Monday, September 10, 2012

Letter W (Water) Unit Recap – FINALLY!!!

Although our Letter W / Water unit was a bit random and broken up, there’s no denying Dude enjoyed it & learned a ton!

Here are all (or at least most) of the activities he did:

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We started out the unit with an evaporation science experiment. For this one we poured some water into a jar, placed it in the windowsill, marked the water level every of couple of days, & discussed what was happening.


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He made this cute little “Where’s Turkey?” book as we reviewed positional words. This is from this book that I picked up during the Scholastic dollar days sale that I posted about on Facebook.
(I don’t see it available through Scholastic anymore.)


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Folding Washcloths


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We played quite a few games of Guess Who?. This is a new to us game and is recommended for 6+, but after a little bit of instruction Dude picked it up quickly. His mama also enjoyed it much more than most of our preschool games ;)


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Dude made some Wax drip art, which you can read more about here.


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Lots, & lots or Watercolor painting. This has been one of his favorite art activities for awhile.


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Letter W printing practice using his Dry Erase Activity Center


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Letter W hunt from Confessions of a Homeschooler


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He made a cloud with glue and cotton balls


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Then we used it as a raindrop counting mat. I put a number in the top corner and he counted out that many raindrops (flat glass stones) underneath his cloud.


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We later pulled out this same page for some extra fine motor skills practice. Dude cut and glued on grass,


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Traced flower stems,


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And used stickers to add flowers and the sun.

We really got a lot of mileage out of that one sheet of blue construction paper!


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We also set up a toy Wash on the back porch. Both big boys got in on this!


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Dude did a Letter W playdoh mat from Homeschool Creations


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We did another evaporation science experiment, this time testing to see how direct sunlight affected the rate of evaporation.


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We read the book It Looked Like Spilt Milk and did an art project related to it. You can read all the details and see more pictures HERE.


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And we did yet another evaporation experiment.
You can read about all of them HERE.


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Dude observed condensation on a cold mirror and the outside of a cup.


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We talked about the “sticky” characteristic of water and Dude observed it for himself by moving water around with a q-tip on wax paper.


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My little student painted, colored, cut, & glued to make this tissue box water cycle. He was quite proud of it! (The printable we used is from this book, another Scholastic dollar days score that I don’t see available over there anymore.)


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Some random water play with a set of measuring cups.


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Another game we played a lot during this unit was Dr. Seuss What's in the Cat's Hat?. This is a silly guessing game that’s a lot of fun.


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Moving on to the precipitation portion of the water cycle, Dude made it rain by squeezing water out of a sponge.


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As our grand finale science experiment we made it rain in a jar. This was pretty neat to watch and demonstrated all parts of the water cycle. It also gave us a chance to discuss the 3 states of matter: liquid, solid, & gas.


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Another aspect we added into Dude’s “school” during this unit was this Systematic Sight Word Instruction for Reading Success Program. The program includes flashcards (which we’ll be using), reproducible worksheets (some of which we’ll be using) and more ideas. I’ll probably share a little bit of what we do each week from this program, but not everything.

Dude’s first set of sight words were: I, a, run, play, can, & we

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In addition to the parts of the program that we used, Dude also traced the sight words that I’d written in highlighter and sprayed his sight words off the fence with Water as I called them out.

Whew! I think that’s it!

I’m going to list our book choices for our Letter W / Water unit in the widget below. Good books really are an integral part of our “schooling” and are read multiple times during our units.

Thanks for following along!

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sticker Slap! – Counting Game

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Dude and I have been playing this fun little game for the past couple of days. I’m not sure he’s realized it yet, but he’s also practicing his math skills!


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All you need to play is two (or more) sets of cards with increasing numbers of stickers on them. I made mine with two different colors of cardstock so they’d be easier to sort for the next game. And if your child is anything like mine there WILL be a next game!I only did the numbers 1-10 for now but you could easily go higher.


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For the game each player takes one color of card and places them face down (in random order) in a pile in front of them. On the count of three, each player turns over a card, puts it in the middle of the table and then tries to be the first to slap the card with the most stickers. If you’re first you take both cards and put them in your discard pile. The person with the biggest discard pile at the end of the game WINS! Super simple, but being able to both race and slap has made this a big hit with Dude. It’s great counting and greater than/less than comparison as well.

This was one of the bonus ideas in our Shoe Box Learning Centers: Counting book.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Water Week Science – Condensation & Precipitation

Here are the science experiments we did to help my son understand the processes of condensation and precipitation. These are some pretty difficult concepts for a 4 year old to grasp so I tried to model as many things for him as I could.

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We started off by simply observing condensation form on a cup filled with ice water. We talked about the cup being cold and cooling the air around it. We also talked about there being water vapor in the air all around us and how it condenses and turns back into liquid water when it gets cold enough.


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Dude also observed the condensation that formed when he breathed on a cold mirror.


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Next we talked a little bit about water being “sticky.” I didn’t worry about any technical terms, but I did put a small amount of water on a piece of wax paper and let Dude move it around with a q-tip to observe these forces and how the water naturally wanted to “stick” together.


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We first demonstrated precipitation with a simple sponge. After getting it wet Dude squeezed it (to connect all the tiny water droplets into bigger droplets) and “made it rain” into a pan.


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Our final science experiment for this unit was to make it rain….inside a jar! This was not only really neat to watch, but also a great way to model every aspect of the water cycle, making the the perfect finale for our week. You can see all the details for this project HERE.

You can also see our evaporation experiments HERE.

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