Kindergarten Corner – Turtle Unit

Last week we finished our sixth unit on turtles and the letter T. Not only did we talk about turtles but we also learned about perseverance. We had a lot of opportunities to remind ourselves of this unit’s Biblical concept of “I don’t quit; I persevere.” I think by the end of the week the girls were getting tired of me encouraging them to persevere in whatever they did.

This unit had another snack that involved peanut butter, so I tried to find an alternative. The original snack involved making a turtle with bread and peanut butter. Our snack wasn’t nearly as healthy, but it did require the girls to persevere in one of their most difficult tasks-waiting. We made a batch of cookie dough using my go-to sugar cookie recipe. We colored most of the dough green and left the rest alone. We made turtles by rolling balls of the green dough and “scoring” it with toothpicks. Then we added a head, tail, and four legs. We ended up making plenty of cute little turtle cookies. We had to wait for the butter to soften, then the dough to chill, the cookies to bake, and then to cool. That is perseverance!

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We started using a blend ladder to help sound out three letter words. It is so cool to see the girls pick things up so quickly. On Tuesday morning the girls learned to read the word “sat” and Sarah was able to write it out later that evening with no help.

We ended the week by reading the story of the tortoise and the hare. I found a file online with all sorts of animals you could make into puppets using paper bags. We used the kangaroo for the hare and a turtle to make our own puppets and reenact the story. The girls had a lot of fun with this.

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One of our daily activities involves the girls calendar notebooks. We keep track of the day of the week, month of the year, date, weather, and learn about a new state every three days. I got the printables from 1+1+1=1‘s blog. Along with this we keep track of the day of our school year using a number chart and straws. Up until this point I had been collecting straws in a large baggie. When we get to 10 straws I bundle them up and put them in a box. Well, while looking for ideas from this unit I found Our Little Monkeys blog and saw how they keep track of their days. I did the same thing with cups this week. This should make it easier to visualize how many days of school we’ve had and place value.

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Lily is Two!

Our baby Lily is two today. It is still pretty easy to baby her considering she is the youngest and is still on the teeny side. But boy does she do plenty to break that “baby” mold.

Lily has no fear. She loves to run around the apartment and climb pretty much anything. She helps to remind me to move the ladder off of the girls’ bunk bed by climbing up the ladder and yelling for me from the top bunk. I even find her jumping on the top bunk sometimes. It’s a wonder I have any hair left on my head! Another new skill she has developed is climbing onto the top bunk without the ladder! I couldn’t believe it when Jonathan told me. She uses the rungs on the bottom end of the beds to climb her way to the top. She keeps me on my toes much more than the older girls ever did.

Lily is speaking up for herself a lot more now. She is steadily adding to her vocabulary. Right now though her favorite word seems to be “no” and has recently added “mine”. These two words are not my favorites.

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We celebrated Lily’s birthday last weekend. I found directions on Pinterest showing how you could make a butterfly cake using a round cake pan. I wasn’t happy with what I came up with, but when I showed it to the birthday girl she was able to identify it as a “fly” (her word for butterfly) so I consider that a success!

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Happy birthday to our sweet little Lily!

Kindergarten Corner – Nest Unit

We had another fun unit learning about nests and the letter N. A few of the days were a struggle because (1) we had to do school in the afternoon for one reason or another (and a certain 4 year old was grumpy) and (2) we dealt with minor colds during this unit.

When I prepare for each unit I try and look up other helpful resources or supplemental activities to use. Many times I’ll find other blogs that talk about My Father’s World too. On The Good, The Bad & The Truth blog I found a link to a YouTube video that went over different types of nests. We watched this on Day 1.

On Day 3 we made edible nests using shredded wheat (grass), chow mein noodles (twigs) and mud. One of my complaints so far about this curriculum is that it does not take into consideration children who may have allergies. The recipe provided had you make mud by melting chocolate and peanut butter together. Now, we don’t have any known peanut allergies yet, but I’m delaying introducing them until Lily is a bit older (plus, Sarah doesn’t like peanut butter). Anyway, I was hoping for maybe a substitution suggestion. Thankfully, I found the blog When Mommy Trains Little Brains. She used marshmallow fluff instead of peanut butter. So, I tried using mini marshmallows and added a bit of butter as if they were rice krispie treats. I had a tough time figuring out how much to use, but it worked out in the end.

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Once again we had a lot of fun on Day 6 when we listened to classical music and danced around the living room. This week we listened to Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Swans. The girls danced as if they were swans in a lake. We had plenty of giggles and smiles at the end, with a request for an encore.

 

Kindergarten Corner – Apple Unit

Our fourth unit covered the letter A and apples. This is another unit we pretty much followed exactly. One activity included cutting an apple in half horizontally so you could see the star inside that God put there.  Then we made thin slices to hang and dry for ornaments. We took this a step further and used the rest of the apple to make apple stamp paintings:

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Another fun activity was making applesauce. Instead of just simply peeling and cutting up the apples, My Father’s World had students estimate how many seeds were in each apple. Sarah and Abigail made little charts showing their estimates and what we actually found. The girls especially enjoyed this part.

The grand finale of the unit was making an apple pie. I think school can only be awesome when it involves apple pie!

A Visit from Papa

Papa came up for a visit from Virginia to enjoy a bit of our New England fall and to drop off a big girl bed for Lily (more on that in another post). Papa seemed to bring some of the milder weather from Virginia as we enjoyed highs in the 70’s on Friday and 60’s on Saturday.

Our big to-do was a walk around a local pond. We got to a point where we thought, “should we turn back now?” to which I replied, “we’ve gone this far already, let’s just keep going.” What was I thinking? It turns out that the walk was just shy of 2.5 miles. We had a stroller, so the girls took turns riding in that. Plus Daddy and Papa ended up holding Lily and Sarah for good bits of our trip.

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Towards the end of the walk I was ready for it to be over (you know, being nearly 31 weeks pregnant and all), but we could not have picked a better fall day for it.

Halloween

We don’t normally do anything for Halloween, but this year turned out differently. Our church hosted a Fall Festival where kids were encouraged to dress up and enjoy games, crafts, food, and dancing. The girls loved being able to dress up and they had even more fun at the Festival. I was able to get two $5 costumes from Old Navy and my sister let Abigail borrow her cousin Bridget’s Merida costume.

I thought we’d go all out and put Abigail’s hair in bantu knots the night before so she would have curly hair like Merida. It is a very easy way to make crazy curls.

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