Monday, October 16, 2017

Shadow Fun with Little Goose

We are all having such fun coming together for the activities Mother Goose Time sends us with their curriculum. Our family does receive our packages free of charge in exchange for blogging about how we use the curriculum. However, the opinions are our own and the memories will last forever!

Last week, we had a lesson about the sun. However, the focus inadvertently became shadows. The community challenge in our Mother Goose Time teacher guide as well as the Little Goose companion Tray Play activity both focused on shadows. From the 4 activities I chose that day, the children all seemed to love the shadow lessons and games the best!

Our Little Goose companion breaks down the traditional activities in the older preschool Mother Goose Time guide for younger children like Elly and Ada Grace. Little Goose is intended for infants and toddlers, so it includes activities like Tray Plays, Cuddle & Snuggle, and Wiggle & Giggle to better meet their unique developmental needs and fit their attention spans and abilities in a way that some of the preschool activities don't.

The Tray Play activity from our Sun lesson was all about shadows! Called Shadow Match, this activity helped the girls practice shapes and problem solving skills while learning about shadows and exploring nature.
Instead of using crayons & trays for this "tray" activity, we took the lesson outside and worked on the sidewalk with chalk and various leaves, acorns, and sticks the children gathered. While they had fun dashing around the yard finding treasures for our activity, I traced the shape outlines and filled them in with chalk.

After the children spent some time matching their items to my "shadows," I let them try their hand at making their own "shadow" outlines.

Then we combined Little Goose's Wiggle & Giggle (moving like the sun to music) with the Community Challenge: Shadow Stomp from the older children's teacher guide. Community Challenges are meant to bring everyone together to work cooperatively and I can definitely say that happened! Noah, my older child, really enjoyed helping the little girls find shadows to stomp. The girls followed him around the yard giggling, stomping, and watching their shadows move to the music.

It was a great day.  I'm so glad we decided to combine our lessons and take them all outside. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and I think it was a successful introduction to learning about the sun and the shadows it creates.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Kindergarten Math: Patterns

How does an writer end up with a math kid? I'm not sure yet, but I've got one. My son loves math!
This year for his math curriculum we chose Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 1 from Master Books.

At first it was too easy for him. We had huge battles over writing numbers and counting sets of pictures., but I was convinced that I had chosen the right curriculum for him. The placement test from Master Books helped me decide to start him at Level 1 (even if it was too easy at first).

These days we are in Chapter 6 and the pace is picking up. Also, as I knew he would, he appreciates the format of the book which is set up like a story book and not just a traditional textbook. This appeals to his love of stories, his need for every activity to have a purpose, and helps break up the work so he doesn't get overwhelmed.

Math Lessons for a Living Education weaves geometry through the book instead of having a separate, unconnected chapter. Our recent introductions to geometry are helping point out some gaps in his understanding of basic math and giving me the chance to address the issues before they truly become "issues."

Today, I discovered some holes in his understanding of patterns. Noah thinks patterns are great fun and he enjoys completing patterns like the ones in this printable packet, but he does need extra practice.

However, he struggles with creating his own patterns so I also included a page in the printable packet where he could experiment with creating his own patterns instead of just filling in the blanks. I've included a link to the "creating your own patterns" portion for my readers:

Click here to get cute seasonal images to use in creating your own patterns for extra practice.
A special thanks to My Cute Graphics for providing the free images used in creating the printables shared above.