Learning with the littles

You just can't beat that home preschool means that you can "go to class" in your pajamas!

Letter practice/sensory experience.  A new slate every time with no erasing or new paper...

I totally got this idea from my bloggy buddy Annie.  My kiddos LOVED it and couldn't wait for their turn with the cookie sheet and rice.  (Though I will admit that Caleb tried to eat a handful.  Thankfully just once.)

Name practice/fine motor skills.  It is amazing how difficult it can be for little fingers to get the paper backing off of those foam stickers.  Each kid also can now spell their name and recognizes their own letters thanks to the little song that my dad used to sing to me.
Kylie of course had to add decoration to hers.

Spatial relations/problem solving.  After a day to experiment with the pattern blocks, it was time to figure out some puzzles.  Each child was frustrated with the first one, but begged to keep going after they figured out how to do it.
This little set is fun.  It has the puzzle on one side and a key to tell you which pieces you need to complete it.  There is an answer key on the back, but no one needed to use it.

Cutting.  Is there a three year old boy on the planet that couldn't use some practice with scissors?
He's getting better...

This exercise came from the curriculum that I'm using, but all three kiddos really enjoyed it.  We had a great discussion on the ten commandments and I've heard the kids reminding each other about them throughout the week.  I liked how the girls both decided to match up their numbers in order,

but Caleb stuck them on there in the order he picked up the numbers.

Hand strength/fine motor skills/letter recognition.  We use playdoh frequently.  Some days I encourage them to roll out snakes, or make "meatballs" before they use the letter cutters to build hand strength.  But this day was extra special because we got a  fresh supply in the mail thanks to my bloggy buddy Laurie!  Thanks so much ~ we actually got to use a solid color that matches our color of the week!
And these new containers are in a place well out of reach of people shorter than four feet tall!  I'll let them mix up the "play time" playdoh, but the "preschool" playdoh is going to stay ONE color per container!
Kylie has decided that forming just one letter is so "three year oldish" and has now moved on to writing her sight words as she plays.  Our word that week was the.

Comparing/ordering.  I found these cute dinosaurs, printed them out, colored them various shades of green, and cut them.  It was fun practice to arrange them from smallest to largest and then largest to smallest. 
 And of course anything dinosaur got Caleb's attention!
Letter building.  Here's the magnet board again ~ just because this is my place on the web and I can be proud of my kiddos.  Kylie has decided that she no longer needs the lines and curves to make her letters.  She's moved on to creating her own letters using the magnet pen.  Here she is making an R which uses a curve and a diagonal line (the hardest letters developmentally to create).  She's carrying a mini-notebook around almost 24/7 these days writing letters and trying to sound out words.  It's been fun to watch her catch on!

Lines and curves.  The younger two continue to really enjoy creating letters out of lines and curves.  Proof that it is spell binding?  That's a bowl of noodles ~ Caleb's favorite food behind oven roasted cauliflower ~ getting cold beside him.  He just didn't want to stop making letters...

Free exploration of new manipulatives.  I got these locking bears from my college roomie.  Kylie and I will be using them for simple number sentences in the next few days, but for the first day I simply let them explore.  Darcy sorted them out by color, Caleb lined them up on the little mat they came with, and Kylie locked them into AB patterns.
Number recognition.  Same dollar spot number flash cards.  Same printed numbers.  This time they had to line up the flash cards.  When they were done they had to trace each number with their finger and say it out loud.

Coloring/bible verse practice.  Came with the curriculum.  Have to say I'm loving discussing this verse!

And yes, Darcy is not sporting her glasses in two days worth of pictures.  I'm not sure what the first time was about, but in the purple dress pictures she had gotten miffed at me and hit her glasses out of spite.  And then when she wanted them, we couldn't find them because she forgot where they were.  Needless to say we spent some time discussing what it means to honor your mother...


Heather said... you have open enrollment any time soon? I saw the tanagrams for preschoolers on the ipad and think I might get it for Jake. He loves those. Although he has them at school, I don't know if he has used it.

Andrea said...

You are so organized! The writing in rice is one I know Lydia will love if she doesn't scatter in my carpet first.

Traci said...

Can i send my kids to your school?

Nancy said...

Awesome stuff!

Amy Murphy said...

I have a question, Kristi. How involved to you get in what they do? I mean, if it were me, I'd be there holding their hand the whole time, I think. Do you just explain what to do at each of your stations and then let them go, or do you help them if they're having trouble. I guess I don't know how much "help" is acceptible. I'm kind of a control freak and I guess I just don't know much about this age developmentally.

Cindy M said...

When Mickey was little, I used salt trays and rice trays, too. I put the stuff in long low-edged rectangle plastic containers with lids so I could just pull it out.

GREAT coloring by Darcy!

You're an awesome mom! It's one thing to do it for a job. To consistently execute at home is completely impressive! Wish I could sign Caroline up, too! Although they'd miss her running the show in her classroom...she herds all the other kids through their tasks. I'm guessing Caleb might not like that so much.

Kylie, you look SO grown up. Stop it right now. Please.

Love you all!

Lisa said...

Love the title you choose! It looks like it's a great week. Have you thought of oatmeal or cornstarch for your rice tray? They seem to be loving your efforts!

Lindy said...

I love how engaged they look in what they're doing. What a good mom your are! Funny about Darcy hiding her glasses... I take it she has a strong will!