Monday, February 1, 2010

Tot School (Week 7: Jan.25th-Jan.31st)

Alyssa is 26 months old

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!
Okay ... I am going to be honest ... we had a VERY LAZY week.   Most of the activities that were planned were not even touched ... so expect to see them next week.  I also didn't take photos of all the learning toys she played with this week.  But, we'll get back to work next week.  I have already planned a lot for the month of February and I'm so excited!!!!!!!

The Mitten by Jan Brett
First, we did a picture walk through the book and discussed what we thought the book was about.  She showed me where the title was and read it aloud.  Then, she reviewed the parts of a book (cover, spine, and back of the book).  We have been doing that for quite some time now, so I wanted to make sure she didn't forget.  I asked her to show me where I should start reading and she pointed to the correct spot.  Alyssa also predicted what animal was next each time by noticing the details on the right page.  We talked about which animal went in first, second, and so forth.  I had her search through the text of the book for certain words too.

Red Mitten, Red Mitten What Do You See ... 
The words for this mitten activity came from Childcareland.  This is a great resource for preschoolers or toddlers learning letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Check out her website!  I use her materials to review colors, shapes, numbers, and the alphabet with my daughter.  Anyways, I read the words and Alyssa placed one mitten at a time in the pocket chart.  Then, we put them all in the pocket chart and she reviewed her colors.  She used a paint stick to point to each color.  I will eventually paint and decorate it, but for now it is not on my list of priorities.  The only color that she didn't know was beige  (that was a new one for her)!  I gave her a pair of sunglasses to wear and a microphone to see what would happen.  Of course ... she sang her version of the song ... it was very cute.    

Then, I gave her a sight word reader titled, The Mitten from Hubbards Cupboard.  Alyssa actually read the entire book pointing to each word (except for words badger and hedgehog which were  new words for her).  She identified the sight word "was" on each page by covering it with a flat red marble.  Then, she spelled the word "was" aloud.  This is now one of the words my daughter spells verbally from memory (without any help).  
We also read another reader found here that seemed more like a song.  Alyssa matched the animals to each page as I sang the song from the reader.  The animals were found at Kizclub.  We also put the animals in order as to when they went inside the mitten (with mom's help of course).  I will use The Mitten story props again from Kizclub next week (placing animals inside the mitten in order) after rereading the story.  Check out this website for more story props, alphabet materials, and other great activities!
I traced and cut two oversized mittens out of orange felt.  The tracer was found at Kizclub.  I will use the mitten next week for lacing.  I created a design on my mitten (left) and asked Alyssa if she could create the SAME design on hers (right).  She did surprisingly quite well with this activity and kept asking me to create more designs.  I was so excited about this activity so beware I posted a lot of photos.  I started with very simple designs for her to match.
I placed a picture card or a real object on the left felt mitten and Alyssa would find the beginning sound for each picture.  I plan on doing more beginning sound activities with her. 

Mitten Counting
I wanted to do a counting and fine motor activity related to our mitten theme, so when I found this activity at Making Learning Fun I knew it was the right one.  The idea was to count out and connect the chain links to the number and number words.  Alyssa had no problem finding the matching number words.  Our problem was that ... Alyssa didn't like the chain links.  She tried to connect them, but no matter what she did it didn't work even though I modeled ways for her to try.  So, I had to change the activity before she got frustrated.  She would place a number down, count out the correct number of chain links, and place them under the mitten.  I did show her how to rearrange the chain links the Montessori Way.  I like how the Montessori method shows odd and even amounts when counting (we'll talk about odd and even later when she gets used to placing the items this way). What a GREAT concept!  Then, I had Alyssa find the matching number and place it above the number word mitten.  We reviewed the prepositional terms under, beside, and above.     

Target Deals
Here are a few things that I found in the dollar area of Target.  They were selling colorful, uppercase magnetic letters and numbers, small magnetic storage containers, and a mini schedule chart (pocket chart).  Everything was a dollar except for the storage containers - they were $2.50 for a package of four in either black or blue.  I'll show you what my original idea was until the magnets starting falling out of the containers.  I plan on using the schedule chart for Alyssa's morning routine and for making words lessons.  

Sight Word Spelling
The containers from Target are hard to open and the magnets kept falling out so I had to switch them out with ones found at Dollar Tree.  My plan is to loosen up the containers over a period of time and hot glue the magnets back on for later use.  I wanted to put five sight words a week on her magnetic easel and have her practice spelling them.  The only downside to the letters are that they only sell uppercase letters and I really wanted lowercase, but I bought them anyways.  I ended up using 20 Sure Fresh mini storage containers from the Dollar Tree.  I placed trimmed mini sight word cards (list 1) from The School Bell in each container with the corresponding letters needed to spell the word.  I also gave her a mini magnetic board for now and oh ... I found a tray to hold up the word card in my teaching supplies.  Alyssa LOVES LOVES these tiny containers.  She knew most of the words already, but I think I will keep them in for  a little while longer before I switch out words.  She spelled each word without any problems.  There's no rush!

Sandpaper Letter Match
She wanted all of her sandpaper (tactile) letters at once one day.  So, I gave them to her and placed an ABC chart on the floor next to her without any instruction.  She traced the letters and placed them on the chart after she was done.

Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes Song
I had preschool music playing while we worked.  She jumped up and started dancing when she heard this song.  So, I snapped a picture.  

Lacing Alphabet Beads
I gave her the alphabet beads to keep her busy and for fine motor skills.  She did this for awhile as you can see.  I just let her do what she wanted with them.  She did say the colors and letters as she beaded them on to the string.

Uppercase Lowercase Match
First, Alyssa sorted the Melissa and Doug ($6.99 at Ross) uppercase letters from the lowercase letters as seen on the tray.  Then, she chose four uppercase letters to place in each corner of a small magnetic board.  She would find the matching lowercase letter to match and placed it beside the uppercase letter.     

Sorting Marbles
I was getting activities ready for the month of February and needed to give Alyssa something to do.  So ... since I needed all of my clear, flat marbles for next week - I asked Alyssa to place all the clear ones in a milk jug for me (fine motor practice).  I know so bad ... making her do my work.  She didn't want to just pull out the clear ones, so I handed her some plates for the rest.  It ended up being a sorting activity.   

Snowman Sight Word File Folder Game
I was trying to get another "busy" activity ready for Alyssa so I could prepare more for next week.  But, Alyssa wouldn't let me put this activity together before she FINISHED it.  I was cutting laminated sight words (two letter sight words) and placing them in a pile.  I had the file folder out and the snowman on top (not glued yet of course).  Alyssa kept taking the sight words and matching them on the snowman.  By the time I finished cutting them she was done with the activity ... so long story short ... I had to give her markers to draw on her easel instead of this activity.  The file folder game can be found at Childcareland.  Check out her FREE printables here.

Sign Language
Alyssa begged me to do Starfall activities.  They have some activities for particular letters where the child is suppose to place uppercase and lowercase letters in the correct container (left or right).  So, I would ask Alyssa which side the letter would go on (left or right) to help her identify between the two.  
SIDE NOTE: When Alyssa was younger, I showed her which arm was left and which was right.  I would then have her raise her left and right arms on command and tickle her.  She LOVES it!
Starfall also has activities where they show you three letters and the child has to decide which one does NOT belong.  
She practiced the sign language alphabet using Starfall.  Here are pics of Alyssa practicing the letters L, O, Q, and R.  Later that day in the car she was practicing V and W.  She is really interested in sign language lately, so I may need to find more activities.
Alyssa went through every letter, sang the alphabet song twice, and viewed the entire sign language section once.    

I found this game at Ross for $6.99.  I figured it would be great for math and fine motor skills.  First, I had Alyssa GENTLY place the sticks through the tiny holes.  Then, I gave her a cup full of marbles to POUR in the top container.  We took turns pulling sticks out and placing them in our cups.  I believe the colored cups are from Dollar Tree.  We turned the container around each turn so that marbles would possibly fall in each section of the tray.  Afterwards, we counted our sticks, placed a number by it, and compared amounts.  I just used what I had on hand (a torn up envelope).  We talked about how we had the same amount.  I also made cards for more and less.  She counted how many marbles were in each section of the tray as she dropped them in a cup.  She liked the sound it made!  She placed number cards on top of each section.  I would obviously count them ahead of time in order to make the cards.  Alyssa would look at the cards and try to identify the correct number (11-20 were harder).  We also counted how many sticks were left and she showed me the amount with her fingers.   
Well, like I said it was a very short week for us.  I look forward to hearing your comments and seeing what you all did this week.  I am VERY excited about next month ... I have already planned a lot of activities and can't wait to see how Alyssa reacts to them.  We'll probably focus on finishing up The Mitten activities I already prepared.  We'll begin Groundhog and Valentine's Day activities next month (heart and love theme).  I am also planning on doing more phonemic awareness activities with her.  I have some things in mind already.     

To see more tot school and preschool ideas visit Carisa or Jolanthe's blogs.  


  1. Good gracious she is advanced!!! I think I said that last week, but whoa, I am blown away this week. WOW, great job keeping up with her abilities at such a young age!

    I can tell you are a fellow teacher...some of your descriptions remind me so much of my K teaching days!!!


  2. Thanks Carisa! I try to keep up with her ... she definitely keeps me on my toes!

  3. I can't believe all that you accomplished - especially for a slow week. She looks so cute working on her mitten pattern matches!

  4. Scary that you say this is a short week! You have some awesome activities here. I really liked where you had her match the designs on the mitten. I agree with Carisa. I didn't read that she was only 26 months old until after I read Carisa's comment. And I thought what she did was amazing before I read that.

  5. Thank you Kewkew! I was so excited about the mitten matching activity. I thought that it was going to be a dud, but she enjoyed it and did well.