Sunday, September 28, 2014

All About Me! (Aa, Square)

The theme for the 3rd week of the school year was "All About Me". We also started our Letter of the Week study, with the letter A. Throughout the year, we also have a focus each week of either a color or shape, as well as number. The numbers will start soon, and this week we focused on the square shape.

This week we readChicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
                                        Always by Alison McGhee
                                        Curious George Feeds the Animals by Margret and HA Rey
                                        LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
                                        Animalia by Graeme Base

Our question of the week was "What animal would you like to be?"

The shape of the week: square was fun to talk about. At our morning meetings, we would talk about the shape and things in real life that are square. We also practiced drawing squares in the air. The children also worked on their fine motor skills by tracing squares. I found this worksheet on Kidzone.

For our song this week we sang "This is a Square". I've seen this song all over (and other shape variations) so I'm not exactly sure where to give the credit. =/

For our theme "All About Me", we made a book! I was given these pages when I started at my school a few years ago, but I believe they came originally from

The letter of the week: A activities that we worked on this were were Absolutely fun! I created envelope games for each letter of the alphabet. I adapted them from activities from Mailbox Letter of the Week projects, both book one and two. The children had to find the apples with "A" words on them to put on the tree.

We began our Alphabet Wall. In the classroom I taped up two trees. As we work through the alphabet, the children will make projects to go on the wall. It's a very fun way for the class to see the alphabet in a new way. This week, we made apples! The children ripped small pieces of red paper and glued them on a round circle of white paper.

The children turned a capital letter A into an alligator. I got the idea from the book Alphabet and Counting from Twin Sister Productions. They give tips for how to make it a glue and paste projects, but I like to give them crayons and the challenge to add the parts of the animal to the letter. It opens up room for more conversation about the shape of the letter AND the features of the animal.

The book Sounds Like fun, Phonemic Awareness has great phonics activities for the alphabet. For the letter A, the children have to cut out and glue the words that "Begin like Antelope". Together we talked about the beginning sounds of the words, and then they work on their fine motor cutting skills.

Playing memory with letter A pictures was a fun way to practice the letter.

We practice and work on our handwriting for each letter as well. The Original Summer Bridge Activities, for PreK-K has great handwriting practice sheets. The kids trace and write the letters and then have a little phonics practice at the bottom.

We made apple print art!! Those apples get slippery, let me tell you. I think we had more paint on our hands than on the paper! =] I cut each apple the opposite way so we could get both prints.

From the book Alphabet, Colors, Numbers and Shapes, the kids practice letter recognition AND direction following. Some weeks certain letters have to be colored specifically and sometimes it's up to them. I love these!

Each child has a journal that they write in every week. When we focus on a letter, they write for that letter. On shorter weeks and during our review later in the year, they write to the theme. This is such a great way to get children excited about writing and reading. This week we started the journals with the letter A. I start the children out by tracing, and once they are comfortable and controlling the crayon well, they move onto copying.

We tasted three different types of apples: Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Honeycrisp. They tried each kind of apple and then "voted" for the one that they liked the best. Great way for us to start talking about graphs. We talked afterward about the most popular, least and what other things the graph tells us (title, types of apples, names)
Our bunnies really enjoyed the extras!

I made a cube of cardboard and glued pictures of "A" things one each side. The children say "Astronaut, Astronaut, what do I see.... I see a ____ looking at me!" They roll the cube and fill in the blank. This came from a Mailbox activity book, and let me tell you, it was a hit!! They loved it! 

During the week we made a list of words that begin with the letter a. Here is what we thought of!

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