Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tot School - The Letter S

~James is 31 months old~

We're chugging right along - it was all about the letter Ss this week. I had planned on extending our S lesson another week, but truth be told, I'm kind of anxious to get through the alphabet so we can have week long lessons focused on specific topics. SO, this week I narrowed down the many S options - here's what we did:

Art & Music:
Since we're saving outer space (and sealife) for lessons later on, I decided to touch upon it by way of this letter S craft and some star sponging.

I saw this cute S idea on No Time For Flashcards and had to copy it.

Since the schools are on break this week, we didn't have Kindermusik. Instead, we sang LOTS of songs, and listened to sounds of the saxophone on YouTube.

Letters & Numbers:

Our S tray from the alphabet box I made was a huge hit. James mastered the S sound thanks to these little items! He'd lay each one out on the mat and say, "Ssss sunglasses" and so on.

We spent lots of time playing with our See and Spell. Always a favorite. In the pic on the right James is making the O sound. :)

We read our S Alphatales book. These books are great - short, easy to read and packed with words beginning with the focus letter. Click here to see what else we read this week.

Counting six & seven with shells. I made these cards and paired them with shells to make a counting activity. At first, James just wanted to lay all the shells on the cards in whatever quantity. I anticipated that since we haven't done a whole lot of quantity counting, but I figured exposure is always a good thing. What I didn't anticipate was that by the end of the week James was putting the correct number of shells on the corresponding card AND he was spelling out the word and saying, "S-E-V-E-N, that spells seven." Lesson learned: never underestimate the power of these little minds!

Science & Nature:
  • It rained ALL week, so we didn't get out too much. Instead, we talked about the sun and sky and took notice of the beautiful sunset (pic from our backyard).
  • We talked about our skin and read a book from our Time To Discover series.
  • We also read Wild Animal Baby, our first book from our subscription to the National Wildlife Federation. This little book has a good variety of things in it from shapes and colors to seek and finds.
Practical Life:
Sorting nuts. This was a great learning experience for both of us. After I displayed how to do the activity, James sorted nuts a few times in a row. At that point I was thinking about offering him a new task since he was acting sort of bored with it. But something told me to hold out. Next thing I knew James was sorting the nuts by size, then counting them, then exploring the squirrel (which he loved btw) and began talking about it's tail, ears and eyes. I was amazed at what a lesson this sorting activity turned into! And if that's not clear proof in Dr. Montessori's concept of "follow the child" then I don't know what is!

Spooning (and pouring) crystal beads. This was intended to be a spooning work, but since I knew James prefers pouring, I was ok with it morphing into that instead. Follow the child, right? :)

Tonging strawberries with a strawberry huller. How cute is this PL work? I loved it! James - not so much. He spent all of 45 seconds on it. I think it was too hard - he needed to use the huller to tweeze the stems of the berries... I should've tried tongs now that I think of it.

Grace & Courtesy:

James has gotten much better about saying sorry, excuse me, please and thank you. Sometimes, he goes out of his way to bump into Buca (our kitty) just so he can say, "Oh! Excuse me, Buca!" :) And on Monday he walked around the house saying, "Thank you so much!" over and over. It's wonderful to see him developing these kind mannerisms.

Other activities:

Happy 40th Anniversary to Sesame Street!! Sesame is a much loved program in our home and and it has a very special place in my childhood memories. So, in honor of the anniversary, we matched our Go Fish Sesame Street cards, and read this Sesame Street shapes book.

I found this spider activity on Kidsoup. James really liked it and the self-correcting aspect came into play when James noticed the one spider card he had left didn't match the shape on the last web card. It was really interesting to see his mind work it out.

More shape matching. James kept putting each shape on his face (and Buca's) and would say, "Hi, I'm a triangle!" LOL Oh that kid cracks me up!

Scarecrow patterns. I came up with the idea for this activity when I read about a similar turkey activity on Chasing Cheerios. The images came from Kidsoup. After printing and cutting them, I put together three different scarecrows, took pictures of them and printed them out to be used as control cards. Then I put velcro on the back of the pieces so they'd stay in place (James gets seriously PO'd if things move on him while he's working). We used a sheet of felt as the work surface. This was a fun activity and James really enjoyed it.

Finally, S is for Snickers, James' other kitty and BFF. :)

Another busy week and another long post. Sorry! I keep hoping to make these posts shorter, but I just can't see how to do it and include everything we do in a week!

To see what others are doing with their children, click on either of the buttons below.


sbswtp said...

Really great week with lots of fun activities!!! I really liked the star stamps and the picture with the cat :) too cute!

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

There are so many things in this post... wow, I don't know where to begin! I love the star sponge painting on black paper! And how great that you listened to sax music on youtube! I'm so impressed that you make it a priority to bring music into his "lessons" - it's definitely something I need to focus on more. His face making the "O" sound - so precious and cute! And how amazing that he was SPELLING seven AND counting! What a smart little guy. :) I love the spider shape activity too - kidsoup sounds like a great website. And M loves to say "I'm sorry" lately... to the point it's a little annoying, lol. He's also come far with his manners, such a relief when that happens, right? :) You had a terrific week, I always enjoy your posts!

Michelle said...

So many great activities!

Cara said...

The Letter S snake craft is definitely on my to do list! We do activities from No Time For Flashcards, too!

I'm very interested in the Alphatales series. Putting it on our Amazon wishlist!

I mentioned the See and Spell in my Tot School post this week. I'm hoping to buy it for Finn for Christmas.

My little guy is really in to saying "Excuse me!" right now too...he fake burps and coughs just so he can say it. :)

Great post this week! You did so many neat things!

Shannon said...

I love your sorting nuts idea. We'll try that this winter.

DB said...

So many activities! Awesome as always. That pic with the cat is adorable!
Great new Blog button, such a cute logo.
Adding it now!

Paul said...

Awesome week, great job!

Jen said...

You're amazing! If we still lived on the island I would honestly beg you to teach my kids too!
You have so so many ideas. I really like those little trays as well... I want to play with them! LOL

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

James is a smart little boy - he can already do so much. Even though my daughter is a bit older, I like reading your blog for hands-on ideas - you have so many of them.

Counting Coconuts said...

We had such a fun week! Thanks for your comments. :)


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