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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. The Fish Habitat Cards are a Subscriber Only Freebie. For your copy, follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

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! If you're interested in more Montessori-inspired fish activities and resources, be sure to visit the posts below.

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We hope you enjoy your free printable.

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If you enjoyed this post, you may als oenjoy the resources below.

Montessori Fish and Water Unit w/ Free Printables Montessori Fish Printable Pack Children's Books about Fish Shark Activities for Tots and Preschoolers Shark Unit with Free Printables Sea Turtle Activities for Tots Montessori Crustacean Activities for Preschoolers Fish Printable Pack Bundle

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President's Day Activities

In honor of Presidents Day, I put a few activities out on the shelves to start introducing the topic. It's a great time to teach about currency and of course past and present leaders of our nation.

President's Day isn't something we've really covered yet, so I wasn't sure how it would go.  Thankfully the kids enjoyed everything.

We hope you enjoy these activity ideas as much as we did!

Presidents Day Activities

Presidents Day Activities for Kids


President Match Up & Writing Activity
Presidents Nomenclature Cards

I decided to focus on United States Presidents that are placed on our coins for many of our activities. 

The kids being so young, didn't really know who the United States Presidents were, or what their names were.  

This activity was designed to help them learn these things.  I only included the four presidents on United States coins.  Obviously one could add more U.S. Presidents.

The kids matched up pictures and names, and also practiced writing names using the dry erase board provided.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity.

Presidents Day Roll and Circle
Presidents Day Roll and Circle

I found this to be a great addition activity, and one that the littler kiddos could do all on their own. 

Princess played this game every day.

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!
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Birds Unit 1

There are many in our family who absolutely LOVE birds, especially backyard birds. The Birds Unit 1 was the perfect way to incorporate a type of animal the kids love with learning. After all, there is so much to learn about birds!

These activities are designed for children in Montessori preschool classes. Activities for a variety of subjects are included in this post, which makes it the perfect unit study.

We hope you enjoy these bird themed activities as much as we did!
Bird Unit 1

Montessori-inspired Bird Activities for Preschoolers


Language


Bird Sight Words
Bird Sight Words

When choosing his activity the kids will match up bird pictures with words to separate picture and word cards. They may also choose to practice writing sight words printed on the cards, utilizing their white boards.

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

Bird Themed First Letter Sounds
Bird Themed First Letter Sounds
The kids will place bird seed on the correct first letter of each bird themed word. Picture cards from the sight word activity can be used as a control if needed.

Source:  The printable for this activity also came with the bird packet at Home School Creations.

Follow the Directions
Follow the Directions
I love this activity because it incorporates grammar and prewriting skills all in one, without being so threatening.

The kids follow the directions for each set of pictures. If they need the directions read to them they may ask for help.

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

Bird Maze
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'm not complaining though as mazes are a great way to practice pre-writing skills.

Source: I found the printable for this activity in the Home School Creations Bird Packet.

Math


Bird Match Up
Bird Match Up

Making comparisons is a great first step to math concepts. When selecting this activity the kids will match up birds in the cup with birds on the chart. Depending on their skill level and desire to continue, will depend on how many bird strips they actually complete.

Source:  I found this activity at Montessori Print Shop.


One More/One Less
One More/One Less

I love how this activity teaches addition and subtraction concepts in a different way. The kids had so much fun with it.

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

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

More, Less or Equal
Greater Than/Less Than Bird Activity

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

The kids cut out pieces located at the bottom of the page and glued them in their proper places above. I love that math and cutting skills were involved in this activity.

Source:  This printable is part of the Home School Creation Bird Packet.

How Many Birds?
How Many Birds Counting Activity

The kids counted leaves on the branch and placed a marker on correct number below. We used sunflower seeds as tokens.

Source: Part of the Home School Creation Bird Packet.

Geography


Birds & Continents Sorting Activity
Birds & Continents Sort
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.

The kids matched up continent with labels to separate continent and label cards. They matched up continents with labels to bird cards.  At times the kids even practiced writing names of birds and continents.

Sources: Cards can be found at Walk Beside Me.

Zoology


Bird Sensory Bin
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 sensory bin together myself. I think I love putting sensory bins together as much as the kids love playing with them!

Bird Beak Identification
Bird Beak Identification

This activity was for Dinomite.  As passionate 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, also their descriptions.

Dinomite matched up bird pictures 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
Parts of a Bird Puzzle

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!

Each kiddo placeed the 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
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.

We'll pull this activity out again in six months to see if their finger and hand muscles have strengthened at all.

Source:  I found this activity at My Montessori Journey.


Transferring Water with Dropper
Transferring Water Using a Dropper

This was the absolute favorite activity of the week!  I loved it because it helped the kids with their fine motor skills, perparing them for writing.

Source: 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.

Montessori Bird Math ActivitiesMontessori Birds Printable Pack BundleChildren's Books About BirdsMontessori Backyard Bird ActivitiesBird Unit 2 with Free PrintablesBird Unit 3 with Free Printables

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