May 2011 archive

Rhyming Riddles

Today’s skill is a continuation of all your little one has learned about rhyming from past posts, but the skill also works with manipulating the beginning sound in the rhyming words.  So this is a great rhyming activity for your little ones who are ready for a challenge.

You are going to explain to your little one that you are going to give them rhyming riddles to solve.  Tell him/her that you are going to ask them that rhymes with a word that starts with a certain sound.  For example:

Mommy Teacher:  Is there a word that rhymes with punch but starts with /b/?  *Dont forget that when you see letters with // you make the letter SOUND.

Make sure to give your little one 3-5 seconds of wait time.  Repeat one more time.  Then prompt them with the answer (bunch)

1. Think of a word that rhymes with silly but starts with /ch/. (chilly)

2. Think of a word that rhymes with ton but starts with /r/. (run)

3. Think of a word that rhymes with bunny but starts with /f/. (funny)

4. Think of a word that rhymes with way but starts with /d/. (day)

5. Think of a word that rhymes with ball but starts with /t/. (tall)

6.  Think of a word that rhymes with fake but starts with /l/. (lake)

Come up with more riddles on your own specific to the skills you are currently working on with your little one!

After rhyming with the words funny and bunny I couldn’t help but use this picture of my sister from 1987/88.  I mean, she’s eating a carrot! And it was NOT Halloween or Easter either.

Acting Out Story Problems

My kindergarteners used to love to act out story problems, but I always had trouble coming up with new problems on the spot.  So, I came up with some today so that you could use them without having a creativity block.  This skill is the first of 3 steps when it comes to learning addition, subtraction, etc.  Children learn strategies for solving problems in an age-appropriate way when they have the opportunity to practice in ways that they understand.  The following is a sequential process of teaching children how to practice solving math problems:

1 a) Acting out story problems using their bodies.

1 b) Using objects to represent the problems.

2) Using pictures to solve the problems.

3) Solving problems with a pencil and paper.

Today,  you are going to have your little one use dolls, action figures, toys, puppets, etc. to act out the following story problems.  You can even let them use their snack – goldfish, grapes, etc.

– Three brown horses were resting in their barn stable.  Two black horses were saddled and ready to ride.  How many horses are in the barn all together? (addition)

— Four girls were swinging together and two boys wanted to swing to. How many children will swing all together? (addition)

– Two friends were jumping on the trampoline when two more friends joined them to jump.  How many friends are jumping together? (addition)

-Five teddy bears were snuggled up in your bed, Mommy took away two and put them back on the shelf to make room for you.  How many bears will you sleep with tonight? (subtraction)

-I counted six goldfish on my plate, but then I took two away and put them in my mouth to eat.  How many goldfish are left on my plate? (subtraction)

-Five puppies were in the pet store waiting to for someone to take them home.  A family came in and bought one puppy.  How many puppies still need a home? (subtraction)

This is an oldschool picture of me, my cousin Claire, and my sister, playing with toys in bed back in 1988….any time can be learning time.

Alphabet Hunt

My niece Kaylee and I went on a “date” to my sister’s beauty salon on Friday.  It was “the best date ever” in our words because we went to IHOP, the salon, and my sister’s boyfriend’s Extreme Nutrition afterwards so we had a full day.  Kaylee is five, and she enjoys talking in the car to make the car ride seem shorter so we did do  a lot of that.  But on the way home (a 45 minute ride back) we decided to play the ABC game where you have to find every letter of the alphabet on signs, billboards, license plates, etc. in ABC order.  If I noticed a letter I would describe where I saw it “Look at the second word on that billboard” or “It is at the end of the word on the restaurant sign.”  And each time we would find a letter, I would ask her to figure out what letter we were looking for next.  If she started from the beginning of the alphabet each time I encouraged her to try to start from a later letter in the alphabet to sing the song from there.

We ended up finding every letter, and we found “z” just one street away from my parent’s house so she was beyond excited that we had accomplished our goal.  When we got home we shared our experience with the others and tried to remember where we found certain letters on what signs.  I then noticed that this game did not have to be reserved for long car rides alone….A lot of cereal boxes have every letter of the alphabet on them somewhere.  Even the harder letters to find are on there: “Z” for zinc, “Q” for quality, “X” at the end of the word box.  So spend a morning with a permanent marker and a cereal box and see if you can help your little one find and underline every letter of the alphabet on a cereal box.  There are so many learning experiences to create from scratch if only you are looking for them 🙂








This picture was taken before we headed out, and before she wiped off the marker chaos her two year old sister designed on her leg haha.

Guest Post Featured on Radical Parenting

How many of us (over the years) have heard, observed, or used the common trend of parents telling their kids to do something “because I said so?”  While this reasoning might give a sense of power to the authority figure in place, it does not empower kids to put forth their best effort in anything they do.  And I want to explain how you replace “because I said so” with more individualized incentives.

Read the rest HERE to learn more about these incentives.

Thanks radicalparenting.com for sharing 🙂

Drawing and Writing Printable

I got to be with my nieces for a little while yesterday, and my sweet niece Kaylee, at 5 years old asked me “Aunt Jessie, can you do some Kindergarten things with me?”  We were literally walking out the door when she asked me this and I thought, how can I say no to that? But knowing I would see her again today I said “I will bring something for us to do tomorrow when I come, okay?” She smiled and took the promise to heart.  So, the first thing I did when I got up this morning was to brainstorm some things I might bring to her.

One thing that I decided to bring was a homemade drawing and writing template because she is now at the stage where she wants to know how to spell everything.  Some children are at the point where they are only writing one word to label a picture they have drawn so I made one template with only one line under the space for the drawing.  However, some children are ready to write out one or two sentences describing their picture.  So I made a template with two lines for one sentence and three lines for another.

Writing Template with space for a few words

Writing Template with space for one sentence

Writing Template with space for two sentences

I plan to ask Kaylee to draw a picture for me and then
explain to her that the space at the bottom of the page is for her to write
about the picture.  Then, I am going to ask her to sound out the words and allow her to use inventive spelling.  Inventive spelling is when children simply write all the sounds they hear in the word.  But if they want to know how is actually spelled then I will show them the way that the word “looks in a book.”

But no matter how you use this template….as always, make it
FUN!









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