Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tot School - February 16 - 20

Tot School

Last week for Tot School, I chose to focus Lindsay's activities around the book, If You Give a Moose a Muffin. She really loves this book, so I thought it would be fun to use it as our theme for the week.

Letter: M
Shape: Square
Color: Red
The majority of our week was spent reading (and re-reading) the book. With Lindsay, if you read it once, you have to read it over and over again. This is fine with me because it helps her with word recognition.
We had a "book club meeting" with Trey and lots of stuffed animals. Lindsay and I made muffins and hot chocolate. We even used our real tea cups and saucers. I made a Moose teaching aid using the template on this site. They also have all kinds of other crafts and activities on that site using this theme. Another site I found helpful was Danielle's Place. We played the Muffin Match Math Game, Follow the Tracks Mystery Game.

Our new weekly book club meeting!

We also researched different facts about the moose and it's habitat and talked about how the moose is the largest member of the deer family. We don't have any moose in this area, but we do have lots of deer around our neighborhood. We took a drive up the road to see if we could spot any...they were hiding that day, though.

We had a really great week using this theme...I'm sure we'll use more literature based themes in the future. We enjoyed the book club so much that we have added it to our weekly schedule. I bring refreshments, Trey gets to practice his reading skills by reading the book to us out loud, and Lindsay gets to bring guests and set up the "tea party" - esque atmosphere. We all have a great time and learn a little in the process.

Trey and Lindsay having a book club picnic outside.

For more Tot School Reports from other moms, visit Carisa at 1+1+1=1.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tot School - February 9 - 13, 2009

Tot School

Letter: V

Shape: Heart

Color: Pink

Pre-Science: We used a stethescope to listen to our hearts before and after exercising to show/discuss why our hearts beat faster when we're exercising. We talked about why it's important to exercise in order to keep our hearts healthy.

Large Motor: A Hearty Workout
This was a game that I found online at http://www.prekfun.com/%22%3Ehttp://www.prekfun.com/ (I think!) But when I went back, I found that they only keep listed the current themes and they disable the links for the older themes. So, unfortunately, I am unable to link back to the actual page where this activity can be found...so I've listed the words below.

(Tune: Do You Know the Muffin Man?")

Oh Valentine! Come dance with me!
Dance with me!
Dance with me!
Oh Valentine! Come dance with me!
We'll dance until we stop!! (Freeze)

Each time, substitute other actions like hop, skip, jump, twirl, etc. Afterwards, we placed our hands over our hearts to feel how it beats faster.

Arts/Crafts: We made lots of Valentines and Valentine decorations.

That's Addie peaking in from the outside...she's so silly!!

Pre-Math / Dramatic Play: Sorting - Playing Post Office - After we made our Valentines, Lindsay played like she was the mail carrier and "delivered" each valentine to it's appropriate "mailbox". She sorted each one into each family member's mailbox, then we counted how many each family member had.

Language: Draw/Dictate Pictures - I asked Lindsay to draw a picture about how we show people that we love them. She dictated the pictures as she drew them. One little funny here...her idea of how to show Trey that she loves him: "I let him clean my room for me."

More Pre/Math: We played Conversation Heart Tic-Tac-Toe...only without the conversation hearts because she kept eating them all.

Even More Pre-Math: we cut out lots and lots of heart shapes out of cardstock and placed them on a white bedsheet. Then on the count of three, we flipped the bedsheet up in the air and watched all the hearts float up and finally land on the floor. The one to collect the most hearts won. We discussed how we knew who had more hearts.

This was a really fun game that she continued to play all day long...when Trey and I got tired of playing, she enlisted the dog!

Fine Motor: We play with Play-Doh quite a bit. This week, she decided that she wanted to make Valentine "cookies" with her play-doh. This of course led us to making the real cookies (like we needed them with all the chocolate in the house, but what could I do??) This is her play-doh version of her "Daddy Sweetheart!"

As you can see, we had a very exciting (and busy) week in Tot School! For more Tot Reports from other mom's of toddlers, visit Carissa's Tot School blog at 1+1+1=1!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tag! I'm It!! (Thanks Jen!)

Thanks Jen for tagging me...I got a lot of laughs out of this one!! :)

Here are the rules.
1. Choose the 4th folder where you store pictures on your computer.
2. Select the 4th picture in the folder, and post it on your blog.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag four people to do the same.
5. No cheating (cropping, editing, etc.)

Oh Lord! Wouldn't you know that my picture would be the most embarassing one?? Poor Lindsay! This picture was taken quite by mistake at her 1st birthday party. It wasn't until after I took it that I realized what she was doing. (Of course I got a lot of cute scrapbooking pages out of this one!!!)

I tag Carissa, Julie, Shana, and Ms. Phyllis. Have fun!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tot School - February 2 - 6, 2009

Tot School

No pictures this week...I know...I'm a total slacker! We were actually painting (all week) and my house was a complete MESS!! Being a former scrapbooker, I am severely bothered by photos where the backgrounds show my messy house. So I didn't take them. There...the truth has come out....why do I not feel "set free?" Could it be all the dust bunnies holding me prisoner? Ha!

Theme: Opposites

Letter: Y

Shape: Diamond

Color: Yellow

Pre-Math: Opposite Matching Game. For this activity, I printed out clip art pictures of different actions and their opposites onto some of my old scrapbooking cardstock and cut them out into squares. I laid out the pieces face up. I used sit/stand, tall/short, rain/shine, run/wallk, fat/thin (not my favorite one), big/little, etc. Then we matched them up! We had a lot of fun with this game. After she got the hang of the matching, we turned the cards face down and played a memory game with them.

Pre-Science: Sink/Float Sensory Table. We don't have a sensory table (so-to-speak), so I filled the kitchen sink with water and collected different items that would sink and float. We experimented with these items and guessed which items would sink or float. Then we talked about why our guesses were right or wrong. Lindsay had sooooo much fun with this! I wish I had gotten pictures of it!!

Large Motor Focus: Simon Says with Opposites. This one took a little time to master. She caught on quickly to the idea of doing the opposite action from what I suggested, but didn't catch the idea of only doing it when I said "Simon Says." Go figure.

More Large Motor Focus: Leap Frog. (Crouch/Leap). LOTS of fun!!

Arts and Crafts: Accordion Weiner Dog: I drew a picture (if you could call it that) of a weiner dog onto a piece of brown construction paper and helped Lindsay cut it out. Then we cut it in half. We then cut another long strip of brown construction paper and taped it to either side of the dog and folded it up to demonstrate a "long" weiner dog, and a "short" weiner dog. I wrote the word "short" in really skinny letters on the dog's front half. Then when it was unfolded, I wrote the word "long" in a way that took up the entire length of the dog's belly.

*This project was not my idea...I actually remembered doing this craft when I taught Pre-K years ago, but I've seen it done different ways on several websites recently as well, although I couldn't begin to recall which ones. So if you or someone you know should take credit for this cute idea, please, by all means do so in the comment section. :)

Sadly, our weiner dog didn't last long. Lindsay dragged this poor animal all over the house until he fell apart. He was taken to the weiner dog infirmary (a baby doll cradle in her play closet) and given several Dora and Sponge Bob band-aids. We're hoping for a full recovery. ;-)

Books: Slide and Seek by Chuck Murphy; Opposites by Sandra Boynton.

For more Tot Reports from other moms, click on the Tot School button above!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Getting a Head Start on Spring Cleaning!

Maybe it was all the unseasonably warm weather...I'm not sure what made me decide to start my Spring Cleaning so early. But I already cleaned out one (huge) hall closet to make room for a little play area for Lindsay. We have 3 (sometimes 4) kids living in a 3 bedroom house. That means that Lindsay and Addie have to share a room. Addie is 8 years old and finds herself annoyed that their room is always being destroyed by a small tornado of a little sister! So I decided to turn our (large) hall closet into a small play area for Lindsay. She's got room for her play kitchen, her table and chairs, and her baby doll crib. And I still have shelving for my linens and storage.

That worked out so well, I decided to clean out one of our other 2 hall closets for our homeschool supplies. I have put Trey's homeschool desk in his room - hopefully that won't turn out to be a mistake. Call me crazy, but I really (REALLY) wanted my room to be somewhere I could go to get away from being a homeschool "teacher-mom."

I'm hoping to get my bedroom painted in the next day or two...it was supposed to be done this weekend, but Gary didn't feel good, so all the furniture is still in the middle of the room. It's a little difficult getting out of bed with the only exit being at the foot of the bed. I feel like I'm sleeping in a box and it's getting real old...real fast! SO...he's off today and I'm putting him to work!! I can hear him in there singing along to his IPOD, so I'm sure that's a good sign! :) I'll post pictures when I get them!

For now, here's a look at my Homeschool Supply Closet. Let me know what you think!!!