ivey league preschool: digging those D's!

At the beginning of the week, I was still feeling run down from a cold we all shared last week.  So on Monday I told Caleb we could take a break until I felt better.  He still found some stuff to do on his own!  He found a set of dry-erase activity cards and started tracing, finishing patterns, and doing mazes.

Later that day, he asked to do some science stuff.  He has a science kit where you grow crystals, but wanted to do more once he got that done.  So I showed him a trick I had seen online...you put whole milk in a shallow dish, add some dots of food coloring, then put a Q-tip soaked in liquid soap into it.  The soap made the colors spread out quickly, then we slowly swirled them around.  It was a pretty cool effect.

Then I decided to really blow his mind.  He still had his little pipette out from his science kit, so I took a pie pan and put a few spoonfuls of baking soda in it.  Then I took little dishes and poured some vinegar in them, then added food coloring.  You can guess the rest.

This one's a hit.  Caleb asked to do it again the very next day!

Anyway, by Tuesday I was feeling a lot better so we dove in.  We did the usual play-doh mat, do-a-dot page, and pattern block mats for the letter D.

I also printed out a few pages of a dinosaur preschool pack and let Caleb have at it.

Then we made some paper plate dinosaurs!  While Caleb painted the plate halves, I cut the other body parts out of colorful scrap book paper.  Once the paint dried, I stapled everything together and then Caleb gave them some eyes.

We also began a very simple experiment.  I had found one of those growing dinosaurs in the dollar aisle at Target.  You leave it in water and watch as it gets bigger day by day.  We watched it from Tuesday to Friday...it was pretty impressive growth!

It was neat, but the thing really stinks.  So this dinosaur is probably going in the trash soon.  Still a fun thing to do for a dollar!

We did our magazine scavenger hunt for pictures of D:

We also did an activity based on Eric Carle's 10 Little Rubber Ducks.  Caleb has some watercolor paints we've never used, so I got them out so he could paint the sea like the illustrations in the book.  We don't quite have the technique for watercolors down yet, but he still did great!  While he painted, I cut out ten construction paper ducks and numbered them 1-10.  The original idea was to glue them on his painting once it dried, but we agreed it was too cool to cover up, so we decided to leave the painting as it was.

We used the ducks for interactive book reading instead.  As we read, Caleb re-enacted the storm by dropping the ducks onto the carpet as if they were falling off the boat.  Then he would pick out each numbered duck as it was read in the story (so when the book told us what happened to the 1st duck, Caleb would find Duck #1 and set it aside).

For the Bible story, we read about David and Goliath in Caleb's storybook Bible.  He knows this story well, but I don't think it's ever occurred to him just how large Goliath was.  According to the story, he was over nine feet tall!  I know some Biblical scholars say the translation might be wrong and Goliath could have been shorter than that, but I figure either way David was a lot smaller than him and he needed to use a slingshot in order to get him!  To give Caleb a better idea of how crazy this match-up was, I had him hold one end of a tape measure while I stretched it out to just over nine feet.  Then I laid it on the floor and told Caleb to lay next to it to see just how big Goliath might have been.

Then we watched "Dave and the Giant Pickle."  Because Veggie Tales is awesome that way.

Caleb also worked in our "salt tray" this week.  He can trace more letters and numbers than I thought!  He seems to do better with his finger right now, which is fine.  Plenty of time to work on writing with pencils later.

We also got out some sight word flash cards at his request.  I'd go through them and tell him what each word was and then he'd repeat it.  But when Caleb saw a particular card, he jumped up before I could say anything and said "I know what that says!  It says COW!"  And it did!  He told me he knew that from doing his "Easter letters," and I figured out he means a set of Melissa and Doug letters we put in his Easter basket this year (they came with wooden plaques with simple three- or four-letter words on them for you to match the letters in...kind of like a puzzle).  I was glad he generalized that the wooden word "cow" was also the word "cow" on the flash card.  I got out the wooden letters right then and we used them to spell the word without using the wooden plaque with the cow painted on it.  He also spelled a few other words.

 That night I was going to Target anyway, so I got another set of sight word flash cards.  We went through them the next day and I paused before I'd say each word to see if he'd yell it out first.  We found out he knew a few other words too!

So Caleb can read a little.  Yay!  :o)

And finally, we made baked doughnuts.  We added chocolate chips (my idea) and sprinkles (Caleb's idea).

This week we listened to Beethoven's 1st and 3rd Symphonies.

Here are the D books we used for this week!

Dinosaur Roar! by Paul & Henrietta Stickland
Adventures of Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
When Dinosaurs Go to School by Linda Martin
All Aboard the Dinotrain by Deb Lund
Digger Man by Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha
If I Had a Dragon by Tom & Amanda Ellery
The Digging-est Dog by Al Perkins
Dog in Boots by Greg Gormley
Dabble Duck by Anne Leo Ellis
Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lightenheld
Oh, Ducky! by David Slonim
Duck Soup by Jackie Urbanovic
10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle 

Do-A-Dot Alphabet Pages (Home School Creations)
Play-Doh Letter Mats (Home School Creations)
Pattern Block Printable Templates (Jessica's Corner of Cyberspace)
Swirling Colors Experiment (Come Together Kids)
Dinosaurs Pre-K Pack (123 Homeschool 4 Me)
Paper Plate Dinosaur Templates (Learn with Play at Home)
Rubber Duck Template (Kindergarten Nana)
Baked Doughnuts Recipe (King Arthur Flour)


ivey league preschool: calling all C's!

Caleb was more than ready to start this week's letter!  He asked to do the magazine scavenger hunt first, so we sat right down and started finding "C" stuff.  I helped him with the less obvious ones, like chocolate and cheese (he hasn't learned the "ch-" sound yet), as well as cinnamon and cereal (soft "c").

We also did the play-doh mat, do-a-dot page, and some block pattern pages for the letter C.

Unfortunately C was also for "cold" this week, meaning that all four of us came down with the yuckiness by midway through the week.  Caleb fought through it and actually asked to do preschool most days, so we still ended up doing a lot!  We read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and then did a number of related activities.

Caleb isn't always into coloring, but he liked doing this counting worksheet where you colored in the number of items the caterpillar ate on a given day.

I also printed out a preschool pack based on the book and he had a blast doing it.  He even asked to do more of it a couple of days later, and sat down to patiently do the harder tasks (like tracing the days of the week and working on his cutting skills).

I also found a separate activity where you cut and pasted what the caterpillar ate on which day, which further reviewed the days of the week:

For math, I found a set of number flashcards in Target's dollar section.  I figured they would help Caleb with the teen's; he's gotten better but still confuses 16, 17, and 18.  I put the numbers in order, then he would pick each one up and count the objects on the back.  I helped with the bigger numbers but he did most of it on his own!

Caleb also found a set of math blocks I got on clearance at Walmart earlier this year.  He started working with them at the kitchen table immediately.  He wanted to duplicate the front of the box and did a pretty good job with it (he seemed to figure out quickly that the "stairs" he was making involved adding one block with each new "stair").

For our Bible story this week, we focused on Caleb.  I wanted him to be more familiar with the man we named him after!  We read the story of Moses sending out the twelves spies into Canaan, and discussed how brave and faithful both Caleb and Joshua were to trust that God was on their side.  Even though things looked scary, they still wanted to take the land that God had promised them.  We read the story in Caleb's storybook bible, plus watched a brief video of it where children acted the story out.  The Bible story points out that the spies brought back huge grapes from the Promised Land (so big it took two men to carry them), so we painted "grapes" by using a toilet paper tube as a stamp!

...which may or may not have inspired some further painting...

Finger-painting??  This from the kid who used to hate getting stuff on his hands?  I was so excited that I let him get as messy as he wanted.  :o)

Finally, I made a fun dessert/snack for the letter C.  Really it was just an excuse to make cookies.  Or rather, one big cookie.

It's a big granola cookie, baked in a pie pan and then cut into wedges.  It's actually really yummy, and easy to throw together.  We're not big fans of nuts in cookies, so I left the pecans out and just put in extra chocolate chips.  And some peanut butter chips too.  :o)

Our classical music for this week was Handel's "Water Music" and "Music for the Royal Fireworks."  They're both on the same CD so we just listed to them both every time.  Caleb was impressed that some of the music was written for fireworks!

Our collection of C books:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Cars by Scholastic Inc.
Corduroy by Don Freeman
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
C is for Clown by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff

Do-A-Dot Alphabet Pages (Home School Creations)
Play-Doh Letter Mats (Home School Creations)
Pattern Block Printable Templates (Jessica's Corner of Cyberspace)
Caterpillar/Fruit Count and Color Worksheet (ARTiculation360)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pre-K Pack (Blooming Brilliant)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Days of the Week Sequence Worksheet (Teachers Pay Teachers)
"Grape Painting" Idea (Just Pitching My Tent)
Joshua and Caleb Video (YouTube)
Granola Cookie Wedges Recipe (The Way To His Heart)
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