Wednesday, September 24, 2014

apple books and activities and week 4 recap

In public school, kindergarten and often first grade classes, too, spend at least a week (sometimes an entire month) on an apple theme. I could not let Bubby miss out on this American rite of passage, so we spent a little more than a week reading apple books and doing apple inspired things.

Books We Read:
Johnny Appleseed
Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree
Apples (by Farmer)
Ten Apples up on Top
Apple Cider Making
How Do Apples Grow
Apple Pie Tree
Apples - (by Gibbons)
Apples To Oregon

Things  We Did:
Each day we read a couple of different apple themed books, usually a fiction  and a non-fiction one. We started the week with Johnny Appleseed, and therefore I had the boys create self-portraits of  themselves as Bubby and Bugaboo Appleseed. We also mapped out Johnny's route on Bubby's US map. (Later in the week we mapped out the route from Iowa to Oregon to go along with Apples to Oregon, and we briefly compared the trips.)
Bubby decided to give himself a beard

Making apple prints with paint on paper was a big hit for both boys. It worked on some different fine motor skills for Bug, too, so win-win.

One day when Bug was at preschool, Bubby and I painted the four different seasons of an apple tree. Even when I painted the example to follow, he chose to do his own thing with it, so I just let him. (This is much harder for me to do than it sounds.) Both boys created a simple and fun Ten Apples Up pictures, much like our Caps for Sale pictures from last year. Bubby insisted on doing a pattern with the colors.

We made another KWL chart for this topic. Bubby cut out, glued, and labeled the parts of an apple. The labeling counted as handwriting that day as he traced the words I had written for him.  We also spent some time searching around the house for things that are bigger than apples and smaller than apples.  It was interesting what Bubby chose to put on the lists.

I intended to make applesauce in the crockpot for the first time, but instead opted for my favorite apple dessert - apple crisp.  You can't go wrong with something that has a brown sugar topping!

In other learning, in phonics we worked on final blends. Phonics has started to be a bit more challenging for Bubby, but he can do it, and the challenge is good for him.  In Math, I introduced him to the unit bars our curriculum uses, so it was an easier week in that subject.  Handwriting focused on O, Q, and G. The O and Q felt awkward to write on the Handwriting Without Tears slate, in my opinion.  We continued series two in Spanish, but he's not enjoying it as much as I had hoped, so we are going to back off a little bit while I figure out what to do with that.  Bubby continued piano practicing and lessons and soccer started.

Favorite Things:
Both boys had a lot of fun this week with the activities. Bubby said his favorite thing was the apple printing. Anything with paint is always a big hit with him. I Just really enjoyed looking for various books and activities, planning our week, and implementing it all.  I really do love curriculum and instruction.

What I Learned:
Hands-on is always best. It's more work, but why use a worksheet when even a five year old can cut out and create their own apple to label and create their own four seasons to paint? I rarely use a worksheet (other than our consumable papers for math), but I can do better with more hands-on/cross-curricular activities. If I can aim for one of these types of weeks each month, I think I will have more enthusiasm in this house towards learning.

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