Sunday, February 22, 2015

Construction! (Qq, 14, Yellow)

The theme for the last week of January was "Construction". We continued our Letter of the Week study with the letter Q. This week we continued talking about colors with the color yellow, and we kept going on our number study with the number 14!

We finished the the first month of 2015! So naturally, it was time to compare the weather from this year and last. The kids also did a great job keeping our pattern for the calendar numbers this month.

This week we read: Curious George and the Dump Truck by HA & Margret Rey
                                        Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherry Duskey Rinker
                                        Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherry Duskey Rinker
                                        Snow Day by Betsy Maestro
                                        Lost & Found by Oliver Jeffers

Our question of the week was "What would you not like 100 of?"

The color of the week: yellow was a lot of fun to explore.  We talked about things that are the color yellow and went on a hunt around our classroom to find things that are yellow.

We sang "Bright Yellow Sun" to the tune of Row Your Boat.
"Bright sun shining down,
Shining on the ground.
What a lovely face you have,
Yellow big and round."

For the number of the week:14 we started off by counting to and backward from fourteen. 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 fourteen. 

When I started in my class, I found a page like this from, so I made my own for the number 14. The children have to practice writing the number and then color in that number of squares. It's a great way to introduce graphing and helps them to work on their one-to-one correspondence.

For our theme "Construction", we looked at different structures on the computer, like the great wall, the eiffel tower etc. I challenged the kids to try to build some structures like this in the blocks center. I also added some styrofoam squares used to package a lamp for everyone to build with.

In the sensory table I added lincoln logs to the snow. Building in the snow!

We sang the "Construction Song" to the tune of Farmer in the Dell from here.

The kids painted a picture of a dump truck. When they were finished painting, they glued some sand on top to make it look like the trucks were carrying a load to a construction site.

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

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!

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 place the "Q" squares onto the Queen's quilt. All the other letters? We ran out of room!

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.

The kids each made a self portrait quilt square that I turned into a class quilt! Every year that I am in a classroom I have done one of these paper quilts. I just love them!

The children turned a capital letter Q into a quail. 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.

From a Mailbox Letter of the Week book, the kids made a booklet about "Queen's Quilts". I like doing these kinds of books because they can go back and look at the pictures to help tell the story, and they are also able to do the project mostly on their own. When they are finished coloring the pages, they come and get their scissors. When they are finished cutting, they bring their pages to me, put away their scissors and clean up their area of paper scraps. I love it!

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.

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 made quails. They colored a cut out outline, and then glued on feathers. So fun!

I made a cube of cardboard and glued pictures of "Q" things one each side. The children say "Question mark, question mark, 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 for the letter A, 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 Q. Here is what we thought of!

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