Monday, September 3, 2012

Preschool K3 - Week 1

Our new school year is off to a great start!  We had school 3 days this past week (Mon, Tues and Friday).  Mackenzie wanted to do school on Thursday, but I needed a day to rest, so she settled for playing and doing school on Friday instead.  This school year, I'm pulling from all kinds of resources to create my own mixture of curriculum and activities, but our base is from Hubbard's Cupboard Bible and Rhyme Curriculum (without the rhyme).

So without further adieu, here's what we did! (Beware - it's a long post!)

Daily Activities:
At the beginning of the year I made a daily binder for us that included our state and national pledges and anthems, songs for months of the year and days of the week and address/phone number memorization.  For this school year, I added a lot more thanks to one of my favorite sites - 1+1+1=1Everything is in sheet protectors, so she uses her vis-a-vis markers to trace and I can erase it all when we are finished.

Tracing her numbers...

Meredith really wanted to be involved on the first day, so I gave her a snack while Mackenzie and I did school.
Coloring and tracing her color words...
One of the new things she really likes is this daily drawing sheet from 1+1+1=1.  Every day that we do school, she draws a picture of whatever she wants.  The picture shown is "a person with ears, arms, legs, and feet."  On the other days she drew someone on a surfboard and a "crown like a king".  I put the date on the bottom and I also add the caption of what she says it is.    
On our wall, I put this "...of the day" sheet where she can see what we are focusing on for the week.  With these first two weeks of creation, we don't have a specific color or letter of the week, but we will starting week 3.  The shape, animal, color and letters will be review, but the trait and states will be new to her each week.  I did teach her the spanish word for cat, so there was something new to her regarding the animal. 
Our trait for this week was orderly.  The traits are from Hubbard's Cupboard's Character curriculum, so I printed the visual and songs she had made, but I also made my own summary of what orderly means.
It's pretty plain, but I wanted her to have something that explained the trait to her in her own words and that related to what she could do to be orderly.

For the states, we just talked a little bit about Alabama and Alaska using the flashcards I just recently bought.  We'll look at two states each week, but only as an introduction, not for any kind of memorization and full recognition of the states.

For the shape of the week, we went on a "circle hunt" in our playroom.  This is her showing me the bottom of a water bottle is a circle.

Our first week focused on the first three days of Creation.  Our memory verse was Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  I made our memory verse printable and put it in our binder to look at each day.
I also found great songs to sing about creation and we sang them all week long.  Because of that, we now know that Meredith loves to hear us sing.  We'll be singing a lot more this year, which was already a goal of mine, but now I have another reason.

Creation - Day 1:

Hubbard's Cupboard's curriculum included these days of creation sheets, so we've been doing one for each day.  Below is day one - God created day and night.
She also sorted pictures of activities you do either in the day or at night.
Since our colors for the day were black and white, we made a black and white collage.  She really liked painting and gluing everything down herself.  She really likes art and I haven't done that much this past year, so I'm going to try to do more this year.
She also circled black and white things on this worksheet from Preschool Palace.

Creation - Day 2:
On day two, God created the sky and the sea, so Mackenzie painted the sheet blue for the sky.  It was actually supposed to be just the water, but when I came back to see how she was doing the entire sheet was painted!  Again, she loves to paint, so I've realized I need to incorporate this activity more.  Since there wasn't a distinction between the water and sky on the sheet, we added blue foam for water and then did the cotton ball clouds as planned.
I don't remember where I found this pinwheel worksheet online, but she colored the clouds and water and then we made a small pinwheel out of it.

Creation - Day 3:
God created land, grass, flowers and trees.  We made our Day 3 page with different textures - tissue paper, foam, construction paper and sand paper.  Mackenzie also added a gazillion flowers.  While doing this she said, "I love to decorate with flowers."
What she really liked is what we did Friday afternoon:
We found all of those flowers and leaves in our front and back yards.  Who knew we had that many?! ;)  It's not perfect, but she really likes being able to see the different flowers.

Since we had a different focus color(s) every lesson, she colored a blue sheet for day 2 and green and brown sheets for day 3.  These are from Preschool Palace.

Sight Words:
I'm making up our sight word list as we go along.  I'm trying to have them relate to our memory verse each week, but it may not always be convenient like that.  I have gathered several different sight word activities from different websites and Mackenzie seemed to really like them.  Our words this week were "in" and "the".  She knew "the", but "in" was new to her.  Since both are in our memory verse, we said and read them a lot.

I decided we should not only focus on recognizing the sight word, but also spelling it and writing it.  I downloaded this "See it, Build it, Write It" printable from Confessions of a Homeschooler and she really liked it.  I laminated the "board" and then she used Vis-a-vis wet erase markers to write the word.

We have never discussed writing letters using the 3 guidelines, so she just wrote the letters at whatever size she wanted to.  I tried to explain it a little bit to her at the time, but we'll work on it as the year progresses.  We'll definitely be using this activity each week.

Since she likes to color now, I printed these color by numbers for both words and she loved picking out the colors and coloring the different letters.

In the K4 curriculum I purchased from COAH, sight word searches were included and Mackenzie did really well with these too.

Miscellaneous activities:
Lacing beads and the alphabet sounds game are always a hit.

I finally put some paint in a baggy and let her play with it.  The intent was for her to practice drawing numbers, but after a couple of them she moved on to drawing other things.  Paint didn't ooze out and our fingers stayed clean, so I liked this task. ;)

Our "science" this week was introducing the concept of continents and oceans.  The first day we looked at a map with the 7 continents and I just talked about different animals and climates for each continent.  It was very basic and we didn't spend a long time.  On day 2, we put together this world map and looked at it a little bit.

At some point in the week, we saw a polar bear and penguins on the tv and she said, "look they are in Antarctica."  This made me smile BIG!  If all she got out of the entire introduction was that there is a continent called Antarctica, I'm thrilled!  It's better than nothing at all. ;)

I thought this next activity was going to be too young for her, but she really enjoyed it.  All I did was give her an old parmesan cheese can and some pipe cleaners and she put them through the little holes.  It wasn't hours of fun, but she did like it and she worked with it for a little bit.  I figure I'll bring it out every once in a while for Mackenzie, but it will probably be more for Meredith once she stops putting everything in her mouth.
She loves this ABC puzzle - she did it twice.
On one of the days, rather than go outside to throw the bean bags, we just made up a game in the entry way.  It was totally made up as we went along, but that's ok.  Note to self: we need to work on her throwing and tossing skills. ;)

So, we did a lot this first week and I'm hoping to keep it up.  It makes the days go by quickly and there wasn't a lot of tv time (computer for me) which is great, too!

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