How We Do

Yo.  ;)  Last week was letter “P,p” in Nugget’s co-op class.  I was going to do penguins, but – DUH! – I went with pumpkins.  Perfect timing since it is currently October.  I usually plan what we’ll do each day by subject.  The subjects we cover daily are phonics, reading and handwriting.  I also incorporate math, science and social studies but on an every-other-day basis.  So, for the letter “P,p,” I tried to incorporate pumpkins into as many of the subjects as possible.  A couple of weeks ago, we began a weekly practice of brainstorming words that begin with the letter of the week and writing them on our little IKEA white board.  I drew a giant pumpkin and we spent 5 minutes or so filling it in with as many “P” words as we could think of.  Nugget began roaming the house looking for things that start with “P.”  He even came up with “phone!”  Way to go, little guy!  For a literacy/math activity, we made a sight words graph.  I created a printable with several sight words listed repeatedly in random order at the top and a blank graph with one of the words at the bottom of each column.

Sight Words Graph

Sight Words Graph

Nugget used a different color for each word and colored in a square on the graph for each time that word appeared in the jumble at the top.  When he was done we used the graph to find out which word appeared the most often and which one appeared the least.  I find that combining subjects and using crayons instead of pencil keeps him intrigued and he is more willing to work on a longer lesson.  There was room at the bottom of the sheet so I had printed some shapes for him to trace.  Just a little review.  I also found a pumpkin shapes printable that he enjoyed.  It was pretty easy, but a good review and everyone needs a little confidence booster now and then, right?

Pumpkin Shapes

Pumpkin Shapes

I really like flipping through old and current Mailbox Magazines for great tactile ideas as well as seasonal printables.  This week, we used one that required cutting skills and shape recognition.  Again, a nice review along with practice of a motor skill.  For handwriting, we use the Zaner-Bloser curriculum.  Last year, Nugget used the Code series for both phonics and handwriting.  Specifically, we used Get Ready for the Code, Get Set for the Code and Go for the Code.  I found them to be very age appropriate for a 4 year old who was starting to read.  They laid out that basics in a way that was fun and simple.  Zaner-Bloser is okay, but if we weren’t in the co-op, I would still be using the Code series.  For our reading this week, I stocked up on library books about fire safety, visiting the dentist, Halloween and bones in the human body (more on that in an upcoming post).  With regard to science and social studies, I plan on working those in every other day, unless I find a bunch of great ideas that I think we should be able to complete.  So, this week, we did a quick internet search for Christopher Columbus and watch a short video on the National Geographic Kids website.  We also made pumpkin play dough, did a pumpkin melty beads project, made good food & bad food tooth collages and labeled some of the bones on our Halloween skeleton decoration.

Collages:  good vs. bad for your teeth

Collages: good vs. bad for your teeth

Usually, I try to head out of the house on Fridays for a “field trip.”  However, this past Friday was fall break for just about every surrounding school district so, we thought it best to avoid the crowds at the local museums and just stay in for a day off.

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