Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Oh, hello there world. 

Lots of changes. So much to unpack. We're all processing and let's be real, none of us are going to get this completely right. And, that's OK!

Mama's - I need each and every one of you to give yourself some grace. At this very moment, I want you to fill yourself with as much grace as you can possibly muster because we will certainly need it to get through this. There's so much to talk about, but there will be a time and place for that and right now? All we need is some help and light from one another.

I can't come and wrap you all in love, but I can offer some help.

As you all know, I'm Mama to a sweet preschooler and since I just started my delayed maternity leave - I have a bit of extra time on my hands. Well, that's not entirely true but I stayed up until midnight lesson planning for the next few weeks and I want to share with you all what I can. These are the first of two (2) lesson plans I've put together for age ranges 3-5, but I have more to come. I've scoured the internet for you and found a few fun things to pull together to help.
Friendly Reminders

1. I have an infant with me who does have some extra special needs (NG tube) so most of the activities will take place indoors and/or with little involvement from me since my hands will be full and the pump isn't exactly super portable. But, if you're able to - I can't tell you enough how wonderful it is to go outside for many of these lessons. We're working to hit up to 2 walks a day with the littles to get fresh air and get our energy out so we're more capable of learning when we do sit down
2. Plan as much as your heart and time will let you. We've been doing Sunday night family planning to get us through each week. Even if I'm not online 100% for work, I do still have emails and calls each week (no where near all you rockstars though) and need to ensure both the Mr. and I are aligned on schedules. Plus, we announce our Theme of the Week for Tot on Sunday nights and it's something to look forward to for the week and gets her thinking
3. I scoured Amazon high and low and will link my Amazon Shop here for everything I purchased. If these aren't all used (I'd be shocked) we can use them for our restaurant grab & go loot

4. Our school is going above & beyond with check-ins for Tot. So blessed by them and what they're offering our sweet family. They continue to provide handouts, lesson plan, etc. that I'm incorporating a well. We just love them - thank you, Virginia Academy!
5. I subscribed to Scholastic for Teachers/Parents and can't recommend it enough. The handouts and lesson plans are plentiful and really easy to print out. They're offering a special for all parents and have 50% off their membership. Check it out!

6. Because we aren't super mobile, a lot of our energy wasters are through our local dance studio. Not an advertisement by any means, but these sweet women are really taking a huge toll off of my shoulders. They are live streaming classes from a variety of studios and provide an all day schedule. Can't gush about them enough. Just today, Tot got to participate in Story Time with Jasmin as they're offering weekly fun events. Bella Ballerina is just the bees knees. We've also been supporting some small businesses like the Franklin Party Stylist - they're offering personalized FaceTimes with princesses and heroes that are a real treat at the end of a long week. Be sure to check them out!
7. Lastly, I created a little make-shift journal for Tot. Every time we finish an activity or two, I have her draw a little picture in her journal and practice whatever letter, word etc. we just reviewed. I've learned through all my research that repetition matters. We also told Tot she can present her journal to her teacher when this is all done to show her what she learned at home! 

Here are the first two lesson plans I've put together thus far. I have another I can share tomorrow on next week's theme: Gardens & Ponds. Let me know if this is helpful...

Theme: Nature 
Letter S Number 14

Scholastic Plan linked here

Monday ROCKS! 

Rock Themed Activities: LINK

Sink or Float: LINK

Rocks - what are they? How do they feel? LINK
- Use a think sheet (white paper with box outlined) to have your little one draw a couple of rocks and talk about the color, shape and size

Magic School Bus Rock n Roll: LINK
Note: All Magic School Bus episodes can also be found on Netflix

Rock Spelling: LINK 

Introduce Letter S: LINK

Tuesday: Bella Ballerina (Jasmine Visit)

Rock Detective: LINK 

Nature Walk for Rocks: After watching Rock Detective, we're going on a walk to find all things ROCKS. We're going to collect some of different shapes and sizes to take home to trace and draw

Rock Painting: Once we've finished tracing and learning about the different types of rocks from our walk, we're going to paint them. White, blue, red - whatever colors or even markers you have around the house.

Baking and MATH: we're going to work on our numbers and let Tot lead the instructions for sugar cookies and banana bread

Wednesday: Nature is BEAUTIFUL!

Nature Collage - collect things from your front yard ONLY and use a white piece of paper to make a collage. Talk about what you find, season, and why nature continues to grow.

Nature Song: LINK

Nature Vocabulary: LINK 

Tree Bark Rubbings - tape a white piece of paper over the bark of a tree. Use a variety of colors (crayons) to trace over and talk about the different patterns and textures you found

Introduce Number 14: LINK 

Spring Scene: draw a quick box on a white piece of paper for your little. Have them look at the window and draw the scene they see. Ask them to narrate what they're seeing and what they're drawing, including the colors and shapes of things

Nature and the Bible: LINK

Thursday: the ZOO!

Zoo Introduction: LINK

What animals do we know? Describe them in your think sheet. Texture, color, pattern, size.

Zoo Worksheets: LINK

All about the Zoo Video: LINK and LINK

Feed the Animals - cut out pictures of different types of food that zoo animal eat (leaves, fruit meat, etc.) from a magazine (or have them draw) to make cards. Provide toy zoo animals you've gathered around the house and let children feed the zoo animal with the correct food they would eat.

Worksheet - feed the monkey: LINK

Z for Zoo - let children practice writing the letter "Z" and the word zoo. Write the letter Z O O on index cards and let children spell the word zoo. If you don't have index cards (like us), I just cut up printer paper into four.

Watch & learn - baby animals: LINK

Parent and kid differences - talk about how animals are the same as us! LINK

Friday: Fun Friday at the Zoo

Continuing from yesterday, feel free to do any activities you couldn't finish.

Chat with a Zookeeper: LINK

Morning Walk with the Zookeeper - have your little one pretend they're a zookeeper and go on your morning walk. Stop every so often and ask your little one to pretend to be an animal. Talk about what they look like, how they eat, and where they hang out (grass, water, etc.)

ZooCam: One of our favorite things here, the San Diego Zoo is great for webcams of a multitude of animals. Feel free to keep this on while they do any worksheets on the letter S and number 14: LINK

Animal Patterns: interactive activity where they can go ahead and solve some simple pattern questions with animals LINK

Number Review: 1-10 interactive video Hop with Me! LINK

Nature Boom Episode: Watch a National Geographic episode about an animal/environment of your choosing LINK 

All about Reptiles: SONG and  VIDEO 

30 Min Free Play - we earn this based on weekly goals. For this week: spelling 2 new words (SOIL and ROCKS, counting to 40, and matching 10 letters with cards I've made). If that's completed, she gets 30 minutes of any activity and I will play with her (i.e. Hospital, Princess, etc.).

Theme: Garden & Ponds
Letter T Number 15

This lesson I didn't assign by day. I'm finding some days we're all super aligned and ready to go and others are a hot mess. Here's a list of things based on dividing the week into Garden first then all things Ponds towards the end. Tackle it however it works for you all!

Amazing plants that the Lord has made..

Scholastic Lesson Plan: LINK

What are plants? Have your little one describe what plants are to them? Do they know of any? What color are they? Ask them to narrate a scene with plants (i.e. my backyard has green plants and pink plants and spiky plants etc.)

Plants Explained: LINK

Letter T Introduction (Song): LINK

Garden Activity - create a construction paper "garden box" (essentially, a square outlining the edge of the paper) and have your little one plant what they want to grow. Have them narrate what they are drawing, color, size of items etc.

Let's be Terrific and Learn about T: LINK

Garden sensory bin: LINK 

Magic School Bus Goes to Seeds: LINK 

Seeds to Plants: Talk to your littles about growth and how seeds become a plant. Grab a glass of water and ask them to take a sip. Talk to them about how plants need water to grow.
Video: LINK

Berenstain Bears Season and Plants: LINK

Plant Journaling - Nature walk to see all the flowers and plants. Bring a journal with you to help your little one stop and document what they see. Pick up any flowers, plants that have fallen that you can tape into your journal. Come home and draw 1-2 plants that they liked the best.

Plant Scavenger Hunt - create a list of plants you know are within your neighborhood. Provide your little one with a ziploc bag and the list to go ahead and gather everything they find. Come home to make a plant collage.

Flower Crafts
- First one is to cut out a simple flower in 4 parts for them to glue onto a white piece of paper (does not have to be perfect at all). You need the flower, stem, leaves, and root.
Video LINK

What is a pond? LINK

Use the think sheets and have your little ones draw what they see: LINK 

Frog Jump: frogs can jump ten times their length. Lay ten cutouts (use anything you have) end to end to see how far a frog can jump (I used the square construction paper I put in a ziploc bag to use for activities). Count each of the cutouts and take some away to change the numbers each time.

Number 15 Introduction: LINK

Gus the Alligator: LINK
Watch a National Geographic video called "Gus the Alligator", and discus what we learn about alligators. We make a 4 page book about alligators.

Alligators eat....
Alligators live....
Alligators have....
Alligators can....

The blank are filled in with the children's dictation (a fact about alligators they learned from the video), and the children draw a picture to illustrate it.

Frog/Fish Bingo: LINK for printout (fish LINK)

To prepare the bingo market stamping games, print out the game that matches your theme. Write a letter, number, or shape (whatever you're focusing on) on each picture and make a copy for them. To play the game, let them pull a number or letter card from a stack you made. They will find that letter/number on their mat and stamp it out. You can use a normal stamp or a marker (pick a shape they need to do etc.).

God Made Animals: Bible Lesson LINK

Vocabulary Cards: LINK 
- cut these out and let your little one first try to identify each of them, they have them work on identifying letters in each of the words. Lastly, work on spelling 1-2 word each week based on sounding out the letters on the cards.

Frog Connect the Dots: LINK

Music Lessons:

Counting 1-15 Review: LINK 
More to come for week 3 and 4! 

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