Friday, September 2, 2011

Preschool ~"official" Week 1, Ocean continued...

 Today was "officially" our fist week of Preschool/Pre-K for the new school year. We worked on reading, writing and math activities and also continued with our ocean theme and had a blast.

We haven't done any "official" reading the past few weeks, while on vacation and therefore began our week by reviewing the sight words we had learned previously and re-reading the HOP (Hooked on Phonics) books we had read before. Smiley did really well and I introduced him to 2 new sight words. I love the sight word activities from 1+1+1 and the Moffat Girls, unfortunately, they no longer match the sight words/word families introduced in our HOP readers. So, I will start creating our own resources to follow along with our HOP readers... Smiley does not need (like) much repetition, so I won't have to create too much...

One idea, by Moffat Girls, which I love is tracing the new sight words with edibles. I knew Smiley would LOVE this. Our new sight words for the week were "like, to", which I printed in word and had Smiley trace with cake decoration. Oh, the joy!!! After this activity, which we did Monday, Smiley has had these two words down pat ;) (oh, and the eating was, of course, the best part!)

We used a few resources from Carisa's You Can Read program to reinforce our sight words of the week ("like").

I recently went to Lakeshore, Learning Store and got this fun Word Family Chart, that allows Smiley to build words by word family. We mainly used it as a review tool this week, with all the word families we had already learned and will continue to use it alongside our HOP books.

Writing/Fine Motor...
We did a few pages of our Handwriting Without Tears Pre-K workbook this week, but the focus was on fun fine motor activities, including play dough, cutting fruit and veggies in the kitchen, Lego, and working with pipe cleaners.

We worked on Singapore Early Bird Math (book A). A lot of it is review right now, which I don't mind. I knew that a lot of this book would be a review for Smiley, but wanted to make sure that he is solid in everything and didn't want to skip anything (such as learning how to write his numbers). 

We did a lot of counting activities and simple addition problems using props corresponding with our ocean theme, such as shells. Of course, his favorite math activity was this simple addition game, using gold fish ;)
OCEAN Theme...

We used Carisa's fun Ocean Calendar Cards to learn fun facts about the ocean. We did this daily during our calendar time...

I worked with Smiley's sister on an ocean activity (I think from homeschool share) that we did when he was a tot. He thought it was fun and helped us hide the fish behind the same-color anemones... We  then talk about camouflage, by using our shark who chased all the little fish who came out of their hiding place behind their anemones.

 For another activity, the kids had to match up their ocean animals to Carisa's montessori match-up cards.

 Smiley found a couple of poster tubes in the back of the closet and decided to build a pipe system ;)

We continued to talk about tide pools and finished this activity (from homeschool share).

As a fun project this week, we made an ocean in a bag :) We used a gallon ziploc bag, filled it with some sand, sea shells, our plastic fish and sea shells (table toppers from Target), and aquarium stones. We then added a few pumps of white body lotion and added a few drops of blue food coloring to it and rubbed it all together :) We then added a bit of baby oil as well (regular oil would do as well ~ maybe even some water?). We closed the bag and the kids loved the squishiness of it all :)

 We started on our ocean mural (we used finger paint). More on that later :)

 Sorting sea shells by shape and size. Lots of fun :)

Tot School


  1. Great ideas. I love the variety of your activities. I cant wait to see your next week. I love your ocean in a bag. I see that you started singapore earlybird math. In the 2nd lesson the children are taught to write their numbers. Is your child able to write numbers 1-5? My son can write 1 and 2 but 3 confuses him a bit. I'm wondering if maybe I should print out small cards with the numbers 1-5 so that we can carry on in singapore math. I don't want to make math a bad experience because he doesnt like the writing part. Any thoughts? :)

  2. My son is the same way. Handwriting is definitely the area he is weakest in (which is very common in young boys..). We have never attempted to write numbers, but are almost at that point in the Earlybird Math book. So, we will just have to see how it goes... I have a very similar view. I want this to be a fun experience for him and not a frustrating one. If he does not yet have the fine motor skills for writing the numbers, we will probably just continue to move through the book and just do it verbally (his math skills are certainly there). I don't want to "force" something he is not ready for. I would rather wait until he's developmentally ready and have it be a natural process at that time :) My plan is to focus on a lot of fun fine motor activities, such as play dough, cutting, etc. that build his fine motor dexterity and strength and prepare him for writing :)

  3. Love the ocean in a bag idea! Neat ideas, thanks for sharing!

  4. What a fun week! I love the ocean in a bag!

  5. Such wonderful active and fun experiences and activities around a theme. Oh, to be that organized myself.