Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Butterflies! - 1/18/12

Well our beautiful butterflies dried and we found lots of uses for them. We cut them all out. Some of them got glued onto pretty garden pictures. Some got taped to strings and tied to the ends of sticks to make butterfly puppets. Then a big puppet production was underway. That took a LONG time to put together. Everyone had to learn their lines and the stage had to be figured out. Lots of arguing, debating, laughing, compromising, some crying, and eventually a show which I tried to video tape several times. In the end, Flossie decided she wasn't going to be in the show. Well, I'm not sure if she decided or it was decided for her. When she stood there and refused to do her part anymore, it was a mutual decision that she had had enough fun for one day. After take 14, I did get a recording, but I can't put it up here because Freddie, as is usual when I am video taping no matter how many times I remind him!, kept saying Scout's real name. Since we're at least shooting for some anonymity on this blog, I won't put the video up here, but there is a cute picture of them doing the show.








C is for Caterpillar - 1/17/12

Well, I was eminently prepared for today due to my staying up til 2:30 am last night and getting about 4 hours of sleep. That always seems to do the trick. It's a huge trade off. When I do that, my school day is great because I have everything prepped and ready to go for the kids. But then I am exhausted by mid afternoon. When I don't, things run less smoothly, we aren't as organized, but I get more sleep. Not enough hours in the day for everything I want to do!

Anyway, we had a good school day. I got a brilliant idea somewhere around 1:30 am that I have been doing things all wrong. Usually I have the living room set up with various activities to keep the preschoolers busy for awhile in the morning when they first arrive:  things like puzzles, manipulatives, games, "work jobs," or tray activities, blocks, easy worksheets, basically things they can do on their own. After an hour or two when they have done all of these things, and I have eaten, checked my email, gotten Jem his breakfast, got his school ready, and basically got ready for them, woken Scout, we start school. Then begins the balancing act of trying to do preschool and manage the other kids school too. I've been bothered that I am not giving them big kids the attention they need because I am spending more time doing preschool and the big kids school is getting pushed back in the day when they are getting more tired.
Well, it finally dawned on me that I am doing things backwards! I should start the preschoolers on school right away when they get there and get the bulk of their school time done early. Then we can do our calendar time as a group. And then I can have the preschoolers do their floor time (their on their own time) while I am working with the big kids on school. This is mostly Jem's time. After lunch, while they nap, I spend most of that time with Scout.
This was our first day of trying the new schedule and it worked like a charm! Woo hoo!

Today we read Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We looked for C words as we read.
 Then thanks to some great printables at 1+1+1 we had lots of fun things to do!












These last two pics are from an activity called "Read and Write the Room." The kids absolutely LOVED this! I printed out the words with pictures and hid them around the house and then they took their clipboards with their worksheets and went word hunting. When they found a word they could write them down. Flossie's sheets were tracing and Freddie just had blank lines so he could write the words himself. They were so excited searching the house for words. At the point I took this picture Flossie had just said, "This is so fun. I love this game!"

So, after all that preschool fun, the big kids were up and we were ready to do our calendar notebooks.
I finally got binders to put them in and the kids designed covers today. They were very excited to do this. I love how they came out!



For independent activities I had set up a painting area where they could do folded paper butterflies and then they has several floor activities. I was excited to see Flossie pull out this puzzle. It is much harder then any puzzle she used to try. She has really been challenging herself lately.











I only got one picture of the big kids working. It's of Jem working on his animal male/female names minibook. We've been reading Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White and we found out that a male swan is called a "cob." So that got him thinking about other animal names. I was surprised there is no Trumpet of the Swan lapbook online anywhere. Maybe I'll have to do one myself!