Thursday, June 13, 2013

Learning the 26 Letters

Princess K is 5 & has just recently really wanted to learn her letters. Both my boys knew them well before age 5, but I guess everybody is different. And truth be told, I don't think I have worked with her casually like I did the boys. She's ready now & is always excited to learn about the next letter.

The 3 activity books we're using: Alphabet Mystery Puzzles, PreK Reading Skill Sharpeners & My First School Book.

Each day the first thing we do is add the new letter to our flashcards pocket chart. (The flashcards are from Costco)

Next is reading the Bob book that goes with our letter of the day.

I copy one page out of the Bob book & she highlights the letter of the day. She loves this. She loves using the highlighter & is proud when she spots the correct letter.

To go along with My First School Book, she builds the letter of the day. I printed the template from Confessions of a Homeschooler & cut the pieces out of orange craft foam.
I copy the appropriate pages out of the My First School Book & she practices writing the capital letter.

Awhile back I signed up for thinking it would be a fun, educational experience for Princess K. She does enjoy it. Most of the time she uses it independently, but when she's learning her new letter we sing the few songs that go with that letter. We sing them silly & have a lot of fun with it.

After singing the letter songs she does the activities from the Skill Sharpeners book. Usually there's at least something to cut out & glue & letters to trace.

Vowels aren't included in the Skill Sharpeners book, so we use the Mystery Puzzles book on those days.

When she's completed everything she adds a leaf with a capital & lowercase letter to the wall.

The letters are in no particular order. She puts them wherever she feels like placing them. The construction paper vine winds all the way around the window.

These activities take about 15 minutes to complete. It's the perfect amount of time because she stays interested the entire time. She is always so excited to work on her letters. We have made it through R so far & she's had a great attitude every time. That is huge for me. I was really worried about how she would behave with me as her teacher. These quickie lessons are going great, which keeps me hopeful for the future.

We use the flashcards to play memory or go fish. We match the upper & lowercase letters. I play with her sometimes & sometimes she talks one of her brothers in to playing with her.

 By the time kindergarten starts she should know all her letters. Yippey!

I'm sharing this post at the Hearts for Home Blog Hop.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Learning About Chicks

Over the spring Mr. T worked on a chick unit. It seemed a fitting topic since we have many chickens & he's in a 4H poultry club.

5 books from the library to go along with our chick unit. Our favorites were the 3 on the right: Chicken Cheeks, Chicks and Salsa & There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Chick.

Funny story... I had no idea what Chicken Cheeks was about. But, when I was grabbing books from the library this book had chicken in the title, so I checked it out, too. I brought it with us on the way to the Tulip Fest since it is quite a drive. I asked Capt. N to read it. He read, while I was driving & the other two listened to the story. In the middle of the story I realized it was all about using different words for your behind. We laughed & laughed, I think mostly because the story was so unexpected. I'm not much for potty humor, but this book was funny.

Mr. T did a variety of activities from What's Hatchin' Chick? A Lil' Unit About Chickens. Here's some of what he did:

A super cute craft and book report about Chicks & Salsa.

Our can/have/are chart about chicks

Mr. T's answers to 3 Things I know about Chickens:
1. A chicken is called a pullet under a year old. (it should read a female chicken)
2. A chick is not fluffy when they hatch.
3. A rooster has spurs.

Title page of Mr. T's Egg Hatching Journal

21 of our eggs hatched.

I love his response to What did you learn about hatching eggs?
They do not come out as a fluff ball. They are really slimy.

He also made this poster for the PNPA poster contest. He described chicks that hatch in an incubator & chicks that hatch from a mama hen.

This is the clutch of chicks Mr. T was observing.  They are our 5th hatch of incubated chicks. To read more about them check out my farming blog.

In the brooder, just a few hours after hatching.

A yellow & black chick in my creeping phlox.

 My kids love when we learn about animals in school, so this unit was a real hit.

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