Friday, September 2, 2011

Tot School - Week 1

In prior years, my time went to working with the older kids, and there was little left to do anything formally with the little kids.  They were mostly on their own.  Unfortuantely, that meant they watched a lot of TV.  This year, I'm trying to work with them on preschool skills.  Josh has some skills down really well and could probably be doing kindergarten.  However, his attention span and fine motor skills are still at the preschool level.  I'll see where he is next summer before deciding if this year will be preschool or kindergarten for him.

I'm trying to keep our lessons short and fun.  For guidance, I'm using Phonics Pathways and What Your Kindergartner Should Know.

Here's what we accomplished this week:

We started each day with the calendar, talking about the month, days of the week, weather, and counting off the days to today's date.  We also talked about yesterday and tomorrow.  Both Josh and Maddie really like this part of the day.
Our calendar door
Next we moved onto phonics and penmanship/fine motor skills by going through a lesson in Phonic Pathways and then practicing writing the letters in a creative way.  I had intended to take a full week for each lesson, but Josh was against that, so we went through all of the vowels this week.  I figured daily review will solidify them.  Here's some of the creative penmanship and fine motor activities we did this week.

Shaving cream, a favorite 

We glued beans and lentils to the letter E.  Don't do this unless you want beans and lentils all over your floor!

We painted a couple of alphabet worksheets.


We wrote letters in unbleached flour.

Don't use flour as a writing medium unless you want your dining room to look like this when you are done.  At the very least, have a good vacuum.

We sorted Lucky Charms marshmallows and created a graph with them.  Then we discussed the graphs.  When we were done, the kids ate their work.

I made this fine motor skills and color matching toy today, as well.  It's an oatmeal container.  In the lid, I punched holes for each color of pipe cleaner that I had.  Around each hole I put paper hole reinforcements which I colored with Sharpie markers to match the pipe cleaners.  Maddie really liked it.  (I got the idea from this website.)

We also read an easy picture book about Australia and a few books about firefighters.

That's it.  I would have liked to do more but our schedule was chaotic.  I'm sure we'll work out the kinks as the weeks go on.

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