Friday, September 6, 2013

September - Family Tree

We started Day 1 on September 3, 2013.  It was our first day of official school.  However, it was also a Tuesday, so I had my hands full with 2 additional kids.  Now what's the most important thing to do on the first day of school?  Take pictures of course!  Ha, not really, but I was excited.  I wanted to try to get this done before the arrival of Grant and Cody so I rushed our morning routine a bit.  It made for a slightly grumpy Lachlan, but still super cute pictures.

This is Peter's new smile.  I wrote in a blog post a couple days ago that I was telling Lachlan that his first day of school was coming soon, Peter piped in and said "me too."  Well of course Peter too.  So we had to take pictures as well.  

It took us a while to get to some school projects because Cody was not giving in to his morning nap.  When he did take his nap it was time for nap for the other three as well.  So I gave nap time a go, but no one wanted to rest, except me of course.  I could tell I wouldn't be getting them to sleep so gave up and started school.  We started by making our family tree.

My Family Tree came with a tree trunk cut out, a tree top cut out, apple cut outs, a small paper bag and a My Family Tree sticker.  Everything but the glue.  I stocked up on some school supplies in multiples so when I had them all at the counter they didn't have to take turns with the one glue stick we had.  This is of course a great plan, except now 3 children have glue sticks at once.  It was a bit of chaos.  But we made it through.
I had the kids put the glue on the top of the tree trunk and stick their tree top on.  Then I took turns with each child going through the list of people in their family.  Each family member got an apple for the tree.  We glued the apples to the tree but I guess you can also put the apples in the bag to pull out and go through again and again if you want.  All the kids wanted to have apples on their trees for Grandma and Grandpa and Aunts and Uncles.  I had to stop it at the people who live in their house.  I was afraid I would run out of apples.  Once the apples were on their trees I went through them again and I wrote the names on the apples.

They were all pretty proud of the final product.  None more so than Grant!

Next we picked some apples.  Mother Goose Time gave us these square papers with apples printed on them, numbers 1 through 6 printed in patterns same as on a dice.  The Picking Apples lesson had us turn the cards over, have each child pick a card, flip it over and then pretend to pick that many apples from the Theme Poster on the wall.  I got Lachlan to play along once, but Peter and Grant played over and over again.  They loved it!  Such a simple and fun way to build their counting skills.  Peter always skips 4, so this was a great way to practice getting that 4 in there.  I still had this sitting on our little table by the display wall the next day and Peter and Lucy played it again, over and over.

Next we got up the counter and worked on writing their names on the Nametag for the Pick Me lesson.  I used a highlighter to write Peter and Grant's names on theirs.  I then gave them a pen and showed them how to follow the highlighted mark.  Grant has always been good at these fine details and concentration.  I was so proud of him and his finished product.  He did amazing.  Peter on the other hand just scribbled over the whole thing.  So I tried another tactic, one I had forgotten about.  I put the pen in his hand, put my hand over his and wrote his name.  He peaked around and watched what I was doing.  Maybe it will make more sense to him next time I ask him to follow the line, and maybe not.  We shall see.  He loves tracing letters on the iPad games.  So he is actually really good at knowing the order of writing some of the letters.  Didn't realize there was so much to learning to write.

I gave Lachlan a blank Nametag and wrote his name on the dry erase writing board.  I used the pen to not only write his name but to draw over the solid line at the top and bottom and the dashed line in the middle so that they would stand out a bit more.  He did really well with each letter but still wrote mostly between the top solid line and middle dashed line.  Mid way through I highlighted the top and bottom line on the Nametag and showed him how to do the h in his name from top line to bottom line.  He seemed to be okay with the instruction.  We never did get to the next part of the lesson.  We were supposed to put the name tags up on the wall with a tree cut out and have them pick an "apple" or Nametag (the Nametags have apples on them) and then have them sound out the first letter of that persons name.  I finally have them up on the wall, so I will work this in at some point.

The last two lessons we didn't get to until the evening, just before bed.  MGT gave us this shape cube with a bunch of different things on there that are a circle shape, like a basketball and a record.  The record one they had never seen before.  We left one side of the cube open and stuck the circle shape that we got for the Shape Poster display inside.  I had them look at the shapes on the outside and guess what might be on the inside.  MGT also had us ask what from the room could fit inside the box?  Lachlan came up with something very creative but I can't think of it now, I need to write this stuff down, sooner, I should say.  Eventually we opened it up and found the circle and displayed it on the poster.

Lastly we played with the color green.  This year we get the monthly color in the form of a color wand.  It's a little paper stick with a ribbon tied to the end of the same color.  Green is our first one.  I got it out and set up and then asked, what is your favorite green thing?  Lachlan said "grass."  Then I told them that sometimes bugs eat apples and they wiggle and move.  They each took turns wiggling the wand like a bug and then I had them wiggle it at the apple Nametag with their name on it.  I didn't really want to go into too much detail about bugs eating and hanging out in apples because we have been working very hard on our garden and eating and trying fruits and vegetables, I thought this conversation might take us a step back.  Sort of like the Ant Poop conversation.

It was a fun filled first day!

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