Monday, February 25, 2013

Melting crayons

When we saw this activity over at the Chasing Cheerios blog, we knew it would be an instant hit. We took an 8x10 canvas and stuck two rows of double sided tape to it at the top.

Then we placed pieces of unwrapped crayons to the tape at any pattern kids chose. Watch out, some of the crayons tend to slide until they melt at least a bit.

 We used a hair dryer to melt them. Put it on high and hot option. And let the canvas lay down on the table.

Now you can stand it up, the crayons will stay put.

Look at the cool way they are running down that canvas! We were all in awe!

 Kids decided to stop at this point and let it all dry this way. If you don't want to have any thicker pieces of crayons on the canvas, blow on them with the dryer till they all run off at the bottom. This looked really cool to us. We can't wait to hang it up!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Long A sound activity

Since the beginning of the year we have been tackling the short and long sounds a, e, i , o, and u. 
At the beginning of each new vowel sound I write a poem on the board that focuses on that particular letter sound. If you would like the long sound poems, go over to our Pinterest board and pin them for yourselves.
After we read the poem together out loud, the boys took turns underlining the words with long A sound.

As an activity we picked this fast and fun game, where the boys had to match the words with the right letter group. I wrote the 3 groups on  posted notes and stuck them to the pan this way.

I also wrote the long A sound words on posted notes and the kids took turns matching them. 

This is how it looks finished. The boys learned about what letters help the letter A become long and where we would find them in the words.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Party

Since we started this blog just after Valentine's Day last year, we didn't get to share our party. So we thought we would catch up now.

Take a look at our workboxes - we have some Valentine's Day reading, Color Sorting, Stamping, Lolly pop craft, and Crayon making.

First up was a lolly pop craft. We had some styrofoam that we cut into circles and had the kids paint with a color they chose.

We poked the pop sickle stick on the bottom and waited till they dried. We wrapped the top in a Valentine's treat bags. They turned out so cute. We are still using them as decorations.

Next we played memory game with cut out hearts. They were blank on one side and had love themed words written on the other side. This helped the big boys with practicing reading. Some words were "forever", "love", "always", "like", "heart", etc.

We sorted lady bugs according to their size.

And we matched colors using buckets and pom poms of the same colors, purple and pink. We tried to keep it all in the Valentine's Day theme. 

Kids created some cute cards using heart stamps by Melissa and Doug. 

After reading some books we went up to the kitchen to create some sweet treats. We shaped chocolate chip cookies into hearts!

And last but definitely not least, we recycled some old crayons into new very cute heart shaped crayons and used them as gifts for our friends for Valentine's day. I will include a link with step by step instructions on how to do that soon. This was our favorite activity by far!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Subtraction plates

Learning the Montessori way is really fun! 

We are starting on subtractions and the kids are doing really good. One way that helped us achieve that is this fun activity with paper plates and rocks. I used space rocks because of our Space themed science unit but you can use really anything that you normally use as a counting prop (buttons, beads, glass rocks, M&Ms, etc)

It's easy - you just write the subtraction problem on a paper plate using sharpie and give the kids some rocks.  To help them figure this out, I told them to start with the higher number and put that many rocks on a plate. Minus means to take away, therefor they would have to take away from the higher number the smaller number. How many rocks are left?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Learning about money - pennies

We finally got to the topic of money! We were trying to find the best way to introduce the kids to the coins, what the names mean and how the amounts relate to each other. Last year we sort of kicked this off with our chore chart system. The kids each had a list of chores for each day. If they did 5 or more, they would get a quarter. if they did less than 5 they would not get anything. They each were saving for a toy, but not until they had enough to give 10% to God, and 10% into their savings. It all worked out pretty well and it helped them learn that there is a work that needs to be done, not only by mom or dad but that they can also contribute. This is how they learned the coin names.

Now it was time to teach them the next step. We decided to order a workbook that would go with this topic and after some research I went with the series that I always find the most helpful and that is the Kumon workbooks. Click here for the link to the Amazon page for the one we use. If your child is advanced in money counting, this might be boring for him/her. They ask same questions over and over but I like that because when we are just starting, the kids need to feel comfortable in order to move to the next step.

After we learned about pennies, I put together a store to enforce the subject in everyday life eperience, such as going shopping. We have this great cashier that came with pretend money. However I use the real thing while we learn and we just make sure to wash our hands.

I marked simple items with the price and gave the kids 20 cents. They had to decide if they had enough money to buy certain objects.

 I happened to take pictures of the objects with the same price, oops. But other things cost 5 cents or more. I also had 26 cents which they couldn't afford. It was a great problem solving situation and it enforced the money subject in a fun way!

Come back for some more posts coming up about fun ways to learn about money!