On our first day of school, we started a nature journal with pictures and pressed flowers that we had been collecting all summer in our yard. Louise loved seeing the flowers again and remembering when we got them. She really loved the glue. She loved making a book to show John. She loved finding the flowers in our golden guide. Overall, Louise is kind of crazy about school, and insists on calling me teacher.
BUT - I realized on our second day of school that I don't have enough activities planned. She wants every day to be as project-filled as the first, and most days I don't have that much planned. So I'm trying to find more activities and resources, while still keeping it very simple for my over-scheduled fall. So far, I've realized that keeping it simple works just fine, and we're having a blast. We're still usually finished by 10am So here are a couple things I added this week:
1. Paper Flowers Louise can't get enough of gluing right now. So, using our pictures in our journal, I started cutting out the shapes of flowers and all their parts from construction paper (and tissue, wrapping and art paper I had lying around). Then she glued them on to the paper. We talked about the different shapes, colors and textures of all the parts as we put them together. Once they were all glued, I had her write the names of each part on the paper. (To clarify: she can't actually read all of these words, but she knows the letters and we sound them out as we write.)
I felt like she learned so many things in this simple activity that we made up on the spot. Gluing and writing, identify parts, noticing what is different, and learning about specific flowers. We had so much fun making them and they turned out so pretty! This was definitely my favorite part of the week.
2. Math Readiness - I was wondering if I should try to do more with math - since I have no background in education I'm often clueless. A quick stop at the library did the trick. I absolutely love Creative Math/Art Activities which was written in the 80's and geared towards teachers. The opening chapter introduces math readiness - becoming aware of opposites and measurements - and how they help students when they begin more formal math. That makes sense! The chapters are divided by grades, and they are so many cool projects and fun illustrations - I may actually need to buy this book.
So, we did a project from the book. First a nature walk, collecting bits of grass, leaves, and flowers. Then we glued (score!) the long ones on the left, and the short ones on the right. It was fun to talk and compare each item. She already seems to have a handle on long and short, but it was good to talk it out and make a game of it. I think it will be easy to come up with an activity like this that goes with our theme each week.
I'll try not to go on about our preschool too much - although I always appreciate the ideas and resources you have to share (see those comments below, nudge, nudge). I tend to focus in one thing at the expense of others sometime - and this week I've neglected my sewing. Here's to the weekend!