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This week starts our month long Life At Sea Unit. I'm super excited about it, but quite anxious at the same time. It's been a while since I've taught Dinomite anything completely new. This week we start our study of phonograms. Just preparing for the lessons and activities caused me wonder how I ever learned how to read and spell words in the English language. It's so complicated. Originally I had planned on introducing everything this month, but have decided to take in one step at a time, not only for Dinomite, but for myself. Fortunately, he's developed a new excitement and passion for reading, attempting with any book he can get his hands on. He's been asking me to help him learn how to read harder words. This has definitely helped so far this month.
With the new focus of his language activities, I found myself once again creating a lot of homemade materials. At first I wasn't quite sure what order I would make them available to everyone, as we're moving very slowly, however after much thought I've decided to make all of the printables I've created thus far, available on this post. Lucky you! As I make more, I will be sure to share.
Our focus this week, within the bigger theme is boats, echinoderms (in particular starfish), and stars in the sky. Astronomy is a very big part of life at sea, and wanted to make sure my kiddos understood that.
Phonogram Sorting: Long A
Source: I created all of these cards, along with phonogram sets for each long vowel sound. For the free printables, click on the links below:
If anyone notices any mistakes in these cards, please let me know. I will correct them immediately and make the new one available. (I always get nervous when I make my printables available, thinking I might have made a mistake I didn't catch.)
Phonogram Writing: Long A
Source: I created this printable. For your free copy of all long vowel sound cards, click HERE.
Phonogram Spelling: Long A
And lastly, to really drive the whole idea home and help Dinomite apply his knowledge, I created picture cards to use with our movable alphabet. The cards are all related to our theme of the month.
Source: I created these cards, using my format for nomenclature cards.
Source: I found this free activity at Counting Coconuts.
Creating Numbers to 9,999
Source: I found these free cards at Montessori Print Shop.
Star Skip Counting
Source: This printable is part of a larger set available for free at 3 Dinosaurs.
The kiddos role the dice, place the stars on the night sky, and then write the math problem to the side. Dinomite completes 6 problems because he's 6 years old, Bulldozer-5, and Princess-4. I've found the age thing to be quite a great tool when it comes to tasks that may seem daunting to them.
We've done this activity as well, however the kiddos really struggled with the concepts of stars and constellations. This time they seem to be getting it much more.
Source: I found these free cards at Montessori For Everyone.
Sky Map Puzzle
This activity is really simple. I just printed out a map of our sky and where all of the constellations would be during a specific time of year. I then cut it up into four pieces and have the kids put it together, using the directions on the sides for help if needed. It's a very popular activity on our shelves.
Source: I created this activity.
|Bulldozer's Big Dipper|
Hands On Echinoderms
There's nothing like using all our senses to examine real life echinoderms, even those that are dried out and not alive. I've been very impressed with how careful the kiddos have been.
Boat Nomenclature Cards
We can't have a unit about Life at Sea without studying boats. Over and over again, I am so thankful that I decided to introduce my kiddos to Safari Toobs long ago. We have such a collection. I rarely ever have to buy any. They've worked great in stockings at Christmas, and fit perfectly in large plastic eggs at Easter. (We don't ever use candy at Christmas or Easter because of Bulldozer's allergies.) The boats came from Bulldozer's collection. I do believe one of his boats was missing, but other than that I have created cards that match up with each boat in the packet. Bulldozer broke his sailboat, so I created another card in the set to match Dinomite's mini pirate ship, which is also a sailboat. Both types of sailboats are included in the printable. Bulldozer is loving this activity!
Source: I created these cards. For your free copy, click HERE.
Wind Direction & Boats
I told the kiddos they needed to move the boat from one corner of the bin to another using the straw. The only rule I gave them was that the straw could not touch the boat. The kiddos first attempted to blow the boat. Immediately they were able to make the boat go one way, but all of them ended up blowing the boat into the opposite corner of where it needed to go. The boys were quick to realize they needed to change the placement of the straw to make the boat move. However Princess really struggled. She tried everything but moving the straw to where it needed to go. Finally, observing her extreme frustration I showed her what to do. Eventually she was able to move the boat out of the corner.
Bulldozer became bored blowing the boat where it needed to go. He decided he was going to put the straw in the water and tilt it so it was under the boat. He'd blow as hard as he could, making bubbles, that would eventually move the boat where it needed to go, almost like an engine.
Of course once it was discovered that the kiddos could blow bubbles to make the boat move, they had loads of fun causing the boat to tip over etc.
Art: To be completely honest, I haven't planned out an art activity this week. I had a great plan and then I ran out of time. My guess is next week we'll hit the subject hard.
Music: We've started a new piano piece this month. I figured I'd give it one more try. This time I selected a much easier piece. Dinomite was very excited about it and played the first part with confidence today. We'll also be learning some new songs that will come next week.
Physical Education: Extra-curricular activities have started back up this week. Dinomite takes a 90 minute gymnastics class and is on a bowling league. Bulldozer takes 30 minute tennis lessons, 30 minutes swim lessons and is on a bowling league. Princess is in dance class and gymnastics. No need to worry about P.E. minutes anymore!
Putting On & Taking Off Life Jacket
Life At Sea Lacing Cards
Protecting Ourselves from the Sun
Next week we'll continue our Life At Sea unit, so be sure to check back for more fun activities and printables!