Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Weekly Learning Theme: Birthday

This is how behind I am with learning theme posts, we did a birthday learning theme leading up to Elise's birthday in March. I love doing the birthday learning themes because it helps me remember all the fun little things I've done in years past so I can make the birthday week special.

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 have added working on his name as his teachers at school have asked us to work on it at home and I want to remember to include working on it in some form during each of our learning themes. 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:

Writing Skills:
  • holds a pencil with 2 fingers and a thumb grasp.
  • draws a circle, plus sign, and square.
  • uses scissors to cut a 4 inch line. 
  • uses pictures to write a story.
  • writes name.
Reading Skills:
  • blends sounds to say word.
  • chunks words into syllables.
  • hears and identifies rhyming words.
  • recognizes and names uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • isolates and identifies beginning and ending sounds in spoken words.
 Math Skills:
  • counts to 20.
  • counts with one to one correspondence.
  • represents a number of objects with a written numeral (0-10).
  • compares objects in sets with more, less, or equal to.
  • creates and extends patterns.
  • identifies shapes and describes attributes. 
  • understands that addition means adding to.
  • understands that subtraction means taking from.                   
 Experiences Elise was exposed to during our theme this week are highlighted below:
  1. Continue to improve fine motor skills and drawing (specifically I'm looking for her to be able to copy a circle and a square as well as eventually draw a person with 2-4 body parts).
  2. Understand same and different.
  3. Accurately tell stories as well as retell the story from a book. 
  4. Use age appropriate scissors. 
  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 such as size, color, hard, soft).
  7. Count and understand what the numbers mean.
Activities/Movement:
  • I wrote the word birthday on a sentence strip. I did my typical thing with Carter practicing with the letters in the word. Then I chunked the word into birth and day and asked him to blend the parts together to determine the word. I also practiced having him say birthday without the birth and then birthday without the day.
  • Carter made Elise a book for a present. It was really cute. He worked hard and built the book all by himself, taping the pages together rather than using a stapler. He drew the pictures and then told me what he wanted me to write on each page when he was finished with his story.
  • The kids again had fun cutting scrap paper into confetti for a sensory bin. This is really Elise's jam. She loves cutting and using scissors. She had a blast making the confetti. We used scrap pieces of construction paper for our confetti.
  • I got out the birthday cake pattern block template I had made for Carter's birthday and then made a number three with pattern blocks to go with it. When Carter made the birthday cake we talked about the shape names and how many sides each shape had. When he was finished we counted to see how many of each shape he had used, discovering which shape he used the most and which the least. Then we talked about how there were 5 candles on the cake and I asked how many he needed to take off to make the correct number for Elise. I told him 5-2=3. As Elise worked with the pattern blocks we talked about shape names and color names.
  • Elise wrote a book about herself. I asked her to tell me some things about herself for a book and then she drew pictures to illustrate her book. I love having the about me books Carter wrote each year on his birthday so I'm excited to start that with Elise.

  • Elise and I practiced counting to 3 over and over throughout the week. Every time we played with something we counted out 3 and then we talked about how she was turning 3. We also practiced holding up 3 fingers so she could show her age.
  • Elise loves using dry erase markers so I used that to my advantage to practice drawing circles and squares. I showed her how to turn a circle into a balloon and a square into a present. I helped her draw a square because drawing straight lines is difficult for her right now.

  • I measured Elise on our height chart. I showed her where Carter, daddy, and Uncle Paul measured at her age. With Carter I had him point out who was the tallest and who was the shortest.
  • After Elise's party I had her write a story about her party. It was cute to see what she thought the important points of her party were. She told me what to write and then she drew pictures to illustrate her story.
  • I pulled out the photobook I made from pictures of Elise's birth and shortly thereafter. I told her the story of her birth which she loved. Carter especially loves to hear their birth stories and will remind me of his favorite details if I leave them out of the story.
  • We played with candles. I had Elise sort the candles by color. We named the color as she placed them together. Then we counted to see how many candles we had of each color. When we were finished sorting and counting I got out some Play Doh so Elise could make pretend birthday cakes. We practiced counting out 3 candles to put in her pretend cake multiple times.
  • I asked Carter questions about Elise for a birthday interview. Read his answers here. Carter practiced writing his name by signing Elise's birthday card.
  • I asked Elise questions about herself for her birthday interview. Read her interview here.
Craft:
  • Elise made her special birthday shirt for her party and her birthday. Ty used a special tape from work to print a 3 this year which was easier than trying to form a number out of painter's tape like we have done in the past.
  • I found the birthday cake coloring page I was looking for during Carter's birthday learning theme. When she was finished coloring we counted out 3 candles. Elise cut the candles apart and then I helped her cut them out the rest of the way. Then she picked a color of construction paper to glue the cake to.




  • Elise painted papers with watercolor to use as thank you notes from her birthday party.
Special Snack:
  • Elise got to pick out a special cake for her birthday. She wanted a cookie cake rather than cake which was delicious! She also got to pick dinner on her birthday. She chose to go to Chick fil A which she pronounces "Chick a lay."
Make Believe:
  • We had fun playing with our wooden cake, pretending to have a birthday party. Elise loved cutting the cake apart and serving everyone slices.

Songs:
  • We sang Happy Birthday in different languages. We also sang Tom Chapin's birthday song.
Technology:
  • Elise played the birthday cake candle counting game here.
 Field Trip/Interactive Experience:
  • We had Elise's 3rd birthday party at our house. She chose a Paw Patrol theme and enjoyed a Skye piƱata.
  • We went to Skyzone for Elise's birthday a few days late. She had a blast! She played so hard she spent the last 15 minutes laying in my lap.
Books:
  • Surprise! by Mike Henson
  • Happy Birthday, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton
  • Happy Birthday by Sarah Powell
  • Happy Birthday to You! by Dr. Seuss
  • Happy Birthday, Mouse! by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • Happy Birthday, Cupcake by Terry Border 
  • Happy Birthday, Moon! by Frank Asch
  • Happy Birthday, Hamster by Cynthia Lord
  • Happy Birthday, Bunny! by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon
  • Happy Birthday, Biscuit! by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
  • Bears and a Birthday by Shirley Parenteau
  • The Secret Birthday Message by Eric Carle 
  • Froggy Bakes a Cake by Jonathan London
  • On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
  • Moira's Birthday by Robert Munsch
  • Birthday Zoo by Lynn Munsinger
  • Curious George and the Birthday Surprise by H.A. Rey 
  • Carl's Birthday by Alexandra Day
  • It's My Birthday by Liesbet Slegers
  • It's My Birthday by Helen Oxenbury
  • It's My Birthday by Pat Hutchins
  • Touch and Feel Birthday by DK Books
  • Happy Birthday by Yu-Hsuan Huang
  • The Birthday Box by Leslie Patricelli
  • Sarah's Birthday by Pauline Oud
  • A Farmer Boy Birthday by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Secret Birthday by Rosemary Wells

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