Thursday, December 27, 2012

Monster Rocks

Here's a fun Halloween activity! 
Create Your Own Monster Rocks 



This activity is fairly easy although you'll need to do it in several steps to allow for the paint and mod podge to dry. So plan several small sessions to complete these rocks, or pre-paint the rocks and have the kids help you decorate them!

What You'll Need: 
- Mod Podge Glue
- 3/4" to 2" Rocks Tumbled Smooth
- Several Colors of Craft Paint
- Google Eye's
- Paint Brushes

Time To Complete This Activity: 
- From start to finish it took me 48 hours to allow layers of the glue and  Mod Podge to dry.

Difficulty: 
- 2 of 5 Stars for time it takes to dry.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Here is how to create these adorable monster rocks, I hope you have fun, and make sure to use them for math counters during the Halloween season! 


Step 1: Painting
Take each tumbled stone you wish to turn into a monster rock and paint it with your choice of colors. With the stones I had, it took about 3 layers of paint. With the craft paint it dried within about 30 minutes. So total time to paint was about 1.5 hours. You'll want to wait several hours before moving on from this point to make sure the paint is completely dry.

Step 2: Seal It 
After the paint is dry, seal it with the Mod Podge glue by painting the rock complete with it. You'll want to wait 5 to 24 hours for the Mod Podge to dry before trying to draw over the top of it or you will end up pushing it off the stone along with the paint underneath it.

Step 3: Draw Your Face
Dray the faces on the rock using a permanent marker. Be as creative as you'd like! Even my 2 year old had fun doing this! You can use different color markers, and experiment.

Step 4: Glue On Googly Eye's 
Glue on the googly eye's to complete the faces! The eyes can come off if you do not glue them on correctly and this can be a choking hazard. So be sure to glue them on using something like Hot Stuff  which is designed for rock (nothing water soluble that could dissolve in a little ones mouth).

Step 5: Re-Seal 
Re-seal the entire stone to keep the marker on, I even painted over the googly eye's so that I knew they were protected as well. I let this dry overnight to make sure nothing was coming off and then I tested the eye's by pushing on them to make sure they were on the rocks securely. Once I was satisfied the eye's weren't going anywhere I created math games to go along with the rocks! In addition we're using them for Halloween decor. To see our Monster Rocks Math Games Go Here.

I Had A Dream - Themed Lesson Plan (Martin Luther King Jr)

This entire lesson is about having a dream, and being able to explore what that means, and how it can change the world. Learning about Martin Luther King day which is actually about Martin Luther King Jr. This is commonly confused and should be kept very specific if you choose to actually talk about Martin Luther King Jr. during this week's pre-school/kindergarten exploration. Because of the age f my children I chose not to focus on the tragedy that African American's experienced that lead up to the famous speeches or acts during Martin Luther King Jr.'s time. I instead chose to focus on the inspiration that Martin Luther King Jr. left behind. The "I had a dream" speech and how a dream can change the world. We will re-visit Martin Luther King Jr. annually and will get into more of the graphic side of this sotry as they get older.

This Week's Spelling Words: 
- I
- She
- You
- Me
- At
- Mat
- Pat
- Sat
- We
- My

This Week's Color Focus: 
- Cool vs. Warm colors

This Week's Math Focus: 
- Counting 1-50
- Adding number combinations with the sum of 20 or less.

This Week's Helpful Sites: 
- http://www.teachingheart.net/happymlkbooks.html
- http://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/01/learning-about-martin-luther-king-jr-in-preschool/
- http://www.2013calendarwithholidays.org/2013-holiday-list
- http://www.pbs.org/empires/martinluther/who_said.html

This Week's Vocabulary Words: 
- Unjust - unfair, mean, unkind 
- Just - fair, polite, kind
- Fair - nice, polite, kind
- Unfair - mean, poorly treated, unkind
- Treatment - how you act towards someone (I used the example of Rudolph and the other reindeer) 
- Laws = rules set by the government or society and enforced by officers of the law
- Support = to assist or help

Monday - 

Reading - practice flash cards of this week's words.
Read the children's books for at least 20 minutes. Note whenever children (or a creature) are treated or act justly (fairly) or unjustly (unfairly). If a character acts unjustly to another pause reading to ask what they could do differently.
Read over this week's vocabulary words, and discuss their meanings (definitions). 

Math - practice counting from 1 to 50 (counting either out loud or using objects).
Practice addition with out objects to count. There are many good websites that provide free addition, subtraction and other math pages. However here are a few of my favorite: 

- http://www.math-drills.com/addition.shtml
- http://www.schoolsparks.com/kindergarten-worksheets/category/addition-worksheets
- http://www.ixl.com/math/kindergarten (you can complete 5 practice activities each day for free or subscribe fr $9.95 month) 
- http://www.tlsbooks.com/mathadditionworksheets.htm

Pick one or a few practice pages to work on today. Don't worry about how far you get nearly as much as you emphasize the importance of understanding, if you child isn't ready to move on go back to using objects they can count. 

Color Lesson: 
Learn about what colors are cool, what colors are warm and what the difference is. Here are a few websites you can read abut this infrmation: 

- http://blog.arizonawholesalesupply.com/2010/06/understanding-color-warm-vs-cool-colors/
- http://interiordec.about.com/od/color/a/Warm-Colors-And-Cool-Colors.htm
- http://www.ckcolorado.org/units/Kindergarten/k_colorstalk.PDF
- http://lessonplansource.com/warm-and-cool-colors/
- http://www.anksimage.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/color_chart_warm_cool.gif

After learning about the colors let's try coloring using warm and cool colors: 

- http://www.eiu.edu/adulted/ArtConference_ColorScheme.pdf
- http://www.4shared.com/document/XUUO93o6/color_wheel_activities.html

I Had A Dream Activity: 
Use the following chart t introduce Martin Luther King Jr. Please keep in mind that Cinderella and all the art used is a trademark and copy right by Disney. This graph can only be used for personal and educational purposes.



The following lesson (discussion) can go along with the above graph. 
Ask the child(ren) if they have a dream. Talk about how their dream could possibly shape the rest of their lives, or change the lives of the people around them. For example if their dream is the 'join the circus' what things might they need to do to prepare to make that dream come true? Do any of the items on their 'to prepare for list' involve support of others? IE: gymnastics lessons that parents might need to help pay for, which means that their parents may need to have a good job, a vehicle to transport them etc. Dreams take support of some kind to come true. So discussing your dreams is a great way to get them on track. Sometimes your dreams come with risks, embarrassment,etc. 

Tuesday - 

Reading - practice flash cards of this week's words.

Read the children's books for at least 20 minutes. Note whenever children (or a creature) are treated or act justly (fairly) or unjustly (unfairly). If a character acts unjustly to another pause reading to ask what they could do differently.
Read over this week's vocabulary words, and then use each one in a proper sentence. 

Math - practice counting from 1 to 50 (counting either out loud or using objects).
Practice addition with out objects to count. There are many good websites that provide free addition, subtraction and other math pages. However here are a few of my favorite: 

- http://www.math-drills.com/addition.shtml
- http://www.schoolsparks.com/kindergarten-worksheets/category/addition-worksheets
- http://www.ixl.com/math/kindergarten (you can complete 5 practice activities each day for free or subscribe fr $9.95 month) 
- http://www.tlsbooks.com/mathadditionworksheets.htm

Pick one or a few practice pages to work on today. Don't worry about how far you get nearly as much as you emphasize the importance of understanding, if you child isn't ready to move on go back to using objects they can count. 

Color Lesson: 
Learn about what colors are cool, what colors are warm and what the difference is. Here are a few websites you can read abut this infrmation: 

- http://blog.arizonawholesalesupply.com/2010/06/understanding-color-warm-vs-cool-colors/
- http://interiordec.about.com/od/color/a/Warm-Colors-And-Cool-Colors.htm
- http://www.ckcolorado.org/units/Kindergarten/k_colorstalk.PDF
- http://lessonplansource.com/warm-and-cool-colors/
- http://www.anksimage.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/color_chart_warm_cool.gif

After learning about the colors try going around the house and pointing (or photographing with a phone, leappad, or digital camera) items that are cool or warm colors. IE: toys, accent walls, dishes etc. Make your own collage with warm colors, and a collage with cool colors (if photographing your own home is not an option try looking through magazines). 

I Had A Dream Activity: 
Now that children have had an introduction to the idea of having dreams/goals, have each child write down 3 to 10 dreams on 'dream clouds' (construction paper cut out to look like clouds), you can even add cotton balls around the edges of the cloud cut-outs. 

After all the dream clouds are filled out (depending on your child's attention span) use push pins, magnets, or tape and hang them up. Ours are hanging on poster board that says "Dreams are a wonderful thing but they take support to become a reality" You may want to limit some dreams or goals t things that can happen fairly soon as to illustrate the idea to children. 

Wednesday - 


Reading - practice flash cards of this week's words.

Read the children's books for at least 20 minutes. Note whenever children (or a creature) are treated or act justly (fairly) or unjustly (unfairly). If a character acts unjustly to another pause reading to ask what they could do differently.
Read over this week's vocabulary words, and practice writing each one with your child so they can see how they are written. 

Math - practice counting from 1 to 50 (counting either out loud or using objects).
Practice addition with out objects to count. There are many good websites that provide free addition, subtraction and other math pages. However here are a few of my favorite: 

- http://www.math-drills.com/addition.shtml
- http://www.schoolsparks.com/kindergarten-worksheets/category/addition-worksheets
- http://www.ixl.com/math/kindergarten (you can complete 5 practice activities each day for free or subscribe fr $9.95 month) 
- http://www.tlsbooks.com/mathadditionworksheets.htm

Pick one or a few practice pages to work on today. Don't worry about how far you get nearly as much as you emphasize the importance of understanding, if you child isn't ready to move on go back to using objects they can count. 

Color Lesson: 
Learn about what colors are cool, what colors are warm and what the difference is. Here are a few websites you can read abut this infrmation: 

- http://blog.arizonawholesalesupply.com/2010/06/understanding-color-warm-vs-cool-colors/
- http://interiordec.about.com/od/color/a/Warm-Colors-And-Cool-Colors.htm
- http://www.ckcolorado.org/units/Kindergarten/k_colorstalk.PDF
- http://lessonplansource.com/warm-and-cool-colors/
- http://www.anksimage.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/color_chart_warm_cool.gif

Try playing dress-ups! This can be done with boys and girls. Go through the child's wardrobe trying on clothing. Write down or photograph each outfit and which pieces are warm or cool colors. If you prefer you can do this with a doll that has several outfits or sticker dolls. 

I Had A Dream Activity: 
Read the Martin Luther King Jr. timeline by children, to your children. This is a great illustration of he was. You can find this timeline here

Thursday - 

Reading - practice flash cards of this week's words.

Read the children's books for at least 20 minutes. Note whenever children (or a creature) are treated or act justly (fairly) or unjustly (unfairly). If a character acts unjustly to another pause reading to ask what they could do differently.

Write each vocabulary word for this week three times, alone with the definition or synonym. 

Math - practice counting from 1 to 50 (counting either out loud or using objects).
Practice addition with out objects to count. There are many good websites that provide free addition, subtraction and other math pages. However here are a few of my favorite: 

- http://www.math-drills.com/addition.shtml
- http://www.schoolsparks.com/kindergarten-worksheets/category/addition-worksheets
- http://www.ixl.com/math/kindergarten (you can complete 5 practice activities each day for free or subscribe fr $9.95 month) 
- http://www.tlsbooks.com/mathadditionworksheets.htm

Pick one or a few practice pages to work on today. Don't worry about how far you get nearly as much as you emphasize the importance of understanding, if you child isn't ready to move on go back to using objects they can count. 

Color Lesson: 
Learn about what colors are cool, what colors are warm and what the difference is. Here are a few websites you can read abut this infrmation: 

- http://blog.arizonawholesalesupply.com/2010/06/understanding-color-warm-vs-cool-colors/
- http://interiordec.about.com/od/color/a/Warm-Colors-And-Cool-Colors.htm
- http://www.ckcolorado.org/units/Kindergarten/k_colorstalk.PDF
- http://lessonplansource.com/warm-and-cool-colors/
- http://www.anksimage.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/color_chart_warm_cool.gif

Go to the hardware store or your local department store that sales paint, and pick out swatches. Then come home and write on each swatch "warm" or "cool" put them in piles. This is great handwriting practice, word recognition, and color practice. You can take them on your next nature walk and see what items you can find outdoors that match the colors! write the item with the matching color below the warm or cool. 

I Had A Dream Activity: 
Read about Martin Luther King Jr. We chose to start the short chapter book "Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? " which you can find on Amazon for about $5.00. There are other great children's books about Martin Luther King Jr. so pick your favorite! 

Friday - 

Reading - practice flash cards of this week's words.
Read the children's books for at least 20 minutes. Note whenever children (or a creature) find, discover, or illustrate something about themselves (Piggy & Elephant Books are great for this).

Read the vocabulary words one last time, this time have the kids say a time in their lives when they feel each one is applicable to me. IE: it was unjust of my sister to take my toy without asking. You may have to help them but that's okay! 

Math - practice counting from 1 to 50 (counting either out loud or using objects).
Add Cheerios in the following combinations. Don't worry about writing them down just yet, just put them in piles and then count how many total Cheerios there are between the two piles.

0+1= 1
5+4= 9
6+1= 7
0+0= 0
3+7= 10

Color Lesson: 
Take your color swatches from yesterday and ask the child what they think about when you hold up each swatch. Does the color invoke a cool or warm thought? Does blue remind them of the sky, the ocean, or a truck? Write their answers on the back (Remember there's no wrong or right answer this just helps little ones think about the meanings and significance of colors.) 

I Had A Dream Activity
Continue reading your Martin Luther King Jr. story. If your story was short you can start the movie Cinderella today. Have the kids think about Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream vs. Cinderella's dream. How did they both find help in making their dreams come true? 


Weekend Quiet Time Activities - 

Watch Cinderella talk about the similarities between a story your children maybe familiar with and that of Martin Luther King Jr. 

- What was Cinderella's Dream? 
- What was Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream? 
- How did they each find help? 
- Was it easy to make their dreams come true? 
- What was each person trying to overcome? 


I hope you enjoyed this week's lessons on dreams, adversity, justice, and self exploration. Please take a moment to "like" my Facebook page HERE, and come back often to find more lessons, more dreams, and more activities. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Self Awareness Lesson - Themed Lesson Plan

Learning self awareness is one of the major focuses for any pre-school age child. The more you understand about yourself the easier it becomes to cope with things outside your control. For example if a child understand what is an acceptable form of stress relief (IE how to acceptably throw a royal temper tantrum) they have a easier time coping even outside stress relief. For us we allow our children t g t their room to mope, scream into a pillow, or self sooth with a teddy. If they go to their room before having their temper tantrum they are allowed to re-join the family whenever they feel they are ready. If they have t be sent t their room or sent to the time out chair then they have to wait a minimum f 3 minutes and someone will come get them when they can re-join the family. This set rule allows my children to understand when they are having a hard time and may need to excuse themselves to their own room before they unleash emotions that may land them in time out. 

Other forms of self awareness is when they are hungry, tired, and how their own bodies work. Letting a child explore hunger and food options can eliminate a lot of tantrums due to simple hunger (hey I become a bear when I'm overly hungry too). Same goes with feeling comfortable going to bed. 

This Week's Spelling Words: 
- I
- Me
- We
- You
- Us
- She
- Him
- Her
- My
- Family

This Week's Color Focus: 
- What are primary colors?

This Week's Math Focus: 
- Counting 1-50
- Adding number combinations with the sum of 10 or less.

This Week's Helpful Sites: 
- http://www.preschoolexpress.com/toddler_station07/self-awareness-sep07.shtml
- http://www.livestrong.com/article/512350-activities-for-preschool-age-children-about-self-awareness/
- http://www.preschoolrainbow.org/family-theme.htm
- http://www.teachersparadise.com/c/kindergarten-critical-thinking-selfawareness-p-3296.html
- http://www.usd253.org/respect/KindergartenSELPage.htm
- http://www.a-z-worksheets.com/support-files/kindergarten_spelling_words_worksheets_list.pdf
- http://www.quickcraftonline.com/_7

Monday - 

Reading - practice flash cards of this week's words.
Read the children's books for at least 20 minutes. Note whenever children (or a creature) find, discover, or illustrate something about themselves (Piggy & Elephant Books are great for this).

Math - practice counting from 1 to 50 (counting either out loud or using objects).
Add Cheerios in the following combinations. Don't worry about writing them down just yet, just put them in piles and then count how many total Cheerios there are between the two piles.

1+3= 4
2+5= 7
3+1= 4
5+2= 7
5+5= 10

Color Lesson: 
What are the three primary colors? Red, Blue, Yellow.
All other colors (except for black which is the void of all color despite common misconception that it is a mix of all colors; which is actually white) are made up of these colors. (Read more about black and white here).

Demonstrate the many colors using a color wheel, while finger painting. Use only the three primary colors for finger painting. (Read more about this project here).

Self Awareness Activity: 
When taking a bath allow children to wash themselves (using a rag, sponge, luffa, etc.) name each body part they wash. Or if they are capable ask them to name the body parts.

Tuesday - 


Reading - practice flash cards of this week's words.
Read the children's books for at least 20 minutes. Note whenever children (or a creature) find, discover, or illustrate something about themselves (Piggy & Elephant Books are great for this).

Math - practice counting from 1 to 50 (counting either out loud or using objects).
Add Cheerios in the following combinations. Don't worry about writing them down just yet, just put them in piles and then count how many total Cheerios there are between the two piles.

1+6= 7
1+1= 2
6+1= 7
2+2= 4
3+3= 6

Color Lesson: 
Use markers to create your own color chart. Since we're learning about adding this should be fun! View this color chart using smiley faces then get to work on your own. Make as many or as few color additions as you think your child can handle.

Self Awareness Activity: 
Learn The Three Little Bugs song as translated and published by Jean Warren on the webpage Toddler Station (found near the bottom of the page here).


Wednesday - 


Reading - practice flash cards of this week's words.
Read the children's books for at least 20 minutes. Note whenever children (or a creature) find, discover, or illustrate something about themselves (Piggy & Elephant Books are great for this).

Math - practice counting from 1 to 50 (counting either out loud or using objects).
Add Cheerios in the following combinations. Don't worry about writing them down just yet, just put them in piles and then count how many total Cheerios there are between the two piles.

2+6= 8
4+4= 8
6+2= 8
3+5= 8
1+7= 8

Color Lesson: 
What color do you get work sheet found here. Or make your own worksheets for this activity.

Self Awareness Activity: 
Sketch around your toddler's hand, then sketch around as many other people's hands as you can find! Write each person's name inside their hand. IE: Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Jake, Aunt Linda, Great Aunt Carla, Sister Inara, etc. Then help your toddler sort them in as many ways as you can think of (color they were sketched in, smallest to largest, any differences, left hand vs. right hand, etc.


Thursday - 


Reading - practice flash cards of this week's words.
Read the children's books for at least 20 minutes. Note whenever children (or a creature) find, discover, or illustrate something about themselves (Piggy & Elephant Books are great for this).

Math - practice counting from 1 to 50 (counting either out loud or using objects).
Add Cheerios in the following combinations. Don't worry about writing them down just yet, just put them in piles and then count how many total Cheerios there are between the two piles.

1+4= 5
1+3= 4
1+2= 3
1+5= 6
1+7= 8

Color Lesson: 
Draw a rainbow (or help your child draw one) and then point out the colors that are primary. On every non-primary color write in what colors are mixed to make that color. As in purple is red+blue=purple. If your child doesn't know what colors are mixed to make one or more of the colors help them mix colors together.

Self Awareness Activity: 
Draw a self portrait. Have your child draw a picture of themselves. They can draw one, or many pictures. If they are enjoying this activity have them draw a picture of themselves in their room, of themselves at their grandparent's house, a picture of themselves playing with their favorite toy, etc.


Friday - 


Reading - practice flash cards of this week's words.
Read the children's books for at least 20 minutes. Note whenever children (or a creature) find, discover, or illustrate something about themselves (Piggy & Elephant Books are great for this).

Math - practice counting from 1 to 50 (counting either out loud or using objects).
Add Cheerios in the following combinations. Don't worry about writing them down just yet, just put them in piles and then count how many total Cheerios there are between the two piles.

0+1= 1
5+4= 9
6+1= 7
0+0= 0
3+7= 10

Color Lesson: 
Rainbow primary coloring activity page which is found here, is a great way to end this introduction to primary colors.

Self Awareness Activity: 
Create an "About Me" book with your child and have them think about some of the things that are important to them, what they like and where they live.


Weekend Quiet Time Activities - 

Additional activities you can do include purchasing an inexpensive pack of Play Dough and allowing children to mix the primary colors to make other colors.

Also try doing the same thing with glasses of water and food coloring (primary colors only).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

101 Fall & Winter Activities To Do With Toddlers

As promised here is the list of... 
101 fall and winter activities to do with toddlers! 
Feel free to print it off if you would like a copy simple e-mail me here and I will send you one! I hope you enjoy the list! I am so glad to be posting blogs of what we've been doing. 


For a copy of this list that is printable please e-mail me here. 
Unfortunately Google Docs is not uploading this list correctly so for now I will send it out to anyone who wants it via e-mail until this error can be corrected. 



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Free Alphabet Tales Book $29.95 Value!


Free Alphabet Tales PDF Book Worth $29.95

This is a super cute book that will help teach any toddler or child their ABCs! This is such an amazing deal, go to the website here, add this book to your cart then continue checking out til you get to the payment page. Do not enter any payment info and use coupon code "moneysaving" then click submit. You'll get an order confirmation with the book ready to download! (PS I JUST did this it worked). 


Hope you enjoyed this tip! Leave me a comment to let me know if you'd like to see more "deals" on school and learning equipment, books, etc. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I hope everyone enjoyed the A to Z challenge. Now to catch up on putting all the new lesson plans on! Sorry it has taken me so long my children and I have been doing the lesson plans but I got behind on putting them up and making new worksheets. My goal this weekend is to get all the new worksheets and lesson plans live! So stick with me and be sure to come back on Monday morning (or all weekend) for lesson plans H, I, K, L, N, and O. Wow that's a lot to catch up on!


Monday, April 30, 2012

Zoo Days - New Learning Ideas

Make Zoo Days super special, and super educational! Hope you enjoy the last post in our A to Z challenge!

Study One Animal At A Time
We spent an entire week learning about Monkey's and then went to the zoo just to see the Monkey's! Although we walked around for awhile afterwards it was clear our intent was to see the one animal we'd been learning about. We took pictures, acted like monkey's did monkey homework etc. After we left the monkey stand we ate banana's on a bench and talked about all the monkey facts we had learned. You can even make flip books about each animal! Here is Fisher Price's ABC Game for Babies and Toddlers that outline animals starting with A to Z. You could spend half a year just learning about animals... oh yeah and the alphabet!

MIX IT UP: Have older kids? Have them write detailed reports on specific animals and make a trip to a large zoo that features those animals!








Saturday, April 28, 2012

YouTube For Teaching (A To Z Challenge)

One of the best free teaching tools I have found is YouTube! I can find videos on most anything to go along with what we are learning about! From Signing Time songs, to nursery rhymes, and even finding suggested songs that I didn't know the tune too!

I have found videos on the process food goes through to end up on your plate, videos on specific animals, letters, songs, astronomy for kids, sign language help, and more. So here's a great project, try making play lists to go along with your learning activities or themes and then watching them on the iPod, Computer, Phone, or TV to supplement other learning!


Have older kids? No problem there are the presidential debates on YouTube, news articles, and documentaries! Here's a great place to get information for reports, find inspiration, and learn new prescriptive! Everything from anti bullying and hot news topics, to information about past presidents, wars, and celebrities.



Happy YouTube surfing and don't forget to come back for the very last letter of the alphabet. Our Z article will be up on Monday!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Xiphias Gladius (A to Z Challenge)

Did you know the Xiphias gladius is just the species name for the swordfish? Children are amazing they can obsorb anything! So why not teach them a little science lingo now! Teaching children the scientific names for common things can put them leaps and bounds ahead in hard science classes later...also learning a few common words in Latin is amazing! Classes such as biology, chemistry, math, and geology all use scientific terms and Latin roots! 






Here's a fun list of scientific names you can use in teaching now! 


Common Words: 


Terra - Earth
Tempus - Time
Homo - Human
Derma - Skin 
Endo - Within 
Exo - Outside
Iso - Equal 
Micro - Small
Mono - Equal 
Multi - Many 
Trans - Across 


Numbers: 


Semi - Half
Uni - One
Bi - Two
Tri - Three
Tetra - Four
Penta - Five
Hexa- Six
Hepta- Seven
Octo - Eight
Ennea - Nine
Deca - Ten



I hope you enjoyed this post! Please take a moment to like Pirate School on Facebook, 1+ this post, and/or leave a comment! Thank you for your support! 



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Weather Activities (A to Z Challenge)

Weather is an extremely complicated and yet so simple! Teaching toddlers about weather is fun... and crafty! Here's 5 of our favorite weather projects!

1. Keep A Weather Log
Make a chart with different weather patterns on it in columns. Snow, Sun, Windy, Rain, Cloudy, etc. Then use stickers or a marker to mark each day on the chart. This is a great exercise to continue learning about weather.



2. Make Snowflakes
These are easy to do. Simply take a piece of paper and fold it in half so that it forms a triangle. Then fold it in half again and again. For toddlers to be able to cut the paper don't fold it too small. after it is folded take a pair of scissors and cut little shapes out of the sides of the paper. When you unfold the paper it looks just like a snowflake! This exercise is a great opening to talk about how each snowflake is unique.




3. Measuring Rain
All you need for this is a mason jar or a vile! We took a sharpie and marked tick lines on it. Then we guessed how many tick marks it would rain! After each rain we go collect our jar and count the tick marks. You can use this activity as a great opening exercise to the water cycle!



4. Wind Race
This is such an awesome indoor weather activity! You'll need 1 straw for each child and 1 feather for each child (the feathers will need to be the same size). Use tape to make a start line and a finish line on the floor, then have the kids race! What they'll do is lay their feather on the start line and use the straw to blow it across the floor to the finish line! Use this activity as an opener for a great conversation on how wind-power works.

5. Cloud Weather Window
This is an idea I found on Nature Watch's website. They have the template so go here to print it off and make your own cloud weather window! You'll need some stiff paper and a Popsicle stick but these little windows teach kids about various weather types! Do you remember the sailor's sayings about weather? "Pink at night, sailor's delight" the barometric pressure that causes pink in the sky is a great indication as to the next day's weather. "Pin in the morning sailor's take warning". You'll find this pink hue in the clouds or sunset. Have fun identifying clouds!


Hope you enjoyed this post, please take a moment to like Pirate School on Facebook, 1+ this post, and leave a comment! Thank you for all the support. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Validate Your Work (A To Z Challenge)

Don't let the days when it's just NOT happening get you down....



Not all days are going to go well... but then again not all days go well in public school, private school, or anything else. So be sure to give yourself some slack every once in a great while. On the other hand be sure to make sure you see progress. It's easy to miss progress when you're there everyday. So once a month make a progress chart, and let the kids do their homework completely on their own! Don't give instructions and don't help them out. Just let them do it, and grade their homework (yep even when they are tiny). Be sure to praise everything they did correctly! You'll be able to see what they need help on, and they'll be able to showcase what they've learned!






We hope our A to Z challenge blogs have helped you become and stay inspired! With just a few days left be sure to come back from some craft projects ideas tomorrow in our Wild Animal Post!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Under, Over, Around, and Through

We all learned the little rabbit or turtle rhymes about going under, over, around, and through as a child. But what if your child is too young or simply not interested in rhymes? How about some real world exercises! Directional awareness helps with math, and handwriting!

Instead of a nursery rhyme (or in addition to) try a trip to the park! Here is a list of directional exercises you can do at the park!

Use the slide on the left of you.
Jump to the right.
Go under the bridge.
Swing over my head.
Walk around the stairs.
Go through the tunnel or bars.
Climb above the ground.
Go up the stairs.
Go down the slide.


Now you have a hands on interactive reinforcement for directional awareness? Children as young as 12 months can start learning directional awareness this way (in some studies younger).

Go up the stairs, down the slide etc. 

Go though the tunnel.

Pop Up Through The Hole

Use the swing on the left, use the swing on the right. 

Swing above my hands. 

Go under the bars. 

Go around the slide. 




Monday, April 23, 2012

Teaching Tots Resource List

Here is a list of my top 30 favorite sites, and resources for teaching toddlers! Hope you find it useful! I hope you take the time to check each of these out and enjoy the information!

1. Nick Jr.
This website offers crafts, printables, educational games and more. It's completely free to use and easy to navigate!

2. Donna Young's
With thousands of links this site can get complicated, book mark any areas you're wanting to find easily but it's so worth the time to get to know the site! Free to use and more resources than you can imagine!

3. Homeschool Views 
This blog has a a few printable, record keeping printables, crosswords and more, they also have a huge list of resources.

4. School Sparks
This site offers printables to help any child get ready to enter school. Rather you homeschool or are simply trying to get your children ready for Kindergarten then this site is a must have to bookmark on your computer.

5. Enchanted Learning
Offering a few dozen free printable pages and thousands of printable pages, and lesson plans with a paid subscription. I not only subscribe to this site but I encourage anyone wanting to help their children learn on the side or full time do so as well! It is $20.00 per a year and worth every cent!

6. ABC Mouse
Have I mentioned I love this site? I seriously love it! And, so do my children. They play it for hours and have even learned to use a mouse and the arrow keys so they can play it while I'm unavailable to help them. The site features a "learning path" with several hundred lessons. Each child has their own learning path and can continue at their own speed. The site costs $9.95 a month or $79.00 for a year.

7. BrillKids
You can sign up to use Little Reader, Little Math or their newest addition Little Musician, however with out paying for anything you can use the best recourse on their website... the forums! connect with local people, people from around the world and thousands of other parents who are doing their best to teach their children on all levels! The forums are free so go check them out!

8. Family Fun
You can sign up for their magazine for free (for the first 2 years) but their website is just as helpful! Find activities for all ages, you can even search by holiday, season and more! They have activities for everything... this site is promptly bookmarked on every computer in our house. Another totally free site.

9. Family Education 
Another site full of fun! Search by learning activities, holiday fun, age group and more! It's a wonderful resource that is completely free!

10. Scholastics 
If you look on a dozen of your children's books you'll probably find Scholastics name on at least 4 of them! This publisher is also a wonderful resource for free printables that have to do with their books! Have a favorite book? Look for matching printable, and crafts! They have free printables and then some that are only available with a paid subscription. I have not yet paid for this website but I do use the free ones.

11. PBS Kids
Just like Nick Jr. offers crafts, lesson plans, and more all themed after their shows. So does PBS! In fact most networks for children do so if you haven't found your little one's favorite show yet, try looking up the broadcasters webpage.

12. Activity Village
It's pretty much just what it sounds like. An online village of stuff to do with little ones! What could be better than that? This site is slightly more time consuming to learn and navigate but it's worth it.

13. Wonder Time
This site has a lot of family crafts! They have great ideas for party activities, and for daytime activities. Their ideas often have more preparation but are so much fun to do it's worth it! Totally free ideas, very few printables but the step by step instructions are wonderful!

14. Disney's Family Go
Disney is another great resource for party ideas, tv show related printables, a very few actual lesson plans but tons of fun things to keep little ones busy!

15. Cafe Mom 
I don't love this site, actually I find it grueling but I know tones of people who are absolutely head over heals for it! They do have a large selection of ideas to keep toddlers busy. They also have chat boards and rooms if you want to talk to other mom's about what they do!

16. Toddler To Toddler 
This site takes only a few minutes to figure out, however it looks very confusing when you first pull it up. Check out the green bar near the top that outlines specific areas of study, and then you can see all the activities, lesson plans and more that you can use for free!

17. A Day Care
This online day care has all the activities your children would get to do at day care, and allows you to download and use them in the comfort of home! What a great idea I really love this site and it's totally free.

18. Pre-School Express Toddler Station 
This site has thousands of ideas, downloads, pages to print, lessons to teach, and things to go see! It seems like one big page of things to do and can quickly get overwhelming. Their search isn't as good as it could be but the information is worth the sifting!

19. Activity Tree
You can create an account for free here and find local things to do! Type in your address and the age of your children and find classes, activities, free book readings and more! What a wonderful resource! Everyone is always asking me how I knew about these little classes and hidden gems around town well here's my secret!

20. Cool Math 4 Kids
This site will give you a headache the first time you use it, okay just kidding but it looks like a mess. HOWEVER, don't dismiss it! The lessons are so simplified that I learned a few things, they are easy to use, easy to understand and can be taught to any child!

21. Baby Center 
Baby Center offers everything from conception advice and references to countdowns for your expecting babies, and most of all learning activities for your children! They have an entire section for toddlers and sections for each grade! They also offer milestone charts to see how your children are doing.

22. The Kidz Pages
Another overly colorful page with so many links your head wants to spin. However, there are so many things to use here. I often go here to find outdoor activities, printable to go along with the pagan holidays, and alternative religions. They have wonderful printable pages, and amazing lessons you can flip through.

23. Enfamil
Yes even formula companies offer toddler activities! If you have a favorite diaper brand, or formula you used check out their website for continued learning activities they often have fine motor-skill activities and milestone charts!

24. My Daily Moment
I love the ideas on this site to allow your children a fun day while giving yourself a few moments peace and quite. They have wonderful sanity tips that never leave your children bored. It's a wonderful combination of learning and staying ahead!

25. Teach Preschool
Yah for other parents who share their ideas, days, and helpful tips! Not everyone who homeschools for preschool plans to continue to do so, and that's perfectly fine! We still all like to share our ideas for having small ones at home, and even after your children go to school you may find you need a few ideas in reserve for those rainy days!

26. Education.com
This site has an outline of what parents should know about teaching their children. They also offer printables, lesson plans, and helpful information about teaching preschool to your children. What they will need to know, what's good to know, and how to help them every step of the way. If you continue homeschooling they even have resources for that!

27. Kids National Geographic
Their website resources are free, helpful, and amazing! Videos, printable, lessons, and more! Plus you can subscribe to their magazine for just $15.00 a year! This is a site I use about once a week to find something useful we can incorporate into our lesson plans. Learning about a specific animal before each trip to the zoo is just one fun thing you can do here.

28. YouTube
Nope I'm not kidding! I have a play list of songs for my kids, but that's hardly the most impressive learning tool on this site. Search things like "where does my food come from" and "explain space to kids" you'll find the most wonderful short videos that explain the most amazing concepts to children!

29. Pinterest 
Here's another wonderful way to find new ideas, printable pages, new blogs, new sites, and new friends! I have found dozens of homeschool blogs, dozens more mother's blogs that share their after school and toddler activities, and thousands of free printable activities!

30. IXL
This site is a subscription site that has the msot wonderful games, printables, and lesson plans on it. I haven't paid for it yet but do use the free samples all the time. This is my next "school" purchase! I am currently paying off a subscription with BrillKids and then will subscribe to IXL.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sources For Signing (A to Z Challenge)

Want to learn sign language or teach your baby/children? It's not hard actually I've been surprised how easy it is to learn and teach. We aren't currently learning it full time but we do a few signs a week and try to use them regularly. Here are some wonderful sources or learning and teaching sign language!

Free Sources:


American Sign Language ASL For Free
Save yourself on flash cards and books this is easier, and you can watch someone preform the signs!


ASL Pro
This site is completely free although they do take donations to pay for the domain and time they spend to keep it updated. I love their baby dictionary with accepted simplified signs.

Handspeak
This site has so many resources on it, along with dictionaries, videos of people performing the signs, and even lesson plans!

Start American Sign Language
FREE ONLINE CLASSES! These are complete classes uploaded to their site you can take for free! Plus lessons about the deaf culture, history and more.




Paid Sources: 

Signing Online 
Complete classes, with over the internet interaction and help. These classes are $$45.95 each and last 4 months. There are 4 beginning classes. I haven't taken them but the reviews were amazing! I believe they still have their demo class up. So check it out.

DeafLinx
This site actually has certification courses for those looking to become interpreters, or for nurses, school teachers and more.

Signing Time 
Most of us have heard of or seen clips of signing time. You can invest in their entire program, or buy specific DVD's from their site that would help you and your children. My kids actually really enjoy them! (you can watch segments of the DVDs on YouTube here)

I hope you enjoyed this post and use some of these resources for yourself or your family. Please take a moment to support Pirate School by Following us and Liking us on Facebook. Thanks! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Reading Daily (A To Z Challenge)

Reading is perhaps one of the most important things you can do with your children, and your children can do for themselves. Rather you put up shelves, lay out books, mount brackets, use spice racks to hang books, or use any other method, keep a book in site.


Here's a picture our our girls room! These shelves were easy to make and hold about a dozen books. The book shelf on top of their dresser hold several more.


Our nursery has books shelves at their height one is filled entirely with books, the other is filled with small buckets of toys. This gives them the option of reading any time they want.


Our school room down stairs has an entire wall lined with cube bookshelves and books sorted by age, and category. It's fun to pretend to read full novels even when they can't quite understand them yet. The pretending is wonderful practice.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

101 Questions You Should Be Asking (A to Z Challenge)

Have you ever sat on a date and asked questions back and forth? How romantic right? Great way to bond and get to know someone too... well it's also a great way to get to know your children! Here are 100 Questions you should be asking and 100 answers you should be listening to! Even if you know the answer, asking the question and listening to the answer is far more important to your child, than the answer itself.

1. How are you?
2. What's your name?
3. What is your favorite color?
4. What is your favorite toy?
5. What is the name of your doll/stuffed animal?
6. What does your doll/stuffed animal's favorite food?
7. What is your favorite food?
8. What is your favorite song?
9. Do you like to dance?
10. What did you dream about last night?
11. Do you like to draw?
12. What do you like to draw?
13. Do you want to have a pretend tea party?
14. What is your favorite TV show?
15. Who is your favorite character?
16. What is your favorite shirt?
17. What is your favorite pair of socks?
18. Where do you like to eat lunch?
19. Do you like carrots?
20. Do you know how to make your bed?
21. Do you like bubbles in your bath?
22. Shower or bath; which is better?
23. Do you like juice or milk better?
24. Does your thumb hide?
25. Do you know where rainbows come from?
26. What do you like to pretend?
27. Can you sing the ABCs?
28. Who is your hero?
29. Who are you thinking about?
30. What is your favorite shape?
31. Do you like to run?
32. Do you like to skip?
33. Can you do a cartwheel?
34. Can you find your eye's?
35. Do you like to play in the mirror?
36. What is your favorite book?
37. What is another book you like?
38. Do you like to wish on stars?
39. What do you think of the moon?
40. Did you talk to your grandma/grandpa/uncle/aunt/sister/brother/etc today?
41. How are your friends?
42. What games do you like to play?
43. Do you like to play hide and seek?
44. Where do you like to hide?
45. Do you have a favorite blanket?
46. Do you have a favorite pillow?
47. Where is your favorite place to sleep?
48. What is your pet's name?
49. What does your pet like to do?
50. Do you like to wear jewelry?
51. Do you like to go driving?
52. Where is your favorite place to go?
53. Do you like to go shopping?
54. What do you like to buy?
55. Do you like to play outside?
56. Do you like to play inside?
57. Do you like to go to grandma/grandpa's house?
58. What is your favorite desert?
59. What is your favorite video game?
60. Do you like taking pictures?
61. Who do you not like? (who do you dislike?)
62. What are your favorite words?
63. Do you like to brush your hair?
64. Do you like to brush your teeth?
65. Do you like to play pretend in the mirror?
66. What is your pretend name?
67. Do your friends call you silly names?
68. Do your friends play pretend games?
69. Can you count to 10?
70. Where do your toys go when you go to sleep?
71. Do you love your sister/brother?
72. What do you like to do with your sister/brother?
73. What is your favorite thing to do at the park?
74. Do you like to swing?
75. Are you brave?
76. Are you strong?
77. Are you silly?
78. Are you funny?
79. Are you cute?
80. Are you a hero?
81. Are you a prince/princess?
82. Are you a pirate/robot/dragon/etc.?
83. Are you toes piggies?
84. What is your favorite song to dance to?
85. Do you like to dance in the kitchen or in your room?
86. Do you believe in Unicorns?
87. Do you believe in Fairies?
89. Do you pray?
90. Do you count sheep?
91. What do you pray for?
92. What are you thankful for?
93. Do you wish you had something? (what?)
94. Do you pray for mom/dad?
95. What are you afraid of?
96. What do you do when you're afraid/scared?
97. Who do you call if there is an emergency?
98. Do you know your phone number?
99. Do you know your name?
100. Do you know my (mom/dad)'s names?
101. Where do you live?