Sunday, September 8, 2013

Homeschool Week 1: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

This week was a sort of introductory week to our new preschool schedule.  We've done "Tot School" since Toodles was about 18 months old, but our preschool is more involved and a bit more structured.

We didn't focus on a specific letter this week, we treated this more as a review week for all of the letters.

Toodles was thrilled to discover that big preschool kids get a Daily Learning Notebook.  I've chosen to use the free printable notebook from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  This saves me a lot of time engineering my own notebook pages.  Toodles loves tracing the letters and coloring in a square on the 100 Day countdown grid.

We took  a moment each day this week to name each of the shapes in our notebook, and to trace the number one with our fingers.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is one of Toodles' favorite books.  I knew that he would be thrilled to spend an entire week talking about it.  Each day we read the story, and he enjoyed retelling it with magnet letters on his magnet board.  His favorite part was when they all fall down, and he could swipe the letters from the magnet board onto the floor.

We also put a couple of lines from the story in our poetry pocket chart and practiced reading it.  This provided a great opportunity for practicing one-to-one correspondence, tracking, and differentiating words.  I wrote each word of "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, will there be enough room?  Here comes ____ up the coconut tree!" on an index card, and we enjoyed putting in various letter cards and reading it over and over again.  It only took Toodles two or three times of reading it with my help to learn that "enough" and "coconut," were each a single word.  He did great, and he was so excited to show Daddy his poem!

For our Tot Trays/Centers we used a puzzle, a game, and some artwork.

The first tray was simply an alphabet puzzle we had on hand.  

The second tray was a "Counting Coconuts" game.  I made a coconut tree and several coconuts from construction paper.  Toodles was to roll a number cube (I have these amazing foam ones that don't make noise when they land!!), then place that many coconuts on the tree.  He absolutely loved this game and wanted to play it again and again.

Our final tray was an art project for each day.  On Tuesday, Toodles colored a picture of a coconut tree.  On Wednesday, we found the letters in his name in a magazine and glued them onto the trunk of a coconut tree.  On Thursday, we made a coconut tree from construction paper and a recycled cardboard tube.

We discovered that we could retell the story by having magnet letters "climb" the tree and drop down through the top of the tube.  After a few letters did this, the tree would topple over and the letters would spill out just like in the story!  Toodles had a ball with this!

On Friday, our plan was to make lemon and coconut bread but that had to be postponed because.....we ran out of coconut.
We eat a lot of coconut.

All in all, week one was a success, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom  remains a family favorite.  I plan to revisit this one in a couple of months as a springboard for learning about the moon ("Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, look!  There's a full moon!")

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