If you have been following my blog for a while, you have seen that I have my students draw… a… lot! Yes, draw pictures. The developmental range of drawing is very diverse in this age group. You can read about the development of drawing here.
The drawing of a self-portrait is often used to show developmental levels in children. As a teacher, I work hard with my students to help them progress through these stages. I have my pre-K and kindergarten classes draw a self-portrait every month and then send them home as a book at the end of the year. Parents are usually shocked with the progress from Mr. Potato Head to a fully recognizable person.
So… I encourage you to have your child draw a monthly self-portrait. You can use a sheet such as the ones I have in my teachers pay teachers store that provides a place for your child to write his/her name, the month and draw their picture in a frame or just draw it on a white sheet of paper. The most important thing is for your child to draw him/herself!
Children who are young 4s often draw a head with arms and legs. At this age, it is totally developmentally appropriate for this level of drawing. But, I encourage you to point out things that he/she might be missing. Simple additions at this age: hair, hands, feet, ears.
As your child progresses you will start seeing the addition of more body parts. One of the big things I push with my students is the addition of a torso. I’ll say do your arms and legs come out of your head? Nope! What are you missing? You are missing your torso the middle section of your body. How can we draw a picture including your torso?
Have your child look at him/herself in a mirror to see what else they can add to the picture.
I drew mine on a whiteboard, but I would have your child draw with crayons on paper. If you have multicultural crayons, that’s even better as you can get better representation of skin tones. You want the picture to be as realistic as your child can make it!
There are so many opportunities to incorporate math skills into every day activities. Since this week we have been focused on Pete the Cat getting ready for school, we should go find some socks and shoes!
Children love to help around the house when you make it a game… this makes laundry and/or cleaning up a game AND learning! BONUS POINTS!!
Have your child find all of his/her shoes around the house, if your kiddos are like mine, the shoes are scattered about. Now make sure they are a matching pair. Have your child put the shoe away with the right and left on the correct sides, see sneaking in another skill… and setting the shoes up to wear. Next time you do laundry, have your child sort and match the socks.
When we sort and match in school we use the words: sort, attributes, pair, matching, same, different, set
You can also have your child count the sets of shoes/socks. State: How many pairs of shoes do you think you have? (this is estimating) Ok, let’s find out! You will probably need to show they how as they will typically count each shoe/sock not the pair.
If your child is comfortable with numbers you can show them how to count by twos to see how many shoes in total. State: “Ok so you have 4 pairs of shoes, how many shoes do you have in total?” They will now count each shoe. “Do you think there is a faster way to count the shoes?” See what your child comes up with on his/her own and then you can show him/her how to count by twos.
Want to add in more… “Who do you think has the most pairs of shoes in our family?” “How can we figure this out?” Now you are comparing sets. Plus they will most likely straighten up everyone’s shoes in the process!
Yesterday we read the book Pete the Cat Too Cool For School by Kimberly and James Dean. In the book, Pete was trying to decide what to wear to school. He asks everyone and then finally decided to wear his favorite things.
Today have your child make a “zine booklet” about getting dressed in clothes of lots of colors. A zine booklet is a book folded out of one sheet of paper. Below I will share with you how to make your own, or you can hop over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and pick up a copy of the one I have there for free!
If you choose to use mine you can have your child color the pictures before you fold and cut the zine. Or you can fold and cut the booklet and have your child create their own colorful outfit zine booklet. Now have your child point and read the book. Any time your child is stating words while pointing to word we call it reading. Even if he/she is not decoding the words it is the process of reading that is important. When I teach kindergarten I talk about this as reading as a kindergartner.
Now, onto how to make the zine booklet…
See image on the left for how to set up the pages. If you are having your child draw the images, you will want to do the folding first and the draw.
Fold the paper in half “long side to long side”. Open it back up.
Now Fold the paper in half “short side to short side”. Open it back up.
Fold the short sides into the middle fold. Open this back up.
Now fold it in half again short side to short side and cut along the fold (the line between 4/7 and 3/8).
Then fold it back in half long side to long side.
Hold onto the edges and push the pages together to create an open “box”.
Push until you get it into an “x” shape.
Now you can fold it.
Check out this youtube video for step by step visual instructions.
I’d love to see what you make. Share your child’s work with me firstname.lastname@example.org I love seeing children learning!
I have begun working on a few new kits for my Teachers Pay Teachers store (My Day in Pre-K). Today I uploaded two kits that will help your child feel like a reader!
High frequency words are words that are used over and over in stories. These words are a combination of both decodable words and sight words. The more fluent your child becomes in high frequency words, the more fluently they are able to read. The first kit focuses on the words I, like, the, and and the second kit focuses on see, we, a, to.
These kits provide you with two different types of pages.
The first provides your child(ren) the opportunity to read five sentences. The children will use the dots to point as they read the sentences. This helps your child differentiate between the words, develops one-to-one correspondence and recognize the connection between the printed and spoken words. These are written in rebus style allowing your child to use the pictures to finish reading the sentences. It encourages your child to read the sentences three times each which will help work on the fluency.
The second format allows your child to complete and illustrate the sentences. They are again encouraged to read the sentences three times, point while reading and build fluency.
I have shared this kit with a few of my former students. Their families have shared that the child is enjoying this learning activity and feel confident in their reading. One little girl has asked for more pages to be made.
I hope you enjoy this learning activity with your child. I will be adding more kits with additional words in the next few weeks. I also have a beginning sounds sort kit that is in the works!
Children love playing games! My newest uploads into my Teachers Pay Teachers Store are four game boards to help your child practice and review recognize beginning sounds. Each game includes a game board and a set of pictures.
Players will choose picture cards. Look at the card, name the picture on the card. The first sound of that picture tells you where to move on the board. Move around the board and see who gets to the end first!
Whole set— this includes an extra board game (Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo, Uu, Qq, Yy, Zz) helping the octopus get to the seaweed and a blank board to help the cat get to the yarn ($5.00)
Parents… you too can order from Teachers Pay Teachers! All you need to do is create an account. It is a great place to locate items to help your child will all types of learning. They serve pre-K-12th grades.
Recognizing and breaking down words into syllables is one of the important phonemic awareness skills that children need to develop in the process of learning to read.
Syllables are the “beats” you hear in words. We typically teach this to students by having them clap as they hear the syllables. For example the word head only has one syllable and the word alligator has 4 al-li-ga-tor.
Today I posted in my Teachers Pay Teachers store a board game to practice this skill. In the kit, you will find: a game board, picture cards and the rules. The children pick a picture card. They say the word that corresponds with the picture, then determine how many syllables in the word. The child then moves forward that many spaces on the board.
This can be used at home as easily as in a classroom setting!
When children learn letter sounds we often provide pictures/words to help them remember what sound is associated with the letter. (/a/ /a/ apple) Many children need more than this to remember those connections.
Teachers use a see it, say it, write it approach which adds in the muscle memory of writing the letter while saying the sound. But, even with this there are still children who struggle to make these connections. So what can you do?
If you choose to practice letter sounds this way, I encourage you to only use the letter sounds and not their names. That is the key… we need children to connect the letter sound to the visual letter. Providing a cue word and motion is helping with the recall of the letter sound!