Hidden Message Writing Activity

image

Paper, matching crayons, and watercolor paints-bam you’ve got a hidden message writing activity.

My good friend Kristin shared this idea and I had to try it out. Both boys loved it and it was simple/fun enough that my husband was able to step in and be the teacher for the activity.

Tips:
-Lighter colors work best like white paper and white crayons or yellow paper and yellow crayons and use darker contrasting paint colors.
-To really focus on fine motor development try to have your kiddos only paint on the areas with crayon. Helps them prepare to write the letters themselves.
-Draw pictures and shapes for littler kiddos

Advertisements

Our New Homeschool Routine: The Word of the Week!

image

Reading, writing, letter recognition, phonetics, thematic crafts, and more- yes please. After the unexpected success of number of the day I decided to take the Painter’s Tape to another poster (the high-frequency word poster to be exact) and introduce THE WORD OF THE WEEK (it’s in all caps to emphasize the major hyping up I did to sell this idea to Maxwell).

What does “selling an idea” to a 3 year old look like? Well, the night before I told him his favorite toys were making him a surprise in homeschool – word of the week! Then I made conditions to see it, have to be dressed, follow directions and so on, to make it seem like a privileged for big boys only. Last I just acted really excited about wondering what the word was when we finally got down to it.

What to do with a word of the week:
First, look at the picture and have child attempt to guess by sounding out what letters might be in the word.
Then slowly peel tape, revealing one letter at a time, and check the prediction against actual word.
Cover up the word and have child put the words letters in the correct order. I actually choose to break word up into the sound parts instead of by letter to make it easier for sounding out.

image

Have  child practice writing the word. In addition to exposing Maxwell to high frequency words, working on fine motor skills and writing is my second big motivation for this activity.

image

Identify the word in a book. This is great for helping little ones realize that there are individual words that make up a sentence, a paragraph, a page, and a book.

image

Notice that I’m introducing the words in all lower-case letters instead of all upper case. When reading kids will most often experience all lower-case words and therfore it makes their life easier if you teach them high frequency words in all lower-case

Then depending on the word I will do different thematic activities.
APPLE lends itself to any number of fun Fall crafts and activities.

I’ll be adding our new APPLE related activities throughout the week.

Morning 8: Making the Most of Nursery Rhymes

image
We all know about cows jumping over the moon and mice running up clocks, but let’s take a second to think a little more about all of the things we can do with the ubiquitous nursery rhyme.

image

This may seem like a very simple activity, but if used to it’s full advantage it can pack a real educational punch. Seriously, you can address more than a dozen learning objectives (if anyone is interested, I’d be happy to list them, but otherwise, I’ll spare you.)

Getting the most out of nursery rhymes:
One of our morning routine staples is our weekly nursery rhyme.
-Each week I write a new nursery rhyme on our school board. We use dry erase because it’s easy to change, buto you could use anything as long as it’s big enough for you little one to easily see and circle specific words/letters.

-Maxwell uses pointer to touch each word as we read. Knowing to read top to bottom and left to right is called directionality of print in case you’re ever interested in reading through state prek standards 😉

image

-Then we act out any portion of the rhyme that can be acted out (not always possible, but be creative). This is a great way to engage younger siblings Examples: jumping over a pretend candle stick for Jack Be Nimble Jack Be Quick, Having a mouse cutout run up and down a clock  for Hickory-Dickory-Dock

image

-Identify, circle, and/or count various sentence components throughout the rhyme: focus letter, words, spaces, numbers, color words, punctuation, and anything else that makes sense.

image

-Draw pictures and do crafts related to rhyme
-Have child “read” the rhyme to other family members
-Keep the same rhyme all week (or longer), but change it in small ways to encourage observation skills and to focus on more skills. Example: this week we’ll be doing “Brown bear, Brown Bear” and I’ll change the colors and commands. Last week we did “Jack Be Nimble” and I changed the position word-jumped under, beside, on.

image

image

image

image

-When you erase the rhyme have your kiddo help by strategically erasing the sentence components you counted and circled earlier. This is a great no effort review activity.

Easily modified to reach wide range of abilities
-For more advanced/older kids have them add words, write in letters you’ve purposefully omitted, discuss which letters you have more/less of, and incorporate sight words.
-For younger kids focus on the musicality of the rhymes, the fun actions, and simple letter identification.
-If child struggles to indicate where you should start reading, draw a smiley face at the top left of the rhyme.

Choosing a nursery rhyme:

-Keep it short. We’re talking less than 30 seconds to read. I usually shoot for 2-6 lines and can increase as Maxwell gets older, but for the two to five year old range keep it simple
-You can do excerpts longer rhymes
-Think seasonal, thematic, and/or what’s going on with your family. If you’re going to the rodeo do Old Mcdonald. If it’s the holidays do a little of Frosty the Snowman (not traditionally a nursery rhyme, but hey, whatever works)
-Find rhymes that have actions or sounds built in.
-Use rhymes that can be easily changed. NON-Example: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star may be nice, but really there’s not much you can do with it. Example: Hey Diddle Diddle can be changed in a million ways by altering animals and actions

Continue reading