Monday, January 31, 2011

Week in Review

The end of another great week here at our house. We have been able to get most everything accomplished that I've wanted to do for two weeks straight now! That in and of itself is amazing. We are slowly but surely catching up on our alphabet. I am completely amazed with Asa who can identify almost every letter in the alphabet. I have no idea where he picked up the incredible talent. Maybe it was all because of Super Why. lol And Annabelle is getting closer to being able to count perfectly to the number 15! Still having issues with the numbers 13 & 14 (she thinks they are one in the same and not two separate numbers).

Working hard on our letter Jj activities. This day we had fun with jellybeans with printouts from Confessions of a Homeschooler.
We also worked on our letter to hang on our alphabet wall. J is for jellyfish.
Here is the finished project. I think it turned out cute, and Annabelle really likes the pink jellyfish. Who am I kidding, if broccoli were pink she'd eat it. :)

We had a fun visit from Great Grandpa and Grandma Cummins this week. They hadn't seen Zak since he arrived back from Korea and the kids and I didn't get down there around Christmas time so they had a Christmas on Saturday. It was a nice visit and the gifts were wonderful. The kids played with them the whole afternoon! They love their new Melissa and Doug art easel! They were regular Picassos.
This was one of our fun Bible lessons this week. We talked about how King Saul was very sad and David played praise music and it made King Saul very happy. The paper plates represent King Saul as happy and sad. During the story they listened for the words sad and happy and would hold up the correct paper plate. We also did a cute word song with the paper plates too. I don't know what Asa thought the crowns were supposed to be, maybe hair. lol
This jellybean sorting activity was a HUGE hit. It can be found here.
Look at that concentration. I don't know if it's concentration for actual sorting, or just trying not to eat the jellybeans during the activity.
They both really enjoyed this Jar Twist activity that I put together for them. They worked with these most of an afternoon one day. Annabelle's favorite was of course the pink jar.

Asa really enjoys these pattern blocks from Melissa and Doug. We got these for Christmas and they didn't have the green triangles in the package. We finally got our replacement with green triangles included. Asa was excited as you can see.
One of his favorite activities this week was cutting. He would color on paper and then cut it into little shreds. To make this less messy I have him cut onto that green craft tray that you see next to him. This eliminates most of the mess on the floor.
We had a lot of fun with the Silly Faces game from Discovery Toys. I set the cards and the mirror out on the tray and he copied the faces that were on the cards. This was a complete riot. I love this little series of pictures.
He called this one the naughty face.
....and this one the happy face.
Silas wasn't feeling too good at the beginning of the week. He insisted on sitting in this chair with the puzzle while watching Super Why. For anyone who is curious he did do the puzzle over and over again the whole time he sat there.
Did I mention that he loves his books!
His new favorite of the week.
He loves this little jar! Thankfully, it is pretty durable. I think he really likes that he can take the lid on and off by himself. He actually thought up this activity all by himself one day. The clothespins were on the table in this jar and he got them down, dumped them out and put them back in (taking the lid off and putting it on every time). So I quick grabbed a tray and set it out the rest of the week. It was his favorite for sure this week.

Goliath bowling was a big hit with all the kids. Here are some of my favorite shots from one afternoon of playing.

Silas got a turn with a ball. He thought it was great!
This is what he did most of the time though.
A couple great/cute action shots of Asa. Look at that superb form!

Annabelle helping Silas knock down the pins that the ball missed.
We had ssssooooo much fun this week. To see what other people did this week click on buttons and enjoy! Happy blogging.

Tot School

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sneak Peek: David, Jj, and Snowman Game Explanation

I almost forgot about my calendar! Well, it's back. We did start this week off yesterday as the date suggests. We've been having major computer problems this last weekend and they're following us into this week. Fortunately Zak is pretty good with these types of things so hopefully the computer will be up and running and back to normal in no time.

This week we are looking into the life of David. Each day we are learning something new about his life. We start off with his life as a shepherd looking after sheep and how he was chosen to sing to King Saul. The next day (today) we will be talking about his friendship with Jonathan. Wednesday we will talk about how he was chosen to be king over all his brothers. Thursday and Friday we will be discussing David and Goliath. Friday we will be watching the Veggie Tales movie: Dave and the Giant Pickle. So many great things to glean from David's life. In these particular stories I hope to touch on friendship, working hard and doing a good job, praise and worship, and God can use anyone no matter how little and seemingly insignificant that person is.

I found these bowling pins at a garage sale this last summer (they are huge!). I thought it would be fun to tape pictures of Goliath on them and use them to bowl the giants down. I think it will be a big hit.
This week we are also diving into the letter Jj. Still a couple of weeks behind in our letters, but we are catching up quickly and will be back on track soon. We are doing a few different activities for the letter Jj. Mostly with jellybeans and jack in the boxes. These cute jelly bean activities can be found here. The activity on the left is matching the top half of the jelly beans with the numbers on them with the bottom half of the jelly bean with the correct number of dots on it. The activity on the left will be done with real jelly beans....yummmm! Annabelle and Asa will both get a pile of jelly beans and will sort them into colors. Each color will then be counted and placed on the graph. Then we will determine which color had the most and which color had the least.
This is an activity that I made. I painted jars all different colors and then painted the corresponding lids with the same color. The object is to find the lids to put on the jars.

I posted a picture of Asa playing this snowman button game yesterday and said that I would quick post an explanation about it today. So as promised here is the explanation. Remember the snowman and his buttons can be found here.

This is a picture of a card that Asa would draw randomly from a pile. He would then count the dots (he doesn't correctly recognize his numbers quite yet without some help), and find the corresponding amount of shapes from a little bowl that I have them in.....or in this case spread out all over the table because he would dump them all out of the little bowl to rummage through them. :) So the card he drew says 3 hexagons, so the snowman gets three hexagons. Simple enough right?
This is an example of the card sets that I made for each of the buttons. I do not intend to make him go through all of the cards. Asa plays until he gets bored and then moves onto something else. You would also not have to put all the shapes available in the game at one time, or all the numbers available for that matter.
Well, that is our week in a nutshell. Hope the snowman pictures cleared up any questions. I have a tendency to over complicate simple explanations. Happy blogging.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Week in Review: Snow

Contrary to what this seems we didn't intentionally study the letter Ss this week, it just kind of got thrown into the mix while we were talking about snow and snowmen. We had a whole lot of fun this last week and I will just jump right in and show you what we did.

I was quite fond of this little snowman that Annabelle drew. I think it turned out really cute. Plus, this is the first structured drawing that she has been required to do. I told her what she needed to draw and this is how it turned out. I think that she enjoyed it.

Here she is working hard on her color by shape page from here:

We did lots and lots and LOTS of counting this last week. I tried seemingly in vain to introduce her to the numbers 11-15. She counts really well up to 12, but I guess that thirteen and fourteen sound the same to her because only one of those numbers come out before fifteen. It has been consistently like this all week. Slightly irritating to the teacher unfortunately. Guess we'll have more counting activities in the upcoming weeks. At least she enjoyed herself (which is much more than I can say about me....I detest math). These counting activities can be found here:

This one was fun for Annabelle, she really, really, really liked counting with the marshmallows.

How many children are building this snowman? Way too many. This was the least favorite of the counting activities that we did, partly because my daughter has OCD tendencies and wanted her kids in a certain order/pattern, and wanted all the girls first and would then lose count of how many kids she had already counted. But mostly because mommy made it way too stressful, and instead of just going with the flow kind of freaked out on her sweet, precious daughter, therefore rendering said activity un-fun. Lesson learned during this activity: When the teacher feels frustrated, everyone gets frustrated (and slightly hysterical with crying involved). Best solution in this case, take a break or move on, don't try to complete the activity. Lesson learned (hanging head).
More counting. We did much better this day. Annabelle really enjoyed counting the star buttons on these cute little snowmen. It was much easier for her to focus on finding the corresponding number on the hat than to count out 15 children building a snowman and not lose focus.

Working on gluing something. I just wanted everyone to note that she insisted that she dressed fancy this day for some reason.....
.....probably because in her spare time she has been caught looking at this. Fancy Nancy. :)

I have seen this idea done on so many mommy blogs that I read that I just couldn't resist trying it any longer. I really don't like to go outside in the snow....I know, I know...I'm just not a cool mom like that. The thought of bundling the kids up (which takes 30 min.) just to go outside for 5 min. to come inside and get them undressed, hot chocolate made, everything dried, and put away.....well, it just doesn't appeal to me that much. So I brought some snow inside, into the kitchen sink. I really liked this alternative and the kids did too! I put towels down on the floor, mittens on their hands and let them go wild. It entertained them for easily 45 min.

The next couple pictures are finished art projects.
Pretty Snowballs. The reason why I didn't get any pictures of the process you ask? This was a very messy craft. Rolling a balloon around in glue is just as messy as it sounds (who would've thought it), add glitter on top of that and well you have a recipe for a big giant sticky, sparkly mess!
Paper plate snowmen. Much less messy and just as fun for the kids (even more so because they were able to do more by themselves).
Our final snowman craft was fun and turned out pretty cute I think. They're called melted snowmen. Big blob of glue on wax paper, and the kiddos added the 'fixins'
Love his 'smile' face. :)
The finished melted snowman. I don't know why, but I think that they are cute. (These took 2 whole days to dry!)
The reason why the snow theme is so much fun is that there is so much out there for preschoolers and toddlers to enjoy. Asa had a lot of fun this week with all the activities that he was able to do while his sister was doing her school. These activities that you see in the next couple pictures are from here:
He matched these snowflakes several times throughout the week. He really liked doing this.

He discovered these tools that we've had forever this week. He played with these every single day and is still going with them. He walks around the house fixing things. It is really quite cute. Here is fixing the dining room chair. Never mind that his tool box is a pink and purple Disney princess backpack. :) lol

Sorting the letter s from other letters. This activity can be found in the same winter tot pack that I linked to earlier from Annabelle's counting activities. This proved to be a little more difficult for Asa. He is used to sorting uppercase and lowercase of the same letter. Never sorting one letter from a whole bunch of different letters. I think that this new concept just caught him off guard and it took him a couple times to get used to something different than what he was used to.

Asa loves two or three piece puzzles and I love Craigslist (which is where I bought a whole case of two piece mommy/baby puzzles for 5 dollars).

This is another activity from the 1+1+1=1 link. I wanted to make this a little more of an independent activity for Asa. What I did was print out two copies of the buttons and glued one set to some card stock mailing labels that I have laying around (index cards would work well too). Then I wrote the numbers 1-5 on each shape set. Asa would draw a card and it would have a 2 then one of the heart shapes glued on it, so he would know that he needed to put 2 heart buttons on the snowman. Sorry, if that is a complicated explanation. I thought I took a picture of it. Maybe I'll do a quick post tomorrow showing just that.

The kids have been having a lot of fun with their dot markers that they got in their stockings. Here are a couple of Asa's masterpieces from this last week. I think that they are cheerful and fun. They make me smile. :)
No pics of the little guy again this week. We have been doing tot school with him, I'm just not capturing it on camera. Silas did take a stab at dot art this week though. He really enjoyed it. He likes feeling like he's part of the things his brother and sister get to do.

Well, that's it for this last week. I was fighting a nasty cold this last week and unfortunately all three of my kids have come down with the same thing. Say some prayers for good health to return to us. I'll leave you with a picture of my three beautiful sickies relaxing and watching some Super Why (thank you Netflix for finally getting something PBS related that isn't offense).

To see what other people have been up to this week stop by these sites that I'm linking up least I hope I am....this is my first time trying this and I'm not too technically savvy, so I hope it works! :)

Tot School