Saturday, July 30, 2011

Preschool - Day 2


Box #1:  WWM (Work with Mom) handwriting starters and a letter jar


First I had him do the handwriting starter (from here). 


Using a triangle pencil he traced the dotted lines.


Then I played a game with him. 


The letter jar was introduced yesterday and so he knows what’s in it.  Today I brought out the ‘secret box’ and I put the items in it one by one and he had to guess which Aa item was in the box without peeking!

Box #2: sequence beads


This bead sequencing kit has been super fun!  It was a neat variation of sequence theme.


Box #3:  Textures.  This was a Montessori activity.


He felt the bits of fabric while blindfolded and matched them up.  He didn’t like being blindfolded at first, but once he got a few down he really enjoyed the game.  :)


Box #5: More sequencing (from here).


A variation on pattern and sequencing where he gets to use glue is always welcome!


Box #6: free Coloring sheet of an apple tree


After he was done with this he got to file it away all by himself in his ABC Notebook.  He LOVED that!


Box #6:  Color matching game.  (Idea from here.)


This was super fun because we got to go outside.  He started finding things just so I would take pictures of them.  This sweet boy is going to have a documented life!  lol!


Box #7:  Spindle box

Another Montessori activity made by my friend Heather.  Today we only did the numbers 0 - 4.  You have to recognize the numbers without dots or lines etc, so this was challenging for Logan.  I thought 5 numerals would be plenty.  After he understood what to do, he did just great!


Box #8:  Ecojournal.  Ahhh… the Ecojournal.  Beautiful illustrations, fun activities, great stories about simple life on Trickle Creek.  The whole series is a win and completely worth owning!


Cyan went through this whole series in her first grade year and although I am not ready for that type of weekly commitment with Logan yet, it was SUPER fun to play with this today.  August 1st’s activity is to dissect a poppy and become a pollinator! 


We currently have no less than 5 different types of poppies in our yard.  Some in the flower garden, some in the garden pathways (volunteers from last year I am sure), and even some in with the tomatoes and beans.  We spent about an hour between watching the bees (natural pollinators), using a paint brush to pollinate some ourselves, and dissecting the different parts to see how the flower was built.


I think this was his favorite part of the day.


Box #9: Scavenger Hunt from Confessions of a Homeschooler Letter of the Week Curriculum


I was smart, because we spent so much time on the ecojournal, I decided to limit the number of things to find (after all, we are working on numbers too).  I hid two huge ants and one alligator puppet in his room. 


I then gave him a sucker while he matched his last box (box #10, number matching) and he was all done! 


Another successful preschool day!

Friday, July 29, 2011

It’s official - I’m teaching preschool!

I finished Logan’s workbox set up last week and he was so excited about it that I decided we are going to start school… right now.  So this morning we woke up, got ready for our day, and started preschool!   I am mixing Montessori and traditional preschool with the workboxes… I wasn’t sure how that was going to work, but I have to tell you I honestly think they compliment each other really well!  I wanted to let you know the resources I am using along with the workboxes because it seems like it’s going to be a wonderful system!

Box #1


This is a print out from a curriculum I purchased from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I have already found this curriculum well worth what I paid for it.  It filled in a lot of the little holes that I wasn’t sure what to do with and has lots of great activities and printouts to play with!

Box #2 is a pick up game with tongs. 


Not strictly Montessori, but pretty darn close.  You roll the die and whatever number is up you put that number of bananas into the monkey’s mouth with the tongs.  Apparently this is the funniest game EVER!  Lots of laughter and giggling.  And it wasn’t a ‘work with mom’… so the giggling was loud enough I heard it from changing the sheets in the bedroom.  (I have made this same activity with bamboo tongs from World Market, two bowls, and cotton balls or marshmallows.  Monkeys are not required… just fun!)

Box #3 was a cutting activity.


Very simple, but for his first activity of this kind I made it a ‘work with mom’.  (monkey scissors added fun, but not required.)


Box #4 was a matching activity. I don’t remember where I got it as it was months ago… but if I do, I will edit this.


Matching and sequencing are such an intricate part of learning to read, so activities like this bird matching game are going to be a running theme in my teaching for the next 26 weeks.  When we first started this activity I only gave him half the birds (one sheet of paper) and now he is up to matching all 20 birds at once in about 4 minutes. 

Box #5 was a sequencing activity.  This also came from the Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  The theme this week is the numbers 1-9 and the letter Aa.  So this week we will see a lot of apples.  ;)


Box #6 was a number matching activity.  This is one I made up.


It’s super simple.  I just bought a set of clothes pins and wrote on them in sharpie marker the numbers 1 - 9.  Then I made a table and printed out the numbers on a sheet of cardstock.  Cut them out and have the kiddo match them up.  Today I only did four numbers.


Box #7 was another matching activity.  I got this the same day as the bird one.  Once again, if I find where I got it, I’ll edit this post.


It is a matching game with uppercase letters and lowercase letters, but I just had him match the pictures.  With a mention of the letter Aa and the apple that it was associated with, we moved on.


Box #8 was a coin matching game.


The coins had been scanned on the scanner and then the page laminated.  The real coins were put in a small Tupperware and kept with the sheet.  You just have to have the kid match them up.  These all happened to be coins from other places, but you could just as easily do this with American currency. 


I added in some extra fun by throwing two chocolate coins in there for him to eat when he was finished with the activity.


Box #9 was an activity from Homeschool Share’s ABC notebook file.  (More on the ABC notebook later)


We added 9 red ‘baby apples’ to the big apple on his A page with glue.  He LOVED being able to use my glue!


Box #10 I put in his playdough and playdough mats. 


I also added in the best playdough toy ever!


And that was our first day of preschool.  The whole thing took about two hours and he giggled through it all. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Montessori Preschool fun


More fun with the scanner.


My friend Heather made these for her kids and then passed them down to Logan.  She put a bunch of neat keys on her scanner, laminated the sheet and then kept all the keys in a little pouch with the sheet so that it was a matching game!  There are many of these types of activities in a Montessori preschool.  The matching shape and direction helps build early reading skills.  It is brilliant! And Logan just loves it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cold Summer Button Art

This summer has been cold.  Like REALLY cold.  And so we have been spending more time inside than any other summer I can remember.  I have been trying to keep perspective, but a lot of time it’s hard to not be depressed with such a cold wet season that is supposed to be the warmest we have all year.  We have all enjoyed crafts… but the joy to post about them here has just been gone.  I decided that I needed to get over that. 


This morning we were playing with buttons and the scanner. And it turned out to be tons of fun that started my kids on a drawing-fest that has lasted all morning long.  We put buttons on the copier in the fashion of Bloesum Kids… but without the color matching…. we used far too many buttons!  We just had fun!


Logan, age 4 1/2


Cyan, age 10 and 8 days


and Me!  :)

I think we will pop these in the mail for our family down in the sunny southern CA.  Perhaps they will have time to get out of the sun and play with buttons too!