Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just a Touch of Spring Fever...

Ok... now that March is here I have a touch a spring fever! It is so funny how at the end of the month I always look ahead to the next month's activities almost in anticipation of what is to come - no matter what month it is! March is one of my favorites in the curriculum I am following (my 2003-2004) because when I created this lesson plan I was in a classroom that had beautiful windows facing a courtyard, which was a bit neglected. The birds didn't seem to mind that it was neglected and made their home there anyway. This lesson plan, for this particular school year, we planted something everyday for the first week and a half! We hung beautiful art birds from the ceiling; hung plants from recycled materials in the windows; and did my favorite growing project and hung them on the bulletin boards. It was so green in our room.

I want to re-create that here at home and today was the first day to start! I have had a few friends ask what is our schedule here at home when do our curriculum. The activities start with our Writing Time. Each day of the week we work on a different skill. Tuesdays (our Mondays - since Dave has Mondays off) we do Phonics or Letter Sounds.

Anything that doesn't require writing we use crayons because "crayons are for coloring and pencils are for writing." A good thing to say when Ethan starts scribbling with his pencil.

Our next activity is PE or Jamboree Time, whatever you want to call your time to work on gross motors. Ethan likes to call it "E-ser-size time!" Today we did a bit of aerobics - or should I say I did it while Ethan watched. It was new and so it is going to take a few times before he starts to participate.
Then, we did our craft early today, since we are making a trip into town this afternoon. We are going to be learning about God's creation all month. So, today I cut out magazine pictures of grass and the sky.

When we glue, I give Ethan a disposable cup and a Q-Tip. It is great for their small motor skills to grasp the Q-Tip and place the glue on the paper! If you give any toddler or preschooler a bottle of glue it is more of a sensory experience than working on their small motor skills. They think it the coolest thing to watch the glue come pouring out of the bottle when they squeeze it!

He is a little young to know where to put the glue on the magazine cutouts. So, I have him put the glue on the paper first, then add his pictures. When he grasps that concept, we will move on to gluing on the back of the pictures.

I think his art turned out great! It is hanging on the fridge with a caption typed from the computer underneath that says, "God made the sky and grass."
My favorite bulletin board project was this next activity that we did today. All you need for this project is a Ziploc bag, bean seeds, dirt, water, and tape.
Ethan took his dirt and placed it into his Ziploc bag. He then added several seeds. You want to make sure you put a few inside just in case some don't grow. It also would be a good idea to do a few of these. I have learned in the past (chemistry class in high school!) that trial by error happens a lot - and more so with me, for some reason... So, make a few extra just in case one doesn't work you have a few that will.
Hang your bag in a window. My classroom had so much light that I was able to hang these right on the bulletin board! We also hung a measuring tape to help teach height/length and how to read a measuring tape. I loved coming in the mornings and finding that the beans had grown one to two inches over night! We had sprouts touching the ceiling!
Ethan and I hung ours high enough so that he couldn't pull it down but low enough to be able to see the seedlings grow. We are going to add our measuring tape soon.

We added our caption and Ethan was able to read it! So amazing!

I also started something new in the last week. We now have Reading Time. I felt like I needed to help Ethan grow in this area since he is trying to read everything right now. I got our "Bob Books" down and we started with the first one.

Last week, Ethan was a little concerned when the character "Mat sat on Sam" in the first book. So when I brought out the first book again today Ethan cried and said "No!" So, I got the second book in series one and he read it all by himself! Amazing!
I am looking forward to sharing all that we are doing for this month! Maybe it will inspire you or maybe you will just get a touch of spring fever. Either way, have fun!

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