Sunday, April 28, 2013

No More Milk Caps

 When I first began doing Letter of the Week I started collecting milk and soda caps. I know that it sounds ridiculous but I had seen on many educational blogs and websites that they were using the caps for many learning purposes. I thought that I could as well. With the help of family and friends I collected so many caps it was ridiculous! I used the milk caps on a couple of learning occasions, here and here but I had only alphabetized the caps with the letters that I needed to use, the rest sat in a bag shoved in the craft closet. As I was beginning to add more and more letters to the caps I was also beginning to realize how much space they were really taking up and how little space I actually had! That's when I found these Counters from Eureka at $10.99 for two hundred, I couldn't pass them up! The milk caps are a fabulous idea, especially because they are free but when you have very little room, eleven dollars is very little to spare! So, I have moved onto a new concept and I have got to say, I like this so much better than the milk caps! Thank you to everyone who helped me save them but I am honestly thinking of pitching them all! I am so sorry, I just don't have enough room to store them! I have to consolidate. 

Next week is a new letter for Letter of the Week and a new book for the Book of the Week! Can you guess, by the letters below, what Vada will be studying next week? (Here's a hint, the letters below are not the letters 'd'.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Earth Day for a Week: Part Two

Vada spotted the bean bin right away. There was no getting around it, we had to start here. Only, what I had planned wasn't exactly what she had planned and she was fine with letting me know!

I had put together a recycling themed bean bin of large, medium and small pictures.

Vada loved running her hands through the beans. 

She really made me work at keeping her attention while doing this activity but we did finish it.

However, I had to put the lid onto the container to get her to "pay attention" (that's what I said and then we did the sign together). 

It worked and we finished.

And then she got to just play.

Today I brought out Jasmine's old globe. I don't know how long we've had it but we have it and like it. Since we're talking about the Earth, I thought it would be a good time to introduce the globe to Vada even if it were only to play with.

She loved turning and spinning it!

We talked about water and land and where the fish live and where the animals live. We also talked about how God created it ALL, how He was here before everything and how amazing His creations are.

And then we found where we live and I had Vada touched the United States.

Next, we went on to some math activities. I printed these really cute number globes from Before we started our learning time this morning, I clipped mini clothes pins to each Earth with the correct number of clothespins. For Vada's lesson, because she is still unable to manipulate the cloths pins on her own, I have her remove them as I count them out loud and then she puts the pins into the class bowls.

She seems to really enjoy this activity and she does a good job at staying focused. Once we get to the larger numbers she tries to cheat, which is kind of cute! She tries to take more than one pin at a time. I always mildly scold her and tell her to only take one at a time. 

Today, when she grabbed two pins and I told her to grab one, this is the look that I got!
 Can you say "attitude"?

Our next lesson was also a math activity but I printed these from This was a whole new lesson, one that we have never attempted before and one that was a difficult concept for Vada to fully grasp. For one, she is only three years old and I have no idea if a "typical developing" three year old would be "getting" this either but I do feel confident in my choice to introduce it to her because in my mind I am just introducing numbers and counting in one more way. 

In the very beginning, something that was a major clue to me, saying that she was confused was the moment that I put the cloths pin onto the correct number, Vada wanted to take it off, just like our other lesson.  This made me realize that I needed to do something else, something more.

I decided to get our TouchMath 3D Numerals out and apply them to the lesson. 

I would first show the card to Vada and together we would count the number of objects on the card. I try to get her to let me use her pointer as much as possible, while I count out loud.

Once we have counted the objects on the card I then hand her the 3D numeral and tell her what it is "this is the number four" and then we count the dots.

After we have counted the objects on the card, named the numeral, counted the dots on the numeral, recounted the objects on the card, I then name off the three numbers at the bottom of the card and show her which is the same and tell her why and then I clip the clothes pin to the matching number.

We went through all of the cards and she didn't put up a fuss. In fact, she was really interested and I was really impressed and pretty stinkin' proud of myself for coming up with a solution that helped her better understand what we doing.

Reputition is key and so is exposure and since Vada was in a good mood and was compliant I went with it! We put everything away, the long way... I handed Vada the 3D Numerals one by one from the number zero through nine and counted them as I handed them to her. I asked her to put them into the box for me but when I handed them to her I made her reach for them so that she was looking at the numbers each time I said what they were. 

I kind of did the same thing with the card and clothes pins, only I had her remove the clothes pins and I said the number it was on as she removed the clothes pin.

I also had Vada working on her lacing today. She still hasn't formed a love or even a like for this activity but I am hoping that that day will be coming! I printed this lacing globe from too.

After we did all of our indoor activities we went on a little nature walk, in our yard and around our neighborhood. I brought my camera and Vada brought hers!

Vada spotted some weeds err... nice flowers that she wanted to take a picture of...

I showed her how some of our plants are starting to come up again and how the dead plant from last season is still there. We have a ton of yard work that needs to be done but it has been to cold!

I showed Vada her shadow. She liked checking out her new friend and later showed it to her big sister!

We made sure to check on our beans that we "planted" yesterday. 

They are already beginning to shed their skin.

I'm not a big desert kind of person. We have snacks in our house but deserts after meals just dont happen. Tonight however, we had mud with worms! I was in the mood to celebrate Earth Day and felt like torturing my children! 

Wait... not really... but kind of!

Chocolate pudding, mashed up Oreo cookies and gummy worms. 

Vada was unsure!

I practically had to force her to take a bite! Is that wrong of me? Forcing my child, a toddler, to eat desert!?

You can almost see the sugar rushing to her brain in this picture! This kid has been eating dried fruit as her snacks lately and I happen to know that I have never fed her pudding, ever. 

My thirteen year old daughter took these photos and said "Mom, you must post this photo (the one below). Like mother, like daughter."  There you go Jazzy, I have no shame!