Down on the Farm...
Cows, Chickens, and Sheep, oh my! This week was like a walk down the farm...but smelt a whole lot better. :)
Calendar looked a tiny bit different this week, I added letter of the day and sight word of the day. The letter of the week is Aa and sight word is "and." I am making sure to teach upper and lowercase. Not only will she need the exposure of lowercase but it really helps early reading skills. Books are not written in all caps so if I am adding sight words I need to incorporate lowercase.
Play dough letter - I just wrote Aa on computer paper and I put the paper in a sleeve (they are super handy and linked here). She rolled the play doh - bonus for fine motor skills! - and trace the dough along he lines.
Sprinkle letters - This is one of her favorites! I just poured a 6 oz jug of sprinkles into a gallon ziplock bag laid the bag flat, smoothed the sprinkles out, and let her practice writing Aa with her finger
Workbooks - This week I introduced workbooks. She practiced tracing and writing the letter Aa. Please check out my blog post if you are unsure which workbook to buy. I have included what to look for and a few of my favorites.
Collecting "Eggs" - Ok so I don't have a dozen pretend eggs laying around and I'm not feeling too trusting of my real eggs so I get out an egg carton and fill it with small plastic food toys that can fit into the egg holes (strawberries, oranges, etc) We talked about chicken coops, roosters are boys hens are girls, hens laying eggs and farmers collecting the eggs. I showed her the carton of pretend eggs and I scattered them around the floor and we played farmer collecting the eggs.
Making Chicken Coop - Super easy and lots of fun. I took an Amazon box (we all have them!) cut the top long flaps to use as the coop rail and brought out all my old farm beanie baby animals. She loved feeding all the animals the pretend food, at that point it was not pretend eggs anymore This also turned into a social lesson because she was sharing the coop with other animals and they were taking turns sleeping in the coop.
Herding Farms Animals - Hands down one of my favorite activities! We talked about a different farm animal every day this week and Friday was sheep day. We discussed sheep's wool and how sometimes farmers herd sheep back to their homes a the end of the day. In this activity she was herding ALL the farm animals into their "farm."
I found farm animal balloons for super cheap online awhile back and I finally know what to use them for! I blew up 15 balloons scattered them around the yard pulled out our inflatable pool, you could also use less balloons and use a hoola-hoop too. I told her she has to collect all the animals and put them in their farm for nap. She had to run around the yard (I had some in the garden, slide, by the tree, everywhere) and find them and get them in the pool. Then I would dump the pool yell "time to wake up animals!" and say this time just the sheep need naps or just the horses. By doing this I have transformed the activity into a sorting activity. This was a nice brain break from writing and numbers and also great gross motor!
We did some number activites out of these books this week with a focus to the number one. We wrote the number one, circile one object in a group, and even practiced writing "one."
Feed the Animals - Great sensory, counting and number recognition. I used 4 old soup cans, taped four animal faces on them that I found from google and planted the cans in a sea of popcorn kernels. (I snagged a great deal on Amazon, 8 pounds of kernels for $9! click here if you're interested). I hid numbers (linked in my educational resources page) in the kernels and we took turns digging for a number to feed our animals. The can that overflowed first won.
Daisy the Rainbow Cow - My grocery store always has coloring pages and lucky for me they had cows this week! This was super quick and easy to put together. I added numbers everywhere I saw a spot or blank space on the cow and assigned the number to a color. It was basically a color by numbers activity. This activity is good for number recognition, following directions, and identifying colors.
Farm Puppets - Each day we worked on a farm puppet. I had a lacing kit from my teaching days, but I found one on amazon for you and added it to this link. The lacing on the puppets were great fine motor practice and she took great pride in the outcome (as she should, they came out adorable!) of the crafts. We ended up doing a puppet show and sang Old Mcdonald (a few times) with the puppets.
As I stated earlier, I have added a sight word of the week. This week we are focusing on "and."
Find "and" - I wrote a long run on sentence (it pained my ear a little) including the word "and" five times. The point was for her to locate the word and circle it. Before I had her do that we read it twice.
Felt Board - Though "and" is the main focus of vocabulary this week I decided last minute to do a felt board activity that taught sequence words. It was about a dog that kept getting into messes and every mess he walked away with that color dot at the end he had ten dots. So, it also integrated math! Though it was not farm theme felt story it's something I can really add to any theme because of it's rich content and I had her complete engagement because she was part of telling the story by adding the dots and giving the dog a bath to wash off his spots.