We began week seven of our humble preschool program having just returned from a weekend of camping at Deerfield Fair in NH. Since camping took priority over school, I didn’t get much done for the week and decided to give us a break on Monday. I pretty much let the kiddos do what they wanted, and even when I don’t suggest or initiate activities, they’re pretty good at keeping themselves busy.
The Bible story of the week was about baby Moses, one with which Gwen is already familiar, and by the end of the week she was telling me all about how Moses’ mama put the basket in the river to save him from the bad guys and that the princess took him from the water. To get us started with the school day after breakfast cleanup, I played a few songs from the CD that comes with 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs. We danced around with instruments, and then I read the condensed story of baby Moses.
“F is for fish” proved to be a very easy, versatile jumping board for learning a variety of things. Inspired by Counting Coconuts, I spent way too much time making a set of counting felt fish.
I love how they turned out and the kiddos were super-excited; Gwen actually started crying when we weren’t finished with it before she went to bed. Daddy made a little fishing pole with a magnet, we used a blue cloth for “water,” and they went fishing. Gwen had to say what number was represented on each fish when she caught it.
After reading the story we used Crayola’s Flower Book Report to talk about it. Here are Gwen’s answers:
The rainbow fish swam away to the cave. The rainbow fish at first didn’t give the other fish the shiny scales, and then the rainbow fish shared his shiny scales.
Who was in the story?
The rainbow fish, the different fish, the starfish.
Where & When?
In the ocean.
What did you learn?
That the rainbow fish didn’t share. Share!
What was your favorite part?
Since our vocabulary word was “fin,” I found this cute story called Feather Fin, particularly nice because it glorifies listening to your parents.
I haven’t made a sensory bin since our B is for bird week, though I have gotten good at dumping interesting items into a container for the kiddos to play with. I saved the rice and beans mixture from the creation bin and have used it on a number of occasions. Josiah’s favorite would have to be using it to load all his dumptrucks, making trails through the rice. I got sick of finding piles of dried rice around the house and stuck it outside on nice days.
The last time I got a sensory pan out for him, he made such a mess, and another mess after I cleaned the first one, that I decided to nix the rice for a bit.
This time around I got out the pasta I colored with vinegar and food coloring (should have used the rubbing alcohol because I can still smell the vinegar!) and created a simple Hide-n-Seek Bowl with a bunch of toy fish and colored aquarium rocks. The kiddos loves it, and eagerly dug in to find all the pieces.
I dumped the contents into a bigger pan and let them play with it some more, letting them “fish” for pieces with little nets. These kinds of things can entertain them for hours - just be prepared for some clean-up!
Most of our letter posters have been decorated with stickers up until this point, but for the letter F I thought it would be neat to do fingerprints. I got out some inkpads and Gwen and I stamped our fingerprints all over.
It’s on our bulletin board, but I don’t always remember to show Gwen the Funny Font Book from Happy Brown House. We got around to it this week, and I showed her how there can be lots of versions and variations of the letter F – plain, fancy, whatever – but that they all represent uppercase and lowercase letter Fs.
During Josiah’s naptime we do the work I’ve put out on our trays, and afterwards we jump on the computer, I hand the mouse over to Gwen, and she does Starfall’s letter activity.
The number for the week was number five; even though I keep forgetting the previous numbers, we’ve been consistent tracing the numbers while saying the corresponding number rhyme from ABCJLM.
I worked math in with the felt fish, some workbook and dry erase pages, and a fish counting mat that I got from the KidSparkz fish theme page. I laminated the water page, laminated and cut out the fish pieces, and when I wrote a number in the box Gwen had to place the appropriate amount of fish in the water.
I’ve been alternating between emphasizing a shape one week and a color the next. This week was the color green, so we did some tracing/coloring, and I broke out 1+1+1=1′s color puzzle that I finally got around to laminating. In the interest of maximizing laminating sheets, I made the main puzzle pieces two-sided.
I guess I forgot to take pictures, but I printed out Homeschool Share’s story resources to go along with The Big Green Pocketbook. Gwendolyn asked to do this over and over, and had lots of fun putting the elements from the story in her “pocketbook.”
Since it fit nicely with the theme and the number for the week, I chose “1-2-3-4-5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive” for our rhyme. A while back I got scored a free VHS copy of “Playtime – Children’s Book of the Month Club;” I’m so happy I grabbed it because I love the compilation of songs and animation. 1-2-3-4-5 is just one of the songs on the tape.
It was pretty easy coming up with food and snacks to go along with this week, but I will admit that it can be a challenge finding healthy options. Phil tells me I don’t need to bother with coordinating snacks, but it’s nice to tie everything together. I ended up getting goldfish crackers, and put some gummy fish in some [sugar-free] green jello.
One of the activities that the ABCJLM curriculum emphasizes is name recognition. Each week has some sort of name activity, and the past few weeks have centered around matching the letters in your child’s name. This week I wrote Gwen’s name on her dry erase board and she had to find the corresponding Scrabble tile and put it under the correct letter.
Sometimes I’m overly ambitious and bookmark a whole bunch of ideas for the week, using only two or three when it’s all said and done. Check out my F is for fish pinboard for other ideas.
We haven’t been as consistent with the Starfall calendar activity, though almost every day we talk about what day of the week it is and Gwen usually sings her “Seven Days” song from the first two weeks. Every night we do our weather watching jars, and Josiah has insisted on helping us with the pom poms.
The Story of Baby Moses (a board book)
The Moses Basket
The Pout-Pout Fish
About Fish: A Guide For Children
Let’s Read About Pets: Goldfish
Froggy Goes to Bed
Fox in Socks
Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique
Alpha Tales – Fifi Ferret’s Flute
My “f” Book
I Just Forgot
The Fairies’ Alphabet Book
Gwen is 3 years old (45 months) and Josiah is 1 (21 months).