Unit 1- Ss Sun
Words to remember: Jesus is the light of the world.
Last week we started our first letter unit. My Father's World does not teach the letters/sounds in alphabetical order. This is quite common with the phonics based curriculums I have seen. The concept is to learn the letters in an order that will help facilitate reading. In order to do this they teach sounds that are more common and easier to make words with. Two years ago we used a different order with readinglessons.com. This year we are starting with the letter "S." Not only is this a common sound, but it is also a letter that has a continuous sound. Of course, Tabitha and Amelia know their letters and their sounds already, but they seem to be enjoying the review, especially because they get to help teach their sister.
I thought it would be fun to surprise them each week. They do not get to know the letter we are going to focus on until they take their turn feeling it in a "pouch" and trying to guess by touch alone. Then they go to daddy and tell him the letter. Hannah gets to take the letter out and show it to daddy. We then use our word and picture cards I made 2 years ago. (You can see some pictures at this post from last year.)I picked 5 or 6 pictures, glued them on card stock, wrote the word on the back and then created Picture cards to go with them. Tabitha and Amelia will take turns showing the cards to Hannah and telling her the word. Then Hannah will go and get the picture card to hang on our morning time poster.
Here they are coloring their picture cards.
I tweaked the Letter Book a bit from what I had 3 years ago. There were a couple of things that I wanted to change/perfect. This is what this year's Letter Books will look like:
The science topic for the letter S is "Sun," so we have been doing some activities that focus on the sun, plus reading books about the sun. Last Monday we had a Muffin Tin Meal. I was trying to figure out a way to make a model of the sun, as we had read about the different layers the sun is made up of.
The bread has peanut butter on it (just so they could have some protein). Then I added the white Fluff to represent the Corona.The Cantaloupe , pineapple slice and cheese circle all represent a layer of the sun.
This week our Muffin Tin focused on the letter S
Strips of Chicken
Slice of cheese
Sweet and salty trail mix
Salty sunflower seeds
Sweet swirled stick
Slice of buttered bread cut into a sun
We also talked about shadows. We had a lot of cloudy days actually so we got to talk about the sun hiding behind the clouds (because the clouds just make one big shadow you know). We also discussed how the sun is still there even though we can't see it, just like God is there even though we can't see him. Even when we are having a bad time and storms come into our lives, God is still there.
We went into the bathroom to make some shadow hands. I traced their shadows onto white paper. Cut it out on top of a piece of black paper and then let the girls glue their shadow hands onto white paper.
This week we also took advantage of the sun by making a sundial.
We went out almost every hour on the hour (or a few minutes late) to mark where the shadow fell. The girls LOVED it!
Here is what it looks like now:
We also measured shadows and came out several times to see how they changed. The girls enjoyed helping to measure.
Oh, and we couldn't help making some shadow animals.
If you notice above, on the second to last sundial picture, there was definite evidence of sun fading the paper where the stones were holding it down. So we decided to make some sun-fade pictures.
This week we also made pattern suns and paint suns.
During Hannah's nap time we work on worksheets.
This one (included in the MFW student sheets) had handwriting on the front and sound discrimination on the back. They colored the pictures that started with /s/ and crossed out the others.
Speaking of sound discrimination, we played an impromptu game the one day. I was a tad stressed out with trying to get everything done with baby Harold always seeming to need to either nurse or be held and I had decided not to have school this day. I got down on the floor to play with the baby and suddenly I was giving horsey rides. I took Amelia around the living room one time and then decided to make it a learning opportunity. They had to tell me a word that started with /s/ for the horsey to move forward. If they stopped saying words, I stopped moving. If they gave me a word that didn't start with /s/ I moved backward. They had a blast!
Then on a following day we were again in the living room. I was sitting on the love seat and they were jumping around being birds. I told them, "fly little birdies, fly, I see a _______" If the word started with /s/ they got to fly, if it didn't they acted all upset. I alternated "fly" with "jump" and they would fly off the chair, jump up and down, fly back onto the chair, etc. They asked to play that one again.
In addition to the student sheets included in our MFW curriculum, we are using some great printables created by a fellow MFW mom and blogger. She has made these printables available to other families who have already purchased the curriculum.
We have used the copy work:
The letter sort:
and the play dough mats:
(we made our own play dough, as we usually do.)
Our Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen time last week was creating play dough.
We use the instructions I have used a couple of times in the past. We used the recipe found in the book, Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June R. Oberlander. It calls for 1 cup of flour, 1 tbs oil, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tsp cream of tartar and food coloring. You need to cook it over medium heat until it forms a ball
Then you knead it. Steven had stopped by and wanted to help.
The girls then made suns out of their play dough.
I also created an alphabet matching activity that also helps with fine motor skills.
And we also used the math sheet included in our MFW student sheets.
We focused on circle and 1.
Remember I mentioned our feely pouch above?
Well I decided to also place items starting with S in it for the girls to feel and try to figure out what they are. Then the next day the girls insisted on gathering S things to bring to "school."
There were a several books that we read (though I took out a ton more).
We read the book Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven. On the back of the book is a recipe for Sun Bread. We did not have the chance to make the sun bread the first week, so I made pizza in the shape of the sun. I made the sun's rays by taking little bits of dough, flattening them out and spreading them with sauce and cheese.
Then I rolled them up and attached them to the center.
As we enjoy Hawaiian pizza I decided to use chopped pineapple to make the sun yellow and ham for the face.
Then we had the opportunity to actually make Sun Bread this week.
You can see details at this week's Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen post.
We also read
Sun up, Sun down by Gail Gibbons. This book follows a little girl through her day as the sun rises and lights up her room, to when it goes down at night. I love the way we get facts about the sun in this book. The girl we say that her mom or dad told her specific information and will go on to tell the reader.
Hurry Granny Annie by Ariene Alda is a story about Granny Annie rushing to catch...something. Each time she passes a child they ask her where she is going and she says, "Have to hurry. Can't be late. Catching something. Something great." Each one joins in the chase to catch whatever it is. They don't know, because each time she tries to tell them she sneezes. They think they might be able to catch it with a fishing pole, baseball mitt, or a butterfly net. They discover Granny Annie was hurrying to catch the sunset.
Hello Sun! by Hans Wilhelm is a cute story about forest animals trying to see the sun. A crafty fox is looking for an easy meal when he makes a bet with a hedgehog who wants to see the sun. But the clever hedgehog gets his friends to help build a tree house so they can go above the trees in the forest to see the sun.
We also used the World Book encyclopedia to find factual information and the book The Sun by Seymour Simon.
And a couple of new linkies: