Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Self Portraits

My favorite ever art project with my third graders was their self-portraits. They drew themselves with pencil, traced the lines with sharpie, then used water-colors to paint the portraits. They turned out great. The best was the one in the top left corner. Someone asked Calyn while he was painting why he was painting a potato instead of himself. I had to turn around so they wouldn't see me laughing.

I decided that for All About Me week we should try the same thing. I had Connor try it a couple of weeks ago to see if it would even work with 3 and 4 year olds. I think this works for any age and drawing ability. I love seeing the evolution of how children draw people. It'll be fun to have the children do a self-portrait of themselves at the end of the school year and see how much they've developed in how they see and represent people. For this project I also had the children paint sticks in their favorite color to frame their portraits. And I interviewed each child about their favorites: color, animal, number, treat, food, and toy. I taped their answers to the back. It's a great "picture" of what they were like in September 2007.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

First Day of Preschool

I know this blog should be private by now, but I can't bring myself to type in all those email addresses tonight. So, instead I will post about our first day of preschool.

Connor and I are doing a co-op preschool (the moms take turns teaching) with 5 friends. The moms and the kids are all amazing and it's going to be a great year for us.

Because of my impending due date (11 more days...or less!) I am teaching the first week. Which is so fun. Because the kids are so excited to start preschool. And because I get to do an alphabet and number review and have the theme All About Me.

The kids are bringing lunch to preschool and Connor was thrilled with the chance to pack a lunchbox. He thought it was kind of funny that I was getting him all dressed for the first day of preschool and taking his picture when preschool was at our house. But we had to mark the occasion!

{My almost-four-year-old preschool boy}

{Abigail had to get her picture taken in front of the door too}

{The group eating lunch}

{My first mommy-message on a lunchbox napkin!}

Here are my plans for Tuesday and Thursday if anyone is interested (email me if you want more information):

Monday, June 04, 2007

Z week: plans

Here are the plans for Z week:

word cards: zebra, zoo, zero, zoom, zipper

Zebra Question
By Shel Silverstein

I asked the zebra,
Are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways
And on and on and on and on
And on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra
About stripes

Monday: Zzzzz. We all took much-needed naps today. We got our zzzzzz's.

Tuesday (science or social studies): I wish we could go to the zoo, but our pass expired in May. Instead we'll look through pictures we've taken at the zoo over the past two years that we've been members and talk about our favorite animals at the zoo. Connor has a little scrapbook of his own, so I'll let him choose a few photos to scrapbook if he wants to.

Wednesday (fine motor): zippers. I'll work with Connor on learning to zip and unzip his jackets (not that we are wearing jackets anymore). He usually unzips to the bottom, but can't get it undone and steps out of it. We'll just do a few practice runs. Zippers can also be part of our zig-zag obstacle courses on Thursday.

Thursday (movement/music): zig-zag. We'll do obstacle courses (which were so fun during O week) and try to zig-zag our way to the end of the course.

Friday (math): zero. Connor seems to understand the concept of zero. We'll review that zero is nothing and do some simple math problems to illustrated what zero's worth is. I'll also show him that there is a zero in the number 10, but it doesn't mean nothing in this case.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Y week: plans

Here are the plans for Y week:

We're getting a late start with Y week because of Memorial Day and a busy Tuesday. But here are the plans for the rest of the week (which also happens to be potty-training week).

word cards: yellow, you, yes, yawn, young

The Yak
by Jack Prelutsky

Yickity-yackity, yickity-yak,
the yak has a scriffily, scraffily back;
some yaks are brown yaks and some yaks are black,
yickity-yackity, yickity-yak.

Sniggildy-snaggildy, sniggildy-snag,
the yak is all covered with shiggildy-shag;
he walks with a ziggildy-zaggildy-zag,
sniggildy-snaggildy, sniggildy-snag.

Yickity-yackity, yickity-yak,
the yak has a scriffily, scraffily back;
some yaks are brown yaks and some yaks are black,
yickity-yackity, yickity-yak.

Wednesday (math): yesterday. Connor (as with most children his age) gets confused by time words like yesterday, tomorrow, week, month, day, year. We'll discuss what these mean while looking at our calendar to help out. When we do our calendar each day we'll say, "Today is..." as we usually do, but we'll add "Yesterday was..." and "Tomorrow is..." as well.

Thursday (movement/music): yodel. We're going to learn to yodel. There's a lesson online and you can listen to the guy yodel and then copy him. I'm going to have the only yodeling 3-year-old around!

Friday (art project): yarn art.
(Yarn Art, using yellow construction paper, scissors, glue, crayons, yarn. 1. Prepare by cutting various colored pieces of yarn into different lengths. 2. Draw/color a shape or picture, such as a yo-yo or yak, onto a piece of yellow construction paper. 3. Glue the yarn onto the outline of the shape or picture.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

X week: X marks the spot!

Thanks to my good friend ChyAyn for the X marks the spot idea. She did a treasure hunt for X week in our 2-year-old preschool co-op last year and the kids loved it. My sister and I always planned treasure hunts to find the Family Home Evening treats when we were little too and it was a favorite activity. I should do this more often for Connor because it's easy to plan and so much fun for kids.

The X was by the O-shaped bush in our yard and the "treasure" was a big tic-tac-toe game with big X's and O's to go on it. We played tic-tac-toe for quite a while and now Connor's excited to play with Daddy.

Monday, May 21, 2007

X week: plans

Here are the plans for X week:

The letter X does not come at the beginning of many words. Many children's books use the word xylophone to represent X; but xylophone doesn't start with the /ks/ sound, so it's misleading. The focus this week is the sound /ks/ only. We'll talk about words that have that sound, which means our words do not start with X, but have them in the middle or end.

word cards: taxi, exercise, explore, x-ray, box
poem: (poetry with X was scarce, so this is the one written by the host of Letter of the Week.)

Extra Special X
by Katrina Lybbert

Excellent, exciting letter X!
So extra special is letter X.
Fox, box, mix, wax,
Plox, ox, six, tax.
Always an adventure to explore,
With letter X, which we adore!

Monday (math): Next. What number comes next. I'll quiz Connor on his numbers to see if he knows what comes next. I'll also help him review which day of the week comes next.

Tuesday (science or social studies): X marks the spot. We'll read clues and follow them until we find the X marking the spot where the treasure is.

Wednesday (scriptures/Gospel): Example. Jesus Christ is our ultimate example. We can follow his example and set an example for those around us.

Thursday (movement/music): Tic-tac-toe and Jack-in-the-Box. We'll play tic-tac-toe using X's and O's. Then we'll play Jack-in-the-Box; one of us hides in a box and then jumps out to surprise the other.

Friday (art project): X shapes in play-doh. We'll pull out the play-doh and make as many X shapes as we can, with cookie cutters and by rolling "snakes" and making X's. We'll also have a snack, like stick preztels, that we can make X's with.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

W week: W is for Windsock

Connor made this windsock on Friday, the day we do an art project. He loved putting stickers on and didn't want to stop. Of course the windsock is green, but we had to use two pink streamers too because we ran out of green crepe paper. Connor said, "The green streamers are cool and the pink ones are cute. Right, Mom?" We hung his windsock outside to decorate our house for spring.