Graffiti

A precious First Grade Teacher that was a co-worker of mine used to have bulletin board paper taped to her desk and it was a writing center that she called her “Graffiti Space” for her student’s personal artistic signatures.

The idea stuck with me….especially as a mommy of a little one who thinks that every wall should be his personal masterpiece.   I have really drilled it in Sean Patrick’s head that we only write on paper because of all the times I have found his hidden messages on the walls, his body, my couch, the tables, etc.

Tonight, I encouraged him to do just that… to write on paper, but on a LARGE area that I designated as his Graffiti Space for the night.



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It was as simple as this…



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He helped me tape the paper to the windowsill and the baseboards…. this was a great spot for him because it is in his playroom and mr. clean magic erasers agree with my windowsills and baseboards 🙂

I laid out crayons, markers, and colored pencils and let him pick and choose whatever writing tools he wanted to explore with.

We had so much fun!  He would scribble different images and tell me what it was afterwards.

We made rainbows, a special message for daddy, the sun, people, and a lot of other free-writing squiggles just to talk about different ways to form lines (up, down, back and forth, around and around, side to side, etc).  

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This kind of activity makes writing fun for Sean Patrick, and that is honestly my main learning goal for him.   I just want him to know how fun writing can be!

Gotta love his fashion sense…

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We left if up on the wall so that he could continue to “fill the space” and add any new ideas when he was ready.

 

Food Fun

Hi!  I’m Casey from Kidspired Creations!  I have been a guest blogger a few times on The Mommy Teacher am very excited to now be co-blogging with Jessica!  I am a former Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten teacher and am currently a stay-at-home Mom of 3 little ones ages 5, 3 and 10 months.

I have to admit that despite my best attempts, not all of my Mommy Teacher moments get the best reception from my kids.  I think if I say, “Let’s make a pattern!” one more time, my 3-year-old might throw a toddler tornado-sized tantrum.



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Yes, my kids can get burnt out on lessons from this Mommy Teacher; however, I know how to win them over every time:  food, particularly pizza.

I recently saw a recipe on Pinterest that involved cutting zucchini in half long ways, carving out the insides and filling them with various deliciousness.  I decided that these “zucchini boats” would make great pizza crusts!   This idea perked interest with my kids so quickly that I couldn’t prep fast enough.

Zucchini Boat Pizzas

-Ingredients:  zucchini, pepperoni, mozzarella, pizza sauce

-Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut zucchini long ways and spoon out a trench on the inside.  Spread a few spoonfuls of pizza sauce inside.  Fill with mozzarella cheese.  Top with pepperonis.  Place on the oven for 15-20 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

Easy peasy… and so delicious that even my super-picky 3-year-old was digging into the “green crust.”

Here are the different skills we covered while making our pizzas:

Math

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– Sequencing: “What is the first step to making our pizza?  What comes next?”

– Measuring:  “How long is our zucchini?  Let’s measure in pepperonis.”

– Adding:  “Our pizza needs 3 pepperonis.  There are 2 pepperonis on the pizza now.  How many more do we need to add to make 3?”

-Counting:  “How many pepperonis are on your pizza?”  How many pepperonis are there all together?”

-Multiplying:  (for the school-aged child)  “If we have 3 pepperonis on 10 pizzas, how many pepperonis are there all together?”

-Time:  “Our pizzas need to cook for 20 minutes.  Let’s set the timer.”

Motor Skill Development

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-Pouring and spreading the sauce with a spoon

-Sprinkling the cheese using our fingers

-Using the pincer grasp to separate the pepperonis

Language Skills

-Sequencing Vocabulary:  first, second, next, then, last, before, after etc.

Health and Nutrition:  Learning about making healthy choices by substituting with fresh vegetables and what food groups are being included in dinner

Following Directions and Recipes:  Following step-by-step or a series of directions is different than following one direction at a time.  “So, I put the pepperonis on first right???  No?  Well, what do the directions tell me to do?”  You can take this a step further than I did by drawing or writing out the recipe for your child to have a visual to follow.

Social Behaviors:  being a happy helper in the house!  It is important for kids to take ownership over household tasks and doing it with a happy heart!

* * *

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My kids do not like to try new things, but since they made the dish themselves they were eager to dig right in!  More surprisingly was my 3-year-old who didn’t shed any tears before his taste test!  That’s quite an accomplishment at our dinner table!  Everyone was happy… even the baby who got pureed zucchini that was scooped out of the middle of our boats.  Bonus!

 

 

Plate ART

I threw out the uppercase  A-R-T  in the title of this post because even though my friend and I had a blast decorating plates with our kids, the following images do  NOT show plates that you can eat from or really even wash.  They will be on a plate stand in the kitchen most likely 😉



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My friend Allie and I are both 24 weeks pregnant, we both have a two year and a half year old, and we both have a one year old (this was not planned by the way).  So, we have had a sleepover this weekend to let our crazy worlds come together for a few days.  It has been so sweet, and funny, and crazy of course.  We decided it would be fun to let the little ones do an art activity together.

We found some pefect small, white melamine plates at Target and purchased some colorful sharpies, we headed back home to let our little ones decorate away. (PS – we learned the hard way that the bamboo melamine plates we found at Big Lots were a NO GO!  Just trust me on this one.)

My friend Allie can write really cutesie and I can NOT write cutesie at all so she personalized all of the plates for us.  Thanks Allie ! 🙂



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We threw aprons on the little ones and let them color on their plates….



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Then, we threw aprons on the one year olds and let them color on their plates (without their names on them), and we found out that this actually worked better to write the name AFTER coloring.



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This next low-quality shot is just showing that I traced my little ones’ hands on the back and wrote the date.



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I had originally intended to make dinner plates, but it didn’t quite workout that way.  And after researching melamine and the process of making dinner plates, I was even more happy with the final product as a keepsake.  We wanted a fast and funky activity to do so this was perfect for the weekend.   But I found this if this is your kind of thing….. http://www.ehow.com/how_6913770_paint-melamine-dinner-plates.html  –  I’m sure I’ll make this happen in the future too 😉

Once again…here are my two kiddos plates…..up close and personal:



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I am happy with the way they turned out!

A Mommy Teacher Shares a QUICK AND EASY ABC lesson



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I LOVE LOVE LOVE when a mommy teacher shares something with me that they are doing with their little one at home.  If every follower shared one picture, writing sample, or video we would have the largest idea bank EVER for moms to browse…. or we could add them to the large idea bank that exists aka pinterest haha.

My co-worker was showing me this video of her child in passing and I asked her to send it to me for lots of reasons:

1) I love quick and easy mini-lessons that can be done at home.

2) I love teaching tools like this wand and others:

3) I love that she is only introducing a few letters at a time.

4) I love that this is so hands-on.

5) I love that it is active-child friendly 😉

Share your quick and easy ideas too please here, via email, or facebook!!!!

Adding Can Be Sneaky

Hmmm…. I have a child napping and one at a birthday party that my husband brought him to.  Adding those little nuggets together equaled getting my fingers to the keyboard and writing a long overdue post.  You know me, I am SIMPLE.  An idea can go a long way.

One idea you can take today and run with it (in your own way) is introducing the concept of addition if you havent already.  You can start with language as simple as “You plus mommy equals happy together”  OR  “One cookie and one more is two for YOU!”

Addition sounds scary, but it is so important when kids start realizing that two groups of numbers can be put together to make one new number.  And there are so many fun ways to practice…. drawings, crafts, and it gets really fun when you incorporate food 🙂

I usually start out by introducing the language for a while, like I mentioned earlier  (examples are:  and, is, more, plus, equals, together).

I cant help of think of that cheesy song “You (plus sign) Me (equal sign) us” that I’m pretty sure was one big joke and I actually cant believe I am bringing it up in this post…. don’t judge hah  😉

Then I simply incorporate all of this into every day learning opportunities like….

“Daddy has a fishing pole AND Sean Patrick has a fishing pole.  How many fishing poles do we have all together?”

 If he doesn’t know then I would say “Let’s count!”  and then, “So, one and one is TWO.”

After there is familiarity with the language, I bring it to a more concrete level by adding our snack time foods together or adding two groups of blocks to one tower.

Finally,  we might draw pictures to represent adding, and then introduce word sentence in writing (one and one is two) and then the symbols (+,= ).

Your turn mommy teachers…. how do you use addition in your every day home environments…. send pictures for me to share and post ideas for other moms to see!  jessica (at) themommyteacher (dot) com.



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