Monday, May 3, 2010

Tot School Week 19 and 20: (April 19th-May 2nd)

Alyssa is now 29 months old
(She's not 30 months old ... Sorry I am a little tired.)
This probably goes without saying PLEASE do not use the pictures on this blog without prior permission.  Feel free to borrow ideas from this blog, but PLEASE link back to my blog if you found something useful.  The use of small items requires close parent or teacher supervision at ALL times.  Thank you and enjoy your visit!!!!

THIS HAS BEEN A HECTIC COUPLE OF WEEKS FOR US.  Most of the chicken and egg themed activities were from the first week.  Alyssa has been SICK the last two weeks, we had 1-3 doctor appointments each week, and we started spring cleaning.  Since I did not have time to post last week I decided to make one LONG post so that I could keep the themed activities together.  Beware I have posted a bunch of picture.  Surprisingly Alyssa continued to work even though she wasn't feeling well.  
Just a Few Earth Day Activities
Books Read
Dora Celebrates Earth Day written by Alyssa Capucilli
Biscuit's Earth Day Celebration written by Emily Sollinger
Recycle! written by Gail Gibbons

Recycled Letter Match
I printed the trash can from Making Learning Fun.  I placed a magnet on the back and attached it to the magnetic board.  I placed a lowercase letter on the trash can with three uppercase letters on the side of the board.  Alyssa attached the clothespin to the board where the matching uppercase letter was located.  We also sang the song "Who letter the letter ___ out" after each letter.  I did place the magnetic board on top of a box to raise it up a bit.  Alyssa would run to the door, turn around, and close her eyes while I changed the letters.  Then, she would run back to the table to make her choice.  I tried to mix her up by using the same colored uppercase letters, formations that were the same, etc.  This activity was a great review activity.  She would also tell me the letter name, sound, and a word associated with the letter.       

Yard Litter Clean-up (Garbage Sort)
I was going to spread garbage all around my yard and asked Alyssa to help mommy clean up the litter.  I had a large box to store everything she collected.  Then, we were going to go inside to sort the garbage.  She was going to sort the items as to whether they were paper, plastic, or metal.  We did talk about the terms recycle and reuse.  I showed her items that we reuse in the house.  We were also going to make something (reuse) using recycled items.  This activity was planned, but we never did get around to doing it since it was raining and the yard was really wet that week.  We'll do it next year for sure! 

Rock Counting
Alyssa rolled out the mat and placed the number cards in numerical order on the mat.  Next, she counted the rocks for each number card while working on Montessori placement.  I am still thinking about using velcro dots on the mat to show her the placement at first, but I think she is catching on rather quickly (just an idea for others).  She counted rocks for the numbers 1-10.  I asked her which number set had the most (more) or least (less) amount.  I even asked her to count the rocks back in the container for more counting practice.    

More and Less Rock Comparison
I turned the cards face down and asked Alyssa to pick two number cards.  Next, she placed the two cards side by side on the mat and used rock counters to count out the correct amount for each card.  I asked Alyssa to point to the number with the least and most amount of rocks.  I did this activity to work on counting, comparing numbers, and Montessori placement.  Then, I had an idea ... see the activity or game below. 

Rock and Roll
Originally, I came up with the idea to use two number cards at a time so that we could work on Montessori placement of items while counting (see activity above).  I would place a card down and ask Alyssa where does the first rock go.  She would point to the spot.  I would then say, "Can you show me where two goes? Three?" and so forth.  We used the terms "under" and "next to" to describe the placement of the rocks.  
But ... this activity turned out to be more than what I intended it to be.  I had an idea and went with it.  Of course, I modeled the activity before asking Alyssa to try it.  I gave her two dice, number flash cards, and a container of rocks.  I asked her to roll the green die first (green means start rolling).  Next, she searched the pile of cards for the number rolled on the die.  Then, she counted out the correct amount of rocks to go underneath the number card (working on placement).  She rolled the second die (red means stop rolling) and did the same thing.  After counting the rocks, we discussed which number had more or less rocks.  I had her point to the number that had more or less.  Then, I had her point to the number that was odd or even.  I asked her why a certain number was odd.  She said, "No partner."  This activity worked on dot recognition, number identification, counting, Montessori placement, comparing numbers, and let's not forget odd and even terminology.  You could also throw in an odd or even song to sing if you wanted.   
Note: This can become a game instead if you had two players.  Each player gets a die to roll and they share the number cards unless of course you have two sets of number cards.  If that is the case, then you can also discuss having the SAME amount of rocks.  The player with the highest number can earn a token.  Compare amount of tokens received in the end.  Tokens can be theme related or not (stickers, beans, seeds, rocks, pebbles, mini erasers, candy, cereal, beads, gems, etc.).

Egg and Chick Theme
Books We Read
First the Egg written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Haatch! written by Charles Reasoner
The Chick That Wouldn't Hatch Written by Claire Daniel
Chickens Aren't the Only Ones written by Ruth Heller
Tillie Lays an Egg written by Terry Golson
Daisy Comes Home written by Jan Brett
Hedgie's Surprise written by Jan Brett
Rosie's Walk written by Pat Hutchins
Chicks and Chickens written by Gail Gibbons
An Egg is Quiet written by Dianna Aston
Guess What is Growing Inside this Egg
The Little Red Hen by Byron Barton
The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
Out of the Egg by Tina Matthews
Zinnia and Dot Lisa Campbell Ernst
Kele's Secret Tololwa M. Mollel
Saturday Sancocho Leyla Torres
Hurry! Hurry! Eve Bunting
Chicks and Chickens written by J. Lou Barnes
A Dozen Dozens Harriet Ziefert

Nursery Rhymes or Books Read

Humpty Dumpty written by David Kirk
Humpty Dumpty written by Kin Eagle
One, Two Buckle My Shoe
Humpty Dumpty Poem
Hickety, Pickety My Black Hen Poem
I wanted to do more activities with these rhymes, but I may have to do a separate theme since I found and thought of so many ideas.  I was going to have Alyssa place markers on the rhyming words, but she showed no interest in this activity.  She only wanted to read the two poems (nursery rhymes).

Readers Used 
Hubbard Cupboards
First, I gave Alyssa the reader and asked if she could read it to me.  I reminded her to point under each word as she reads.  She read the book aloud.  I decided to extend our sight word activity a little more this week.  Next, I asked her to match the correct animal figurine to the picture in the book.  I would say, "Find the animal that matches the picture in your book."  Then, I ask her to find the word for the picture in the sentence and to circle it with her mini highlighter (found at Target awhile ago).  I would say, "Circle the word ___ with your highlighter."  I also asked her to place mini eggs over the sight words "out" and "of."  I would say, "Can you place the blue egg on top of the word (add sight word)?"  I used two eggs colors, so she would have to listen to the directions first.  She used her sight word containers to spell the sight words.  She placed the word on the letter holder and use magnetic words to spell them.  She is getting better at spelling words.  Just a few words that she is spelling from memory are mom, dad, on, off, Alyssa, bat, hat, cat, sat, fat, at, etc.  She has been able to spell her name since before her second birthday and that is what started the excitement of spelling words.  She's been interested in punctuation marks lately, so I also asked her what punctuation mark was at the end of several sentences.    

Where Does It Come From
Alyssa read the reader on her own pointing to each word.  She placed the sight word cards (written on index cards) in the letter holder.  Then, she searched in our alphabet storage container for the correct letters to spell the sight words "come" and "from."  I also had her identify the sight words in context (in the reader).  She made her own connections to the reader ... telling me stories about peanut butter sandwiches that she eats for lunch, milk that she drinks for breakfast, cows that she saw at the farm petting zoo and her birthday party, and so forth.  It was very interesting to hear what she remembers.  We haven't been to the petting zoo in a long time.  

I'm a Little Chicken
Just taking some time to read!

Hen Wing Alphabet Match
I placed a lowercase letter on one side and Alyssa matched the uppercase letter on the other wing.  When she came to the table I would ask her, "What is the name of lowercase letter on the hen's left wing?" What sound does the letter ____ make?  As in the word ____ (she would tell me a word).  Can you find the uppercase letter ____?"  As she looked for the letter I said, "I spy the letter ____."  This was also a nice review activity.  She reviewed letter names, sounds, and words associated with the letter too.  She also enjoyed tracing the letters (letter formation) with her fingers.  I printed the blank chicken from this activity at Making Learning Fun and used the idea from the same website but a different activity at Making Learning Fun.  I used my own magnetic Melissa and Doug letters.

Alpha Phonics 
We started using Alpha Phonics Lessons by Samuel Blumenfield.  We did lesson 1 and 2 this week.  I am taking this slow and exposing her to the lessons.  I also add on other activities that I create for each lesson.  I use magnetic letters instead of having her sit and stare at a lesson in a book.  I also added in sandpaper letters (words) presented in each lesson for Alyssa to trace.  I made her a twist egg: One side had the letter "a" and the other side had the letters "m, n, s, t, and x" written around the egg.  She would turn one side to create new words.

Mystery Egg Riddle
I put a "secret" object inside the egg.  I  wrote several short describing sentences about the object on index cards (1 sentence per card front and back).  Alyssa and I read the sentences together using a mini pointer stick that she held.  Then, I asked her to think about what could be inside the egg as I reread the sentences.  After rereading I said, "What do you think is inside the egg?"  She said, "a duck."  I think she did pretty good since we've only done this type of activity maybe two other times.  She loves these little chicks!  This was my take on Little Giraffe's Show and Tell Eggs (last activity on the page).  
Our Sentences Were:
1.) It is yellow.
2.) It is soft and fluffy.
3.) It has a beak.
4.) It has feathers.
5.) It is small.
6.) It hatches from an egg.
7.) Its mother is a hen.
"What is it?"

Word Family Baskets
-at, -am, -an, -ax
Alyssa opened eggs and read the word inside.  Then, she sounded it out slowly.  I showed her how to sound out the word using the  onset and rime.  I modeled a few eggs for her.  Of course she found an easier way.  She covered the first letter and matched the endings.  She also held the word card up to each basket to see if it had the same ending (word family).  At least she sounded the words out first.  After choosing a basket, she put the card back inside the egg.  We also talked about how the words rhymed in each basket.  I was inspired to make this activity after viewing Easter Word Families at Pre-K Pages.  However, her activity was a little different ... she wrote the onset on a half of the egg and the rime on the other half.  Then, she mixed them up so that the child could find a match that would make a word.  Then, it was placed in the correct basket.      

Oviparous Beginning Sound Eggs
Alyssa chose an oviparous animal from the container.  Then, she said what it was emphasizing the beginning sound.  She found the egg labeled (dot stickers) with the correct beginning sound or letter.  She placed the animal inside the egg.  I thought that I had better pictures for this activity, but I guess not.  The small group beginning sound egg activity at Prekinders inspired me to do this activity with Alyssa.   

Oviparous Beginning Sound Baskets
This activity is very similar to the one above ... I used baskets this time.  I labeled several baskets with beginning sounds.  I gave Alyssa a basket full of eggs.  She would open the egg and see what oviparous animal was inside.  She would say the name of the animal emphasizing the beginning sound.  Then, she would put it back inside the egg and place it in the correct basket.  She did this activity without any help.  This was another activity inspired by Pre-K Pages.  The only difference is that instead of using any objects from my sound bags, I used oviparous animals.  I should have labeled the baskets with both uppercase and lowercase letters, but I forgot to do that.    

Life Cycle Sequencing Puzzle
I placed the three puzzle pieces in the top part of a tray.  Alyssa connected the pieces by putting them in sequential order.  I asked her which puzzle piece comes first, next, and last.

Chicken Life Cycle Ink Stamping
I gave Alyssa foam stamps, washable ink, and paper.  The chicken was from my farm animal collection and the others were from the Easter collection.  You can find these at Oriental Trading.  I asked her which came first and she stamped the egg. Then, she did the rest.  She also used the stamps to create another picture for her daddy.  I gave her more stamps, colors, and paper to create whatever she wanted. 

Egg Parts and Tasting
Alyssa and I hard boiled several eggs for experiments this week.  I showed Alyssa an egg.  I asked her to feel it and smell it.  I asked her to tell me the shape and color of the egg.  Then, I asked her how we could crack the egg.  She cracked the egg open by banging it on her high chair.  She immediately told me that "Humpty Dumpty was cracked" and we talked about how he cracked his shell.  We discussed the parts of the egg after she peeled the shell off.  She wanted to cut the egg so I gave her a plastic knife.  Last of all, I told Alyssa to taste the yolk and then the egg white.  I asked her which one she liked best (which was her favorite).  She liked the egg whites.  I wanted to make her a mini deviled egg, but she ate it too fast and there was too much damage from the cutting activity.    

Vinegar Egg
I gave Alyssa a jar, a plastic measuring cup with spout, and a hard boiled egg.  First, she gently placed the egg inside the jar.  Then, she slowly poured the vinegar in the jar.  We talked about how the vinegar was a liquid.  She automatically noticed the tiny bubbles surrounding the egg as she observed it.  We talked about why the bubbles were forming.  She also noticed later that the egg was moving (spinning) and that it floated to the top of the jar.  We opened the egg jar almost a week later (I forgot about it).  Before opening it I asked her questions about the experiment to remind her what we did.  I poured out the vinegar and she felt the egg.  We talked about the smell of the egg, how it felt, and what happened to the shell.  I thoroughly washed our hands and got rid of the egg immediately.    

Float and Sink Experiment
I gave her two glasses that were the same size and she told me they were both empty.  I gave her a measuring cup with warm water to pour in the first cup.  Alyssa gently dropped a hard boiled egg in the cup.  She observed what happened to the egg.  I asked her if the egg floated to the top or sunk to the bottom.  She said, "Egg sink to the bottom of the cup."  Next, she poured water into the second cup.  She said, "cup not empty ... full."  She gently placed an egg in the cup.  It also sank to the bottom.  Then, she poured salt into the cup and forgot to STOP pouring when mama asked.  So ... she did make a mess with the salt, but we talked about how we clean up our messes.  She said, "Where is my egg?"  She couldn't see because the water clouded when we added the salt.  Of course we talked about that too.  After the salt dissolved and settled ... she could see her egg clearly Alyssa yelled, "Egg floated to top."  I asked her questions about the experiment and what happened to both cups.  Alyssa signed the word water to tell me what liquid was poured into the cups.  I also drew two cups with the words before and after underneath them.  I gave Alyssa a plastic egg and told her to look at the cup with just water.  I told her to place the egg on the paper where the egg was in her cup.  She traced the egg.  We did this for both cups so that she would have a picture of what happened.  You could also use egg stickers.       

Hard Boiled and Raw Egg Experiment
Equal or Same Amounts of Water Extension
At the beginning of the activity she told me both glasses were empty.  This time I filled one glass with water allowing room for an egg.  I placed a glass next to the first one.  I asked her to point to the empty glass and then to point to the full glass.  I ask Alyssa to say STOP when I had the SAME or EQUAL amounts of water in both glasses.  I poured a little bit in the glass and asked her, "Do I have the same amount in both cups?"  She said, "No - need more."  I asked her which cup had more water and she pointed to the correct glass.  I continued to pour the water into the cups.  She forgot to tell me to stop the first time and water poured all over the table.  She said, "Too much water mama."  So, we tried it again and she remembered to tell me to stop at the correct spot.  I showed her a hard boiled egg and told her that it was cooked.  She GENTLY placed it in one cup and told me it sunk to the bottom.  I showed her the second egg and said that it was raw (not cooked).  Then, she dropped it in the other cup and told me it sank to the bottom.  Both eggs sank to the bottom.  We talked about why both eggs sank to the bottom.  She washed her hands after handling the raw egg.  I wanted to do the rotten and fresh egg experiment, but we ran out of time that week.    

A Dozen Oviparous Eggs
We sang the "Ten Little Eggs" song from Making Learning Fun except for I started with the number twelve instead of ten.  Alyssa opened the eggs (jumbo or large) to reveal an animal that lays eggs (oviparous) when I sang, "Oh, Oh, listen close ... one just hatched."  Sorry ... so many pictures, but she was so cute during this activity.  She LOVED it!  Oh ... I also asked her how many eggs were left in the basket so that she could practice recognizing quantities without counting them.  We counted all of the animals that hatched from the eggs.      

Farm Animal Offspring Egg Match
My friend gave me a farm animal mother and baby worksheet from Reading A-Z.  I created a T-chart on a piece of paper.  I glued the labels farm animal mothers and farm animal babies at the top of each column.  Then, I cut the strips of paper with the animal names on them and placed each one inside an egg (12 eggs total).  I wanted Alyssa to chose an egg to open, read the word, and searched for the matching one (like a concentration or memory game).  She ended up opening each egg, removing the paper, reading the word, and she placed it on the table.  After opening all eggs, I told her to pick one and she glued it under the mother or baby column.  I asked her "Is that the mommy or baby animal?"  Then, I asked her to find the other one (mother or baby depending on which one was already glued down).  

Egg Sort: Sound, No Sound
Last year Alyssa and I matched sound eggs.  This year I wanted to do something different.  So, I used painter's tape to create a t-chart on the floor.  I wrote the words sound and no sound on index cards for the labels.  I used our sound eggs from last year which were  filled with a variety of items including lentils, rice, beans, mini egg counters, money, etc.  I modeled one egg for her.  Alyssa would remove one egg from the basket and shake it to see if it made a sound or not.  She would tell me and then chart it.  Then, she counted how many were on each side.  I also asked her which side had the most eggs and which side had the least amount of eggs.  She pointed to the correct sides.      

Egg Experiments We Didn't Get To But Would Have Enjoyed
Fresh or Rotten Experiment
Spinning Egg Experiment
Egg Crush
Egg Drop
Shrinking Egg (page 25-27)

Counting Eggs in Baskets
I used the egg number cards (counting eggs) from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  First, Alyssa placed the number cards in numerical order.  Then, she counted the correct amount of eggs for each basket.  However, she tried counting the baskets under each number card ... she realized quickly that she didn't have enough baskets to count for each number card.  So ... I had her lay out the baskets first and then count the eggs.  Alyssa also poured the eggs back into the container for more pouring practice.  I planned this activity back in February or March when I first spotted the mini eggs and baskets at Hobby Lobby.  I was going to use number flash cards instead of the awesome ones found at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  But, since then ... I have also seen the SAME activity at My Montessori Journey (chicken number cards).

I was inspired to create this activity after viewing a similar one at Little Giraffe's website.  I added in the addition tray I made and used different seasonal counters.  I used tacky stuff to stick the equal and addition sign on the tray so that I could still use the tray for other activities.  I placed a certain amount of little white eggs inside the white egg.  I also placed a certain amount of chick erasers in the yellow egg.  First, Alyssa opened the eggs and dumped the eggs and chicks out in the correct sections.  Then, she counted or recognized the amounts for each side and placed a number tile in each section.  She moved the erasers and eggs down to the bottom section while counting.  If she forgot to count then I would ask her, "How many erasers and eggs do you have in all or altogether?"  What's the total amount?"  She would either recognize the amount or count them if needed. She found the number tile and placed it after the equal sign.  We did end up using the same counters (chicks for both eggs) after I realized that using two different ones was a little confusing.  She did much better and felt more confident after the switch.

Egg Carton Counting
I made the number egg carton a long time ago using dot stickers and permanent marker.  I labeled the stickers using the numbers 1-12.  First, I asked Alyssa if she would carefully pour the mini eggs from the storage container into the egg shaped bowl (from an Easter egg dye kit).  Then, I gave Alyssa mini eggs to count into each egg section according to the number.  I gave her a spoon to count them out with, but she preferred using her fingers.    

Counting Egg Chick Mat
I gave Alyssa a bag with number puzzle pieces inside.  I asked  her to reach in, close her eyes, and guess the number she felt.  She kept wanting to pull the number out first so that she could see it and yell the number.  She did however guess correctly before pulling the number 7 out of the bag.  YAH!  Anyways, after pulling out the number ... she would count the correct number of eggs to place on the hen's nest.  The numbers did not go back in the bag.  The chicken printable came from Making Learning Fun.

Counting Chicks
This was the same activity mentioned above except this time she counted baby chicks.

Chick Patterning
Alyssa extended two chick patterns in an ice cube tray.  I placed the first two chicks in the tray one big chick and then a little chick (AB).  Alyssa completed the pattern for both rows.  The next pattern was big chick, big chick, little chick (AAB).  She completed the pattern for the first row, but got a little mixed up when starting the second row.

Cookie Cutter Egg Size Sequencing
Alyssa used oval egg shaped cookie cutters to create three eggs (different sizes).  Then, she put them in order from largest to smallest and vice versa.  She also asked for a knife so that she could cut.  We have done this before many times with other seasonal or themed cookie cutters so I didn't take photos (see Week 16 Playdoh Crosses for photo examples).  

Egg Weight Comparison
I placed a cup on each side of the scale.  I placed a ceramic egg (you could also use a hard boiled egg) on one side.  I gave Alyssa mini eggs and asked her how many eggs would it take to balance the scale (make a straight line across).  She said, "Lots."  I told her to give it a try if she wanted.  She was happy to help and very excited when it did balance.  We counted the mini eggs together.  She stopped and listened to me count when she couldn't count any higher.  I could have also made this a skip counting activity (2's, 5's or 10's), but I decided to wait on that concept for now.  I was inspired to do this activity after viewing a similar one on Little Giraffe's website and Prekinders.  Prekinders uses a balance scale to compare and find matching pairs of plastic eggs with different amounts of pennies.  I tried to get Alyssa to compare math manipulatives, but she seemed ONLY interested in the mini eggs I gave her.      

Egg Size Sequencing
First, I asked her to nest the eggs (smallest eggs inside each other until they all fit inside the largest egg).  She practiced opening and closing the eggs.  Then, I opened all of the eggs and put the halves all over the table (mixed up) and ask her if she could put the smallest one together.  She did.  Then, I asked her to put that one inside the next smallest egg.  She did this for all of the eggs.  We tried it one more time, but she did it all on her own without any prompts.  She shook the jumbo size egg and yelled "sound," because it made a sound and was not empty.        

Placing different sized plastic eggs in the Playdoh area was an idea that I found at Prekinders.  Below are a few extensions that I did to that activity to include more math.  I didn't take any photos because it was kind of a spontaneous activity and we were both engaged in the activity.  I gave Alyssa four different eggs to use during playdoh time.  First, I asked her to nest the eggs (smallest eggs inside each other until they all fit inside the largest egg).  Next, she filled the eggs with Playdoh and I had her guess which egg had the most and least amounts of Playdoh.  Then, I told her to dump out and compare the amounts.  She pointed to the eggs with the most and least amounts of Playdoh (checking to see if her guesses were correct or not).       

Tweezing Chicks and Eggs
Alyssa used bug tweezers to place chicks inside eggs.  I believe I saw this activity at Prekinders (yellow pom poms) and My Montessori Journey (without tweezers).  I extended the activity a bit.  First, I had her place the eggs in an egg container under the label dozen.  I ask her how many eggs there were and of course she didn't know.  So, I said, "What can we do to find out."  She said, "count."  I told her she had a dozen eggs so let's count to find out how many eggs were in one dozen.  She counted to twelve and I gave her the number card with the equal sign to set next to the word dozen.  I said, "One dozen equals twelve."  We also read a book called A Dozen Dozens by Harriet Ziefert.      

Chicken Grid Game
This grid game was found at Prekinders (farm unit).  We took turn rolling the die and counting out the correct amount of corn kernals to fill our grid.  

Fine Motor Practical Life
Spooning and Transferring Eggs
She used a spoon to transfer eggs from one oval shaped bowl to another.  

Open and Close Eggs
I meant to write number words on the chick eggs and write numbers on the chick erasers for Alyssa to match.  This ended up just being a open and close activity.  She also counted the number of chicks.  She shook the egg to hear the sound it made.      

Pouring Chicken Feed
I gave her a plastic liquid measuring cup full of chicken feed (corn).  Alyssa poured it into an oval container.  She cleaned up any pieces she dropped and poured the corn back into the measuring cup.

Paint Pallete Patterning
I placed a chick and an egg in the paint pallete and asked her to finish the pattern for me.  She practiced patterning skills while using her thumb and forefinger to grasp each item.

She made herself a scrambled eggs for breakfast (WITH SUPERVISION of course).  I cracked the egg for her and put it in the bowl.  She used a whisk to stir and mix it.  Then, she poured the egg into a frying pan and used a spatula to scrambled the cooked egg.  She added a few seasonings and sprinkled cheese over the egg.  She was so proud of herself!!!

Music and Dance
These songs were also used during math activities.
"Eggs in the Nest"

We also danced to the Chicken Dance song.

Egg Shakers and Color Recognition
We made egg shakers and sang the song from Making Learning Fun.  I changed the words around a little ... I said, "If you see the color ___, shake that shaky egg.

Sensory Tub 
Corn (Chicken Feed)
I gave her a liquid measuring cup and egg shaped containers to fill with chicken food (corn).  She also filled white and colored plastic eggs with corn.  Oh ... and I also hid mini eggs and Alyssa used tongs to remove them from the tub.  I should have had her sort and count them too, but like I said the last two weeks have been CRAZY.  So ... we kept it simple.

Sign Language and Spanish Words

Name Recognition
Scrambled Egg
We used this activity for Easter, but I pulled it out again.  You can read about it here.  She has been able to spell her name since before her second birthday.  But, I continue to practice it.  I may add on her last name soon.  This week we used her pom poms to cheer "spell" her name.  I saw the scrambled egg activity with names at Little Giraffe's website (classroom names).  I plan on making these for our family names and doing the same type of activity with Alyssa.  Of course ... I added in the song and pom poms this time.

Egg Crayon Resist
I wrote Alyssa's name with a white crayon on an egg-shaped pattern.  She painted over it with watercolors and revealed her name.  She also spent some time creating her own pictures with water colors.    

Gross Motor Math
Exercise Eggs
I did a similar activity with shamrocks called "Shamrock Number Search" back in March (Week 15).  I hid 12 eggs labeled with number words outside.  I placed a mini egg inside a numbered egg carton (1-12).  Alyssa shook the egg carton and opened it up.  She searched for the numbered egg based on whatever number the mini egg landed on inside the egg carton.  She would find the egg, read the command, and complete the exercise written on slips of paper inside the egg.  For example, the command in one egg was "touch your toes ten times" and another egg command was "run to the fence and back three times."  She matched the numbered eggs completed to another numbered egg carton for storage. 

No Theme
Candy Sorting
Alyssa sorted four different types of leftover Easter candy.  She tasted her first two jelly beans: lemon and licorice.  

Spindle Box
I decided to make a spindle box instead of purchasing an expensive one online.  I found two silverware dividers at Walmart.  I used plain popsicle sticks as counters and number tiles for the numbers.  I may start using color sticks to add a little color to this activity ... it looks so dreary to me.  I stored the correct amount of sticks in the bottom areas for each side.      

Alyssa is writing so many letters now - I truly can't believe what I am seeing.  I divided the writing area up into four parts.  I asked Alyssa if she wanted to write some letters on the board.  She said, "Yes ma'am."  I would tell her which letter to write in each box.  I used the terms: top, bottom, left and right.  I wanted to see which letters she could write and which ones she could not write yet.  She didn't want to stop writing.  There are other letters that she wrote that look great, but may be hard for others to know what they are.    

Leapfrog Word Building
"at" word family
I turned the sound switch to the off position on the toy.  I asked Alyssa to spell the word "at."  We sounded it out slowly and read it quickly.  Then, I asked her to spell rat, bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, and sat.  I would ask her, "What do we have to do before we can spell the word bat."  She would remove the first letter.  I said, "Great, you removed the first letter ... now what letter do we need at the beginning of the new word bat."  I said the word slowly while sounding it out.  She grabbed the "b" and placed it at the beginning of "at."      

"At" Family Tub Spelling
Alyssa used her foam tub letters to spell words from the "at" family.  She did VERY well with this activity.  First, I asked her to spelled "at."  Then, she told me add the letter "c," she sounded it out slowly twice moving the letters closer together, and then she said the word "cat" fast running her finger underneath the word.  She also said, remove the letter "c" and add "b."  She did the same thing over and over again for the letters b, f, h, m, p, r, and s.  I added the words "that" and "flat."  We stopped after that so that she could go swimming in the tub.  

Alyssa used starfall A LOT this week to read online books, watch videos, to practice the alphabet sign language, and to sing the ABC and vowel songs.  She worked on the word families -en, -at, -an and -ig.  She also chose individual letters and worked on letter-sound skills.  This was the first time that she navigated herself around the website.  She would click letters, hold them, and drag them to the correct spot using a mouse.  I am usually too scared because I don't want her accidentally mess up my computer.

Alphabet Chart Block Match   
She did this activity on her own as I was spring cleaning in the classroom.  Many of the activities without a theme were ones that she did as I worked in the classroom.  She took down the ABC chart and grabbed her alphabet blocks.  She started matching the letters.  I gave her one suggestion as she worked and that was to stack the blocks since she had more than one block for each letter.  She liked that idea.
Spelling Words
She pulled this off the shelf too.  She hasn't used this in awhile.  She chooses a picture (also has word) and she uses the letters to spell the word (word matching).

Number Sort
Alyssa wanted to help mommy organize the classroom.  So, I gave her a sorting container and a bin full of mixed numbers.  I placed one of each number in the sorting container in numerical order.  She sorted the rest for me.  I am so glad that I had some help that day!

Attribute Block Sorts
Alyssa needed something to do while I cleaned so I pulled out my attribute blocks.  She sorted them by color, shape, and size.  We talked about thick and thin ones too in between cleaning projects.  But, by then she was ready to move on and didn't want to sort them. 

Chip Slot Drop and Sorting
I gave her a Parmesean container to drop colored chips inside.  She got bored with that quickly so I asked her to sort them.  I asked her how she sorted them and she said, "by color."  

Animal Home Puzzle 
Just killing time again!  But, this is a neat puzzle!  There is a piece that you pull out and it reveals the baby animal too.  She got this for her second birthday from a friend of mine.  I think that she bought it at The Learning Zone.    

For more tot school ideas visit Carisa's 1+1+1=1 blog or for preschool ideas visit Jolanthe's Preschool Corner blog.