Saturday, May 31, 2014

Summer Reading 100s Chart

I'm currently reading The Book Whisperer (which I am reading for my 12 in 2014 and absolutely love) and it has had me thinking of even more ways to encourage Xander to read.  Granted, I'm very lucky.  He LOVES books.  He's the kind of kid who sneaks books into bed to read during nap time.  However, it is a behavior I want to continue to encourage and support.  Therefore, I decided to do a summer reading chart.

Now my school year starts back up again at the very end of July, so this is really more of a June and July thing, but I called it "summer" reading anyway.  I decided not to set a minimum goal for him.  I made a 100 table and we're going to see how many we can fill out by the time I go back to work full time.  For every book he reads to me or with me (although he rarely reads less than half of whatever book we're reading to me), I'll let him mark a number.  He could circle the number, put a sticker there, or use a Do-a-Dot marker.  I want him to go in order, so we can see him accumulate books.  Since we'll look at the chart daily, it will be a perfect way to reinforce counting by tens, place values, or odd and even numbers (I'm totally a believer in frequent gentle exposure as a fun way for kids to learn something without even trying).  If we fill out multiple charts, it will let us talk about how 200 is actually two 100s, etc.

Since we were doing a Frozen theme, I made the chart to go with the theme.  You're welcome to print your own copy here.
Xander is pretty excited!  We talked about it and decided that if he fills out the whole chart, we'll go back to the Y that has the really nice indoor swim area. 
Adding stickers.  This is what he wanted to do.  Honestly, I'm a little torn on the stickers.  On the one hand, small stickers like this is great for his fine motor skills.  However, a Do-a-Do marker or coloring would allow us to still see the number. 
***Update***  We finished our first 100s chart!  Xander asked me to add a page with Anna and change some of the colors.  Here's what he wanted, so I added it to the file in case your little one would like some variety also.

Friday, May 30, 2014

S for Sound

See what we did for other letters in the Alphabet in Simple Science.

S for Sound

Science Notebook Page (Click the picture to print).

We started out by reading some books about sound.  The Sounds We Hear and Sounds All Around were definitely the best for Xander's level of comprehension.  I defined sound as a type of energy made by vibrations (of course we had to talking about how when something vibrates it shakes.  He had fun vibrating.).  We talked about high sounds and low sounds.  I let him play on the piano to experiment with high and low.  We also talked about loud sounds and quiet sounds, so we practiced whispering and talking loudly.  My favorite thing we did was go on a walk around our neighborhood to listen for all of the different sounds we could hear.  It was kind of neat to hear the things we normally tune out.  We also watched the Magic School Bus: In the Haunted House, which is about sound.

Sound Visualization
flat drum (we used our lollipop drum)
rice or other small objects

Sound is a hard concept because you can't "see" sound.  The science teacher in me knows that sound is only the result of vibrations in the air and that without the air, you wouldn't have sound.  However, I wasn't sure how to explain that to a three year old.  Instead, I decided to try to show him that sound is movement.  We had read in a book that when you hit the head of a drum, it vibrates.  I decided that that would work for us.  I took him outside with our lollipop drum and sprinkled a little rice in it.  Then I reminded him how the drum has to vibrate to make sound and I tapped the drum with the mallet.  We watched the rice bounce.  Then I let him give it a try.   I think part of it sank in because he has since talked about big vibrations when he heard loud sounds.
 Hitting it really hard and making a loud sound (and a lot of movement)!

paper (newspaper and white paper)
dried beans

To go along with learning about sounds we made a mega-maraca out of paper mache!  We mixed some water into flour until it was a thick soupy mixture.  Then we dipped strips of newspaper in the soup and completely covered our balloon, a few times over.  After it was well covered in newspaper, I covered it in strips of white paper.  Then we let it dry.  Xander was very impatient about the drying.  We had used so much flour mixture that it took a couple days (plus it rained those days).

Once it was dry Xander was very excited to pop the balloon!  Sadly, it stuck to the walls too much, so we had to cut the top.
Then I had Xander shake our maraca and listen to what sounds it made (none).

So he added some beans
Once all the beans were in, I taped up the top and let him paint away!
Finally, after the paint dried, he had his mega-maraca!  He had a lot of fun shaking it!  He even told me he was vibrating it to make the sounds!  I had him listen to see what sounds it made now.

While he was painting, I also had him paint an empty can.  When it was dry I put a balloon over the top to make a drum.  He really likes the drum and it has been added to our instrument collection.

Check out my Alphabet in Simple Science Pinterest Board for more ideas!

Tot SchoolA Mom With a Lesson Plan

Monday, May 26, 2014

Letter S Week

Letter Formation/Pre-Writing
Tracing the letters with his write and wipe cards and Letter Tracing Pages from 1+1+1=1
Practicing writing in his sand box.
Q-Tip Painting (from 1+1+1=1)
 I gave him a craft pom pom on a clothes pin to do the Dot Letters (from Confessions of a Homeschooler).  He thought it was really funny for some reason.
 Using his Build a Letter Templates and HWWT pieces. First he built the letters on the templates, then he built them by themselves. He was jabbering away the whole time, which is why his mouth is open in the pic!
Letter Maze
Play Dough Letters
I got out our alphabet stamping play dough mat, then he made me some "cakes."
Building Ss with pattern blocks.  Templates from Confessions of a Homeschooler.
We got a new magnet board for our All About Spelling letter tiles.  It hasn't been hung yet, but Xander practiced some alphabetizing on it.
We're doing the lessons really slowly and only a few times a week so that it stays fun.  Here he was switching in the correct vowels.
Cut and Paste Phonics Hunt
Finding the words that start with S
Playing his Silly Sentences Game.  He really enjoys making up silly things.  I love it because it got him curious about verbs and adjectives.  He even told my mom about adjectives when we met her for lunch one day (much to her astonishment).
Calendar Time
We're still doing our Alphabet in Simple Science, and this week was S for Sound.  Check back for the full science post!
I happened to find some makeup sponges left over from Halloween, so I let Xander use them to paint some Ss.  He seemed to really enjoy it, so we will be hanging on to them!  I thought it was good practice for his pincher grip!
Playing Around
Give the kid a bowl of water (to wash off bubble wands) and this is what happens.  Now I think playing in a bowl of water will be a staple summer time activity this year!
This Week's Work

Tot SchoolA Mom With a Lesson Plan
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