Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 3 on Butterflies

I found THIS worksheet on the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly.
We made toilet paper rolls butterflies. The toilet paper roll is the body, wrapped in construction paper. Everything is just stapled on. It was super easy!
These two books on butterflies were really good teaching tools.

We did THIS coloring page.
I have a really meticulous color-er who spends so much time on each spot that she gets frustrated and doesn't finish. But I think for a 4 year old she does an amazing job!

Butterflies Day 2

Today we talked about where butterflies come from...and how caterpillars turn into butterflies. For some reason writing out steps on a chalk board really makes sense to my kids. It worked really well for how a tree grows too. And even though they can't read, they seem to learn more if I write down the points. I also leave my chalk board on the floor so that they can see it clearly when we sit in front of it, and they can reach it to draw too.
After we learned about butterflies we decided to act it out. Here are my children being chrysalises. (In a cocoon.) They crawled around as caterpillars for while, and then made their cocoons. Then they flew around as butterflies.
Next we made butterfly pencil toppers. I just cut out a butterfly shape from construction paper, and snipped holes in it for the pencil to go through. Then I let them decorate them.

We read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" which is the best book ever! The caterpillar eats and eats until he is so full that he builds his cocoon. In the end he turns into a butterfly of course! I found THIS website with lots of "Very Hungry Caterpillar" ideas.

More books we read:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Unit 4 Butterflies Day 1

Just a reminder that we start out each day with our "circle board." It's a circle because we sit in a circle. This has been a great way to start out the day! It gets them focused, and ready to learn. And it also teaches them about the days/months/weather/holidays etc. without having to do a until on it. We also start out with a prayer, and I think that really does help. Sometimes an idea will just pop into my head, and that will be the thing they take away and talk about all week long. So I really think the prayer helps to bring the spirit of inspiration into the room.
We started out by reviewing our upper and lower case A's and B's. I felt like they were forgetting the letter A, so I thought it needed some review. I would draw the letter on the board, and then they would tell me "Big A" or "Little B." etc. And then they would get a teddy graham. (See previous post.)
We started talking about butterflies. I asked what a butterfly looked like, and as they described it to me I drew it on the board. I had to direct them a little by saying "Does a butterfly have a head?" Then I asked what they knew about butterflies, and I wrote their answers around the butterfly. (Don't laugh at my misspelling of antenna. I don't have chalk board spell check! :) )
They colored a picture of a butterfly.
Then we took a field trip to the kitchen where we made a yummy butterfly treat!
You will need: An Apple (Half an apple for each child.)
One tootsie roll for each child.

Directions: Cut the apple in half. Cut out the seeds, making a V shape.
Microwave the tootsie roll for 10 seconds on it's wrapper.
Place the tootsie roll into the V of the Apple.
Use the crackers as wings, molding them into the softened tootsie roll.
Pop them into the freezer for a few minutes to set.
The apple is actually supposed to lay on the flat side, with the Red side up. You would make a V in the red skin. But my kids didn't want to do it that way, and who am I to argue with a 4 year old about how she wants to do her craft! :) The apple is really just to hold the butterfly steady while it sets anyway.

Playing Catch Up-Finishing the "Bears" Unit

First of all I apologize for slacking off. I have been really busy lately and haven't had time to blog.

Last week we finished off the unit of Bears This post is actually two different lessons.
For Math and Counting I made these cute little cards. I sat down late one night to watch a movie, and just started cutting construction paper. I had to trace Teddy Grahams (Pictured Below) and then cut out a bunch of little bears to glue onto my cards.

This is a random side note, But there are two kind of teddy bears in those grahams. There are bears with their arms up, and bears with their arms down. (See cookies on the box below.) They won't fit quite right into each others cut outs, so I just did one, and then picked out all of the bears that I wanted to use.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don't want your child to just pick up a graham and place it on the cut out. That defeats the purpose of counting. Then it's more like shape sorting, but with only one shape. You want to make sure they are counting. So what I did was I had a pile of grahams and they had to count how many they needed from the card, and then count that many out from the pile. And of course when they were done they got to eat them!! :)

We did a craft with brads. I cut these bears out the same night that I cut out the Teddy Graham Cards. I just drew them myself, and then cut them out. Sorry that I don't have a pattern. You can find brads at Walmart in the office supply section. That way they have moving parts! :)

Below are all of the books that we read for this section on Bears.

"We're Going on a Bear Hunt" is an EXCELLENT book for children! It isn't as much about bears as these other books, but it has repetition and an engaging story. Very good book!

For one coloring project I just googled a picture of a bear. I wanted it to be a more realistic bear. Coloring and drawing are really important to prepare preschoolers for kindergarten. According to my Step Mom, who is an elementary school teacher, you would be surprised how many kids enter kindergarten and don't know how to hold a crayon. She also says you can clearly tell which kids were put in day care vs. preschool vs. staying at home with their moms or dads. Day cares usually just "watch" children, and provide little activities for learning. While preschool-ed children and children who stay at home with their moms are much more educated and ready to learn. So bravo to you all who are taking the initiative to teach your children!