Friday, February 14, 2014

An Invitation to Create Valentines

Classroom valentines created and distributed. Mission accomplished.

This year, I put together a few supplies and presented them to my second grader.

I added a few new items to the creative supplies and they were a hit!

She was very excited to try out the heart shape paper punches and the scissors that cut fancy edges.

Together, we decided to cut the 8.5" x 11" sheets of red cardstock into 4 pieces.

We have all been under the weather at our house lately so we decided to cut down on the handwriting and put our printer to use. We typed up a simple greeting and printed it in red on white paper. She cut out the greetings using the Edgers Scissors.

After punching out many hearts, she set to work assembling the cards.

With very little assistance, she completed the task of creating 24 valentines and enjoyed the process.

Happy Valentine's Day from our house to yours!

Our Supplies:

Red cardstock

Construction paper - red, pink, patterned

Stickers - We had some reward stickers that were left over from a workbook and many of the sayings were perfect for a valentine greeting. We also had some various heart stickers that were added to the mix.

Marvy Uchida Clever Lever Craft Punches

Fiskars Paper Edgers Scissors

Glue Sticks and Markers

Monday, March 5, 2012

Celebrate the Power of Words and Stories

At least 793 million people in the world cannot read or write.
Imagine your world without words.

On March 7th, 2012, LitWorld, a global literacy organization based in New York City, will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day.

World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.

By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.

To learn more about LitWorld and to sign up to participate in World Read Aloud Day, please see:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

100 Days of School

This week marked the 100th day of school for my children. For kindergartners, there is always much anticipation and excitement around the day. Here is a quick list of 100th day activities that my children have enjoyed over the past 6 years.
  • 100 day crown - usually with tally marks around the outside adding up to 100
  • snack mix made with 10 pieces of 10 different ingredients
  • bring in 100 of an object - one of my children took in 10 towers, each made with 10 building blocks
  • draw a picture of what you will look like when you are 100 years old
  • draw a picture and write about what you would do if you had $100
Enjoy the 100th day of school!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Preschool Book Study

One of my daughter's favorite books is Emily's Tiger by Miriam Latimer. We had read this book so many times that I decided it was a great book to use for some literature based activities.

We started off with some letter recognition activities. First off, T is for Tiger. My daughter cut out a T and then colored it like a tiger.

She is starting to recognize the words in the titles of books so she used our magnetic letters to spell out Emily's Tiger on a cookie sheet.

After reading the book many times over, we talked about what else might have happened to the characters in the book. Then it was time for her to illustrate one of her ideas. Here we have Emily happily practicing soccer at the park while her Granny cheers her on from the bench. My little artist chose to illustrate a time when both Emily and her Granny were happy people. She also noted some details in the illustrations in the book that she wanted to ensure were in her drawing, like the bow in Emily's hair.

In the book, Emily has difficulty controlling her temper but she lovingly receives guidance from her Granny on this matter. This book is a great read with lively and colorful illustrations. It also opened the door for my daughter and I to discuss what is appropriate behavior in various situations. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fun on the Farm

I try to include sensory activities at home. For this activity, we added lentils, small plastic pumpkins, silk leaves, take apart nesting barrels and small farm toys. These few items allowed my daughter to scoop, count, make noise makers and simply play.

Our favorite story for this theme is Driving my Tractor. This colorful book uses humor, repetition and rhythm to tell the tale of a farmer and his animals chugging along through the 4 seasons.  All my children love to listen to the CD and sing along with Steve Songs. At the end of the story, there is info on various  farm machinery and crops. 

Driving my Tractor
Click here to see more!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Letter Fun

Letter stickers have been a great addition to our home sticker collection. They are particularly useful when children have not yet mastered printing all the letters. My children have often used them to spell out their friend's names on birthday cards.

Today, my daughter came up with a new way to use her stickers. She was in the process of making one large Valentine's card for her preschool class. She had already printed the words that she wanted on the card. She decided to add letter stickers to the card. She carefully matched up each letter sticker to the letter that she had already printed.

Matching letter stickers to printed letters is a fun way to reinforce letter recognition and work on fine motor skills. An early elementary school aged child could use letter stickers as another way to practice their spelling words.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Letters All Around

When I first walked into my eldest child's preschool classroom, I was struck by how many labels and words I was surrounded by. Most objects in the room had a neatly printed label on them - window, chair, door, etc. The children in this classroom were exposed to words even when they were not sitting down with a book. There was a clipboard for them to "sign in" even though most of them did not even have the ability to print when they first started preschool.

From this experience, I realized that it is important to give children the opportunity to encounter letters and words on a regular basis. A laminated placemat with the alphabet on it, magnetic letters to play with at the refrigerator (or on a cookie sheet), alphabet theme puzzles, etc. All of these activities will help to strengthen letter recognition. Singing the alphabet song while playing adds to the fun.