Fish

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We're learning about fish this week as part of our animal unit, that and President's Day. See the post below this one for our other weekly activities.

Language:
Sight Word Match Up

Options:
1.  Match up fish/ocean pictures with words to separate picture and/or word cards.
2.  Practice writing sight words printed on picture cards.

Source: I found these at 3 Dinosaurs as part of one of her great ocean packets.

First Letter Sounds


Option:
1.  Place beads on the correct first letter of the word.

Source: I found these cards at 3 Dinosaurs as part of the ocean packet.

Prewriting/Writing Skills

Option:
1.  Trace lines and words.  (I use white board markers and sheet protectors so I don't have to waist so much paper.)

Source:  These activities came from 3 Dinosaurs ocean packet.

Math:

Shure Fish-N-Learn Magnetic Fishing Numbers


I removed all of the non-fish ocean animals and everyone had fun fishing for numbers and then writing them down on the paper provided. Even Bulldozer, who really struggles with writing, was willing to try, just to play with the fish.

Options are endless with this activity, however, our kiddos spread out the fish on the floor, hooked one, identified the number aloud, and then wrote it on the paper provided.  They did this for as long as they wanted.

Fish Counting Grid Game
The kiddos have almost grown out of this game, but I figured we'd play it one last time this week.  I can't believe how much they have learned this year!

Option:
1.  Roll dice, identify correct number, place corresponding number of goldfish on grid pieces. Repeat process until entire grid board is covered.

Source:  I found this game at Pre-K Pages.

What Comes Next?
Option
1.  Cut out images at the bottom of the paper, glue images in the correct spots, completing the patterns.

Source:  I found this activity as part of the packets at 3 Dinosaurs.

Princess' work.
Okay, I'm going to take the license to brag a little bit, just because, well...  This deserves attention!  Princess is 3 years old, and suffers from a lot of issues.  Despite these issues, Princess has fabulous fine motor skills and an IQ of over 124.  Still, learning time can be such a battle sometimes.  One day during our fish week, while I was doing learning time on my own, (Daddy usually helps.) Princess selected the pattern activity. I explained that she would have to do it herself, because I was helping Bulldozer and well.. She did!  The entire thing!  I am so proud of her!

Geography:
Fish & Their Oceans
This wasn't my most favorite activity, but it did introduce the 5 oceans, and yes, I learned that there are now 5 oceans, so it was beneficial for all of us.  Ha! Ha!

Option:
1. Identify fish and ocean on cards.  Group cards by ocean.  Once finished, select three fish and write their names and what ocean they live in.

Source:  I found these at www.bogglesworldesl.com.

Where do Fish Live?
This activity was inspired by a book my son took out from the library. As always, I was trying to find an activity that would be a challenge for Dinomite, since animals are his world and he knows far more about them than I do.  Identifying oceans was way too easy for him so, with the help of my husband, we came up with this activity.

There were six categories or choices of where the fish live:
1.  Warm Salt Water
2.  Cold Salt Water
3.  Warm Fresh Water
4.  Cold Fresh Water
5.  Hatches in Fresh Water, Lives in Salt Water
6.  Hatches in Salt Water, Lives in Fresh Water

Each location could be matched to two fish cards.  Matching numbers were on the back of each set of cards so the kids (and Mommy) would know the answers.  I designed all of the cards using pictures I found online.  It turned out pretty well!

To save those who are interested, the time and effort it takes to research which fish live where:
1.  Warm Salt Water-Manta Ray & Great White Shark
2.  Cold Salt Water-Atlantic Cod & Smooth Flounder
3.  Warm Fresh Water-Catfish & Piranha
4.  Cold Fresh Water-Brook Trout & Northern Pike
5.  Hatches in Fresh Water, Lives in Salt Water-Coho Salmon & Sturgeon
6.  Hatches in Salt Water, Lives in Fresh Water-European Eel & Cougar Eel

Source:   I created this activity. For your free copy. click HERE.

Zoology:
Fish vs. Other Sea Creatures
Option:  Cut out ocean life animals.  Glue them in the proper boxes-fish or other sea creatures.

Source:  I found this activity at 3 Dinosaurs.

Shark Bingo
We're not really at the point where the kids are ready to play bingo with each other yet, however we are developing the skills needed to make that happen.  This was a great multi-step matching activity.  Dinomite did great with it.  Princess learned it pretty well.  Bulldozer really struggled with it. I'm not sure he ever got the concept.

Option:
1.  Match the letters, colors, and shark cards with the squares on the board.  This can be used as a matching activity or a Bingo game.

Source:  I found this FREE game at Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational.

Practical Life:
Lacing Fish
I found these at my local Dollar Store.  I love great deals!  We had never done lacing cards before until this week.  Princess became extremely frustrated with them and almost destroyed them.  Dinomite decided to try them and practiced every day.  It only took two days and he did it perfectly by himself!  I was super excited and very proud of him!
Dinomite's finished cards.
Art:
Drawing Fish
I have this thing about the subject of art.  It drives me crazy spending a lot of time prepping for a craft or major art project, making it, and then just tossing it afterwards, or storing it in a drawer until I finally toss it a few months later.  The same goes for basically any art project.  Don't get me wrong, the kids do enjoy them, but unless they're going to be a gift for someone or part of a holiday or thank you card, I try to avoid them.

In place of these projects that use lots of paper and create lots of mess, I'm focusing our art time to drawing... and a few other things.  Dinomite has this fear of drawing.  Everything must be perfect before he'll ever attempt anything.  When it comes to his daily journal he freaks out more when it comes to drawing the picture than he does writing the sentence.  I thought perhaps "How to Draw" cards might help him out a bit and build his confidence.
I found the seahorse cards at Art Projects for Kids.
The fish cards were at How to Draw Animals.

Dinomite was super excited when he saw the cards.  This was his first independent drawing including the fish and seahorse.  Later on during the week, he went and brought out the cards to use as part of his journal drawing.  I'm so excited to find art lessons that work with my pet peeves and that build Dinomite's confidence.
Princess isn't afraid of them either.  She looks at the cards as a reference though. It's really cute. She'll look at them and then decide how she's going to draw her own fish.

Lastly, as part of our fish week, we took a trip to our local Bass Pro Shop to see all of the fish and see if we could identify any of them.  Dinomite did a great job!

President's Day

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In honor of President's Day, (and since the kids don't understand the concept of vacation), I added a few president themed activities to our shelves.

President Match Up & Writing Actvity
I decided to focus on U.S. Presidents that are placed on our coins for many of our activities, however, the kids being so young, didn't really know who the U.S. Presidents were, or what their names were.  This activity was designed to help them learn these things.  There are pictures of the four presidents with names an then pictures of the four presidents only, and names only.  Obviously one could add more U.S. Presidents.

Option
1.  Match up cards with names and faces to separate name & face cards.  Once matched, practice writing the names of U.S. Presidents on white board.

Source:  I created this activity on my own, although I'm guessing there are many out there like this.

Presidents Day Roll and Circle
I found this to be a great addition activity, even one that the littler kiddos could do all on their own. Princess played this game every day.

Option:
1. Roll the dice.  Add numbers.  Circle the answer number located on the white house picture. Continue until all numbers are circled.

Source:  I found this activity at Primary Inspiration.

Sort the Coins by President
I thought this activity would be more popular than what it was, but I think it was too easy for my kiddos.  Still, each of them did do it by the end of the week.

Option
1.  Sort coins by U.S. President.

Source:  I found this activity at Teach Beside Me.

Cleaning Pennies
This was by far the favorite activity of the week!  The kids would wait so patiently for their turn to clean pennies.

Option
1.  Place a dirty penny into a small cup.  Use dropper to cover well with lemon juice.  Let sit for at least 5 minutes.  Use dropper to drain out lemon juice.  Take other dropper and cover penny with water to rinse.  Remove water from cup using dropper, place penny on towel to dry.

Source: I can not for the life of me remember where I saw a picture of this activity, however, I was able to find directions for the activity on ehow.com.

A Closer Look at Money
The kids don't really get too close to "real" money very often, so I figured this would be a great time for them to really examine our currency.  They all loved it.  For them, the challenge was to learn how to use a magnifying glass correctly.

Option
1.  Take money of choice, place it in a tray with a magnifying glass and voila! Super easy.

Source: I thought up this one all on my own, however, I'm guessing there are others out there that have thought of it too.  I just didn't happen to stumble across any of them during my searches.

Lincoln Logs
 Of course we couldn't let the week go by without bringing out the Lincoln Logs!  The boys really like them, although Dinomite struggles with building. He has to make everything perfect.  Bulldozer tends to go into his own little world a little too easily with them.  I just loved that they were attempting to build anything!

President's Day Sugar Cookies
Though out the course of the day, the kids helped make the sugar cookie dough, roll it out, and use the cookie cutters.  In the evening, we decorated them. Each kiddo was given their own knife, frosting and sprinkles. It was a mess, but tons of fun and very yummy.  I do believe the kids are getting better at spreading.  I love activities that you can eat after your done!

Animal Unit: Birds

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Our animal month continues with a week of birds activities.  It just happened to coincide with Valentine's Day too, so you'll notice a few less, because they were Valentine's Day themed.

Language
Bird Sight Words

Options: 
1.  Match up bird pictures with words to separate picture and/or word cards.
2.  Practice writing sight words printed on picture cards.

Source:  I found the cute pictures & sight words at Home School Creations.  They were part of a fabulous bird packet.
First Letter Sounds

Option:
1.  Place bird seed on the correct first letter of the word.

Source:  These also came with the bird packet at Home School Creations.

Follow the Directions

Option:
1.  Circle the correct picture answer.

Source:  This page was also part of the bird packet at Home School Creations

Bird Maze

I've found mazes to be really great ways to help the kiddos with their fine motor skills. Bulldozer LOVES them, which was a huge surprise to me at first.  I paired the Bird Maze and Follow the Directions sheets as one activity.

Option:
1. Complete bird maze.

Source:
1.  Home School Creations Bird Packet.


Letter Writing
I was absolutely floored that Bulldozer selected this activity above all other activities each day.  It's a double sided place mat with capital letters on one side and lower case letters on the other side.

Options:
1. Trace letters using white board erasable marker.
2. Write letters next to printed letters using white board erasable marker.

Source:  I'm a huge fan of place mats, so this is just one in my collection of many. I find them great practical ways of helping the kids learn things.

Math
Bird Match Up


Option:
1. Match up birds using pictures provided.

Source:  I found this activity at Montessori Print Shop.


One More/One Less
Bulldozer shocked me with how much he enjoyed this activity and how well he did with it.  The kid always amazes me!

Option:
1.  Select One More or One Less game, and play using directions, die, and tokens of some kind. We used sunflower seeds.

Source:  These games were part of the Home School Creations Bird Packet.

More, Less or Equal

Using the signs was a new concept for the kids this week.  Dinomite and Princess completed with activity and did quite well with it.

Option:
1. Cut out pieces located at the bottom of the page, glue them in their proper places above.

Source:  Part of the Home School Creation Bird Packet.

How Many?

Option:
1. Count leaves on branch & place token on correct number below. We used sunflower seeds as tokens.

Source: Part of the Home School Creation Bird Packet.

Geography
Birds & Their Continents
Once again, Dinomite LOVED this activity.  Princess and Bulldozer even got into it.  I love it because there are so many options for different levels of learning.

Center Options:
1.  Match up Continent with Labels to separate Continent and/or Label Cards.2.  Match up Continents with Labels to Mammal Cards3.  Match up Continent Labels to Mammal Cards4.  Match up Continent with Labels to separate Continent and/or Label Cards.  Once correct, practice writing continent and animal names.

Sources: Cards can be found at Walk Beside Me.


Coloring Our World
Options
1.  Color continents green and water blue.
2.  Label continents with proper name.
Both options can be combined.


Sources:  I found this coloring page at Crayola.com.  Instead of printing off a million copies of paper maps, we use one printed page and a sheet protector.  Crayola Washable Dry Erase Markers work great!
I decided to keep this activity out, even though we used it last week.  I'm so glad I did, because yet again Bulldozer surprised me and colored the earth several times, as accurately as he could!  Way to go Bulldozer!


Zoology
Bird Sensory Bin

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a bird sensory bin.  Hopefully next time around I'll have more to add, but for now this worked great and the kids loved it!

Contents:

Source:  I put this one together myself. I think I love putting sensory bins together as much as the kids love playing with them!

Bird Beak Identification

This activity was for Dinomite.  As obsessed with animals as he is, it's always a challenge to find a subject he knows nothing about.  Beaks just happened to be that subject. When I stumbled across this activity I knew it was perfect, and it was!  He loved it!  I thought it was fascinating too.  Not only did he learn about several different kinds of birds, but discriptions of their beaks too.

Option:
1.  Match up bird pictures & names with bird beak names and descriptions.  (I wrote numbers on the back of the cards so I'd know when a match was correct.)

Source:  I found these cards for FREE at Montessori Print Shop!

Parts of a Bird

Dinomite did this once during the week, but Bulldozer did this activity three times during the week.  He was determined to put it together by himself with all of the labels.  He really had such a good week!

Option:
1. Place bird parts in the correct place, along with labels.

Sources:  I found the bird puzzle at Montessori N' Such for free.  I made my own bird part labels.

Practical Life
Transferring Feathers

All of the kids really struggled with this activity.  It was extremely difficult for Bulldozer and Princess to open and close the clothespin using only one hand properly.  There was definitely some frustration from Princess.

Option:
1. Transfer feathers from one heart to another using the clothespin.

Source:  I found this activity at My Montessori Journey.


Transferring Water with Dropper

This was the absolute favorite activity of the week!  I loved it because it helped the kids with their pincher skills.

Option:
1. Transfer water from one container to the other using the dropper provided.

Source
1.  I found this activity at My Montessori Journey.

And there you have it! Our week's worth of bird activities!

For more bird themed activities, printables and resources, click on the posts below.






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