This activity was included in the last preschool swap. I realized (too late) that I completely forgot to ask everyone to include instructions with the activity they assembled. I've had many people ask what in the world they were supposed to do with the bag of spoons. Daryn more than happily demonstrated for me.
Lay out all the uppercase spoons in a line on the floor or table. Help your child lay them out in alphabetic order. You can even sing the ABC song as you do.
Once the uppercase spoons are laid out, it's time to match the lowercase spoons to the uppercase. Find the lowercase A and lay it on top of the uppercase A. Continue until the entire alphabet is matched up.
If your child is just beginning to learn the alphabet, take it slowing. Just focus on a couple letters at a time. For example, only lay out the upper and lowercase A-C. Add more letters as their learning increases.
When my 6 year old started first grade this past year, we began with a spelling workbook. One lesson for each week. Each lesson has about 10-14 words on a list. Each list focuses on a few different phonic rules which she has already learned ahead of time in her phonics and reading.
Thing is, while there was nothing wrong with the way they formatted and grouped each lesson, the method wasn't working for us. This particular cirriculum simply has two workbook pages with various activities, such as: scrambled spelling words, fill in the blank, matching rhyming words, etc. Other than these pages, the only other way to learn the words were to say-spell-say and to write them out over and over again during seatwork time.
It wasn't working. The workbook pages were fun, but did not reinforce the idea of the rules applying to the list of words. And writing... ugh. My daughter hates to write for "school". It's like her worst. So when she wrote out the words, she totally was not focusing on how each word was spelled. Instead she was whining about not wanting to write.
I think, now that the schoool year is half over, we've finally gotten a good routine down. I've already talked about using Jolanthe's Read! Build! Write! from Homeschool Creations. Here's a run down on the rest of our routine. (We're doing six days a week in order to catch up from our month break in November.)
Day 1: Talk about the phonic rule focus. Read each word. Say-Spell-Say. One page in workbook (generally very quick).
Day 2: Review rules. Say-Spell-Say. Page two of workbook.
Day 3: Sort the list by phonic rule.
Day 4: Read! Build! Write! the first half of the list.
Day 5: Read! Build! Write! the second half of the list.
Day 6: Spelling test.
Here's how we sort each spelling list.
Ahead of time, I take a sheet of paper and draw two lines to create a four cell grid. I label each grid with a phonic rule, such as: o in go, e in me, y in fly, and sight words.
I take another sheet of paper and write out each spelling word. (If I'm really ahead of the game, I type out each spelling word in a font size of about 20ish pt.) I then cut apart the spelling words. I end up with a "deck" of tiny spelling cards.
When spelling time rolls around, she glues each spelling word into the appropriate cell on the sorting grid.
It's fun, since she loves crafts, and it helps her mentally catagorize words by phonic rules.
Have you found any great activities to assist your early elementary student with spelling?
"I can't do this anymore!"
"I'm just so stressed. I can't handle this!"
"I am so sick of living this way!"
These sort of words have pretty much become normal vacabulary in my mind over the last 2-3 years. I've been living in a state of overwhelmed-ness and it's killing me. Clutter EVERYwhere. Diet controlled by stress. Finances haphazard. I'm just so sick of being stressed.
But no matter how much I've wanted it to change, it wouldn't. I've even told myself that it was a "season". Life would be less cluttered and less stressful once we no longer had babies in the house, or once my husband was finished with school.
While seasons of life may very well cause some measures of stress, I have begun to notice that season changes were not changing the stress factors in my life.
Why? Because I wasn't actively changing these factors. Plain and simple.
My goal for this year is to CHANGE.
With that in mind, I've started an all out war on clutter. I figure, if the clutter's not there, I won't trip on it, right?
So I gathered up the toys (that were mixed in a misheaveled mess all over the house anyway) and dumped them into two huge Sterilite Totes. I mean like HUGE. And I still needed more boxes, so I also filled two smaller Sterilites. That's just a lot of junk. Seriously. And ALL that was constantly all over the living room floor mixed in with a lot of trash.
I only left out a few prized sets and the books and puzzles.
I hauled the totes out to the garage, telling the kids we'd get them back out in a few months and sort through it. While they were a bit concerned and disappointed at the time, I can honestly say that they have not missed anything from those totes. They are also much happier and WAY easier to self entertain.
Pick up time each day is simple, not stressful. When there are only a few items to pick up, it's easier to sort through.
I finally feel like my living room is livable andcompletely managable. I have not felt like that in years.
One other major issue I struggle with is dishes. There always seemed to be an enitre week's worth of dishes piled up all over the kitchen. Majorly stressful. Who wants to cook in a kitchen with no worksapce?
I finally had enough. I put away ANYTHING that we would not use in a day's time. Boxed it up for garage sale. (Except for extra plates, bowls, and silverware. I just stored those where they would be easy to reach should company come.)
The goal of course, is to do dishes every day so that there are clean dishes the next day. However, should I skip a day or two (such as this weekend, while decluttering other areas), there's no huge pile. We simply just hand wash what we need when we need it. Not exactly efficient, but at least there's no huge mess.
These two things alone has completely changed my everyday life. The stress level is lower, and life is easier to live.
My home and life is FAR FROM PERFECT!!! There's still a lot of change that needs to take place.
But the point is: Change doesn't happen, unless we make it change.
What is it in your life that needs changed? What can you do NOW to start the change?
I love playdough! It entertains for hours. Some may argue that it is messy, but really... it is FAR less messy than silly putty, moon sand, moon dough, and just about every other pliable toy.
There are many recipes online claiming to the be the "best ever playdough recipe". I've tried a number of them, tweaked a couple, and came up with this one. There's probably a better one out there somewhere, but this one works for me.
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups salt
1 tbsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup fine glitter (optional)
several drops of food coloring OR 1-2 pkg. unsweetened Kool-Aid (optional)
3 cups water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large saucepan.
2. Add water and oil. Blend together with a wire wisk.
3. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until done. The mixture will be very hard to stir and will have both dry spots and wet spots. When you begin to fear it's going to burn or your arm will fall off, remove from heat.
4. Turn onto a floured surface. Let cool to touch. Knead until smooth and pliable. Add more flour if needed.
Notes: Kool-Aid will not only color the dough, but also give it a fruity scent. And glitter is just plain fun. Add fine silver or white glitter to white dough to make "snow".
Things my kidlets like doing with playdough:
Other playdough "toys" we use:
toy knives (like these from Ikea - which I guess they no longer sell)
plastic pizza cutter
birthday cake candles
small plastic animals
What is your favorite playdough recipe? What are your children's favorite playdough "toys"?