As a former Pre-Kindergarten teacher and now stay-at-home mommy of 2 boys and a sweet baby girl, many people ask me how they can be implementing educational concepts in the lives of their young children at home before they enter school. Instead of trying to come up with a quick list of ideas off the top of my head to answer these questions, I have decided to put all of my lessons into this blog. I, along with so many other parents, want to be purposeful at home with my children and make the most of the time I have with them.
I hope that this blog can help, encourage, and inspire you to work with your kiddos and
get involved in the learning process! The benefits will be endless,
and the moments you share together will be priceless! As Dr. Seuss once said,
"The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go!"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thinking Theme: All About Me

This theme is a great place to start! I typically did this theme the first week of school, and I'm thrilled to share some of my ideas with you. We are going to be focusing on aspects of your child's life that are unique and special to them.

Letter of the Week: The letter that your child's name starts with (S for Sawyer)

Number of the Week: How old your child is (2)

Bible Verse of the Week: "God is love." 1 John 4:8


* Jesus Loves Me
* Jesus Loves the Little Children
* If You're Happy and You Know It
* This Little Light of Mine
* I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy


Lesson 1: My Fingerprints
1. To recognize that each person has a different set of fingerprints and every pattern of print is unique
2. To understand that God made each person special in his/her own way, and no one is exactly alike
3. To differentiate between the child's fingerprints and the adult's fingerprints and recognize those differences (ex: which prints are bigger? which prints have smaller lines?)
4. To use the fine-motor skills involved in creating fingerprints

* white construction paper
* stamp pads
* markers
* magnifying glass if possible
* book that goes along with the theme (examples listed above)

1. Read a book with your child that discusses how special they are or how God loves them. Talk about what makes them special and unique.

2. Take a piece of white construction paper and write "Mommy's Fingerprints" (of course, whoever you are :)) and "Child's Name Fingerprints."

3. Model to the child how to make a fingerprint by placing one finger into the stamp pad and then onto your side of the paper. Allow the child to start making his/her own and explore the process.

4. Using a magnifying glass, allow the child to look at the fingerprints and the differences in yours and their own. Talk about these differences.

5. Completed Product! You can write "We Are Special" at the top as a sweet reminder of how God created all of us to be His special, unique children!

Lesson 2: My Family Tree
1. To recognize members of your family and use family vocabulary such as grandmother, aunt, brother, etc.
2. To understand how each family member is related to another (ex: Nana is mommy's mommy, Uncle Marshall is daddy's brother)
3. To count the number of members in your family and match that number to the correct number of leaves and branches for the tree (one-to-one correspondence)
4. To use the fine motor skills involved with cutting, gluing, and coloring

* green, brown, and white construction paper
* scissors
* glue
* crayons or markers
* pictures of your family

1. Cut out pictures of your family members in small sizes.

2. Cut out leaf shapes for the tree with green paper. Glue a picture of a family member on each leaf.

3. Using the brown paper, cut a large rectangle for the trunk of the tree and small rectangles for the branches. You might have to make two sets and put them together according to the number of people in your family. Glue them together like this:

4. Glue the leaves on the branches. I did one side of the tree for my family and the other side for my husband's family. Label each leaf with the name of the family member. Let your child color extra leaves for the tree if he/she desires.

5. Final Product: display it proudly!

6. Extensions:
* Talk about each member of your family and how they relate to one another.
* Let your child count the number of leaves, the number of branches, and the number of pictures to make sure they have the same number for each. This is one-to-one correspondence (a specific math skill they will need to know!)
* Talk about family order using words like first, second, next, last, etc.

Lesson 3: My Letter
* This will be different for each person. Each week we will focus on a specific letter, but today is your child's special letter. Here is a website that I love that lists choices of items you can glue onto letters to help your child recognize the shape and sound of each one.

1. To recognize and state the letter that your child's name starts with
2. To associate a textile material with that letter that also starts with the same sound
3. To use the fine motor skills involved in writing, gluing, and pasting
4. For the letter S - To watch the chemical reaction of sugar changing colors with food coloring

Materials: (according to the letter S)
* construction paper (any color)
* sugar
* ziploc bags
* food coloring
* markers
* glue
* small paint brush

1. Pour about 1/4 a cup of sugar into a ziploc bag. (You can do multiple bags if you want to do multiple colors of sugar.)

2. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring into the bag of sugar, close the bag and let your child shake it up and watch the chemical reaction!

3. Set the bag/s of sugar aside. On a piece of construction paper, write a large letter S with a marker. Have your child write it by themselves if they can or guide their hand with yours.

4. Then guide your child's hand with the glue bottle and put glue on the S following the shape just as if you were writing the letter. You can spread the glue out a little with a paintbrush.

5. Have your child reach into the bag of sugar and sprinkle onto the glue.

6. After about 2 minutes, shake off the extra sugar, and you will have a sweet sugar S!

7. Extension:
* We did an extra picture of Sawyer's whole name with different colors that turned out really cute!

Lesson 4: My Feelings
1. To understand what emotions are and the differences between them
2. To recognize situations in which we have certain feelings
3. To learn how we can affect the emotions of others in positive or negative ways
4. To use the fine motor skills involved with tracing, cutting, gluing/taping, and coloring

* yellow construction paper
* scissors
* popsicle sticks
* small glass or any circle to trace
* glue or tape
* crayons or markers
* pencil

1. Trace 4 circles on yellow paper using a small glass or another circular object and a pencil.

2. Cut out the circles and have your child draw (or help them draw) faces on each one displaying different emotions. We did happy, sad, mad, and excited!

3. Tape or glue a popsicle stick to the back of each circle.

4. Talk about the different emotions and why we feel these things. Discuss different scenarios in which you have these feelings. Have your child hold up the face that represents their feelings. Examples: I feel _____ when I get to play outside. I feel ______ when I fall down. How do you feel when Daddy comes home? How do you feel when someone hurts you?

5. Extensions:
* Create extra circles with other emotions like shy, grouchy, surprised, or silly.
* Discuss the feelings of others and how we can affect those emotions positively or negatively. Examples: If I push a friend, how does that make them feel? If I help a friend, how does that make them feel?

Lesson 5: My Favorites Book
1. To recognize what favorite means (what you like the best) and choose favorites from different categories
2. To categorize items into groups (sorting concept)
3. To understand that everyone has different favorites (again, focusing on the uniqueness of each person)
4. To use the fine motor skills involved with cutting, gluing/taping, and writing

* construction paper
* old magazines
* computer to print clip art (if you want to)
* crayons or markers
* glue or tape
* hole punch or stapler
* ribbon, yarn, or rings to hold book together

1. Ask your child what their favorite color is. Look through magazines and cut out pictures that are that specific color.

2. Glue or tape these pictures to a piece of construction paper (preferably the favorite color) and label it "My Favorite Color." Write the color name on the page, as well.

3. Find pictures online of your child's favorite toys, cut them out together, and glue/tape it to another piece of paper labeled "My Favorite Toys." You can also have your child draw their favorite toys.

4. Repeat step #3, but find pictures of your child's favorite activities (ex: play outside, draw, read books) Write the name of each activity under the picture.

5. Have your child search for their favorite foods in the pantry or the fridge, and cut out a part of the food label to place on "My Favorite Foods" page.

6. Create a cover for the book with your child's name as the author. Bind it together by stapling or punching holes and tying ribbon, yarn, or metal rings to it.

7. Your child will love to "read" their book over and over and share it with others!

Extra Thinking:
* My Friends - Cirlce of Friends Wreath
* My City - Print out a picture of the state that you live in, and have your child color it, and label your city. Make sure your child can state where they live (ex: Waco, TX) You can also find other special cities that you have visited or where certain friends and family live. An extension for older kiddos - find a map of the USA and do the same!
* My Smiling Face - Paper Plate Faces (1st lesson on page)

No comments:

Post a Comment