Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One Mitten by Kristine George - Book, Activities, and Ideas.

This week we are working with the book One Mitten by Kristine George. This is a really cute story for preschoolers and kindergartners. The main character has one mitten when the story starts, and she does all kinds of different things with one mitten. Then she finds the other and does things with two mittens. I will be posting our activities daily, but wanted to give you a jumping off point for this book if you'd also like to integrate it into your curriculum. Below are two links that will be helpful when planning lessons and activities for this book.

The teaching site for One Mitten- this is provided by the author and she links to a ton of other sites that have mitten activities and ideas.

Jan Brett's Site- this page is actually designed to be used with The Mitten, but it works well for One Mitten, too. I printed out a bunch of the mitten templates for color word practice.

Okay. I've given you the starting point for finding ideas for use with this book. Now it's up to you to be creative and have fun with this book. We started by reading the story and did our first activity today. Look to the blog this week for our activities and ideas that go along with the book/winter theme. Happy homeschooling!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Greater Than Less Than Gator

 One of our current math strategies is learning greater than, less than, and equal to. When I was younger, I always thought the little sign looked like an alligator. So to teach this concept, we are using the greater than, less than gator.

To start I wrote two numbers on the white board along with a matching number of X's. I then drew the sign showing greater than or less than and added eyes and teeth. I told her that the gator always eats the bigger number because gators are hungry and they like to eat A LOT. Then we discussed which direction was greater than and which was less than.

Teaching equal to isn't as hard because kids can see that the numbers are the same. I simply told her that when it's equal to the gator is sleeping, so it kind of looks like his mouth is closed. She seemed to understand this explanation easily.
After using my illustrations, I drew numbers on the board and she wrote her own greater than, less than gator. The next technique I will be using to reinforce this concept is more of a craft along with the math. I'll post about that next week. This is just a starter idea if you're looking to teach greater than, less than to your kindergartner.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Animals that Hibernate - Ladybugs, Turtles and Bears Oh, My!

This month we are learning about hibernation and other winter topics like the Arctic. We've been working on animals that hibernate and learned that most bears aren't true hibernators. They just go into a dormant stage and are very hard to rouse. Other animals and bugs, like the ladybug and the Peeper frog, are true hibernators who don't wake during the winter.

When searching for hibernation activities I found a ton of stuff about bears. But being the atypical family that we are, I wanted to explore a different animal. We chose to focus on the ladybug. First, I printed out a general info sheet from Enchanted Learning about animals that hibernate We talked about the different animals and discussed hibernation. Next, I looked up songs about hibernation but could only find things focused on bears or groundhogs. So, I came up with my own little song about a ladybug. Then we did a ladybug craft and acted out the song. Below is the song and some pictures. This lesson will be followed by a lesson on groundhogs, which will lead into Groundhog Day. Happy homeschooling!

The Little Ladybug Hibernation Song (we sung to an altered tune of The Farmer in the Dell - but you could use any typical rhythm that appeals to you.)

The little ladybug, the little ladybug,
It eats, eats, eats, eats, eats, up aphids before it gets all snug.
It makes a bed in leaves--- or under a rock
It won’t wake up again until it gets a little hot!

Ladybug craft:
 1 black sheet of construction paper
1 red sheet of construction paper
Googly eyes or white dots

Cut a large heart out of the red paper. Cut a medium-sized heart out of the black paper. Cut four to six small hearts out of the rest of the black construction paper. Have your child glue the black piece to the red piece to form the ladybug's body. Add the heart spots on its back. Add the eyes and draw a face, if you wish.

Ladybug Action for Song:

Take a small piece of green paper and put a bunch of white little paper pieces on it to represent a leaf with aphids. Crumple up a couple pieces of gray or white papers to make a rock. Cut out a yellow sun or just a circle to represent the emerging heat of spring. Sing the song as your child takes the ladybug and eats the aphids, goes to sleep under the rock, and slowly walk toward the sun as it emerges from hibernation. We practiced the song 3-4 times and then acted it out a few times.

Eating the aphids

Hibernating under the rock

Coming out of hibernation