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).