Racing Vehicles

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We are now finishing our third week of vehicle themed studies.  I've gotta say, I'm ready to switch gears, BUT the boys are LOVING this unit.  Princess is enjoying herself too, as I've been adding St. Patrick's Day and Easter activities every week.  Our Easter activities will be posted soon!  Next week is our last week, focusing on land, air, and water vehicles in a more generic sense.  Here's what we did this week-

Language
Disney Cars Shape Sight Words
I've been really working hard to teach the kids their basic sight words of numbers, colors, shapes, etc.  This week we focused on shapes.  All three kiddos loved the Cars printables I found.

Source:  I found this as part of a printable packet at 1+1+1=1.

 M is for Monster Truck (& Mud)
Bringing back our "mud" play dough from a couple weeks ago, the kids made upper case and lower case M's.  I did not realize how difficult this was going to be for them.  There will definitely be more of these  activities to come!

Source:  I found this cute printable at 1+1+1=1.  It was part of a Monster Trucks printable packet.

Math
Racing Race Cars
Oh My Goodness!!!  This was by far THE FAVORITE activity of the week.  So much that there were almost daily arguments.  Our Montessori classroom is still in the works. I don't have enough sets of shelves yet for every subject area. Instead I have a set of black shelves on one side of the room, and four lower shelves of 2 bookshelves on the other side of the room.  (The upper shelves I use for storage.)  To help with Bulldozer's stemming issues, related to his autism, I divide the activities up into 2 categories.  The kids call them the "work" shelves and the "fun" shelves.  The activities more geared towards math, language, and geography are usually located on the black shelves or the "work" shelves.  The other "fun" shelves usually hold our science, practical life, art, music, and sensorial activities.  For the first half of learning time, the kids have to choose activities from the black shelves.  The second half of learning time the kids choose activities from the other shelves.  I know this may not be typical, but Bulldozer would not do anything else if he had full access to the other "fun" shelves the entire time.

So, the Racing Race Cars activity was at first on the black shelves.  They were matching colors, numbers, and well... that's it.  But, that was NOT it for them.  Every time someone was using this game, everyone was glued to it.  Which car would win?  Who's ahead now?  It went on and on.  After three days, the activity was moved to the "fun" shelves, to ensure that the kiddos would choose other "work" activities.  Needless to say this tray was a BIG hit! I found the little markers at our local dollar store. They're actually tiny stamps, but none of the kids knew that. :)

Oh, I almost forgot to share how we played the game.  Each number 1-6 was represented by one of the colored race car. The kiddos rolled the die to find out what car moved ahead one space. If the die read 6, then car number 6 moved space.  This could be a group activity or an individual activity.  The kiddos kept rolling the die until one car made it to the finish line.  Dinomite always loved seeing who came in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th too.

Source: I found this activity at Mama Jenn.

 Monster Truck Numbers 1-20
I was really surprised that Bulldozer selected this activity every day of the week.  He's not one to practice writing, but he definitely did this week.  Perhaps it was the monster trucks on the page, I don't know.  He did a fabulous job tracing numbers that could be traced, and even wrote in a few of his own. Way to go Bulldozer!

Source: This printable came as part of a packet at 1+1+1=1.

 Numbers to 9,999
I still do not have my golden bead sets of 100 and 1000, but I couldn't resist introducing the kids to the decimal system as they have been trying to invent their own really big numbers for a few weeks now.  They just seemed ready.  And boy was Dinomite ready!
He loved this activity this week, except for the setting up and picking up parts.  We took turns making numbers back and forth, as he identified each and every one.  It was so much fun!  Bulldozer even joined in once or twice.

Source:  I found these number print outs at Montessori Print Shop.

Science 
Let's Build a Car!
Dinomite is really big into LEGOS right now, especially LEGO City sets.  He received a few new kits for his birthday, one being a My First Lego kit.  It just so happened it was a car kit.  I couldn't resist adding it to our shelves so that all three kiddos could build their own race cars.  The activity was very well received!

Racing Predictions vs. Winners
Dinomite also received a Hot Wheels Racing Ramp for his birthday.  Of course I had to incorporate that!  The ramp is set up for 4 cars.  I selected 4 different colors.  Before the cars raced down the ramp, the kiddos wrote down the number race it was on their recording sheet, and then colored in the prediction square with the color of the car they thought might win the race.  After the race was finished, they colored in the winner square with the color of the car who won.  It was fun to see how excited they would get if their predictions were right.
Everyone did this activity at least twice! I would say it was second favorite of the week!

Practical Life
Monster Truck Wash

I had originally thought of bringing out our "mud" play dough again and have the kids build a monster truck race track, BUT, they came up with the idea first and did that all of Sunday afternoon, so they had enough.  Instead, after listening to the boys complain about the play dough stuck in their monster trucks, I created a monster truck washing station.  One bowl had soapy water for them to wash the monster truck, using the tooth brush provided, while the other bowl had clean water in it to rinse.  I also provided a dish towel.  The kids enjoyed the activity but really struggled with using the tooth brush to wash.  It looks like we're going to need to incorporate more hand strengthening activities.  Yippee!

And that was our week.  Yet another fun one!

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