Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cricket Mini-Unit

This week's preschool lesson is "C" for cricket. I could have choose many other topics, but I thought crickets would be fun and unusual. Other reasons: 'boy' topics are often ignored in preschool and I like tough kids that aren't afraid of insects! Knowledge is power!

We read:
A Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood
and the appropriate sections of:
Grasshoppers and Crickets by Dorothy Childs Hogner
Bugs of Northern California by Acorn & Sheldon

I almost always have crickets on hand to feed our numerous cricket-eating pets, so I got an observation cube out and captured one. They loved seeing it up close.

For my older students, I saved "How to Draw a Cricket" lesson.
I printed this coloring page for them to enjoy and this handwriting page.
We watched a male cricket chirping here.

We made "Crickets on a Log" and "Cricket Food" (recipe below) for our snack.
We learned about what crickets eat.
We talked about people eating crickets.

We practiced putting manipulatives into groups according to size (big, bigger, biggest) and talked about rectangles.

Recipe for "Cricket Food"

8 oz coconut milk
2 carrots
large handful raw spinach
large handful mixed salad greens
2 Tbsp raw honey
1/4 of a large avocado
1 frozen banana
water and ice

Blend and drink.

Book Review: Unto the Hills

I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair review. My opinion is my own and not required to be positive.

Billy Graham had amassed a lot of wisdom in his 50+ years of teaching. This daily devotional has some hard truths and many gentle reminders in an easy to read format. Short little stories and recollections help drive home the meaning of the Scriptures and make it applicable to daily life. I've always enjoyed Billy Graham's writings and this was no exception. I would recommend it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Missy In A Bee Hat

Missy enjoyed the preschool study on 'B' is for Bee. This was her favorite activity, with her second choice being the snack they stirred together.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bee Mini-Unit

This weeks' mini-lesson was on the letter 'B' and Bees. We also counted groups of objects and tried to group counters to match a given numeral. Here are some of the links I used for printables and activities:

Online Bee Puzzle
'B' Handwriting Page
'Bee" Copywork Page
Bee-keeper Coloring Page
A Magnified Bee Wing

We made No-Bake Granola Balls for snack and had so much fun! I pulled out our bee-keeping equipment and let the children wear the beekeeper's hat and work the smoker.

We read a couple of good books:
"The Queen With Bees in Her Hair" by Cheryl Harness
"The Honey Makers" by Gail Gibbons

We had a fun day!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Apple Mini-Unit

We are having a friend's children over once a week for informal preschool lessons. "M" is 4 years old and "C" is 3 years old. They are SO adorable! This weeks lesson focused on the letter 'A', apples and the number '0'. I also did some assessment work with "M" so I know better what to teach next week. Today we used online printables, story books and some things I had on hand.

"A" handwriting sheet
Apple coloring page
Apple Poems-we used "Johnny Appleseed"

We read Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg and How Do Apples Grow by Betty Maestro.

For lunch we enjoyed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sliced Granny Smith apples and homemade applesauce. We saved the seeds from the sliced apples in a baggie, so they could carry apple seeds just like Johnny Appleseed did.

When "C" was telling back the story of Johnny Appleseed to me, he continually called him 'Johnny Applesauce". How cute is that?

To introduce the concept of 'zero', I had "M" hold out her empty hand. I asked her how many pieces of candy she had in her hand. She giggled and said, "None". I told her the number that means 'none' is ZERO. Then I asked silly things like, "How many hats are on your head?", "ZERO". "How many elephants do you have for pets?", "ZERO!" I mixed it up by asking questions that were answered with other numbers: "How many eyes do you have?", "How many people are in this room?"

"M" was able to remember the word "ZERO" and used it properly when her Mama came to pick her up. We had a lot of fun and I am privileged to be able to help this dear family! I'm sure looking forward to next week!

ETA: I like this site, too! I'll certainly be using it next week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Newberry Medals

I found this list over at Our Little Library and thought I'd play along. Books in bold are books I've read. Books in italic are books I own.

2010 Medal Winner: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books)

2009 Medal Winner: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins)

2008 Medal Winner: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick)

2007 Medal Winner: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illus. by Matt Phelan (Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson)

2006 Medal Winner: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)

2005 Medal Winner: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)

2004 Medal Winner: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, (Candlewick Press)

2003 Medal Winner: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (Hyperion Books for Children)

2002 Medal Winner: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin)

2001 Medal Winner: A Year Down Yonder by by Richard Peck (Dial)

2000 Medal Winner: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte)

1999 Medal Winner: Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster)

1998 Medal Winner: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (Scholastic)

1997 Medal Winner: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (Jean Karl/Atheneum)

1996 Medal Winner: The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman (Clarion)

1995 Medal Winner: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (HarperCollins)

1994 Medal Winner: The Giver by Lois Lowry (Houghton)

1993 Medal Winner: Missing May by Cynthia Rylant (Jackson/Orchard)

1992 Medal Winner: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Atheneum)

1991 Medal Winner: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (Little, Brown)

1990 Medal Winner: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Houghton)

1989 Medal Winner: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (Harper)

1988 Medal Winner: Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (Clarion)

1987 Medal Winner: The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow)

1986 Medal Winner: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (Harper)

1985 Medal Winner: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (Greenwillow)

1984 Medal Winner: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (Morrow) (I've never been fond of Beverly Cleary; I've passed this one up at library sales quite a few times. Is it really worth reading?)

1983 Medal Winner: Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt (Atheneum)

1982 Medal Winner: A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard (Harcourt)

1981 Medal Winner: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)

1980 Medal Winner: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos (Scribner)

1979 Medal Winner: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton)

1978 Medal Winner: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)

1977 Medal Winner: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (Dial)

1976 Medal Winner: The Grey King by Susan Cooper (McElderry/Atheneum) (very good series!)

1975 Medal Winner: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton (Macmillan)

1974 Medal Winner: The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox (Bradbury)

1973 Medal Winner: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (Harper)

1972 Medal Winner: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien (Atheneum)

1971 Medal Winner: Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars (Viking)

1970 Medal Winner: Sounder by William H. Armstrong (Harper)

1969 Medal Winner: The High King by Lloyd Alexander (Holt) (EXCELLENT series!)

1968 Medal Winner: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (Atheneum)

1967 Medal Winner: Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt (Follett)

1966 Medal Winner: I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino (Farrar)

1965 Medal Winner: Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska (Atheneum)

1964 Medal Winner: It's Like This, Cat by Emily Neville (Harper)

1963 Medal Winner: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Farrar)

1962 Medal Winner: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton) (one of the best books ever!)

1961 Medal Winner: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (Houghton)

1960 Medal Winner: Onion John by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell)

1959 Medal Winner: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)

1958 Medal Winner: Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (Crowell)

1957 Medal Winner: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (Harcourt)

1956 Medal Winner: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (Houghton)

1955 Medal Winner: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong (Harper)

1954 Medal Winner: ...And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell)

1953 Medal Winner: Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (Viking)

1952 Medal Winner: Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (Harcourt)

1951 Medal Winner: Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (Dutton)

1950 Medal Winner: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (Doubleday)

1949 Medal Winner: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Rand McNally)

1948 Medal Winner: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (Viking)

1947 Medal Winner: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (Viking)

1946 Medal Winner: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (Lippincott) (Great stuff!)

1945 Medal Winner: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (Viking) (Love everything by Robert Lawson)

1944 Medal Winner: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Houghton)

1943 Medal Winner: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray (Viking)

1942 Medal Winner: The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds (Dodd) (Love all his books!)

1941 Medal Winner: Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry (Macmillan)

1940 Medal Winner: Daniel Boone by James Daugherty (Viking) (I've been watching for this one for a long time!)

1939 Medal Winner: Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright (Rinehart)

1938 Medal Winner: The White Stag by Kate Seredy (Viking)

1937 Medal Winner: Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer (Viking)

1936 Medal Winner: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (Macmillan)

1935 Medal Winner: Dobry by Monica Shannon (Viking)

1934 Medal Winner: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs (Little, Brown)

1933 Medal Winner: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis (Winston)

1932 Medal Winner: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer (Longmans)

1931 Medal Winner: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth (Macmillan) (I didn't care for this one)

1930 Medal Winner: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (Macmillan)

1929 Medal Winner: The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly (Macmillan)

1928 Medal Winner: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji (Dutton)

1927 Medal Winner: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James (Scribner)

1926 Medal Winner: Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman (Doubleday)

1925 Medal Winner: Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger (Doubleday)

1924 Medal Winner: The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes (Little, Brown)

1923 Medal Winner: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (Stokes)

1922 Medal Winner: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon (Liveright) (I don't have any interest in this one...quite evolutionary and anti-Christ, I have heard.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The First Drawing

My daughter EmBlem received a large Derwent drawing set for Christmas. It had charcoals, among other mediums. She also got some new sketchbooks. Here's the picture she drew Christmas afternoon using the charcoals. Don't you just want to throw out a blanket and sun yourself on that beach?

She's excited about all the new things she can draw now that she has the proper tools. Drawspace, here she comes!