Monday, March 16, 2015

Music (T, 17, Black)

The theme for the third week of February was "Music". We continued our Letter of the Week study with the letter T. This week we continued talking about colors with the color black, and we kept going on our number study with the number 17!

This week we readBear's New Friend by Karma Wilson
                                        Splat Sings Flat by Rob Scotton
                                        My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz
                                        And To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss

Our question of the week was "What can you make music with?"

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

We sang "We Know the Color Black" to the tune of Farmer in the Dell.
"We Know the color black,
we know the color black,
Tires and crows and licorice too,
We know the color black."
I got it from here!
(C) Jean Warren

For the number of the week:17 we started off by counting to and backward from seventeen. 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 seventeen. 

When I started in my class, I found a page like this from, so I made my own for the number 17. 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 "Music", we had so much fun dancing! Throughout the days I would turn on music, and whatever we were doing we would stop and dance for about 2 minutes.

We made patterns of rhythm using maracas, tambourines and our bodies. After I made a few and had the children follow, they took turns to make their own!

A little off topic: This week we also celebrated the Lunar New Year. Welcome to the year of the Goat! The kids painted these really cool Chinese dragon heads that I found online. I let them choose which ones they wanted to paint, and then cut them out and glued them onto bright construction paper. They turned out awesome!

We also made spin drums! I and my assistant teacher put them together ahead of time, and the kids painted them. We staples 2 small white plates together, attached them to a wide popsicle stick and finally tied two strings with beads on each side. They were very intrigued when they saw them and could hardly wait for them to dry so that they could spin them!

In the sensory table I put these chinese alphabet blocks out. On different sides they have numbers, letter, words and puzzle! The kids had a really fun time with these.

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

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 "T" items on the turtle's shell so he could carry them across the river. All the other letters? Have to wait for the next animal I guess!

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 children turned a capital letter T into a turtle. 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.

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!

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 turtles. The children dot painted them, and they look so colorful and happy!

From a Mailbox Letter of the Week book, the kids made a booklet about "Tiger's Teatime". 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!

I found these short videos about "t" animals that we watched through the week. There was one about turtles and tigers. 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 "T" things one each side. The children say "Tiger, Tiger, 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 T. Here is what we thought of!

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