Friday, December 5, 2014

Being Healthy (Ff, 3, Octagons)

The theme for the 8th week of the school year was "Being Healthy". We continued our Letter of the Week study, with the letter F. This week we also focused on the octagon shape, and we kept going on our number study with the number 3!

This week we read: Grandmas Are For Giving Tickles by Harriet Ziefert
                                        Grandpas Are For finding Worms by Harriet Ziefert
                                        Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems
                                        The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Stan and Jan Berenstain
                                        Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat

Our question of the week was "What is one reason that you like the fall?"

The shape of the week: octagon was fun to talk about. At our morning meetings, we would talk about the shape and things in real life that are an octagons. We also practiced drawing octagons in the air, which to be honest, is really kind of difficult! The children worked on their fine motor skills and shape recognition by finding octagons. I made this sheet myself based on recognition sheets that we have already done.

For our song this week we sang "This is an Octagons", I wrote this one myself based on some of the shape songs that we have already sang. There's not a whole lot of catchy songs out there for octagons. :/
"This is an octagon, this is an octagon,
How can you tell? How can you tell?
It had 8 sides,
And looks like a stop sign, 
It's an octagon, it's an octagon."

For the number of the week: 3 we started off by counting to three and backward from three. The kids had no problem with this one. ;) The kids also practiced writing the number and word for three.

In some papers in my room I found a random number page like this from, so I made my own for the number 3. The children had to practice writing the number and then color in that number of squares. What a great way to really introduce graphing and what a great way for them to work on their one-to-one correspondence.

For our theme "Being Healthy", we touched on how to stay healthy in different aspects of life. We started off my talking about how to keep our smiles and teeth healthy. I made this large tooth, and each child told me something that they do for their teeth. We watched these short videos that I found on Sesame Street. There were three videos on the Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me toolkit. Captain Mega Super Ultra Smile Man is pretty cool too.... I think I got his name right... =].

I drew plaque infested teeth on white boards and the children used toothbrushes to clean them!

We exercised using the parachute! Parachute games are so fun, and there is just a certain excitement that fills the air when the kids see the parachute coming out. =]

I also made this exercise activity cube (you know in the spirit of my cube making every week... I've gotten quite good at them!) Each child had turns to roll the cube and we all participated in the direction. It really got us moving!

We sorted different foods into what we thought were healthy choices and not so healthy choices. Then we talked about the kinds of food that we should be eating more than others.

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

The children turned a capital letter F into a fish. 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.

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 put the "F" fish in the Fishbowl. All the other letters? They needed to find a different bowl!

We went "fishing for F's". On cutouts of fish I wrote letters A-F. I put a paperclip on each fish and the kids used a fishing pole with a magnet on the end to catch a fish! They had to name the letter they got. If it was and F, they got to keep it, and if it was a different letter they had to "throw it back in".

Grandparents joined us for a breakfast to celebrate how much we love them. While they were visiting our class, we all finger painted fish for our Alphabet Wall. 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. By the way, watching grandparents paint is really fun!

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.

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. I start the children out by tracing, and once they are comfortable and controlling the crayon well, they move onto copying.

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!

We danced the Hokey Pokey while we pretended to be foxes (bushy tails, pointy ears, paws) Love it!

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

Also from a Mailbox Book we made A Flower for Fox!

During the week we made a list of words that begin with the letter F. I totally forgot to take a picture.. coming soon!

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