Thursday, January 3, 2013

Preschool - Snowmen 1-2-2013

Happy 2013 everyone!  Preschool yesterday was a fantastic review day with a snowmen theme.  We started by reviewing the letters of the alphabet we've already learned (m t a s b h c i l p f j).  I put the Amazing Action Alphabet images up on the SmartBoard to practice tracing the letters while we listened to the songs and practiced the sounds. 
 We also pulled out the sandpaper letters to engage tactically with the letters.
 We had a directed art lesson (one of the very few directed art lessons we do) and learned to draw snowmen.  We talked about the body shape, how to draw the circles, and what details could be added.

 Snack was oodles of fun as we built snowmen out of marshmallows, olives and peppers.
 Right now I'm running two reading groups during our centers time.  There are a few kids who've mastered their letters and are succeeding and blending the sounds together to read words.  That group worked on a Level 1 reading book about snow.  We highlighted sight words that we've learned and short vowel words that we could read (some of those words required a little assistance as we haven't learned all the letter sounds in the alphabet yet).  The other reading group is working on instant recall of letter sounds, recognition of letters by name, and the very beginning of blending letters together into words.
 We learned the song, "Once There Was a Snowman" with the body actions.  The kids absolutely love this song.
 Here are the melted snowmen...
 Preschool B is entering a new phase in the school year.  We're shifting our focus to representing quantities with numerals.  Though they can name the numbers simply by rote memorization we're focusing on the solid meaning behind the numbers representing a quantity so we can move into a deeper understanding of the manipulation of sets represented in numerals.  CJ loves his Math Mat that he got from Santa and likes to answer the questions using his head to press the numbers.  It was a fad that quickly caught on :).

 I use the TouchMath curriculum in preschool and was recently asked why I chose it.  Here are my two bits: I chose to use Touch Math for a few different reasons. All of the following reasons come back to my belief about how kids should learn and how I plan to homeschool my children. Touch Math is a multi-sensory approach to math that has a set pre-k curriculum. No other Math curriculum (that I've looked into) starts in pre-k. This is CRUCIAL to my picking it because I believe that kids need to learn the reasons and understand the hows of math problems. Too many kids in the world can tell you the name of a numeral, but not understand that it represents a set or a quantity. I can take their ideas and brainstorm different games to play around the concept or if I’m behind in my planning I can pull out an activity page and we can manipulate that.

 I needed to use the bathroom during class (yes, that happens occasionally) and when I came back CJ was being the teacher, RS the assistant and CF and EMan were the students.  CJ was even talking like me...
 To practice our reading skills we've been playing the Starfall Speedway board game.  I highly reccomend this game.  There are three different levels of play, learning the alphabet, practicing short vowel words, advancing readers with digraphs, blends and sight words. Of course I just went to grab the link and they're on sale.  I may have to buy a few for backup.
 Art and writing go hand in hand these days as we continue improving our writing skills by adding captions to our art. I'm really excited about where Preschool B is headed for this second half of the year.  These kids are going to take over the world :)

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