Thursday, March 29, 2012

Number Lines are super nifty!

This is going to be a quick post because Jeremy is out of town and my time is limited when it comes to things, like blogging!

*Here's a fun statistic! 
"People remember 10 percent of what they read, 20 percent of what they hear, 30 percent of what they see, 50 percent of what they see and hear, 70 percent of what they say, and 90 percent of what they say AND do!"*

Just some food for thought!

You gotta love the Dollar Tree, huh?  I bought this number chart there along time ago!  I decided to cut the chart apart and use it as a walking number line!

One day, Jackson and I got this out to see how many numbers it actually counted up to!  It went all the way to number 25 which made a LONG number line from our living room into our kitchen!  I stood back and "assessed" Jackson as he did this, realizing he knew his numbers verbally and visually up to 15...but then he started to get mixed up!  Perfect teaching moment for me and something so simple (and CHEAP) led me in the right instructional direction that I needed to go in order for Jackson to understand number order!

I was hoping that by picking up a number, walking it to the end of the number line while saying the number out loud, he would remember 90% of this lesson!  LOL  
But my point is for you to see how easy it is to teach in a fun way and a way they will remember the information!

I helped Jax finish up the number line so that it was all laid out, then we decided to add some trucks (part of my on-the-spot lesson/idea)  We started at the number 1 and just drove the car/truck to the number that I said!  For example "I am driving my bulldozer to the number 13! Can you drive your dumptruck to the number 14?"  After 25 trucks were lined up on our number line, we drove them back into the garage (aka basket)...but this time we started at the number 25 to introduce counting backwards!  My "teacher talk" was consistent and the same as when we counted up.  "I'm driving the red car that's on number 18 back to the garage!  See ya later number 18!"

After writing this post, I'm going to get this out next week and "informally assess" him again to see if we've made some gains on counting past 15!  I'll let ya know!

I wish I had video of this lesson, but it was a random lesson on a rainy day.  But I hope a few pictures and my crazy commentary gives you some ideas for using CHEAP number lines in a fun way!

Happy Learning with your Little Ones!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Made by me Books!

Scrapbooking USED to be one of my hobbies.  I can't find time to scrapbook any more, so we make books!  They are super easy to make and really not all that fancy!  Let your memories become your ideas for your books!  Trip to the beach, favorite toys, words to favorite songs, and so on!   Kids are the best inspirations!

Here are some of our Made by Me books.  We hope it inspires you to start creating, making and reading!
Here's Jackson's "Made by Me" Book box!  I have a lid that goes on this one, so Nixon won't "read" these!  They sure are special to Jackson and the lid helps keep little hands off and out!  Someday, Nixon will have his own book box like this one!
Our Moving In...Moving Out book
 Don't know why this is upside-down!  Sorry!
  Jer and I are proud renters and seem to move every year because of work, school or just ready for a change!  And once Jackson was born, I wanted to remember these homes and how old he was when we lived there.  So...I came up with the Moving In - Moving out book!  I took pictures when we "moved in" and, then a year later, took pictures of Jackson in the same room, as we were "moving out"!  It's amazing to see how much he had changed in 1 year!!  We are moving to a new house AGAIN this summer, so Nixon will be a great addition to our book!

Sideways picture...sorry!  I don't know what's going on with the pictures!  This was a fun book we did  Jackson's favorite monkey, JoJo!  We took JoJo outside and Jackson put him in different places around our house.  Simple and repetitive text reads..."JoJo is in the swing."  "JoJo is under the leaves."  And so on...
Another flipped pic!  Ugggg!  This was a quick book I made before running off to the zoo with some friends.  It was a scavenger type thing were if they saw that animal, then they colored it in and read the sentence.
Once again...simple and repetitive text.
 "I see a .."

Our Cars book of Cars
This fun book was inspired by Jackson's LOVE for the Cars movie! (One of my favorites too!)  It took us about a week to complete this book.  We wrote about 1 page a day.  Here's our step by step progess:
Step One:  We talked about how most books have pictures to help us read the words.   I wrote "I see..." and Jackson drew a picture from our picture stack.
These were all pictures of Jackson's Cars characters that I took one day during nap.
Step Two:  After we drew our character picture, we match it up with a page in our book.  This would help us spell out that character's name.  And Jackson would call out the letters in their name while I wrote them on the paper.  Great way to reinforce Letter Recognition!

Friday, March 16, 2012

B is for Bears!

While teaching 1st grade, I enjoyed teaching thematically!  All of my read-a-loud books, centers, crafts and so on where based off of one theme.  And I really felt that my students enjoyed it and LEARNED while teaching this way!  So, if it worked for them, I was hoping it would work for my lil Jackson!   
Bear cookies!  We B-aked these after we rode our B-ike to the B-ank! (more pictures below)  

So back in January, we decided to learn about bears.  This was my first attempt to preschool homeschooling, so I didn't take as many pictures/videos.  But I hope this gives you some ideas to do with your little learner!  
Picture of a scary bear will draw any 3 year old in!  My literacy focus (besides the letter B) was labeling!  Using sticky notes cut in 1/2, we labeled this scary bear and even learned about FUR (with the help of Tank and Max).
**Using old picture calendars are GREAT for this activity!  I always see them on sale at Micheals!**
B-erries and B-ananas on a stick for B-reakfast!  Even touched on making a pattern!

Our Fun with Food Friday treat was:

Sugar Cookies and Chocolate Frosting = one yummy Bear Cookie!
I just used a circle cookie cutter for the face, them rolled 2 small balls and flatten them for the ears.  We even added nose (rolled ball in the middle)

For the frosting, I just used a plastic baggie with a small hole cut in the corner.  Jackson squeezed out the chocolate frosting to make "fur" and I added the face!   

Sure was a yummy treat!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

For your littlest learner...

Now that Nixon has turned 1 year old, I'm on a mission to include him in some of our lessons and create some of his own age appropriate activities!  With both Jax and Nix, I let them "explore" with any thing or any activity that's new, rather than jumping in to showing them how it works.  Isn't that what you do with a new "something" that you buy or get?   Doing this, seems to spark new ideas or teach me something that I would have never thought of doing with that certain thing/activity.  Just taking the time to observe your children is such an amazing thing...and lesson!

  Here are a few, simple ideas I did with my littlest learner this week:
Painting! (of course)  But didn't use paper...just on his highchair tray.  I thought the paper might be to much!  Honestly, he didn't even try to taste it!  Must be all the times he has watch Jax do it.  

This is a word building activity (for Jackson) that I found on Pinterest using  single, stacking chunky legos...But I leave them out for Nixon to stack and sort.  And, of course, I build his name for him saying each letter as I stick them to the green Lego board.  
I noticed one day that Nixon kept himself VERY busy sliding a  plastic straw in and out of a cup with a lid from Chickfila!    So I made this simple small motor skill activity for him.  Just took plastic Gerber baby food containers and cut a small x in the lid, then gave him a few straws. 

Happy Learning with all of your little ones!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

All "sorts" of Patterns! Making Math FUN!

We love to sort ANYTHING around our house!  And simple sorting activities are great ways to bridge over into addition and other math skills.  I'm a bit OCD when it comes to organizing anything!  We have a bin for just balls, just trucks, legos and so on!  And I look at my "disorder" as a great way to teach my children "sorting" skills during clean up time.  But to make it a formal and much, more fun learning opportunity for my kiddos, I came up with a few lesson for sorting.  And you never know, after a week of lessons on sorting, your kiddos might have helped you organize your WHOLE house!

We have a BILLION trucks...I'm not kidding!  So one day, our lesson was to sort them by color.

I also invite Jackson to help sort our laundry and unload the silverware bucket from the dishwasher.  Helps mommy and helps my lil learner at the same time!  Perfect!

Got Goldfish?  Well you just have a great sorting lesson waiting for you and your kiddo!  I am a proud Momma whenever Jackson decides to sort out his Goldfish Crackers by color before he eats them for his snack.  He also has done this when his gummy snacks!  But he didn't learn this sorting concept over night!  One of my very first sorting/addition lesson with him was using the Smores Goldfish (which are to DIE yummy)  I just cut out 3 "sorting circles" using colored construction paper, then laminated them, of course!  Check out our video, to help it make more sense:
Then our lesson led to addition...which now, I wish I would have done on a whole different day/lesson.  That was ALOT for one lil brain to understand in one lesson and those SMELLY wipe markers didn't help!

 He still loves to get our his "sorting circles" when we have Smores Goldfish for a snack!

Sorts can also led to understanding the concept of patterns.  Sort whatever first, build patterns next.  Here are some patterns we made with snacks (of course!)

 And the good ole paper chains are always fun to make and then just to decorate!

With St. Patty's Day coming up, buy a box of Lucky Charms and have your kiddo sort the marshmallows!  Fun with Food always makes lil one's learning more fun!

Happy Learning!

Little Learners learning EVERYWHERE!

Yay for Halley (and her awesome Mommy) for creating a countdown for their trip to Texas! 

Email me your pictures of your little ones learning so I can share your awesome ideas!

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