in it.  As you can tell it turned into a liquid because she stirred it so much and because my house is pretty warm.    

LOVE or Valentine's Day Themed Books
Here are two pictures of the books that we have been reading this month.  The first is a picture of Valentine's books.  The second picture shows books about LOVE.   

Mini Eraser Counting
Alyssa used a counting sheet to count out Valentine mini erasers from 1-5.  The counting sheet came from Spinner's End Nursery School.    

Heart Sorting
I gave Alyssa a heart bowl full of foam heart stickers of all sizes and she sorted them by size.  We talked about if the hearts were the same size or different if she placed it in the incorrect spot.  She would correct any mistakes on her own.  I felt like she was acting as if she didn't know at times.  She would lay the heart in a certain area and then look up at me smiling.   

Same and Different Heart Sizes
First, I gave Alyssa three heart stickers and asked her which two were the same.  She pulled the two that were the same together or in a different area on the table.  Then, I gave her four foam hearts and ask her to point to which heart size was different.  

Heart Size Sequencing
Alyssa placed the foam hearts in order from largest to smallest and then from smallest to largest.  

Numerical Spoon Count
I gave Alyssa 11 spoons (numbered 0-10).  I asked her to place them in numerical order after mixing them up.  Then, I handed her tiny foam heart stickers to count and place on each spoon. She spooned them back into the container when she finished the activity.

Gem Sorting and Patterning
Alyssa sorted four different gems (hearts, flowers, squares, and circles) into four tea light candle holders.  We reviewed the colors and shapes of each gem.  I created an AB (shape/color) pattern and Alyssa would extend the pattern.  She's getting better at this!  The gems were a dollar at Target (75 pieces).

Flat Marble Pattern Match
I have seen MANY people on tot school have their children place marbles on a popsicle stick.  I took the advice from The Shafer Family blog to pattern the marbles.  I modeled a pattern on the first stick and Alyssa matched the pattern on another stick.  We created four patterns.  You could add the use of tongs or a spoon to this task for transferring the marbles to the stick. 

M&M Addition Hearts
This was Alyssa's first addition activity besides the use of a small abacus.  I made a few minor changes to the activity.  Alyssa placed a certain amount of M&M's on each half of the heart while counting aloud.  Then, she touched the top of each one to check her work and to count the total amount.  I also had her count the total amount aloud by picking them up and moving them to a heart container.  She poured the candy back in the bowl before starting a new heart.  We were just using any color at first as shown in the activity, but then we started picking two different colored candies to add together (better visual for her).  At the end of the activity she asked if she could have one.  So ... for those of you that know me - I had to make it into a math activity.  I gave her a plush heart die and told her she could have the amount that she rolled.  Go figure - LUCKY girl rolled a six!!!   First, she counted the hearts on the die and then she counted out that number of candies to eat.  I said to Alyssa, "Okay ... that's it ... no more."  She shook her finger at me saying "no."  The M&M addition activity was found at Childcareland.   
Color Match Heart Halves Flipbook
The activity was found at Making Learning Fun.  I told Alyssa that at first we'll look at the left side one color at a time and that she would turn the pages on the right side to find the matching color.  This helped her so that she wouldn't get overwhelmed and quit the activity.  When I gave it to her the first time and ask her to find matching colors - it was overwhelming and she didn't want to try it. I modeled how to do the activity and once I did that she did it several times throughout the week.

Heart Grid Game
This grid game came from Prekinders.  I wanted to paint the hearts pink and red for three weeks, but due to the rain and my schedule ... I decided to just use what I had on hand.  We used glitter hearts.  Alyssa rolled the plush heart die and either counted or recognized the number of hearts on the die.  Then, she counted out the correct amount to place on the grid.  Eventually we'll do this activity as a game (that's how it was intended) to see who can complete their grid board first.  Afterwards, we practiced counting the hearts aloud from 1-20 using the same materials.  

Colored Carnations
I used to do this activity at school with my students and I wanted to try it with Alyssa.  Of course I had to change how I discussed the topic, but I think that it went well considering her age.  My hubby brought home three white carnations.  Alyssa helped me trim the stems and we talked about the color of the carnations.  Then, she poured some water in a glass canning jar.  I should have used the plastic measuring cup (lighter and easier for Alyssa to pour).  I showed her how to squeeze the color into the water.  She gently placed the flower in the water and stirred to mix in the color.  She counted the number of color drops in each jar and told me the colors we were using.  We had one that was red in honor of Valentine's Day, one blue, and one purple.  We also discussed the parts of a flower.  I showed her the holes in the stem with a magnifying glass.  The next day as she was eating breakfast she noticed that the flowers had changed colors and she yelled "Mommy ... look... red flower, blue flower, black flower."  We discussed what happened and how the flowers looked BEFORE and AFTER the experiment.  I showed her the purple flower up close since from a distance she thought it was black.  I printed out before and after pictures for her.  Then, I wrote the words before and after underneath the picture.  Sorry ... the final picture is from several days after the experiment so the flowers are starting to die. 

Color Mixing
Alyssa mixed red food coloring in white whipped cream to make pink whipped cream.  She didn't want to stop mixing so when we used it for our prewriting lesson it was a bit thinner than I expected.  We had to use the last bit of a container I had in the fridge instead of the new one I just bought.  When I opened up the brand new container of whipped cream that hadn't yet expired we found MOLD inside.  How disappointing!  So, then we had a quick lesson about MOLD.

Chocolate Playdoh (edible)
We attempted to make the chocolate Playdoh from Making Learning Fun.  But, it didn't turn out for some reason so we ended up throwing it away.  I am sure it was my fault.    

Social Studies
We read the books titled, Valentine's Day Is by Gail Gibbons and
The Valentine Express by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace.  We talked about the different symbols that represent Valentine's Day and how it is celebrated in different countries around the world.  I know that this post is after Valentine's Day, but due to computer issues I wasn't able to do certain activities in time.    

Meals and Snacks
Muffin Tin Monday
I made Alyssa pink scrambled eggs.  I cut hearts shapes out of strawberries.  She had a strawberry Kid Essential drink with a little food coloring (to make it pink) for breakfast.  I filled one of the heart cavities with strawberry yogurt.  Alyssa toasted a piece of bread and used a heart cookie cutter to cut out a heart.  Then, she spread a little bit of strawberry jam on her toast.    

Heart-Shaped Chocolate Waffles
I was having a chocolate craving and decided we'd do breakfast for dinner one day this week.  I know this isn't the healthiest meal, but we all enjoyed eating it.  I made chocolate waffles and cut Alyssa's into a heart shape.  I also cut strawberry hearts and kiwi for us all to eat.  The waffle recipe came with a vanilla hard sauce recipe.  I had to make a few adjustments since it was a little too sweet for me.  I drizzled a little over our waffles.

Heart Pancakes and Pears
We made pancakes together and cut the pears and pancakes into heart shapes.  

Where's Is Your Heart Lunch
Alyssa toasted a piece of bread and cut out a person using a gingerbread man cookie cutter.  Then, she spread peanut butter on the person.  I gave her two raisins for the eyes.  We discussed where her heart was and I showed her how to place her right hand over her heart (left side).  We talked about hearts and why we have one.  I asked her "Can you look at the picture and give the man a heart too?"  She looked at the picture to figure out where the heart would go on the little man. This activity was found at Making Learning Fun.  I also gave her heart-shaped cucumber slices and raisins for lunch.

Heart Cheese and Apples
One day for lunch Alyssa wanted turkey (no bread for some reason).  So, I cut her some cheese and apples using the smallest heart-shaped cookie cutter I had in the house.    

Fine Motor
Heart sticks were placed in the lacing holes of foam hearts.  The foam hearts were pushed down into the Magic Mold Playdoh.  We discussed the ABC color pattern (pink, purple, blue).  I also asked  Alyssa take each heart out for more fine motor practice.  They were stuck in there pretty good.  She counted the hearts and the heart sticks a she removed them.

Heart Cupcake Pick Bulls Eye
I colored paper reinforcers red and placed them on the styrofoam square.  Alyssa placed each heart cupcake pick into the little hole of the reinforcer.  Then, we counted the number of heart picks.  Great eye-hand coordination activity!

Heart Cutting Scissor Practice (no pic)
WE attempted to cut a heart shape out of construction paper.  I drew half of the heart on folded paper and Alyssa tried using her scissors to cut.  She's not used to them yet, so she sat on my lap and we cut together.

Gross Motor
I was working out one day and Alyssa pulled out her yoga mat ($2.00 from Target) to do the workout video with me.  So cute!

She also jumped a lot on her mini trampoline.

And ... she asked to walk on treadmill.  So, I put the speed as slow as I could and hooked the safety belt to her shirt and allowed her to walk with supervision of course.

Lots of dancing!

Arts and Crafts
Heart Wand Shape Painting
Color Mixing (Science)
Alyssa mixed white and red paint together to make pink paint.  I gave her white paper and the pink paint to paint hearts using a heart-shaped wand I made her.  She loves painting, but doesn't like her hands to get dirty that's for sure.

Flower Bouquet
First, I had Alyssa sort the flowers into two piles based on color.  Then, she used red and white flowers to create a flower arrangement in honor of Valentine's Day.  We started out picking flowers in an AB pattern to arrange (red, pink, red, pink).  Then, I let her choose the colors afterwards.  We should have made flower patterns on the floor, but I didn't think about that until after the activity.  We talked about how some people give flowers to each other in our country and in other countries to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Name Recognition
Wooden Blocks
Alyssa used wooden alphabet blocks to spell her name.

Post It Name
I gave Alyssa six stick notes or post its.  Each one had a letter in her name written on it.  I asked her to spell her name for me using the letters.  Then, I asked her to trace the letters in her name.  I saw this idea on tot school, but I can't remember who posted it.  I also saw it on a teacher website.

The bible verse printables came from Carisa's awesome blog.  Alyssa and I practice reading the verse on the fridge a couple times throughout the week using a small pointer of some sort.  Since her reading skills are getting better every day, I decided to see what words she recognized.  I read aloud the verse one word at a time and she searched for the word and placed it in order.  She did VERY well with this activity.  She even yelled out the ending of the bible verse before I could say it.  YAH!    

Songs and Music
5 Little Hearts
Bible Songs
Toddler Songs
L-O-V-E spells love

We focused on signing the letters a, b, c, d, e, l, o, v, and w.

Sing, Sign, and Spell
L-O-V-E Spells Love by Nellie Edge
We watched the video of her singing and signing the song.  Of course since it was sign language and had music Alyssa focused really well.  You can find the video and words here.  We also used lacing beads to spell the word LOVE as we sang just the song aloud.

Please check out Carisa's and Jolanthe's blogs for more tot and preschool ideas.  Have a GREAT week!!!!