Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day! (S, 16, Pink)

The theme for the second week of February was "Happy Valentine's Day". We continued our Letter of the Week study with the letter S. This week we continued talking about colors with the color pink, and we kept going on our number study with the number 16!

This week we read: Duck and Goose, Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills
                                        Love Monster by Rachel Bright
                                        Happy Valentine's Day Curious George by HA Rey
                                        Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon
                                        Love, Splat by Rob Scotton
                                        The Night Before Valentine's Day by Natasha Wing

Our question of the week was "Who do you want to give a valentine too?"

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

We sang "I'm a Little Piggy" to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot.
"I'm a little piggy, with a round nose.
I am all pink from my head to my toes.
Here's my piggy tail, as you can see.
It's pink and curly as can be."
I got it from here!
(C) Jean Warren

For the number of the week:16 we started off by counting to and backward from sixteen. 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 sixteen. 

When I started in my class, I found a page like this from, so I made my own for the number 16. 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 "Happy Valentine's Day", we got ready to celebrate the day of love! In our sensory table, I put pink, clear and purple water beads in a little bit of water. Another teacher in the school had done the same thing, and it worked out so great. I, however, was very disappointed. Our beads lost color within about an hour, and then started to dissolve. Oh well, it was a lot of fun while it lasted!

We sang "Who will be my Valentine" each day, naming all of our classmates.
"Who will be my valentine, valentine, valentine?
Who will be my valentine, I pick ____."

We made a class book about who we love. The kids told me what they wanted on their page, and they either copied or traced the words, much like we do for our journals. Then they illustrated it. When they were all finished, I put the book together and they loved hearing everyone else's pages.

I bought these white bags from Michaels. They come in a pack of 13 for around $6, and you can usually always find a coupon. These we use as our valentine mailboxes.  Very simply I draw a heart on the bag and their name. Then we paint the hearts to add a little bit of color. The bags I think are definitely the way to go, and then it is easy for the kids to take them home after our valentine exchange!

The kids made valentines for their parents! I cut out these from a paper plate, folding them in half to get the heart in the middle. The children then dot painted, and glued colorful feathers and a valentine poem. They really took pride in these and loved giving them to their parents.

Using candy hearts we did a really cool science experiment! I got the inspiration here, and the class really loved it. Using mason jars with water, bleach, vinegar and clear soda, we found out what happens to the candy hearts. The children made observations about the liquids, what happened right away to the hearts and what happened after a few hours. So cool!

On Pinterest, I found this worksheet for sorting candy hearts, which the kids did! I think they mostly liked the eating of the candy the best.

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

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 snails. The children colored and cut out the snails, and they look so colorful and happy!

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 "S" petals onto the the Sunflower center. All the other letters? He loves me not!

From a Mailbox Letter of the Week book, the kids made a booklet about "The Sun Shines". 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!

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 played memory with pictures of socks. I love playing memory, because it's so cool to see the kids thinking about their moves.

The children turned a capital letter S into a snake. 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 found these short videos about "s" animals that we watched through the week. There was one about sea turtlessnakes(long), snakes(short), sealsseals swimming, spiderssnails racing, giant snails, sharks, and sea lions. They went nuts for it! The kids really enjoy when randomly throughout the day we take a break to watch an animal video.

I made a cube of cardboard and glued pictures of "S" things one each side. The children say "Sunflower, sunflower, 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 S. Here is what we thought of!

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