We are Thankful for…

Last week, I had the extreme privilege of subbing for my son’s 1st grade classroom for the afternoon.  This Mommy Teacher really misses the classroom so I was really excited to jump back in… if only for a little over 3 hours.

Well, it just so happened, that I had planned a Thanksgiving craft with my kids that evening, so I decided to bring some supplies and do it with James’ class, too… after all, this was one of my favorite activities to do in my own classroom each November…

I spoke to the kids about the month of November and it being a time to give thanks.  I explained what thankfulness is and gave some reasons about why I was thankful.  I then had each of the students say one thing that they were thankful for… guiding those who couldn’t think of something new.  My favorite?  “I am thankful for opportunities to be helpful,” referencing the different tasks the classroom helpers rotate each week. (And, of course, James being thankful for his mom ranks pretty high, too!)



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I cut feathers out of construction paper and gave 3 to each student.  The students had to come up with 3 things they were thankful for and write each on one of their feathers.   At the end of our activity, we glued the feathers down and had a beautiful turkey!  It gave James a great picture of what our own finished turkey would look like after 28 days…

That’s right, we are taking the whole month to make our turkey… two feathers at a time (one for each of my boys).



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Day 1:  James (6) is thankful for his little sister, and Leyson (4) is thankful for, well, Leyson!  Since we are a few days into November, use your first day you do this activity to play catch up to get the kids used to talking about things they are thankful for.

One thing I am thankful for?  All of our wonderful mommy teachers out there!  Thank you for stopping by The Mommy Teacher!  Please share your Thanksgiving crafts with us on Facebook!

UPDATE:  This is Jessica (The not-artsy Mommy Teacher) wanting to share the printable I made tonight so that I could do this tomorrow.  This is for the UN-artistic people who want to do this 😉 – (cough cough) namely for me and my kids !



Turkey Template



 

Click here: Turkey Template Printable to get the simple turkey template for this activity  OR click on the image above! 😉

 

Summer Break Part 2: A Theme a Week

Yesterday I posted about SUMMER SCHOOL and how we will be bridging the summer gap between Kindergarten and 1st grade for my older son, with my 3-year old tagging along in our school adventures, too.  However, yesterday’s post was mainly about desk work which will only be taking up no more than 20 minutes per day.

Each week we will have a different THEME which will allow us to EXPLORE in depth different things that kids already ask a bazillion questions about.  The days will be filled with discussions, field trips, science experiments and art projects that go along with that week’s theme.  Will you join us on our journey to have the best summer ever???

1st month of summer





the mommy teacher



Below I have posted activity ideas for weeks 1-3!  Enjoy and help me brainstorm more ideas and comment below!

ABCteach.com

WEEK 1: SEASONS  (May 27-31)

Here are a few ways that we will be exploring seasons:

Music:  Four Seasons by Harry Kindergarten

And Dr. Jean’s song Macarena Months.  If you remember the Macarena, you can do those motions along with this song.  Who doesn’t love Dr. Jean and the Macarena?  Double bonus!

Art:  4 Seasons Art Project:  We will be gathering lots of random items around the house to design landscapes for each season (ex.  cotton balls for snow, green leaves outside for summer, Popsicle sticks for trees, etc.)

Math and Gross Motor Skills:  Sorting Clothes and dressing for each season!  We haven’t put away all of the winter wardrobe yet, so we will sort through clothes and create outfits for winter, spring, summer and fall.

Writing:  “What is your favorite season?”

Vocabulary:  Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall/Autumn, temperature, months of the year

Science/Math:  reading a thermometer, exploring the tilt of the Earth and how it affects the seasons

Math:  Calendar – taking a look at the summer months and seeing what we have planned

Reading:  We will be heading to our library each week to choose books to accompany our themes.  This is where it’s great to get to know your local librarian because he or she can help you find the books you need – maybe even before you get there!

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ABCteach.com

WEEK 2:  WEATHER (June 3-7)

Music:  Weather Song For Kids: “The Sun Comes Up!”  from Dream English Kids

“Weather Song” from Have Fun Teaching!  This one is very informative and catchy!

Science and Math:  charting the week’s weather by observation, predicting what the weather will be later in the day and tomorrow

Art:  painting different weather scenes

Gross Motor Skills and Science:  playing in the sprinkler (rain) and making rainbows

Vocabulary:  temperature, precipitation, weather, sunny, cloudy, windy, rainy, storm, types of clouds, meteorology, meteorologist

Science:  making water tornadoes with 2 -liter bottles.  Fill one 2-liter 3/4 of the way and duct tape the two openings to the bottles (leave the caps off) together, turn your bottles upside down and gently move the bottles in a circular pattern to make a water spout inside.

Computer:  Interactive Weather for Kids:  http://www.theweatherchannelkids.com/

Weather Wiz Kids:  http://www.weatherwizkids.com/

ABCteach:  Weather:  http://www.abcteach.com/directory/subjects-science-weather-10012-2-1

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ABCteach.com

 Music:  “My Whole Body Can Move” by Jack Hartmann

Dr. Jean’s “A Tooty Ta” always gets everyone moving and shaking!

Science and Vocabulary:  Discovering Outside Body Parts (arms, legs, hair, skin) and Inside Body Parts (heart, brain, lungs)

Art:  Bones Project (creating a skeleton using Q-tips)

Chalk Outlines:  we will trace our bodies with chalk in the driveway and will add hair, face, clothes, shoes, etc.

Hand puppets:  we will make sock puppets to use on our hands using old socks, yarn, googly eyes, markers and more

Stick Figures:  drawing specific objects is a learned skill so I will be teaching my kids how to draw stick figure people

Math:  counting fingers, toes, eyes, nose, mouth… What do we have the most of?  How many fingers do you and I have together?

Science:  the 5 senses:  Hear(listening for sounds), Taste (e





ating salty and sweet snacks), Touch (feeling different textures), Sight (turning off the lights and shining flashlights on different objects), Smell (flowers, different foods)

Reading:  My Body by Angela Royston and Sally Hewitt

Gross Motor Skills:  Exercise!  Practice hopping, skipping, jumping jacks, bending, and moving your body in every way!  Talk about how important it is to exercise and move your body to stay in shape!

Science, Health and Nutritionhttp://www.nutritionforkids.com/

ChooseMyPlate.gov has information on nutrition for families, eating healthy on a budget, daily food plans, sample menus and recipes and more!  Amazing resource!

Field Trips:  Bowling!  Check your local bowling alley to see if they have the Kids Bowl Free summer program!

Find a local inflatable warehouse for your child to let loose and jump away (great for long naps later in the day)!

Playgrounds with equipment for climbing and balancing!

Computer:  http://kidshealth.org/kid/htbw/

Please post below if you have any other activity ideas for our first 3 weeks of summer!  I hope you will join us on our quest to have the Best Summer Ever!!!  Stay tuned for updates on our activities, projects and ideas for the our other themed weeks!

Rainy Day

I had planned to run errands today, but alas, the thunderstorm has dampened my plans.  (Under the definition of “parent” you can find the word “flexible” in bold print.)  You know that opening scene of The Cat in the Hat where the two kids are just staring out of the window?  Yes.  That was us today.  Even me.



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I brought some paper and markers over to the window for us to draw what we saw outside – a simple activity that throws in some drawing skills, vocabulary, sight words, colors, descriptors and more.

Mommy Teacher:  “What color is the sky today?”

Without thinking, Leyson said, “Blue!”  But then he looked more closely… “Das not blue!”

I explained to him that the clouds are covering the sun and they are filled with water which made the sky look gray.

Mommy Teacher:  “And when the clouds fill up with water, the water drips out.  That’s called rain!  When it is raining this hard and you hear the thunder, that is called a storm.”

I drew  a picture of some gray clouds and had him do the same on his paper.  Then we each drew rain falling from the clouds, just like we saw outside.  I wrote the word “storm” on my paper, and he did the same.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Because it is!  The activities you do with your child do not have to be Pinterest-worthy; they just have to be age-appropriate and fun!

Drawing a picture of what you see and what you are talking about in conversation helps reinforce what you are teaching.  Prompt your child to talk about what he/she is drawing.  You will need to model both the drawing and the conversation…

Mommy Teacher:  “To draw a cloud I am going to make a lot of humps.  On the top it looks like lowercase m’s and on the bottom it looks like lowercase w’s.  I am drawing gray clouds like we see outside.  Can you draw a gray cloud?”

I told Leyson that when the sun comes out, we may be able to see a rainbow.  He decided we should also draw pictures of a yellow sun and a rainbow with lots of colors.  I wrote each of the words at the top and he did the same on his papers.  We talked about the different colors too.  He then also decided that we needed to draw one more picture of a cloud and we wrote the word cloud.

Mommy Teacher’s pictures…



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Leyson’s pictures…



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I am going to keep these pictures up for a few days so we can continue to talk about the weather.  We are experiencing a huge temperature drop too so I am sure we will be talking about warm and cold.  With an older child you can explain about cool fronts and warm fronts and check out some weather maps online!

Here are some great interactive websites for your older kids:

The best thing about a rainy day?  It’s perfect nap weather!  Nighty-night!



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