Saturday, May 28, 2011

TOT School ~ Fine Motor, Colors

~Our little LoveBug is currently 19 months old~
Tot School

Fine Motor:
We worked a lot on fine motor skills this past week. This is definitely an area of strength for our little lovebug and she truly enjoys all these activities.

We put spaghetti in a shaker with holes...

 She worked on a screw-type toy that she got for Christmas. This is still a bit difficult for her. She is able to stick the pieces together, but hasn't quite figured out the screwing yet.
 Animal Names:
Lovebug's vocabulary is really starting to take off. She understand a lot and is more and more able to also express herself. I put a bunch of animal cards in front of her and yelled out the name of different animals and she had to find them. She LOVED this. I did the same thing with her brother when he was younger and he also really enjoyed this :) We also focused a lot on colors this past week. We will continue to work on both areas :)
 Sensory Play:
I put out a sensory bin this week and lovebug really enjoyed playing with it. I am so impressed with her spooning and transferring skills. I don't think her brother was able to do this as well at her age. I think girls are in general more advanced with these fine motor activities ;)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Preschool ~ Fine Motor

~Smiley is currently 40 months old~
Tot School

Fine Motor Skills:
We focused a lot on fine motor skills this past week. Here are a few shots of what we did. The kids put spaghetti in a shaker type container with small holes. A parmesan container or sugar shaker would work equally well... They both loved this.

They worked on a cute screw-type toy that Smiley's sister got for Christmas. It's still a little difficult for her to actually screw the pieces together, but her brother enjoyed it a lot ;)
I was planning on doing some more writing and pre-writing practice, but Smiley was not interested. I would say that hand-writing is definitely the area that is most challenging for him. He is very young, so I am not pushing anything right now. I really just want him to enjoy our school time together :)

Reading Skills:
We worked on our ABC puzzle this week and Smiley is really good about sequencing the letters while singing the song ;)

We do lots and lots of read-alouds every day. It's a huge part of our daily routine and has been since Smiley was an infant. We typically read a few books first thing in the morning (while the kids have their milk). We then read some more before naps and occasionally in the afternoon. We always read 3 books before bedtime (both kids, on the couch) and then one more book in Smiley's room. He has been much more interactive while reading and asks lots of questions and asks the meaning of words if it is one that he does not know. I think all the reading we do has a lot to do with his great vocabulary!!

We picked up our BOB books and Hooked on Phonics books a couple of times this week as well. I am not very disciplined with this yet. Smiley really has an interest in reading and is often trying to sound out words, so I really want to get better about this and make reading part of our routine!

This is probably the area I have focused on most the past couple of weeks. Smiley's German skills have improved dramatically lately. I have really made an effort to only speak German with him and his sister. He understands most of what I am saying and is starting to also answer me in German :) It is really tough to speak a foreign language consistently when living in an English speaking environment, but I really want him to have the gift of being fluent in two languages, so I am trying my best to stick with it!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Totschool with Lovebug

~Lovebug is currently 19 months old~
Tot School

We continued our spring theme this past week. The kids worked on our spring collage together. Our little lovebug enjoyed putting the stickers on the collage. She is currently obsessed with flowes, so she was really into this :)

She also enjoys coloring a lot...

We worked with our magnets quite a bit this week. We're working a lot on color recognition. She knows her colors quite well and is able to give me/point to the correct color if I ask her. However, if I ask her for the name of a color, she says "blue" to everything ;)


~Smiley is currently 40 months old~

Tot School

We had a pretty relaxed week of tot school/preschool this past week. We worked on puzzles a few times this week. Smiley now works completely independently on them.

We continued to learn about bugs. We colored the title page for our Bee Unit. Smiley loved this. We reviewed our binder and talked a lot about bees. He told everyone about pollination and how bees make honey :)

We finally finished our spring collage ;)

Smiley's handwriting skills continue to improve. We reviewed a few of Carisa's handwriting sheets that we had worked on earlier in the year. We're about ready to jump back into the RRSP units :)

We colored quite a bit this week...

And made patterns with our little magnets...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Preschool ~ BEES Science Unit

Tot School

Smiley is a HUGE science fan. He asks lots and lots of questions every time we cover a certain topic. We were learning about bees and I really wanted to provide him with more information that would answer his questions. I started to compile information and created a science unit on bees. I plan to add other insects as well as we cover them over the next weeks. I really want to bless others with these files as well and decided to share them with anyone who might be interested. The link below should give you access to the pdf files. I created a file on Insects in general (just a brief overview) and one on Bees. This is my first time sharing a document, so please let me know if you have issues accessing the files. I printed the pages, put them in sheet protectors and started an insect binder. Smiley and sit down together and look through the files. It is a very interactive process of me sharing about the science facts and him asking questions. He really loves this and it fits his learning style perfectly. I am sure there are other preschoolers/kindergarteners out there that enjoy science as much as Smiley does and who might enjoy these files as well ;) Hopefully, we will add ladybugs, ants and other insects soon :) I would be happy to hear any feedback you might have about how I could improve the files :) Thanks for visiting!

Bees Unit Study

Insects Unit Study

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Preschool ~ Insects

Our preschool theme this week was INSECTS. We started talking about the different features of insects (6 legs, 3 main body parts, sometimes wings and antennea) and talked about different insect species... Smiley is a HUGE science fan, so this was right up his alley. Plus, he likes anything creepy, crawly ;)

We read several fun insect books this week that we found at our local library and did lots of internet research as well. I am plan on covering different insects over the next couple of weeks. This week, we started learning about bees and will continue our study on bees this week. I started putting together a science folder for Smiley that I will hopefully be able to share next week :)

Smiley continues to love his ABC Reading Eggs, an online subscription that we purchased a few months ago. This week, he learned all about the -ee sound and words such as see and bee (perfect fit with out theme).

I was also able to buy "Hooked on Phonics: K-2nd grade" for an awesome price a few months ago, and we started reading a couple of stories this week (focusing on: cat, rat, fat, sat). He really enjoyed this and did very well.

Smiley likes one of our ipad kindergarten apps (TEACH ME Kindergarten) that has fun addition & subtraction math games. He does really well with this. Other than that, we haven't focused much on math lately (other than constantly counting stuff, of course).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tot School

Tot School
We have been so busy the past several weekends that I didn't have time to link up to the weekly tot school meme. However, now that things are starting to calm down a bit, I actually have time to post again (although we just got back from visiting family in San Diego a couple of hours ago)...

A couple of weeks ago, during our spring break, we were lucky enough to visit the Long Beach Aquarium. It was our first time. What an awesome place to learn hands-on about sea creatures :) We prepared by fishing with our fishing kit :)

 Because the weather has been SO beautiful here lately. We've spent much time outside. We even took a trip up to the Central Coast (Pismo Beach area) to visit Lil' Lovebug's godmother, who lives there temporarily (while on internship).

 We made different craft activities for Easter. Here our lovebug is decorating a foam cross with Easter themed stickers...

 Of course, we had to die Easter eggs :) She still does not like getting her hands dirty, so she didn't get that into it ;) What you see in the pics below is about the extent of it...

 The weather wasn't great on Easter Sunday, so we opted for an Easter egg hunt indoors. Our little girl blew us away with her egg finding abilities!!! She was amazing and even beat her older brother!

 She loved the jelly beans (all natural, lol) that were hidden inside the eggs. In contrast to big brother, who did not like them at all...