Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tot School Dec. 8 -12

Tot School

This week in Tot School, it was very busy, but entertaining. We continued our lesson on the Letter B, and learned how to sort/organize our things. The sorting led itself to a review of all our colors. And she did great with that. Some of you may find a little something familiar with each of the pictures that follow. That's because I was super busy blog-stalking this week and got lots of great ideas from the other Tot School Moms. (Thanks guys!)

This idea was actually my own...I got out my small Xyron machine and let Lindsay make "B" stickers to put on the Blue Blocks and B's project we did.

This one has nothing to do with Tot School, but I thought it was too cute not to include! She's such a mess!

What a face!

We learned about sorting, using different sized boxes with different materials inside.

Clean up time!

Baking cookies with Mom! Yummy!

This is the old piano bench that we converted into a little desk for Lindsay.

"B" is for Belly Button!

Sorting - I love using Ice Cube Trays and brightly colored fuzzy balls. These are the ones with the little irredescent spikey things - they are a little easier for Lindsay to pick up and hold onto.

For other Tot School Reports from other moms, visit Carisa's blog at 1+1+1=1.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Giveaways

I recently visited the One House Schoolroom blog, and she is hosting some really neat giveaways. Today's giveaway is for either a set of Mommy Cards or a Customized Blog Design. Go visit and check it out!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Party Time....again...and again...and again!

For the exception of Tracy, all of my little ones' birthdays fall in either November or December. We didn't exactly PLAN it that way, but God did, so I don't complain. Lindsay's birthday comes first (Nov. 9), then Trey's on November 22 (sometimes it falls on Thanksgiving). Today was Addison's birthday (and coincidentally, also my mother in law's birthday). It's difficult for the kids to get birthday presents and then get excited about getting more presents on Christmas. But...they don't get a lot of presents throughout the year, so you'll not hear them complain!

Since Addison is my middle child, and sometimes gets a little overlooked because she's such a good girl, I always try to do something a little special for her. The other two got homemade birthday cakes and parties at home. But since Addie shares a birthday with her Grandmommy, we all went out to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner last night (since Daddy would have to work tonight). Addie loves to be the center of attention and informed me well ahead of time that she wanted everyone to sing Happy Birthday to her at the restaurant so everyone else would know she was a Birthday Girl. She's so funny that way.
She had no idea that the whole staff would come out and do their usual shout-out for the whole restaurant to give a big "YEE HAWWWW!" She fully enjoyed herself. Then today, since she had to go to school, I took cupcakes for her class. They sang "Happy Birthday to You, CHA CHA CHA!" Dad had to work tonight, so she and I spent the evening baking together. I think she had a really great birthday. She'll be disappointed in the morning when she wakes to find that her birthday is over. :(

Here are some pics of last night's fun!
Grandmommy and Addison

Cousin Cyndi and Addison (aren't they cute??)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Trey's Lessons December 1 - 5

Last week Trey started a new unit in all his subjects, so he's right on track, even though it was a short week due to a craft show I was preparing for. He did independent reading on Monday, and since my craft show was on Tuesday, I took the day off. But he was a trooper and buckled down on Wednesday so we wouldn't get behind.

We discussed the environment and the four things that change an environment: temperature, light, soil, and water. We did a couple of different experiments. During our lesson on temperature, we got out our handy dandy thermometers and recorded the temperature throughout the day in different parts of our yard (shady spots, sunny spots, etc.) To demonstrate the difference in soils in different environments, we took soils samples from different locations in town. We measured them, added water, shook them up, and observed them overnight. Then we recorded the layering differences in each jar. We also discussed how God made each animal specifically for it's environment (i.e. camels live in dry areas because they are able to store water for longer periods of time). We were supposed to dig up earthworms and observe how they tend to go deeper into the earth when temperatures lower. But since it was pretty cold that day, I guess the worms were already half-way to China, because we weren't able to find any! LOL!

As you can see, a lot of our week was devoted to Science. We were also busy with our other subjects as well, but since he got so excited with Science, I let him run with it. I've summarized what we did with our other subjects below.

Read Discovering Deer Isle, Maine
Identify states Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusettes, New York, New Hampshire, Maine
Use old magazines to make collage of different kinds of boats.
Internet activity: Look up Lobster Fishing Boat, add to collage.
Discuss the importance of fishing in Maine

Language Arts
Learn to use guide words in a dictionary / Review alphabetical order skills
Play Dictionary Game (race to find a specified word in the dictionary)
Discuss why words with er, ir, ur have the same /er/ sounds. Examples: bird, church, herd.
Continue cursive Handwriting Practice.

Review addition/subtraction, fact families, carrying, writing the number word in digits, writing digits into number words. Adding coins. Money.

Gary and I have discussed the idea that Trey needs to be challenged more in Math. Addition and Subtraction for a third grader is just not sufficient in our opinion. I've wrote about this before, but the boxed set of curriculum I ordered is not exactly challenging for my son. I am doing a lot of supplementing in all subjects, just so he won't get behind the public schools should he want to go back in the future. (I've left this decision up to him). I have been downloading additional worksheets from edhelper, but I'm not sure this is doing much good. This was the ONE thing that I was scared to death of, because I'm HORRIBLE at Math. If anyone out there knows of any good (and free/low cost) Math programs, please let me know!!

Tot School

Tot School

After pining over Carisa's Bottle Top Name Thingies (I can't remember what she calls them), I decided I was going to make some. The only problem is that our family no longer drinks bottled water. I wish I could say it was due to the new movement toward reusable drinking containers. It's actually because we're on a budget now and that's just one of the sacrifices we made to save a few dollars each week.

Anyway...I have been trying to figure out a way to get these things done without the use of bottle tops. And ya'll all know how I like to TWEAK things a little! So...I tried making my own sentence strips, and they didn't look all that great. (I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, and just couldn't handle the paper being a little crooked on one end). I thought about just going to my favorite teacher's resource store (The Tardy Bell in Texarkana, TX) for premade sentence strips, but I thought that would negate the whole idea of saving money, so I came up with this idea. I still like the bottle top idea better, though, because they are easier for Lindsay to pick up and they look like they would stay put a little better once placed on the paper. But I do like my version too, because since I used a full size sheet of paper, I could place it all in a sheet protector and store it in a little binder. I plan to make these for each member of our family. She really enjoyed playing with them today for Tot School.

All I did was get out some of my old unused 8 1/2 x 11 scrapbook paper, my square punch, some glue dots, a sheet protector, and a permanent marker. I punched out enough squares for her name in the purple paper and wrote the letters of her name on each one. Then I punched out the same number of squares on the top of the coordinating flowery paper. I then mounted the flowery paper to a piece of green cardstock (I used a whole sheet for stability, but one could certainly use an appropriately sized backing strip as well), and wrote the letters of her name in green squares. Then I mounted a photo of her (from last spring - I haven't actually printed a picture in quite a while - I know, I'm horrible) on to another piece of green cardstock. Then I slipped the whole thing into a sheet protector, and gave her the purple letter squares.

There are lots of other great Tot Tools on Carisa's blog: 1+1+1=1...go check it out!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Today in Tot School

Tot School

This week in Tot School, Lindsay is learning about the weather. Today we took a walk outside and sang our weather songs (below) while we looked at the clouds that were forming. We noticed the wind was picking up and talked about how that helps the leaves make their music. It never did actually rain, so we couldn't go puddle-jumping like I wanted to. Darn! we did the Hokey Pokey instead!!! We had a great day! Oh, in case anyone is wondering why my beloved child is in a summer dress and flip-flops in's because we live in Texas and while the weather has been quite chilly lately, today the temperature was in the upper 60's (storm's comin!!!)

Learn Weather Songs

Weather Song (Tune of "Oh My Darling")
What's the weather?
What's the weather?
What's the weather, everyone?
Is it windy?
Is it cloudy?
Is there rain?
Or is there sun?

Thunder (Tune of Frere Jacques)
I hear thunder, I hear thunder,
How about you? How about you?
Pitter patter rain drops, pitter patter rain drops,
I'm wet through
So are you!

Fun in the Rain (Tune of "Three Blind Mice")
Rain, rain, rain
Rain, rain, rain
Dribble, dribble, sploosh!
Dribble, dribble, sploosh!
Grab your boots, your coat, your hat,
Jump in a puddle and go kersplat!
Stomp about and become a drowned rat,
Rain, rain, rain
Rain, rain, rain!


Letter: B (we just got back from visiting my mom, who all the grandkids call "B")
Shape: Triangle

After we talked about all the different things that start with the letter "B," Lindsay completed worksheets on identifying triangles, and was able to find and color all the hidden "Bb's" on her coloring page.

After it was all said and done, Lindsay decided she wasn't finished with Tot School. She actually raised her hand and informed me it was time for blocks. I think she picked that up from the many hours of playing school with Addison! Too funny!!! She really is a great builder - I might have a future architect on my hands!!!

For those of you who are interested in joining Tot School, or reading other Tot Reports from other moms, go visit Carisa's blog at 1+1+1=1 and find some great ideas!