Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekly Learning Theme: Counting

We have been practicing counting for a while now.  First we focused on 1-3 which Carter really has down.  Then I started branching out and having Carter practice counting a bit higher.  He got to where we'd be driving along or he'd be riding in the stroller and he'd start counting cars that passed, people who went by, or dogs walking with their owners.  He also loves to count his food as he eats.  Most of the time he'd count 1, 2, 3, 8, 6, 7, 9, 10!  So I thought a week practicing counting would be a good idea.  He'd get to do what he already enjoyed, count things out in nature and in public, plus we'd do some fun activities at home.

Listed below are the objectives I am focusing on for the themed weeks.  I have updated our objectives from the original ones we focused on because Carter mastered those skills.  I plan to continue to implement activities to practice and reinforce our previous objectives while putting more emphasis on our new objectives.  Some of them won't necessarily be targeted with specific activities during our weeks, but I wanted to list them to help me remember to practice them continually.  The highlighted objectives are ones Carter received exposure to during our theme this week:
  1. Take turns in a simple game.
  2. Understand the meaning of mine, his, hers.
  3. Group objects based on a category (sort by defining feature).  
  4. String beads or other objects.
  5. Count to 3 and understand what the numbers mean.  
  • The simplest thing we did throughout the week was count objects while walking and playing.  We'd count car wheels while in the parking lot as well as the wheels on his toy cars.  We'd count birds we saw, trees, bushes, anything.
  • For a sensory bin this week I used beans as the base.  Then I added number cookie cutters and objects to practice counting.  I added different numbers of objects so we could practice counting to different numbers.  There were 10 popsicle sticks, 5 straws, and 3 bouncy balls.
  • We have quite a few different number puzzles that Carter enjoyed playing with throughout the week.  We'd count the number of pictures on each puzzle piece and I'd point out the symbol that represents that number.
  • I am all about reusing things we have from previous activities so we used green beads I bought for our St. Patrick's Day week.  Then Carter and I counted the beads as he strung them onto a pipe cleaner.  He did a great job stringing 7 beads on, but the fun ended when Elise wanted to eat so I sat to feed her while he continued stringing and he decided to dump the entire bag of beads on the floor.
  • Using pom poms I had leftover from my classroom, Carter sorted them based on color.  When he was finished sorting them we counted how many were in each pile.  Then he helped me put them back in the bag and counted them on his own as he did so.
  • For more practice sorting I wrote the numbers 1-3 on small pieces of paper.  I wrote each number on 3 different pieces of paper.  Then I showed Carter each number and told him what number it was, having him repeat the word after me.  Then I asked him to sort the numbers into piles.  He put all the 1's in a pile, all the 2's in a pile, and all the 3's in a pile.  Then we counted to see how many he had of each number.  I thought about drawing dots at the bottom of the card to show the number of items that number represented, but I decided to keep it simple.  My main goal was for Carter to sort the numbers based on shape and to recognize the symbols as a number.  I don't expect him to make the connection that the symbol 3 represents 3 objects.
  • We made a counting book with a hole punch.  I wrote the numbers 1-5 on separate pieces of construction paper and then helped Carter make the correct number of hole punches to represent the number on the page.  At first I had planned to use computer paper, but when I thought about it more I decided on construction paper.  I wanted the dots to really stand out on the page once I put them together in a book.  So I used a different color construction paper for each number so the punched out holes would appear to be the color of the page behind it.
  • To make another counting book I cut paper down into smaller squares.  Then I wrote one number, 0-5, on each page.  I gave Carter shape sponges to dip in paint and helped him count to add the correct number of pictures on the page.  When the pages were dry I stapled them together to create a book.
Special Snack:
  • Carter has a couple of Cheerio's play books we got at a garage sale when he was little.  We used the books along with Fruity Cheerio's to practice counting.  As he added Cheerio's where they were supposed to go on the pages we'd count to see how many Cheerio's he had added.  As always, he loved playing with the books!
Make Believe:
  • I read and sang Carter "1, 2 Buckle My Shoes" numerous times.  Then we acted the words out pretending to buckle or shoes, shutting a pretend door, pretending to pick up sticks and then lay them straight.  Then at the end we waddled around pretending to be big fat hen
  • We sang "5 Little Ducks" again because Carter loved it during our Easter/Egg Week and because it practiced counting.  We also sang "5 Little Monkeys" as well as "Sally the Camel".
  • When Carter was a baby I sang him lots of songs to the tune of the alphabet song.  One I brought back out this week was a counting to 10 song.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
8, 9, 10
I can sing my numbers
I can count up to 10
I can sing my numbers to 10   
    Field Trip/Interactive Experience:
    • We went on a number walk and searched for different numbers of objects.  When we found 1, 2, or 3 of something I took a picture so we can make a counting book.  Because Carter gets very distracted by nature and exploring in the mud/blowing dandelion seeds I decided to stick with counting 1-3.  I figured that would be a good stopping point because our main goal is to be able to count to 3 right now and later we can do another walk, adding more pages to our book.
      We found one bench.

    2 cars
    And 3 dandelions.
    • Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin
    • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
    • 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle
    • Spookley the Square Pumpkin Numbers by Joe Troiano
    • Marcos Counts by Tomie DePaola
    • Boom Chicka Rock by John Archambalt 
    • Ned's Number Book by Edith Kunhardt
    • 123 Beach by Puck 
    • 123 Zoo by Puck
    • 123 Little Bugs by Puck
    • 123 USA by Puck
    • Museum 123 by Metroplitan Museum of Art 
    • One Two That's My Shoe! by Alison Murray
    • The Cheerio's Animal Play Book by Lee Wade
    • The Cheerio's Play Book by Lee Wade
    • Ocean Counting by Janet Lawler
    • One Lonely Sea Horse by Saxton Perymann & Joost Elffers
    • Odd One Out by Cuido Van Genechten
    • The Hueys in None the Number by Oliver Jeffers
    • 3...2...1...Circus! by William Wegman
    • Moo Moo, Brown Cow by Jakki Wood
    • Do You See 3? by Jo Cleland
    • The Bunny Rabbit Show by Sandra Boynton
    • Count Me a Rhyme by Jane Yolen
    • Turtle Splash! by Cathryn Falwell
    • One Pup's Up by Marsha Wilson Chall
    • Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert
    • Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh
    • Chicha Chicka 1 2 3 by Bill Martin
    • 10 Little Fingers, 10 Little Toes by Mem Fox
    • Goodnight Moon 123 by Margaret Wise Brown
    • Count to Sleep Texas by Adam Gamble & Mark Jasper
    • Doggies by Sandra Boynton 
    • Fire Dog Counting Spots by Carter (from our Fire Safety Week)