Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Weekly Learning Theme: Days of the Week

Carter has been showing interest in the days of the week, trying to describe days in the past by using days of the week to signify when things happened, although he isn't able to get the day of the week correct when recounting things. Right now he is pretty young to understand abstract concepts of time like days of the week, but I thought it would be fun to introduce the topic with him. That way he can become familiar with the names for the days of the week, can use the words yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and can start thinking about what day comes next. We had a lot of fun with this theme. I kept it short and simple. I didn't want to spend too much time on it as it is an introduction at this point. It was a great start of the calendar for us, talking about how we track our days and getting in a daily routine of talking about the days of the week and the calendar.

Listed below are the objectives I am focusing on for the themed weeks.  I have revised our objectives to really hone in and focus on specific skills Carter will need to master before kindergarten and are appropriate to his age and development right now. 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.  I'm also adding in a section for Elise now that she is a year old. I don't considers her bullet points objectives, they are experiences I want to make sure to expose her to frequently. Her experiences are listed below Carter as bullet points rather than numbers. 

The highlighted objectives below are ones Carter received exposure to during our theme this week:
  1. Begin to organize and focus on writing. (Dictate stories, plan out a story, draw pictures and scribbles to create a book).
  2. Understand same and different.
  3. Accurately tell stories as well as retell the story from a book. 
  4. Use age appropriate scissors.  (I'm moving on to looking for a thumb and forefinger grasp with writing tools and holding scissors appropriately)
  5. Develop a better understanding of time (for example, be able to describe when things happen using morning, afternoon, night)
  6. Group objects based on a category (sort by defining feature).
  7. Count with one-to-one correspondence, begin to identify numerals, being to use ordinal numbers (first, second, last).
Experiences Elise was exposed to during our theme this week are highlighted below:
  • Pretend play/Imitate the behaviors of others.
  • Begin to identify and point at body parts. (Right now I just want to say body parts aloud to her frequently and point them out on myself)
  • Group based on simple characteristics. (This is something I will do while talking aloud and allowing her to feel objects)
  • Fill and empty containers.
  • Begin to hold writing tools and scribble spontaneously.
  • Identify sounds around her. (Point out sounds and ask her what is making the sound).
  • I wrote "Days of the week" on a sentence strip. Carter counted the number of words on the strip. Then I covered up the rest of the strip and we looked at one word at a time. I segmented the sounds and blended them together to show Carter how I figure out words. I told him we would be talking about the days of the week as we learned.
  • I wrote each day of the week on a sentence strip. We looked at the days of the week. Then Carter counted the number of days in a week and we put the numeral next to each day as we counted. Next we looked at the names of the days of the week. I had Carter point out the letters he recognized and the sounds they make. Then I segmented and blended the words for him.

  • The Target Dollar Spot had calendars for $3. I couldn't find mine from my classroom, so we picked one up. We put it together, looked at, and talked about it. Then I isolated a week and we looked at the days of the week across the top of the calendar. I read each day of the week to him and we counted to see how many days are in the week.
  • We looked at the names of the days of the week and talked about how the names are alike and how they are different. We talked about how each day ended with the word day. Then we sorted the days of the week based on the letter they started with. Carter was a bit confused about why Tuesday and Thursday both begin with the letter T but had different beginning sounds so we talked a little bit about the /th/ blend.
  • Each day of the week we added the day to our calendar. I told Carter the date and then we looked up to see what day of the week it was. Carter enjoyed looking at the number and talking about which number came next. I also added the words yesterday, today, and tomorrow to the calendar. As we added the words to the calendar each day we talked about which day of the week it had been the day before, what it was that day, and what it would be the next day.
  • At night I'd have Carter point to that day on the calendar. We'd talk again about what day of the week it was and then I'd have him tell me what we did that day, talking about what we did in the morning, what we did in the afternoon, and what we did at night.
  • Using our days of the week written on sentence strips, we counted how many letters were in each word. It was fun to take a day and have Carter guess if it would have more or less letters than the last day we had counted. We sorted the days into piles for how many letters were in their name. We used our bath numbers to show the numeral that went with how many letters were in each word.
    Counting the number of letters in the day Thursday.
  • We used the calendar to talk about which days are weekdays and which days are considered the weekend. I showed Carter the days on the calendar and we talked about how daddy goes to work Monday through Friday and we call those days the weekdays. Then daddy's home all day on Saturday and Sunday and we call those days the weekend. We'd look at the calendar and count the days to see how many days that week Ty had gone to work. Then we'd count to see how many days until he got to stay home with us. Then we used our sentence strips to sort the days of the week into weekdays and weekends.
    Sorting the days into weekdays and weekends.
  • I put together a very simple sensory bin for the week. The base was beans. Then I threw in the days of the week written on sentence strips along with the sentence strips from the poem we used, along with the numbers 1-7. While playing in the bin, Elise liked picking the days of the week written on sentence strips up and looking at them. Carter also liked counting the days and using numbers to represent them as he played.
    A rare instance where Carter was watching Elise play.
  • Carter and Elise each created a book similar to Cookie's Week where each page told something they did on that day of the week. Each evening I had Carter tell me what he wanted me to write down about what he'd done that day and then he illustrated it. I chose something for Elise and wrote it down on her page and then gave her the book to illustrate. Carter was really excited because I pulled out a new box of markers and they were only to be used for illustrating our books. They turned out so cute and it was interesting to see what Carter chose to write about with everything that we had done each day! My favorite moments during this entire learning theme were when Carter and Elise were sitting side by side at the table illustrating their books. I love that Elise is being able to do more and more activities within our learning themes with us!
    Carter illustrating his book, Carter's Week.
Elise illustrating her book.

  • We read the poem about what day of the week you are born on. We read through the poem and Carter was excited to notice the days of the week were all written on a blue sentence strip. I told the kids which day of the week they were born on. We made sure to re-read the sentence to go with each of their days of the week. Then I wrote the sentence for each of their days on a piece of paper and gave it to them to illustrate however they wanted. Ty and I thought Carter's Friday's child is loving and giving was mostly accurate although he is a bit young to have really hit giving in stride as he sometimes isn't about sharing, but the loving part is spot on. Elise's Saturday's child works hard for a living was a bit funny but she is a straight beast and a hard worker. She will find a way to climb anything she desires, so a decent one for her as well. Carter was so cute because as they were drawing, he looked over at Elise and said, "Good picture, Elise! It looks like a shark!"
    Reading the poem.
    Illustrating their pages.
    Carter must've been inspired by the poem as he drew himself in my belly, Elise in my belly, his fried Isaac in his mom's belly, and his friend Finley in her mom's belly.
I love their artwork displayed together on our learning theme board.
Special Snack:
  • I got a weekly medicine organizer from the store. First we had a long discussion about how what we were using is normally used for medicine and he should never ever touch one without a parent with him. I wrote Carter's name with a smiley face on the side so he knew it was his. I told him he would not get to use it anymore if he ever got it out by himself because anytime he finds a medicine container he needs to show it to an adult first and have help because the medicine in it could make him really sick or hurt him. I explained that they don't normally hold candy and if he found one it would not have candy in it. He was really good about never touching the medicine container unless I got it down for him and took the whole never touching one anywhere else very seriously. Each day of the week after dinner we got the container down. First we sang the days of the week song. Then we talked about what day of the week it was and I slowly said the word so Carter could hear it's beginning sound. Then he found the letter that makes the sound at beginning of the day on the container. I helped him open the door and then he ate his treat, Hershey kisses leftover from making our kissing hand cookies. We also counted how many candies we had eaten and how many we had left each day after we ate our piece of candy.
    Finding an M for Monday.
Make Believe:
  • I suggested we pretend to be a worm, fly, or spider and act out a day of the week from one of the diary of books. Carter decided instead of doing that we should make up our own diary. He chose to act out the day in the life of a sheep. He told me we needed to walk around looking for food so we did. Then he said the farmer gave us a treat. It was cute.
  • When Carter was a baby I made up our own version of the Happy Days song. I used the song I used to sing to him and changed it up a little bit at the end to add in saying "the days of the week" to pull it all back together. Not only am I a terrible singer but my allergies have been terrible, so be prepared if you watch the video. Carter and Elise were both dancing, but of course Elise wandered off when she saw me start recording! This may have been Elise's all time favorite song, she would start dancing right off the bat and always twirled around in circles as I sang. We also listened to the actual Happy Days Theme Song as well. The song goes like this:
Sunday, Monday, happy days.
Tuesday, Wednesday, happy days.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Every day's a happy day when I'm livin life with you.
Ohhh Ohhh Ohh, those are the days of the week. 
Oh happy days, oh happy days!

  • In my classroom to practice the days of the week, we would sing the Days of the Week song to the tune of the Adam's Family. I know it has been around forever and is used in lots of classrooms, but I'm not sure where it originated. I can't snap, so I click my tongue instead. Carter's favorite part of this song was clicking his tongue with me. The song goes like this:
Days of the week. (snap, snap)
Days of the week. (snap, snap) 
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (snap, snap)
There's Sunday and there's Monday.
There's Tuesday and there's Wednesday.
There's Thursday and there's Friday.
And then there's Saturday.    
Days of the week. (snap, snap)
Days of the week. (snap, snap) 
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (snap, snap)
  • Carter played a Days of the Week game on the computer here. I loved that each day of the week had a little sound button he could push so he could hear the days of the week read aloud without having to ask me. It gave him a little bit more independence with the activity. I still sat next to him and helped him a little with understanding where to drag the next day of the week to. When he wasn't sure which day went next I sang him the song to help him figure it out. He was very excited about the monster climbing the ladder.

  • We played a Starfall calendar game on the computer where Carter got to add the day of the week and the number for the day to the calendar along with changing the calendar's background and adding special days to the calendar. He liked getting to make those changes.
Field Trip/Interactive Experience:
  • Each day of the week we went on a different outing. Monday we went to the playground, Tuesday Carter went to school, Wednesday we went to Jake's house, Thursday Carter went to school, and Friday we went on an exploring walk from our house. Each day we looked at the calendar and talked about what our big outing had been the day before (yesterday), that day (today), and then we talked about what we would do the following day (tomorrow). Carter loved that because he always likes to talk about what our plans are and what we will be doing.
  • Days of the Week by Rookie Toddler
  • Cookie's Week by Cindy Ward
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Today is Monday by Eric Carle
  • Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
  • Perfect Square by Michael Hall
  • It's Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones! by Warren Hanson
  • Monday is One Day by Arthur A. Levine
  • Tuesday by David Weisner
  • Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
  • Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin
  • Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin
  • The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting
  • May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
  • Ma Dear's Aprons by Pat McKissack
  • Clifford's Busy Week by Norman Bridwell
  • Wacky Wednesday by Theo LeSieg
  • Manana Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul
  • One Lighthouse One Moon by Anita Lobel
  • Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash by Sarah Weeks
  • Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French