Monday, January 11, 2010

Tot School - The Letter O

~James is 33 months~

Well, we're back on track with Tot School and this week we continued on with the alphabet - we're up to the letter Oo!

Art & Music:
I just love owls and when I saw this idea on No Time for Flashcards, I knew we'd have to do it, too! We also made an orange octagon O. Nothing fancy, but it serves its O purpose. :)

We listed to some opera music. Che Soave Zeffireto from Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro' has been a long time favorite of mine, so we listened to that song most often. We are a music loving family and enjoy a wide range of musical genres. We're trying to instill in James an appreciation for all different types of music, too. It must be working because he will start swayin' to anything from Bob Marley to Bach to Blondie! :)

Letters & Numbers:
We read the O book from the Alphatales series and made lots of O's and words with our snow playdough.

James has been really interested in spelling lately. Which is amazing to me because I thought spelling was a long ways away for us, school-wise. But, as it is practiced in the Montessori method, children learn to spell before they learn to read, so I suppose it's something we really need to start offering to James.

I made this snowman activity using counters and buttons (print out from Kidsoup). James had fun decorating the snowman with the buttons, but took little interest in the whole counting aspect of it. I don't think it's too advanced for him because he did really well with something similar I made in December. Ah well, we'll try it again another time.

The above activity aside, James is a counting machine. This guy will count anything that can be counted! It seems numbers (and letters for that matter!) are his "thing". He can count by rote to 30 no problem and easily identifies all of the same numbers when he sees them written. In addition to spelling, I'm going to start offering a lot more number related activities going forward.

Science & Nature:

As part of our O week we went on a field trip to the ocean. James is in absolute heaven every time we go to the beach. If he could live there, he would. :)

I also put together this ocean shadow matching activity, which James LOVED. Print outs from Kidsoup (again!).

We also went hunting for things for our nature display. I love going for walks with James because he stops and notices every little thing. It can take us 45 minutes to walk half a mile. :)

Practical Life:
Here are the activities that were on our PL shelves this week:
From L-R:
Pouring oatmeal
Open and close basket
Spooning lima beans
Transferring pom-poms - this was also a great pattering activity!
Sorting foam tiles by color
Button snake

Our new classroom setup made our school week just that much more enjoyable! James absolutely loved having everything accessible and I found he revisited several of the Practical Life activities time and again, improving his skills with each pass. The only thing he completely, flat-out ignored was the button snake. :( You'd think it was a pile o poo sitting in the basket, the way he avoided it!

Oh and we did have one little accident - those lovely blue glass egg cups broke while in transit from shelf to work table. They were only a $1 or so at the thrift shop, so it wasn't a big deal at all. But I sure did think they were pretty. :( On the bright side, the breakage created another PL activity for James - sweeping! James took this job very seriously and kept saying, "oh well, too bad..." :)

James also had (a lot) of practice peeling Clementine oranges. We worked with oranges to make some potpourri, too!

Other activities:
I found this cute activity on Kidsoup. It's great for improving those fine motor skills - the child has to place a Cheerio (or any small thing) onto the tiny circles on the tentacles. Knowing James as I do, I made sure to provide enough cheerios for the octopus AND James' tummy. ;)

We had a blast exploring the sensory tub and pretending to make it snow (i.e. throwing cotton balls in the air).

James colored this O coloring page using his crayons rocks from Santa!

We worked with our Montessori materials, too, but I'm going to post about those lessons (and our Practical Life stuff) separately going forward. Nicole is now hosting 'Montessori Mondays' and I plan on linking up to that each week.

There you go - our 1st school week of 2010 was busy and fun! And I just want to say that I know these posts are long (I can't get around it), and that I'm very appreciative to those of you who take the time to read through it all!!

Now go and click the button to the left to see what others are doing with their children! :)


Mama to 5 said...

Nice job! I love the link you referred. Thanks! You have some great ideas!
:) Nicole

Jo Shabo said...

James is absolutely adorable in that brown little hat- so sweet!
I am going to have to look into that Kids Soup- how much have you used it? They seem to have some really cute materials!
I am still so jealous of your school space- it is just gorgeous!
Ps- I agree with James, if I could LIVE at/on the beach, I would! :)

Counting Coconuts said...

I use Kidsoup all the time! Either for ideas or their printouts - it's a great resource!

Anonymous said...

woohooo WTG!! I love the octopus with the cheerios! I too was wondering.. if there was any way to make the post shorter(mine not yours).. I don't think its possible :-P

Debbie said...

You have so many wonderful ideas here.

Keep that counting up James, that is wonderful that he wants to count so much!

A Learning Journey said...

Great week - thanks for sharing! I love the website Kidsoup you mentioned. I don't think I have ever checked it out before.

Gaby said...

Lots of activities, that's great! James is such a cutie in those pics!!!

Sarah said...

Great ideas! What a sweet little boy you have!

Our Little Family said...

Oh girl, SO many awesome things! First of all, that picture of James on the beach is just beautiful. He is such a handsome little guy!

Also, I LOVE your practical life activities. Maddie loves activities that are, well, practical. Ha! I'm always trying to find more ways to incorporate them into her days.

And, GREAT activities with the letter O! So, so cute!

sbswtp said...

Great week...and I like the long posts!!! The owl came out great!!! It looks like he had a really fun week!

Paul said...


Susan-Chasing Marcus said...

Mari-ann, do you have the paid membership to Kidsoup? If so do you think it is worth it? Also, what an awesome week. I love reading all of your activities especially the practical life ones. I did pick up a few things to practice pouring this week at the thrift store. Now to get over my fear of broken dishes and use them!

XYZZ said...

Glad to see that James is enjoying his new set-up! Our button snakes haven't gotten much love either; you never can tell what they're going to be attracted to, I suppose.

In case you don't see my reply on your comment over on my blog, you are *more* than welcome to link up to the Montessori Monday posts! I'm not too concerned about the age, I was just trying to figure out an easy way for people to decide on whether to link to the MM posts or the Toddler Tuesdays ones. :)

Cara said...

James looks SO happy at the beach! I love that photo! As usual, you're reminding me about all the great stuff at KidSoup that I keep forgetting about! :) If things go as planned (which they rarely do), we'll be doing lots of counting and pouring/transferring activities this week too. Looking forward to hearing more about all of those Montessori activities!

Leptir (NataĊĦa) said...

Hi Mari-Ann! Just wanted to let you know I have an award for you on my blog! Check it out!

Jen said...

Wow, you did so many amazing things this week! You are so organized about everything too. And don't worry about the length of the posts, I love them and anyone who doesn't... well, who cares?!
~Jen :)

Counting Coconuts said...

Thank you SO much for your comments, everyone. If only my "real life" friends were this supportive!!! :)


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