Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Preschool - Plants

If you haven't noticed yet, I love plants and gardening.  I'm always really excited to teach the kids little snippets of things I'm passionate about, and teaching about plants was one of those really fun days. 
 We started the day with puzzles again.  We're going to continue working on them every day for our starter activity for the rest of the year.  We have some kids who are working on 12 piece puzzles and others that work in teams on 48 piece puzzles and everything in between.  Keep working on them at home if they are challenging for your little one.
 We went upstairs to draw in our journals.  We got to draw a plant and then we talked about all the parts of a real plant and if we forgot to draw a part of it we added it to our drawing.
 We also talked about the needs of a plant and how plants need air, sun and water.  We cut open a piece of celery and talked about the small tubes inside of it that act as straws to suck the water up into the plant.  Then I put a piece of celery in red water so we could investigate it later.  (and that later never arrived... everyone was out the door before I remembered it again... oops.)
 Then we dissected seeds to see what the parts of a seed were.
 If you've never looked before, this is the best shot of the baby plant inside a seed that I could get.  The long part will become the stem and the "fish tail" at the end is actually 2 really small leaves that will become the first leaves of the plant.
 Our numbers and counting activity was to glue the correct number of seeds (split peas) onto a numbered stick.  So if the stick was labeled "5" we glued 5 seeds onto it.  This was completely independent (other than me occasionally identifying a numeral for a child), so if there are correct or incorrect numbers on your child's project it's a great assessment of what they know.
 To get some movement into our day we got to walk/run/skate/tip-toe around the house to a song called "Listen and Move".  It's a great movement activity song.
 We also practiced number sense with numerals by putting the correct number of dots on large foam numbers from TouchMath.
 In afternoon preschool we got to read an "easy" book today.  It's more about the fluency and building confidence as readers since the next few books we'll be doing will take quite a bit more patience.  They won't be any harder to decode, but the text is longer (multiple sentences per page).
 When your kids are reading their books to you please listen for fluency.  They shouldn't be pausing between each word.  If the sentence ends with a question mark their intonation should represent that.
 We played a fun matching game with some sight words that we've known for many months and are "so easy".  (Is this a theme?  It seems that all day they kept telling me how easy things were.  I guess I'll be bringing on the challenges on Monday :)

 We're continuing to work on representing quantities with base ten blocks.  They each advanced to slightly higher numbers and will continue to get higher number cards (up to making 99 with this game, and possibly making numbers up to 999 with another).  Keep playing this at home.  The more they understand what each number in a numeral represents and how to show it the more they'll understand the manipulation of numerals (addition, subtraction, etc).
 We decided at the end of the day that we'd explore the play-dough.  The game apparently turned into some form of "making cookies for Santa".  It was fun to listen to their conversations about it.

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