Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter and a Mouse

The talk of Easter has been a big topic of discussion in our house over these last couple of weeks and Vada has been seen carrying the below board book with her throughout the house as well and on numerous occasions. 

The book, The Story of Easter by Patricia Pingry, has also been one that I have been reading several times a day, every day for the last two weeks! I didn't plan on reading it so much. I brought it out because of Easter being so close and left it close to the rocking chair, where we read before her naps and bedtime every day and she ended up asking for it over and over again! I like Pringrys board books and have a couple of them that I bring out for the holidays, so I am fine rereading this one, especially for the message that it shares about Jesus' love and His ultimate sacrifice for us. 

Since learning about FIAR and BFIAR which I mentioned a little here, I started putting together curriculum ideas around If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff and then last night as I was searching through Confessions of a Homeschooler (COAH is one of my favorite homeschooling resource blogs), I found all kinds of free printable's that were for Easter and I thought that it would be perfect to add her printable learning games to Pringys' Easter book, since Easter is now only days away. So I printed out what I liked, laminated for extra protection and set everything out for class time this morning...

Vada and I began our morning by reading this story once again and then talked about the number of crosses in the book. Afterward we looked through the book for the crosses, we did a color matching game that I downloaded for free from COAH. On her blog she suggests printing one sheet and cutting the crosses into halves and matching those pieces together. I decided to print instead and matching them together. I laminated one full sheet and then cut cards out of the second sheet and laminated those separately, using those as our matching cards. 

Vada doesn't seem to know her colors yet. I say "seem" because again there is that language barrier that I have mentioned so many times before. Because she is so quiet, I do most of the talking and I just assume that she is taking it in because she seems to be watching and following along. Color matching games is a good one for us to have many different versions of, in my opinion. I think the more ways she can see a color, the better. Today I did notice that she did her version of the sign for "blue" before I spoke the word. That was exciting, once I figured out what she was doing!

To stay in the "theme" of the book we did a craft that I again printed from COAH. I really liked Erica's (author of COAH) suggestion of what to do with this printable, she uses power magnets and puts the correct colors of magnets into the white circles on the picture. Since I do not have power magnets (yet), I made a craft out of this printable and Vada and I glued pom poms onto it instead.

In the spirit of Easter, I printed out the Easter counting Eggs from COAH and used baby shower clothes pins that I had left over from a fine motor project and clipped the amount of clips to the correct numbered egg cards. I always counted out loud as I put the clips on the cards (because this is a task that Vada has yet to learn how to do) and counted out loud as Vada removed them. This was very interesting to Vada and held her attention for a very long time! 

Next we learned a Bible verse. This was another sheet that I printed out from COAH. I laminated the sheet and then cut the paper into squares, mixed them up and then put them back into order. Once they were back in numerical order I read the verse out loud a couple of times...

But the angel answered and said to the women,"Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here for He is risen,as He said." Matthew 28:5-6

 and then I read from Pingrys Easter book where she has the angel telling Jesus' friends that He has risen, so that Vada can see what the two have in common.

After Vada and I learned about the true meaning of Easter we moved onto If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by: Laura Numeroff. 

Somewhere along the way of having three girls we have picked up the actual plush mouse from the book. It was from one of my older girls but im not for sure which one! What I do know is that Vada has taken a liking to him and it was awesome to have him for this lesson!

After giving Mouse kisses and hugs we read his story.

The Mouse Treasury is a really neat book to have, if you don't already have the actual "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" book, I would recommend getting the Treasury instead. Aside from getting four books in one you also get a CD with fun musical songs on it, and recipes in the book, that go along with each story, which helps when you like to build curriculum out of the stories that you read with your children!

After finishing the story we put the CD that came with the book into the CD player and danced to The Mouse Cookie by: Sarah Weeks.

Vada even got down and boogied with just Mouse himself!

For Math we did cookie counting. I got out the cookie sheet that we usually put the play-doh on, just to be more realistic.

I used Vada's pointer finger to point at the "chocolate chips" while I counted them out loud and then I flipped the cookie over to show the matching numeral.

After showing Vada both sides of the cookie I would hand her the cookie jar and ask her to put that specific cookie into the jar and then to put the lid back on and then we would repeat the whole process all over again -with her picking out a new cookie to count on. We did that until all the cookies had been counted.

We also spent a little time playing with Play-Doh. I made some letters and she just squished away. It was getting really close to lunch time so our morning was pretty much done and over with but we had a little time to talk about the colors and the three letters that I had made.

Afterward we came upstairs for a quick snack. Jasmine (my oldest) and I had made sugar cookies last night just for today's lesson and to help with tomorrows lesson...

Justin sat down for some snack too!

Then we all put on our jackets and headed out for a mini family "field trip". 

Someone recently sent me an email asking about a possible yearly curriculum that I may be using and I said that right now I have more of a yearly goal plan set for Vada. Being able to go up and down stairs on her own, by the age of four is one of the goals that I have set for her. (She can totally crawl up stairs all on her own but I want her walking up them.)  Here are some pictures of Justin helping Vada go down our back stairs...

We made sure that Vada brought Mouse along with us for this particular trip...

Our "field trip" ended up being to a near by pet store. I wanted to show Vada a live mouse. The only problem was when we got there, the store only had one cage of mice and those mice were all sleeping inside a plastic cave! So we ended up checking out the rats instead. 

I wish that she could have talked, just to tell me what she was thinking at this very moment because she seemed so intrigued! 

We talked about the rats and what they were doing, eating and how they were all different colored.

And then we moved on to look at the rabbits. The pet store is full of them this time of year! I personally love rabbits and have had two of them as pets in my lifetime! My girls have a special place in their hearts for rabbits as well but we wont be a pet family again (another story for another time).

Vada did a good job at her "nice touches" when handling the rabbit. Once, however, she was quicker than Justin and grabbed under it's belly and almost had it out of Jasmine's hands!

Our last stop before heading home was to say good bye to the birds. This store will be seeing a lot of us. We also come here to buy our plants for gardening and were here last week looking into buying a tadpole for a life cycle home project. Next week I am planning on reading The Rainbow Fish by: Marcus Pfister, so we will come back again to look at their fish! The weather is warming up too! So maybe we will be able to take a trip to the Zoo as well..?

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