Friday, December 5, 2014

The Harvest! (Ii, 6, Heart)

The theme for the 11th week of school and second week of November was "The Harvest". We continued our Letter of the Week study, with the letter I. This week we also focused on the heart shape, and we kept going on our number study with the number 6!

This week we readPossum's Harvest Moon by Anne Hunter
                                        Pumpkin Town!  by Katie McKy
                                        From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
                                        Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
                                        The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

Our question of the week was "What is one word to describe you?" This is always definitely a fun and interesting question to ask.

The shape of the week: heart was fun to talk about.  We also practiced drawing hearts in the air, and made a heart by putting our two hands together. The children worked on their fine motor skills and shape recognition by coloring shapes. I made this sheet myself based on recognition sheets that we have already done.

For our song this week we sang "I'm a Little Heart Fish" from Preschool Express.
"I'm a little heart fish in the sea,
I have a heart tail that helps guide me.
when I'm feeling friendly I start to blow,
Tiny heart bubbles...up they go!"

For the number of the week: 6 we started off by counting to and backward from six. They love doing this every day and when we get to the end of counting backward, they all scream blast off!! ;) The kids also practiced writing the number and word for six. 

In some papers in my room I found a random number page like this from, so I made my own for the number 6. 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 "The Harvest", we had a lot of fun talking more about the changes happening outside from a different perspective.When we talked about Falling for Fall, we talked about the changes we can see around us. Talking about harvest time, we got to talk more about what those changes mean.

For our class bunnies, Patches and Daisy, we harvested them a feast from outside of leaves, sticks and dandelion leaves from our playground, and parsley and tomatoes from our school garden.

We sorted these little cards that I made of the lifecycle of a pumpkin, all the way from planting the seed to getting the large orange pumpkin. In small groups the kids put the cards in order, and they were really proud of themselves! =]

We made Pumpkin Moon Sand for our sensory table! I found the recipe on Pinterest here, and the kids love it. It smells sooo good! Mine did not come out nearly as smooth as it looks in the picture, and I'm not sure why, but my kids still are having a lot of fun with it!

I have small cookie cutters for my side business... Shameless plug time, I make delicious dog treats. Check us out! Jakks in a Box! and I brought my Autumn themed cutters so that we could paint with them. There is something about cookie cutter painting that I just love!

The letter of the week: I activities that we worked on this were were Interesting! We Sang "All the Leaves are Falling Down" that I found at Preschool Express. We sang it to the tune of "London Bridge"
All the leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down.  (Imitate leaves falling down)
All the leaves are falling down, it is Fall.

Take the rake and rake them up, rake them up, rake them up.  (Imitate raking up leaves)
Take the rake and rake them up, it is Fall.

Make a pile and jump right in, jump right in, jump right in.  (Children jump forward)
Make a pile and jump right in, it is Fall.
(C) 2001 - 2011 Jean Warren 

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 "I" insects in the bug box. All the other letters? I think they have to find a different home!

As we work through the alphabet, the children make projects to go on  our "alphabet wall". It's a very fun way for the class to see the alphabet in a new way. This week we used our ink pads and crayons to make fingerprint insects.

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

I found this worksheet with a Sesame Street theme and I love it! The children have to say what the pictures are and decide if its a long i or a short i sound.

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.

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 watched a video first about a young boy making his first Igloo. I also found this video, whitch was much more in depth. This started such a great conversation about igloo building, and my class is really hoping that this coming winter brings a LOT of snow. After this, we also made igloos with blocks of snow (aka, white squares on blue paper).

The children turned a capital letter I into a insect. 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.

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.

I made a cube of cardboard and glued pictures of "I" things one each side. The children say "Inch Worm, Inch Worm, 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!

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

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