Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Learning (and teaching) CAN be fun on Halloween

I knew my kiddos would be to crazy-excited about Trick or Treating tonight, but I still wanted to do alittle learning today!
So I HAD to become extra creative, quick and fun on this fun day we called Halloween!

Sensory and Counting Lesson
(and alittle creepy too!)
All ya need: Spaghetti and green food coloring 

Boil water/spaghetti and add drops of food coloring
Boil for about 5 minutes, then turn heat off and let the noodles sit and soak in green water
Here's what you get - put in fridge  to make it feel creepy and cold

Add some plastic spider rings and eye balls for fun!  Use chop sticks to pick the spiders and eye balls out (fine-motor)
Use spiders for counting and addition lesson after minutes of fun, icky hands-on play!

Posting this during nap time!  So once the boys are up...we will do this as our Hands-On afternoon activity! I'll be sure to post pictures of the fun!
Happy Learning (and Trick or Treating ) with you little ones!

Monday, October 29, 2012

My BOO! Blog

Happy Halloween!  To celebrate, we wanted to share a few
 Boo-tastic activities that we are doing around here.

Here's our Sensory Box. 

Here's our poem for the week!  Lots of giggles when we put this together and read it out loud!

Studied Pumpkins today!  

Wrote down descriptive words (chart paper on easel)

Closer look at our chart!
I bought these Treat Bags about 2 years ago, knowing I could eventually use them!  
After laminating them (of course), I decided they were going to have so many uses over the next 2 weeks.  Today, we did a pattern activity...
 And tomorrow I am using them as sound cards for a Segmenting Sound lesson.  
Gonna write 1 letter/sound on each card.  For example: /c/, /a/. /t/ 
Jackson will push up each card as he says the sound then say the word.

I am also planning a addition candy lesson for next week 
(after we get 400 pounds of candy from Trick or Treating)

So grab some of these next time you are in Walgreens, Dollar General or Walmart!  You can use them for learning or treat giving! 

And here we are in action! 

Happy Learning with your Little Ones!  And have a safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quick snack! Mommy Must DO!

Here's a Mommy~Must~Do

My boys LOVE snack mix and I HATE those almost empty bags of chips and such!  So here's what we do...especially when I need extra room in my pantry after my Sams' trips:0)

And of course ...the picture is upside down!  Sorry!
The boys usually help me make this!  A BIG mixing bowl, a few measuring cups and 2 mixing spoons turns into alot of fun while learning alittle too!  I dump into their measuring cups and they then dump into the big mixing bowl.  Once all our ingredients are in, the mix and mix and then...EAT!

We usually throw in a small amount of candy just for some sweet fun!

DA TA! A bag of deliciousness ready to go for the kids!  And a happy mommy with a less-cluttered pantry!

Happy Learning (and munching) with your Little Learners!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hop to it kind of learning...

The simple game of Hop Scotch turned into an amazing teachable moment one day and a precious memory made with Jackson.  We have played this before a few times, but this day it was different.  The game finally made sense to him and his BIG boy self.

It was a very much "On-the-Go" lesson.  He wanted to play the game and I secretly turned it into a teaching/learning opportunity.

I was so excited to see all that we had covered in this simple 10 minute Mommy and Me moment: fine and gross motor skills, handwriting, numerical order, following directions and LOTS of FUN!

Check out our pictures:

Tracing the construction cone = fine motor skill
Writing numbers inside each square = fine motor, numerical order and following directions

Finished product - I "modeled" for him #1-5, but he finished #6-10

Jackson showing Nixon his awesome work

Trying it out! Hop Scotch'n = gross motor and FUN!

Happy Hopping with your Little Learners!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Apple-loving fun!

It's that time of the year that I LOVE!  Apples, Pumpkins and cooler weather.  We have been learning about apples for that past 2 weeks.  Here's a few things I did with my little learners:

Family Apple Tasting
Daddy explaining the 3 different kids of apples we will be taste testing - green, red, and yellow

Nixon tasting his apples

Jackson liked yellow best so he colored his apple picture yellow.

Nixon liked the red apple best.  We held out each colored marker and asked him to pick the color of apple he liked best.  Who knows if this is the one he liked...the most important part is that he was involved.  
I sent out a text to family members and they sent pictures (via text) of them eating their favorite colored apples.  We took that "data" and we are in the process of making a graph out of it.
Apple Stamping

This simple art activity ended up being lots of fun for the boys!  We cut an apple in half, observed the inside, counted the seeds, then stamped it in some red and green paint.
I love this picture! You can clearly see Nixon copying what Jackson is doing!

I started with 2 pieces of paper and ended with tearing off a LONG piece.  They kept stamping and stamping and stamping!

Painting fun!

Loved it!
Ten Apples Up on Top
After we read Dr. Seuss' book Ten Apples Up on Top (one of my favs), we stacked apples on top of our self-portraits.  Then we played an addition game using a dice, our "apples" (yellow and red foam squares) and our addition sentence strip.  Easy and simple...roll a number, stack the apples, roll again, stack the apples, write addition sentence, then find the sum.

 Apple Tree Fun with Food Recipe
Pictures explain the steps and show the fun that we had doing this!

Hope this gives you a few fun ideas to do with your little learners!
Happy Fall Yall!  And happy learning with your little ones!

Take a PEEK inside my planning book...

Here's a peek inside my lesson plan book.  It's working for now, but I am sure that I will tweak it when I find that it's not working the way I hoped it would.

At the "old house" I used a file box.  For me, it took up to much space and I couldn't just grab and go!  With this book, I can organize it at home or use it on the go.

Check it out (sorry the picture is not flipped):

Pretty self explanatory, right?  I plan on Sunday's, after church, while everyone is napping:0)  It usually takes me about 1 hour to plan for the week and if I am "on a roll" I pull for the next week or theme.  We usually don't finish everything that I plan for in that week.  So it spills over into the next week...One of the many pluses of homeschooling!

I use this storage basket to store all the supplies that I'm using for that week.

If any of you have others ways to organize your supplies/lesson plans, I would love for you to share them!

Happy Learning with your little ones!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Peek inside our new place!

I am so sorry I haven't blogged in 1, nope 2.5 months! Vacation, then packing, then moving and unpacking plus company...been a lot to handle these days!
I finally have our "Learning room" functional and we are getting in the swing of schooling at home again!  I'm gonna be spoiled in this house!  Extra bedroom completely devoted to learning and having fun!

Here's a few before and afters:
unpacking = felt like my first weeks as a public school teacher...but better!

Here's our Calendar and Morning Message board that we do every morning.  Great purchase from Ikea (to the right) stores all of our materials.  
Computer Center (on the corner desk); Pocket chart for  Phonemic Awareness/Poetry activities; Magnetic board 
Math corner - using file cabinet as magnetic board; Number line and pocket chart for addition and visuals.  

We have started easing our way back into learning by simple calendar time, countdowns and morning are a few pics of that.

What a great way to start the day!  I pre-write the message the night before so it's ready to go.  The "letter monster" usually comes and eats some of our letters in the message...which leads to Jackson having to practice letter sounds and handwriting skills.  Nixon always is in the room, sometimes "helping" or just doing his own thing.

Here's one of our recent countdowns...Take off a sticky note a day at a time to reveal "the special code" 

I am currently working on how I want to organize my lesson plan book.  I was using a file box, but didn't like the way that was working.  So I will share that soon:)

A few easy lessons that I have carried over from our other house have been earning "fuzzy balls" for awesome behavior.  Yes they work for behavior but better as a teaching tool!  Here are some pics:
We usually use fuzzy balls/pompoms when we count  on these number strips...but I couldn't find a picture.  But I'm sure you get the idea.  One car for each box...great for 1-to-1 correspondence.  

Counting fuzzy balls on his 100 chart

Colored in #74 to help us remember and hung it about the behavior chart.
Once he gets to 100, he has earned a special trip.

Here is something that I recently added to our daily learning!  
Jackson and Nixon LOVE playing on the Ipad/Tablet Time.  They get 25 minutes a day to play.  They can use it all at once, but Jackson has figured out to break it up throughout the day!  Smart boy!

  To introduce counting by 5's to Jackson, I made this easy system.  Does he understand "counting by 5's" now?  NOPE!  But he is getting some basic addition skills that will lead to that. 
Today he said "Mom, 5 plus 5 is I get 10 minutes?"  
Seems to be working!

Feels great to blog again!  I hope that you've missed us! But we hope that while we were unpacking boxes you were learning each day with your Little Learners!

FYI: We are learning about Apples the next 2 weeks!  Promise to post some ideas soon so that you can enjoy the apple picking season too!

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