Writing Progress!

I love to teach elementary writing, always have, hopefully always will. It is something I wish I spent more time on, but unfortunately I have a son who is (was-hopefully) content telling wonderfully imaginative stories, but NOT writing them clearly and neatly. I knew I had to push forward anyhow, and thanks to the free writing downloads a few weeks ago from A-Z, I found lessons that I could really use with him. It was pulling teeth at first, but then the light came on and he produced this final copy…I am SOOOO proud of him, his handwriting is usually awful, and he usually could care less. He didn’t even want to write the final copy (the rough draft was horribly sloppy by the way). I had to drag the 1st two final draft sentences out of him, but then he got into it and copied the last sentences entirely on his own, I couldn’t believe it!

He claims it is thanks to this (Pencil Grip)…He also hated this the first day I gave it to him, but now he claims it is the reason for his new improved handwriting. Who knows? I am just happy.

Tot School ~ On the Road

This is how I believe K feels about his week of Tot School ~On the Road…He has been with his wonderful grandparents(both sides) this week down in NC and we have all had a blast! Here’s some of what we’ve done, or at least what I would see as *tot school* real life learning fun!!

A little outdoor physical education with a big open field, a tennis ball, and a Baba…what a great way to learn to throw and catch!We got a hands on transportation lesson with Baba’s LOUD Harley, K kept saying “cycle on, cycle on” he loved the rumble!!!He enjoyed playing with many of their toys, especially this train that he likes to take apart and put back together…And he loved the new ABC game we got himHe got a new Water Wheel Play Table for his birthday, it was a BIG hit, I highly recommend this one, especially for the great price!He really enjoyed my parent’s pool, here he is counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 to jump in to Daddy!
And he learned the proper way to eat birthday cake at his Nemo birthday party on Saturday…
Hope you all had a great week and holiday weekend!

If you’d like to see more Tot School posts, click here. And, be sure to check out the Tot School webpage for more ideas and links. And if you have a tot at home, join in the fun and share what you’re doing with your tot! Here’s how to get started if you’re new…

What are you doing for Tot School lately? Let’s define a “tot” as an 1-3 year old. I would say anything before a formal Pre-K curriculum. You know, the stuff we do with our little ones to provide opportunities to develop their love of learning and maybe teach them a few things. If you have any ideas you’d like to share, link up your exact post to Mr Linky (if you have questions about how to do that, let me know in a comment or email). Provide a link back somewhere in your post to this post so your readers can see other ideas too!

Teacher’s Heaven…

Coming to visit in NC is wonderful for so many reasons, but here is one I know all of my readers here will truly understand… Education Express. This amazing store is not only located near my family but also recently expanded and has an enormous, beautiful store!!! And to top it all off, I must confess, I am very graciously taken care of by my momma, who offers to buy my kids educational supplies each time I come home. So, I thought I would share my recent joy… Here’s what I got for P and K, and a little more about each…

I also got some colored Popsicle sticks for P to craft with and K to sort and play with. Our supply was running low at home! :) And, I picked up a new Bible (Guess What? Story Bible) for P to read each night, we finished his old one. We both love this new Bible, it’s really cool!

We are down in NC until Monday, who knows maybe we’ll make another trip later in the week. K’s birthday party is on Saturday too, I already know what my in-laws and my parents got for him and I am so excited, they are always so great about getting him what we suggest. We are SO blessed with grandparents who lavish love and support on us. I will share about that after Saturday!

Tot School

We began our week with these great blocks. They are foam, so perfect for little people who tend to toss things sometimes!K is obsessed with scissors, he calls them “cut it.” Here’s his attempt at using them, we have a long way to go… We quickly moved onto coloring, which he thoroughly enjoyed this day. He kept asking me to write certain letters, and even wanted me to hold his hand and make the letters with him. He is currently really into the letter W, and also K and B–as you can see…Then we drew shapes, he likes circles the best…He enjoyed playing with our toy food boxes, and then turned the whole experience into a music session.We are still reading the book, Tumble Bumble which he is really enjoying the more we read it. Here he is re-reading it himself, yawning as the characters are on the page… He loves this great Melissa and Doug Latches Board. He got this for his birthday last week.
And, another one of his bday gifts, Melissa and Doug Shapes – Chunky Puzzle I was amazed as he put them all in himself on the first try and identified circle, square, star, and triangle!!
K has just recently started really enjoying this, Leap Frog – My First Leap Pad Learning System He thought this activity was really cool, since he got to stand up high to do it! He “wrote” several letters on this day.
Here’s P showing him what the letters really look like… And, who needs fancy counting materials when you get tons of free deodorant from CVS (if that makes no sense to you, you’ll have to visit this blog which I frequent–I am an avid CVS shopper). On this day K wandered up to these and began counting them, over and over again!!
He LOVED this and thought it was so funny, we loved it to, as it was the first time he successfully counted 1-5 without missing any numbers! He can go to 10, but misses a few :).The boys enjoyed playing outside one day with our Parachute…a great time to explore positional words (over, under, on, in)And they were hilarious working out to our Kick to Get Fit Jr. – For Kids dvd, here I believe they were doing push ups!And to finish off our week, K got to bottle feed a baby kitten. My great friend babysat the boys on Friday and she is fostering a group of abandoned kittens. My boys got to go with her to her house to see the kittens, needless to say, they loved it!If you’d like to see more Tot School posts, click here. And, be sure to check out the Tot School webpage for more ideas and links. And if you have a tot at home, join in the fun and share what you’re doing with your tot! Here’s how to get started if you’re new…

What are you doing for Tot School lately? Let’s define a “tot” as an 1-3 year old. I would say anything before a formal Pre-K curriculum. You know, the stuff we do with our little ones to provide opportunities to develop their love of learning and maybe teach them a few things. If you have any ideas you’d like to share, link up your exact post to Mr Linky (if you have questions about how to do that, let me know in a comment or email). Provide a link back somewhere in your post to this post so your readers can see other ideas too!

Alphabet Notebook ~ Tot School

Here are some photos of the ABC notebook we are making for Tot School.

We began with the letter Bb, because K had a great interest in B and was already naming it, it was a natural place to start. I made several pages in Microsoft Publisher (you could use any image program) like this for both my 6yr old and my 2 yr old. They are making the notebook as a joint project, but the purpose is for K. K colors on the page and I will say, “K– color the beetle” and he will scribble on the beetle. P gets a word list form me and then writes the words for all of the items on the page.

I also include an intro page, which is pictured on the right for the letter Kk below, of just random K’s that were in Microsoft’s clip art. I am sure you can get them from their clip art website, as well as their graphics. On the left is a page with the letter in different fonts. I don’t use this page with K much yet but P likes it a lot and as K progresses it will be neat to show him different forms of the letters.

Here’s a photo of our recent Kk pages, K’s on the left and P’s on the right.

And here you can see K pointing to his friend Kingsley, who is pictured on his K sheet! We have tons of fun putting people’s photos (and pets) on the sheets and naming them as well as the items.

I believe in teaching the alphabet naturally. I am not really a letter of the week type of person, although I know it works well for some. Our alphabet teaching is built into our playing and everyday life. Our ABC notebook is just a journal of this basically. That’s why we didn’t start with A, K doesn’t much care for A yet!! :) We moved on to K since it starts his name. He really likes W too so we will do that soon.

Another thing we do in way of teaching letters is use the Leap Frog – Letter Factory dvd. These dvds teach sounds the correct way! I have never seen anything better that teaches letters and sounds to children than these dvds. I am not a big plunk your kid in front of the tv mom either, so we use these dvds as just a minor extension of our teaching. Both of the boys love the entire series of these, and it reinforces skills for P every time he watches with K. If you don’t own these and have any kids 5 or under, get them!!!!

Above all, teaching the alphabet should be fun, just like everything else in the tot school stage. If we are working on the notebook and K suddenly thinks it’s not fun any longer…we stop. Same with the dvds, or books, or any teaching methods. If it’s not fun, it won’t work at this stage!