Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring Has Sprung! (Yy, 22, Yellow, Star)

The theme for the last week of March was "Spring Has Sprung", and boy were my kids happy to celebrate the return of Spring! We continued our Letter of the Week study with the letter Y and our number study with the number 22! We have gone through our shapes and colors once, so from now until graduation, we will talk about two each week and do some small review activities. We worked this week on yellow and stars.

This week we read: The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
                                        Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson
                                        The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers
                                        Jamberry by Bruce Degen
                                        Duck by Randy Cecil

Our question of the week was "What is your favorite thing to do in the springtime?"

To review the color yellow we colored pictures of yellow things. I found these pages on pinterest, and I love the concept! My general rule of thumb is that if the children can explain to me their reasoning for coloring an object, then I am all for it!

To review the star shape the children practiced recognizing the shape and colored stars. I created this little picture with full of stars in it. They needed to color the stars yellow and then the rest of the picture!

For the number of the week:22 we started off by counting to and backward from twenty-two. 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 twenty-two. 

When I started in my class, I found a page like this from, so I made my own for the number 22. 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 "Spring has Sprung", we went outside to search for spring! Out on our playground and on our school's nature trail, we looked for signs that spring was really here.

We sang "Pretty Little Flower" to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider.

"Pretty little flower, smiling at the sun.
Down comes the rain, now she looks so glum.
Back comes the sun and dries up all the rain.
And the pretty little flower, is smiling once again!"
(C) 2001 - 2011 Jean Warren

The kids played a quick flower sorting game that I made. I made a set of flowers that I "laminated" with contact paper. The set worked so that they could be sorted by color of the petals or number of the petals. They did so great!

We painted giant flowers! I can't show you the final projects because this is something we will be putting into our Eric Carle themed art show in April, but here's a preview!

The letter of the week: Y activities that we worked on this week were y-great!! 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 "Y" items in the yard.  All the other letters? Back in the shed!

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 Y into a Yellow Jacket. 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.

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

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 yaks with some yarn hair. They colored their yaks and glued on some yarn!

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 made a class book call "Yakking about Yesterday" where each child illustrated something that they did yesterday. They got such a kick out of it when we read it later in the day!

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

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