Monday, September 9, 2013

Our Flag

Today we read about our National Anthem from our Patricia Pringy board book collection and this Little Golden Book called 'Our Flag'.  


I'm not for sure what other homeschool classrooms look like. I know that they vary in appearances but I am referring to their actual schedules and structures. I often wonder what is important to other American homeschooler's and what is not. I often wonder if I am too structured but then I look at my child's success and I figure that what I am doing with her is working, so I stick with it. I want the Pledge of Allegiance to be something that Vada recognizes, something that she knows and eventually something that she will be able to recite each morning when we start our school day. Vada is a quiet girl when it comes to verbal words but she is getting more and more as time passes. As we are saying the Pledge of Allegiance each morning she knows to put her right hand over her heart and to look at the flag. It's pretty neat to see and for me it's hard to keep my eyes on the flag and not on her preciousness while reciting the actual Pledge but we get through it.

After reading the books on our flag I got our a coloring page that I "googled" through images and let Vada color her own flag. 


I helped a little but only to show where the red went and where the blue went. We also had a small flag to look at and use as a reference as well.


After Vada felt that she had colored enough I brought out the loop scissors and together, hand over hand, we cut the flag out.


That whole 'how to hold the scissors correctly' concept is still a work on progress.


Since the colors of the American Flag are red, white and blue, I thought that we should take the opportunity to focus on those colors some more. I brought out our BIG color books from Lakeshore Learning.







We moved onto some fine motor/sensory play with the blue homemade GAK that we made for when we rowed Blueberries for Sal. I took Vada's thumb splints off for this activity and if you pay close attention you can see where her thumbs go inward. I say this because I have had numerous questions about her thumb splints recently, which I love because I love to help. This is a great example of why she is wearing the splints...

This is an okay hold. 

This 'point' of Vada's if okay but her goal is to get all of those fingers tucked while she is pointing.

Here is a great photo of a "bad grasp". Look at her thumb and pointer. Her thumb is bent inward and is not holding the jewel in a pincer grasp. I probably should have just left the splints on for this activity, it wouldn't have hurt them.



Here is another "bad grasp" her thumb is tucked in.


Vada's thumb is automatically going inward.

If you can't tell here, this was a great grasp. When Vada turned her hand around she held the jewel in a full pincer grasp.


If you have noticed Vada's thumb splints and now think that maybe your child may benefit from them as well here is the information... They are McKie Splints and their site is www.mckiesplints.com. I have been told that to obtain these splints you will need to have a therapist order them for you.

I like to expose Vada to as many different textures as possible. This GAK is a fun and "nasty" feeling sensory substance that is great for play and is easy to clean up.


Prewriting practicing has been so successful and Vada is all for doing it, so I have really been pushing it. For this time around, while working together, Vada and I used a red dry erase marker. Vada used a blue dry erase marker when practicing on her own. We used papers that I downloaded from www.overthebigmoon.com and then of course laminated.

Look at her zig zags!

Look how she connects the boy at the top to the owl at the bottom!
Next we worked on noticing differences. I should have started with easiest first but I didn't. I actually started with sheets that were far more difficult than the second group. 


I stared the pictures that Vada pointed to before I pointed out the differences. 

Here Vada is actually pointing to the correct different picture in the grouping.

On this sheet she got two correct!
Our next worksheets came from 3Dinosaurs.com and was easier than the first sheets, however Vada was pretty much done with this activity so she didn't put as much effort into these pages as she did in the beginning.




Even though Vada didn't put much effort into these pages, she did get a lot of the differences correct!
To go along with what doesn't belong we did some worksheet on matching. Here I asked "where are the same pictures".


We answered the matches together using the dry erase marker in Vada's hand and my hand over her's.


Were still working on the letter 'C'. I'd really like to hear that "Cuh" sound again but it's a hard one and it seems as if Vada has forgotten it for now, so tomorrow will be out last day and then we will move on the letter 'D'.

We also worked on one more cutting exercise. 


 Like I already said, Vada is really working hard on getting the whole cutting concept. I always give her the scissors to handle for a minute to look at and to check out and then we cut together. If I were thinking today, I would have given her a typical pair of children's scissors verses the loop scissors to check out, but I too am a work in progress.




Today while working on refreshing our letter 'C' from the Letter of the Week curriculum, we worked on these fun Sesame Street alphabet flash cards. Vada loves Sesame Street!




We went through the whole deck and the whole alphabet, but stopped to really focus on the letter 'C' and the cookie.


Since we were already using something from Sesame Street, I thought that I would continue to work on the alphabet by using this cool Elmo toy. Vada received him as a gift during her second birthday and loved playing with him today. We spent a good half an hour going through the search / game mode today.


It was great for her listening skills too because she had to stop and listen as Elmo talked and asked for what he wanted her to find. I would then repeat what Elmo said, say that specific letter and then say the sound that that letter made and then I would find the block for Vada and she would put into Elmo's lap. On the next try she would have to remove that last block, listen to Elmo and then we would repeat all of the actions again.





I told you, Vada loves Sesame Street. More importantly, she favors Elmo and Cookie Monster, so when I find items that I can used for learning with these characters I get them. A few months ago I was shopping in Old Navy and I saw this Elmo bank and immediately thought 'fine motor'. Today, we used the bank for counting coins and as a fine motor activity. I know what your probably thinking, months ago? Well, We have used it before now but today I am sharing it with you because it goes right along with our other activities and coin or coins start with the letter 'C' and we are still working on that letter!





Notice the good pincer grasp?
Typically, I focus on the main topics of our day and I don't go over our daily routine with every post because that would just be redundant. We do have a routine in the morning that we follow as well as one at the end of our day. It's funny how when our days slip away and I don't pay attention to the time I sometimes try to skip out on our end of the day routine. I feel guilty for thinking of doing it let alone admitting to thinking about it but Little Miss, never lets me anyway. She loves her routine and holds me to it!

First I use the pointer and sing the alphabet song while pointing to each letter of the alphabet while I sing it and then once I finish the song I start over and she uses the pointer.


This is also good practice for taking turns.


The final step in our end of the day routine is to read Kids Like Me Learn The ABC's. It's a board book and each page has a photo of a child who has Down syndrome. It's important to me that Vada has some things that are associated with Down syndrome. As she grows I want to be able to tell her that the children have Down syndrome just like she does. We don't plan to make a big deal out of one of her diagnosis' but we also don't plan to keep it a secret from her either. She really likes this book.


Pages 'K' and 'L' are Vada's favorites! She loves the baby holding the keys and every time we get to this point in the book Vada grabs the book from me and brings the book to her face and kisses both the girls. She loves them.


Another part of our routine is in the morning, we go over the weather and the season that we are currently in.


We go over the month we are in and all of the months of the year as well as the days of the week. We sing a song for the days of the week that sounds like the theme song from The Addam's Family. We talk about what day it is today, what day it was yesterday and what day it will be tomorrow and then we update our 'Days in Schools' and kind of talk about the addition factor that goes with that chart. We say the Pledge of Allegiance and then finally we go over our Bible verse or we read a story from the Bible and then we begin our day.


Once we have finished reading our alphabet book at the end of the day, Vada goes over to where she has hung up her book bag and grabs it. With help, she puts the bag onto her back and then we walk up the stairs together and go back into her room only to hang the book bag up in it's proper place once again.



1 comment:

April Vernon said...

I love your blog! Great ideas! You are doing an awesome job!