Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fun Fishing game and Preschool Organization

Today is one of the last visits Briggy will have with the ECI speech therapist. He has progressed SOOOO much, and we're grateful to her and the program for all that they have provided for our family.
Today she was working on some blends with Briggy that he is having trouble with {shells, sheep, giraffe...etc.} so she had flashcards with those items on them and they each had paper clips on them. With a fishing pole that had a magnent end {ours is a Munchkin bath toy} he would go fishing for the cards and say what he saw on them. I know that that is a pretty common game, but I really liked the ease of the paper clip instead of sticking on those expensive magnets or strips I thought I would have to do to get the same result. He had a lot of fun with it, so I will definitely be doing this with alot of activities in the near future!

On an organizational note, I've been trying to find out the best way to organize all of the preschool worksheets I print off and I finally came up with a *cute* solution.

I was lucky and won an Office Depot gift card from one of their Christmas-time sweepstakes, so I put it to use and bought that ENORMOUS 4" binder. They are really expensive {like $17} which I would never pay with my own loot, but last week they had them on their worklife specials were you get 100% cash back. So I bought it with a gift card {free} and will be sent another gift card for the price I "paid" for it---yea! The size is great though, because with 26 letters, numbers, shapes and colors, I am going to have a lot of print outs over the next 2 years. I bought the A-Z dividers and 1-5 dividers from Avery on Amazon
I wanted the front cover to be cute, so I just used "preschool words" and designed a cover from I am obsessed with this and have made layouts for every season/holiday to put in a frame in my entryway. Its kind of like subway art that is so in right now---but free and i dont need photoshop!!


One thing I always remember was hearing little kids sing "elemeno"! during the alphabet song. So when I first taught Brigham the alphabet we didnt sing it to learn it, we said each letter slowly. Now of course he knows the song, but he knows "lmno" are lumped together like that! We are big fans of the Signing Time DVDs and she actually has a song about LMNO and how they are different. So we watched that clip, and of course listened to the song on repeat {ai-yi-yi} on the signing time cd! I had a lot of different ideas for each letter, but because I did all 4 during the same day, I had to limit the individual activities. I know we'll be reviewing the letters again soon, so I didnt worry about each letter getting less focus.

For L we made and learned about ladybugs
For M we had M&Ms {which have been a potty training reward} Macaroni and Marshmallows
For N we learned about nests
For 0 we learned about Octopuses and Owls

I printed off the A-Z handwriting sheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler

I pretty much use EVERYTHING! she has on her site, and if you were doing each letter separately or wanting more LMNO activities, you'll find tons on her blog.

We made a lady bug out of construction paper and I asked Brigham how many spots the lady bug should have--he said 10! so I punched out 10 spots and he glued them on. I hope to put together a ladybug file folder game that has some lady bug math using the spots on it this weekend. {Im hoping to be able to post it on Saturday!}
For M I chose all food items to make a craft with. We looked through the pantry and found macaroni and marshmallows to make M's out of. We were lucky to get the M's glued on before he ate them all!!!
The N activity that we used from her blog went over particularly well. I laminated the page with the nests that were divided into capital and lower case Ns and I laminated the sheet that had all of the captial and lower case eggs and then cut them out.
Brigham had to put each egg in the right spot.

The O activity was found on:
We are going to turn that Owl activity into a valentine for a certain Auntie Jessie who loves Owls! "Whoooooo loves you" or something cutesy like that will be written on the back with some Briggy drawings!

After going over the handwriting {which he is really picking up well!!} and making the crafts it was time for lunch so we didnt end up doing any other Letter worksheets, but there are so many to choose from.
here are some of my favorites that I am definitely going to use throughout the year in reviews:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back--with a new Plan of Attack!

The past couple months were a little bit crazy for our family. Nothing major or serious, but I felt a little overwhelmed with things, and took a break from the regimented daily pre-k homeschooling for Brigham. We were *trying* to potty train, FINALLY! had Brigham's adneiods removed and tubes put in his ears and had a few allergy issues and visits with the doctor for our little guy Oliver. Throw in the hectic nature of holidays--and well---I kind of gave up. We still worked daily on learning activities, but the boys watched more dvds than normal {we watch a LOT of Signing Time} Anyway, my 2011 goal was to step-up my pre-k homeschooling and thats what Im here to do!
Before I was having scheduled Preschool time from 10-11:30 everyday. I think that had something to do with the overwhelming feeling I had, feeling the need to have everything prepared everyday and posting stressed me out! Im just not as gun-ho as some other mommies? I dont know, I just felt like maybe if I did a 3-day week I'd feel like I had more time to prepare and less pressure. {pressure I was just placing on myself, but all of you moms know what I mean!} So I decided on Monday, Wednesday and Friday as preschool days! I had my whole lesson plan mapped out for the rest of the year starting on January 3rd, and guess what happened? On January 3rd my son Brigham was NOT HAVING IT! I had designed the schedule similar to what I was doing before with Monday's a focus on ONE LETTER. Well, over these past few months, Brigham has become much more skilled in the alphabet, spelling and even some reading! So the little one letter lesson I planned wasnt "enough" for him. He kept wanting to branch out and do more and didnt seem satisfied with what I had prepared. So I did a little brainstorming and talked with a friend of mine that is an elementary school teacher, and came up with a little more diverse and challenging lesson plan.
I have to re-work some things, but next monday I am going to be starting my regular blog posts again with an L M N O plan for Monday.
This is a learning process for me, so I hope I can help with some links, ideas and organization. Im excited for this new schedule!!!