Monday, January 23, 2012

Lobster Tales

Lobster Tales
by Princess

I am Lenny the lobster.  This is the story of how I, a lobster in a tank at the grocery store, made it back to the ocean.  My story begins with me swimming in the ocean, free as can be.  All of a sudden, I found myself in a cage.  I had scuttled right into a lobster trap.  

The next thing I knew, I was loaded onto a boat.  There were lobsters of all sizes in cages next to me.  We called out for help, but we were too far away from our friends to be heard.  Soon, a group of us were loaded and shipped to a grocery store in the United States.  All was in confusion as we were dumped into a little tank.  After a kind old lobster that was already there calmed us down, we found that our claws had been clamped shut with rubber bands.  

Soon, I realized that one of my friends was in the tank with me.  We cried, but the humans couldn't tell because we were in the water.  Over the next few weeks, we became more and more hopeless.  Every time someone reached into the tank, we quivered in fear.  Many lobsters were taken and eaten.  

Then, one day, it happened.  My friend and I were taken from the tank.  We were more scared than ever before.  To our surprise, we were dropped into a little tank full of fresh, clean water and we were taken out of the store.  A little girl grabbed onto the tank, and we drove and rove for a long time.  We were confused.  Then, we were dropped out of the tank.  We thought it would be onto a chopping block, but no - into the ocean!  The water had never felt so good.  The little girl cut the rubber band off my claws.  I yelled out, "thank you!"  The little girl didn't hear.  "Oh well," I said.  Soon, I found my old friends.  

So, all you lobsters still stuck in that tank, have hope.  I got back home, and so can you!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Letter Gg - What's on the Tray?

Super Tot is 36 months old!

We are starting our Letter of the Week activities back up this week with the letter Gg!  I am so excited about the fun things we have planned.  Take a look:

Measuring Giraffes

Use the Connect-A-Cubes to measure how tall the different giraffes are.  Count the cubes for each when you are done.  Next, line up the giraffes and the cubes in order from tallest to shortest.
I made 5 giraffes in different heights out of construction paper for Super Tot to measure.  We will be measuring using Connect-A-Cubes, but you could also use legos or building blocks.
~math, fine motor, size differentiation~

Graphing Shapes
Take a shape out of the bowl and color the correct box on the graph.  When you have graphed all the shapes, count how many of each there are using the graph.
The graph printable is available below the photo.  I used stickers, but you could also draw the actual shapes.  I left them off the printable so I could reuse it adding additional concepts such as size or color.
~shape recognition, fine motor, math~

 Coloring Geese
Color the geese on each page using the color requested at the top of the page.
I found various coloring pages and added the text to the top of each page.  There is one for each color of the rainbow.
~fine motor, color recognition, pre-writing~

Grocery Shopping for Produce by Color
At the grocery store, find one fruit & one vegetable for each color.  Fill in the circle below each item once you have placed it in your cart.
We will head to the grocery store for this activity.  Super Tot will get to choose his own produce item (one fruit & one vegetable for each color).  We will bring his shopping cart with us and I will allow him to weigh the items and pay for them on his own, as well.  Additionally, we will be discussing nutrition and specific information for each item he chooses.
**the printable is available below the photo**
~practical life, color recognition, math, nutrition~

Letter Gg Animals
Enjoy exploring different animals that begin with the letter G!
These cards have various animal facts on the back, so we will read about and discuss each animal, as well as brainstorm to think of additional ones.  These cards are one of my favorite purchases (they've lasted us over 7 years already!  They are available here.

Spooning Gems
Use the spoon to transfer the gems from one cup to the other.
I found these gems in the floral section of Dollar Tree.
~fine motor~

Counting Gumballs
Count the number of "gumballs" in the gumball machine.
I will place a certain number of disks "in" the machine and have Super Tot count them.  I may also have him count only certain colors to make it a bigger challenge and change it up throughout the week.  The printout is available under the photo.  It includes a second page with gumballs to cut out, should you choose to use them.
~counting, color recognition~

Good Samaritan / Golden Rule
Place a golden seal next to each picture that shows someone being a good samaritan or following The Golden Rule.
Our Bible lessons this week will focus on the story of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), and on The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12).  I cannot share this printable, as I do not have copyrights to the graphics and just made this for personal use.  I found pictures online of various scenarios (some showing kindness, some not - there are 8 of each) and put them into a table with a blank cell in front of each.  I had tons of these golden seal stickers from my mom, so I thought they would be perfect for Super Tot to mark the scenes showing Godly behavior.  We will discuss all 16 of the scenes, as well.
~Bible lesson, character development & honor~

Super Tot will also be doing the following 2 letter crafts from our Letter book, which you can read about here.

"G" is for Goose and "g" is for grapes.

Letter Gg Bible Verses for the week:
"Give, and it will be given to you..."  ~Luke 6:38
"God is love."  ~1 John 4:8

I get e-mails each week asking me how I display my Tot Trays & whether I leave them out all week or bring one out at a time.  This is only showing a very small part of our school room, but this is the main shelf where I keep Super Tot's trays.  They are out all week and he usually does each activity many times.  Some I need to do with him, while others he does on his own.  If he needs (or wants) assistance, I will work with him.  If I am not immediately available, as I also school 11 year old Princess, I direct him to something he can do independently until I can work with him.  This *usually* works well for us, but being flexible is ALWAYS key!  I will try to take additional photos of our school area in the near future, as well as photos of how I store our supplies.  

Linking to:

Monday, January 16, 2012

What's on the Tray? Jan. 16-20

Super Tot will be 36 months old on THURSDAY!

This is our final week of review before starting back up with our Letter of the Week activities.  Here is a preview of our trays for the week:

Letter Review
Place each letter card into the correct cup.
I made alphabet cards out of cardstock (planning to make a complete set of each color).  I used an overhead marker to write the letters inside the cups, as the marker is easily washed off later.  
~Letter recognition~

 Counting Disks
Place the correct number of disks into each section of the egg crate.
I cut an egg carton in half and wrote the numbers in the bottom of each cup.  
~counting, number recognition~

Letter Tracing
Use dry erase marker to trace the letters.  
In addition to having Super Tot trace all the letters on his own, I plan to also give him instructions such as, "trace the uppercase letter A."  The template, along with several others, is available here.
~pre-writing, letter recognition~

Shape Sticker Sorting
Place each shape sticker into the correct box on the sheet.
Super Tot loves stickers, and he is really enjoying working with shapes.  This activity will introduce a couple new shapes (octagon & crescent), as well as provide great fine motor & shape review.  Once he has completed the activity, I will have him point out various colors and shapes.
~fine motor, shape matching & recognition, color recognition~

Animal Classification
Place each animal card in the correct classification box.
I have 5 cards out for each classification.  I will change them out throughout the week.  The cards are a favorite tool of ours that we have been using for about 7 years now.  They are available here.  There were a little expensive, but well worth the price considering how often we use them.

Counting Birthday Presents
Count the number of gifts on each sheet.
Thursday is Super Tot's birthday, so I wanted to have at least one birthday theme activity this week.  I made 7 birthday cake mats (one in each color of the rainbow, plus pink) out of construction paper.  Each has a different number of presents surrounding the cake.  Super Tot will count the gifts for a specific color that I request, and I will assist him in writing the numbers.
~counting, pre-writing, number recognition, color recognition~

Peeling Oranges
Peel the orange and place the pieces of peel into the crate.  Eat the orange!
Super Tot loves these Cutie oranges.  I figured he is ready to peel them himself, so we will work on that during snacks this week.
~motor work & practical life skills~

Paper Clipping Colors
Place each paper clip onto the correct color of paint swatch.
We have done this activity many times.  I also use this in one of my Busy Bags.
~fine motor, color recognition & matching~

Linking to:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What's on the Tray? Jan. 9-13

Super Tot is ALMOST 36 months old!! 

Super Tot was very excited to start back up with Tot School last week!  He loved his trays, especially the *Mystery Item* activity.  We will be doing that again this week with new items.  Additionally, here are some of our other activities for the week.

Tithing 10%
First, sort coins by type (there are 10 of each).  Next, place 9 identical coins on the spaces provided in the Spend / Save column, and 1 identical coin on the appropriate space in the Tithe (Give) side.  
Super Tot is starting to get money on occasion, and I want him to have a Biblical understanding of loving others not only through actions & outreach, but also through tithing.  He is clearly too young to have any understanding of percentages, but he loves counting.  I thought I would use that skill to teach him the basics, by using 10 of the same type of coin.  He can easily count out 9 coins and see that there is one left.  It will be natural for him to learn that one out of every 10 (if they are the same) is for giving.  This is obviously a concept that will continue to develop, but I know his heart and skills are ready to start grasping this Biblical math.  
~counting, math, money skills, Bible~

Alphabet Tracing
Use pencil to trace the letter on each card.
~writing, letter recognition, fine motor~

Letter Matching
Place each wooden letter disk onto the correct plate.
~letter recognition & matching~

Cutting Practice
Cut each strip between the stickers.
~fine motor~

Sports Ball Counting
Place the correct number of erasers into the eggs using the number written on each egg.
Each sports ball egg has a number written on it.  Super Tot will open each egg and place the correct number of matching erasers in the egg.  Then, he will close the egg back up.
~fine motor, counting, number recognition~

Shape Matching
Place each shape onto the correct mat.
I created the mats and printed them onto cardstock.  I will get a printable ready and attach it to this post later this week.  In the pail are 7 colors of each wooden shape.  Super Tot will simply place the shapes onto the correct mats.
~shape recognition~

Sticker Matching
Place each sticker over the matching vehicle on the mat.
~fine motor, matching~

Duplo Pattern Matching
Recreate each pattern using the duplo bricks in the wooden crate.  
We will do this many times with various patterns.  I know Super Tot will enjoy this one.
~fine motor, patterning & sequencing, matching~

Linking up to:

Monday, January 2, 2012

What's on the Tray? FINALLY back to school after move & holidays!

Super Tot is 35 months old.

I can't believe we are FINALLY starting school back up.  It seems like it has been forever since my last post, and things are finally settling down.  As mentioned in a previous post, my family relocated to a new city the week of Thanksgiving.  That was a crazy time to be moving, but we took it in stride and made the best of it.  After prayerful consideration, we decided to go ahead and take the holidays off to get settled into our new home and to focus on Christ and loving others throughout the Advent season.  It was such a blessing, but boy am I ready to get back into a normal school routine!

Because of the time we've taken off, I decided to do a couple weeks of review prior to getting back into our 'Letter of the Week' structure.  We will pick up with the letter "Gg" in a few weeks, but for now, here is what we've got on the trays for this week:

*Mystery Item*
Stick hand into bag and identify object using only sense of touch.
I will have the box of items out of sight and will place one item at a time into the bag.  Super Tot will place his hand in the bag, and I will cinch it closed while he feels the item and attempts to identify it by touch.
~sensory & language skills~

*Letter Match*
Place each foam letter onto the correct outline.
~matching & letter recognition~

*Playable Art Ball*
Use imagination and creativity to manipulate the Playable Art Ball into various sculptures.
Super Tot received this fun item for Christmas.  It is a blast for all ages (I must confess to spending a lot of time fidgeting with it myself).  It was a great gift!  You can read more about it, watch a demonstration video, and purchase it here.  
~creativity, art, fine motor, critical thinking~

Use foam tangram shapes to create the images on each card.
I expect that Super Tot will need some assistance with this, but he is really good at his Melissa & Doug Beginner Pattern Blocks, so I thought we could give it a shot.  This is a Lauri set that I absolutely love.
~critical thinking~

*Banana Slicing*
Peel banana, then use knife to cut into slices.  Eat for snack!
~fine motor~

*Alphabet Sticker Match*
Place each gold foil alphabet sticker onto a matching letter on the blue sheet.
My mom gave me many sheets of gold seal stickers awhile back.  I thought this would be an easy review activity to use some of them for.
~fine motor, letter matching and recognition~

*What Does Not Belong?*
Use marker to circle the item that does NOT belong in each row.
Printable available below the photo.
~fine motor, logic~

*Food Group Sorting*
Sort the food into the 4 main food groups.
~health & nutrition~

*Mr. Potato Head Building*
Using the photos provided, build Potato Heads to match the pictures.
~matching, fine motor, logic~

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