Friday, November 21, 2014

Land and Plants

This week we started learning more about the 3rd Day of Creation - Land and Plants

Day 1

We started by saying the date, and filling in our weather graph.  We are working on understanding questions using "altogether," and "how many more."  Parker is really good with graphs!

I have been trying to get him to memorize what numbers 11-15 look like, but he wasn't catching on, so I tried another strategy.  We looked at the hundreds chart and noticed that if you cover up the 1 in 11-15, it's just like counting 1 to 5.  So, I had him order numbers 11-15 by doing just that.   He got it!

We sang the Day 3 of Creation song, read

and skimmed

We talked about the different parts of a plant, and what parts of plants we have in our house.  (Broccoli, Pumpkin seeds, Green Onions, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, etc).  

He did this parts of a plant puzzle from last year.

We read through the word families from last week, and then did our next reading lesson.  

Later that day, we got out the sensory bin and put squishy sand and rocks inside so he could play with different types of "land."

Day 2

After the usual intro, I got out some nomenclature cards I printed off from a Montessori Resource.  You can read there about how they promote literacy.  These were all nature-based, so they covered what we've been learning so far in creation.  

I lined up the first row that had the picture and the word underneath.  We read through those, and then we made the second row of the same pictures, and he had to find the correct word to go underneath it.

Next, we read 

and then we played with the materials in the Tree Discovery Backpack from the library.

We finished with our reading lesson, and we've been reading this chapter book before bed each night.

Day 3

We started with a push-pin tree.  I think those little fingers are getting stronger.  We'll be ready for a pencil soon. I was actually going to start him the other day and we didn't even have a sharp one.  haha

We read

and talked about what happened to the plants and the weather to tell the animals it was time to hibernate.  Then we sorted animals that hibernate and animals that do not.  My parents got Parker a match game from their vacation to Washington, so that had a lot of great animal pictures.  I also used blocks so I could have enough of both kinds of animals.

We did our next reading lesson and kept reading Nate the Great.

Throughout the week, we also listened to this book on CD.

Fall Break

We went out to my family farm for the first part of the week to have
 one last ride in the combines, tractors and semis.  

We had one morning of preschool when we came back 
and focused mostly on phonemic awareness.

We started with the weather graph 

and added to what we already knew up Psalm 23.

"The Lord is Shepherd, I shall not be in want.  
He makes me lie down in green pastures, 
He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul."

Then we did our first activity with word families.  I put the endings -at, -ad and -it on the board with several words underneath.  He had to read the words and put them in the correct family. 
(Sorry, it's hard to see!)

I was so proud that he could read these words in a location other than his reading book.  
I think that means it's sinking in =)

Then I laid out all of the letters that we've learned.  I said a word and he pointed to the letter that it started with.  First time we've ever done that either.  He did great!

We did our next lesson in our reading book, and then I had him write letters in salt with his fingertips.

There happened to be a pretty sunny day, so we took a nice nature walk, too =)  
I've got to be outside while I still can!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Exploring Fall

We are nearing the end to the beautiful Fall days, so this week, we spent a lot of time outside, and did a few Fall activities to go along with.  

Day 1

Confession - I had all the ideas written down, and no books!  So...we went to the Library, and then we played at a part and gathered some leaves.  When we got home, we added to our weather graph, reviewed numbers 11-13 and learned the next part of Psalm 23.

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.  
He makes me lie down in green pastures."

We also did Lesson 13 in our reading book.

The landscaping company in our neighborhood made a GIANT leaf pile.  Like, 15 feet wide by 10 feet wide by 3 feet tall, so we played in that for a good chunk of time in the afternoon. 

Day 2

After the usual review, we got out the leaves we collected yesterday and looked at them with a magnifying glass.  We noticed different colors, shapes, and sizes.

Then we flipped them all over to see if the back was the same color as the front.  Some were pretty close, others were very different.

Next, Parker ordered them from smallest to biggest.  He found the biggest first, then the smallest, and then worked his way through the rest.  The middle ones were more difficult, but we worked through the problem-solving process together.

ThenI helped him do some leaf rubbings, and he stamped the word "Leaves" on top.

We read

and did a reading lesson.  

Then he chose three letters to do the pattern lock letters with.

Day 3

It's Halloween!  We started with the weather graph, and you'll never guess what it was....SNOWY?!
I was really hoping we weren't going to have to use that one in October, but it made for a good graph!  Parker is really good at answering graph questions.  He can tell me which has the most and the least.  Which type of weather and 0,1, 2, and 3 days, and we are working on figuring out how many more sunny days there are than cloudy days. 

We started our pumpkin exploration by measuring how tall our pumpkin was.  
He estimated five blocks.  Pretty close!

Then I laid out three strings, short, medium, and long, and had him guess which one would fit perfectly around the pumpkin.  Once he found the right one, he measured that in blocks, too, and guessed it would be longer than seven blocks.  He was right!

Then we read,

What a beautiful book!  I got a little misty-eyed.  
I just love when the gospel comes to life in a new way.  

Time to dig in to our pumpkin!  We cut off the top and dug out the guts.  Ahhh - the smell of the inside of a pumpkin is like heaven!

Then, just like last year, he hammered some nails into the pumpkin.  He was in his own little imagination world when he was doing this.  It was fun to listen to!

Together, we carved it out to look like Mickey, and then attached the little pumpkins with some nails.

 And I just have to put up a picture of his Halloween costume that my talented husband made =)

Throughout the week, we also read

Sky and Clouds

We jumped back into our overarching Creation Theme, and moved on to Day 2 of creation - God created Sky and Clouds.  This might be on my Top 10 favorite weeks of Parker Prep ever... check it out!

Day 1

We started with the usual counting and verse review.  We are focusing on identifying numbers 11 and 12, and we learned the first part of Psalm 23,

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want."

We will continue adding to it each week.

Then, we sang the Day 2 Of Creation Song, and read

 This book has a LOT of information, but you can kind of pick and choose how much you want to read depending on your objectives.  After reading through it, we sang the weather song.

(To London Bridges)
"What's the weather like today, like today, like today,
"What's the weather like today, like today, like today,
Please tell us, Parker"

We looked at the weather graph and talked about the different types of weather.  He ran outside to report it was a sunny, and put up the first magnet.

We read

and did Lesson 11 in our reading book.

Day 2

After singing the weather song and adding to our graph, we read

We went to the table to make the different kinds of clouds we learned about in the book.  The first is Cirrus.  He remembered they are wispy like a horse's tail.  He ripped the cotton balls apart and tried gluing them down, but they kept sticking to his fingers =)

He remembered that the stratus clouds are like a blanket, so he pulled the cotton balls apart and glued them down a little thicker.

Adley really enjoyed making clouds, too!

Finally, I helped Parker glue the puffy cumulous clouds on, and we ended up with this.

Next, I sprayed some clouds on the table for him (shaving cream). He spread them around, and then he worked with the stroke cards for the first time.  This is our first step in learning to write. I propped the cards up with playdoh and he copied them in the clouds.  It was so fun to watch!  I could tell it was something he had to think about, but he enjoyed it and I thought he did a great job!  

We had a great time learning and playing together =)

Parker finished all of the stroke cards and played in the clouds for several more minutes.  

We moved over to the couch for our reading lesson.  First, he read me these words from the "at" family.  He moved the yellow piece up and down to read the different words.  Is there any greater sound than hearing your child read?  It is music to my ears =)

Each day we do a reading lesson, he puts another number in the 100's chart.

Day 3

We usually do school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  This week, those three days were sunny, and Tuesday and Thursday were rainy and cloudy!  So, according to our graph, we've had some nice weather ;)

Parker put the correct number of clouds in the sky.

Then we made a cloud in a jar.

We read from the Exodus 13 about how God provided a pillar of cloud to lead the Israelites in the desert.  Then we finished with Lesson #13 in our reading book.

Later that night, we read

Thorughout the week, Parker was much more observant of the clouds outside.
Mission accomplished!