Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Letter I

Inch by Inch

Little Guy and I are working our way through the alphabet and this week we are on the Letter I. 

Although Little Guy can identify most of the capital letters of the alphabet we are still going through it one letter at a time and talking about things that begin with that letter. 

So this week is the letter I.  We started with reading the story,  Inch by Inch, by Leo Lionni.   I brought out a sensory activity that I had prepared for him, Saving the Inchworms from the Ice.  It was very simple to set up.  I have some measuring inchworms and I pulled out all the inch size worms and put them in an ice tray.  I filled the trays up with water and froze them over night.  When we were ready to start the activity, I got some warm water, food coloring and the eye droppers.  Little Guy just squirted away. 

Little Guy enjoyed squirting warm water on the ice.  He put all his inchworms in a container and then we got out his notebook.  
First he sorted all the inchworms by color, then we counted how many inchworms of each color.  Then I introduced Little Guy to the terms most and least and had a little discussion.  This activity did not last long because Little Guy's attention span is very short.  

After lunch we decided it was time to do our I art project.  

We made an ice cream cone with a cherry on top.  Little Guy wanted strawberry and chocolate scoops.  

I couldn't believe it, but Little Guy sat for yet another activity.  I had prepared this name activity for Little Guy in his notebook.  With this activity I was introducing the lowercase letters in his name.  Very simple for me to set up and for Little Guy to complete. 

Of course, we had a scoop of ice cream after lunch.  It was a fun week.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Mouse Unit

Now that school's are closed, I know many parents are struggling to find activities to do with their little ones.  It is no different with my family.   My little grand-daughter is not getting the services that she needs.  Her mother and father are at home with her trying to adapted lessons that are sent home for all the students in her class. These lessons do not meet her IEP goals.   So I created a unit at her level and can be used for any preschool/kindergarten level children and it's easy enough for parents to follow.    

It centers around the books Mouse Paint, Mouse Count, and Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh.  I went to the NAEYC and read the guidelines and made sure that the unit was appropriate and followed their curriculum guidelines.  The unit has a little bit of everything in it: art projects, number and pattern games and a flannel board story.  I tried to keep it as simple as possible and even added steps of how to change it up for different levels.  

 There are ten different activities for your child/children to do:
Activity 1:  Science and Art Project
Activity 2:  Color Patterning Cards
Activity 3:  Color/Shape Memory Game
Activity 4:  Flannel Board Story
Activity 5:  Mouse Counting Cards
Activity 6:  Mouse Bingo
Activity 7:  Mouse Shape Art/Class book
Activity 8:  Pattern Blocks with Shapes
Activity 9:  Roll and Cover Shape Game
Activity 10: Vocabulary Match Boards/Writing Center Cards
Additional Book List/Rhymes
This unit is available at my TPT store and May 6-7-8, 2020 I am hosting a giveaway on my Instagram account.  Stop by and follow and maybe you will win a copy of the unit.  

Stay Safe and I hope you get a chance to get outside and enjoy some nice weather.  😀 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Sale and Giveaway

Today and Tomorrow is a sitewide TPT sale.  Everything is 5% off.
  My store also has markdowns as well.  

My giveaway is taking place on my Instagram feed  @theverybusykindergartenblog.  

Monday, March 16, 2020

Creating A Home Schedule

I know everyone may be stressing out about what to do with the kiddos home all day long.  How do you balance your work, house work and create fun meaningful learning activities for your children.  

First of all my advice is to keep it simple.  Sit down with your children and come up with a schedule that will work for all of you.  Try it, depending how old your children are at the end of the day/dinner time talk about what worked and what didn't work.  You may have to tweak the schedule a bit to find out what works best for you and your children.  The past year I have retired from my teaching job and have taken on the responsibility of watching my two grandsons.   They are five months apart, right now they are three and two.  Generally, I have them on Tuesdays and Fridays, however time is flexible depending on work schedules and other appointments.  We have a great time visiting the library, zoo classes and children museums.  However, just like everyone else we have to make some adjustments.  Keeping a basic schedule is important to me and to the boys.  It helps to keep our schedule simple and light.  Right now our basic schedule looks something like this:

9:00 Pick Up Boys

9:20 Arrive back at my house free play outside for a bit (Check on bird feeders & walk around the house and talk about the garden.  Right now we are talking about the signs of Spring.)

9:45 In the house for some more free play (Sometimes we use this time as baking time.  We like to make cookies and banana bread.)

10:15 Snack

10:30 Learning Time (This involves reviewing the alphabet and counting and shape patterning.  This is simple using the same charts each time they come so they know what to expect.)  Next we have a story and a project.  Our projects are simple and generally have something to do with a letter of the alphabet or seasonal activity. I find many of my ideas on Pinterest.
11:00 More Free Play 

11:30 Quiet Table Activities (Puzzles/Coloring/Simple Activities that I have already taught them how to do.) -- I use this time to make lunch.
12:00 Lunch/Clean Up
12:30 Storytime

1:00 Nap time

3:00 Outdoor or Indoor Free Play/Weather Dependent

4:00 Clean Up and get ready to go home

I know I have the little guys and things may look very different if you have older children, however with older children they should be able to help more and do more independent reading, writing and activities on their own.  Set goals for the week and work towards them as a family.  

I know many bloggers/teachers are posting things to do and things to purchase.  My plan is to post simple activities that we are making at home with the resources we have on hand.  I like to refer to them as Make and Take.  I will also post one or two free resources I encounter on the web that I feel are worth sharing.  

Scholastic Learn At Home


Thanks for Reading :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Using Skip-Bo Cards to learn Math Skills

One of my favorite games to play with the kids right now is my modified version of
I wrote about this a couple of years ago on my blog.  This is game is so simple. 
I started with numbers 1-5. When my little guys can identify them with ease we add six.  

I have all the cards stacked in the middle of the table and each player picks one card at
a time. 
Then we lay the cards out in front of them in order.  

If he does not know the number then we count the numbers in front of him so he can match
the number or find the correct spot for it.  

It is fun and easy to play.  If a child gets the Skip-Bo card he gives all the players a high-five.
 (This is better than saying you lose your turn and it encourages team building.) The winner
of the game is all the people who are having fun. I usually give everyone a sticker who
has fun and clean up.  

As the kids advance in their knowledge you can play:
  • War:  Divide the cards evenly between all the players.  Each player flips a card, the
person with the greatest value number wins all the cards.  In the event of a tie, flip a
second card.  
  • Change the game to the person with the least value.  
  • Then play where you flip two cards and add them up for your value.  

I also used the cards as an enrichment activity for double and triple digit addition and
subtraction in Math Journals. 

**Don't be afraid to stack the deck with only numbers you want to use. I have several
sets of cards so when I am working with 1-2-3 numbers, I have a lot of cards to
work with.
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