Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 3 aka my BIRTHDAY!!

We won't dwell on the fact that it is my 29th birthday. (tee-hee) Instead I will show you what the kids did on day 3 of Delk Summer School.

The first thing we did today was go outside to play. If I had known it was going to be such a nice morning, we would have packed up and gone to the zoo. Maybe tomorrow. Instead, we took out the sidewalk chalk and had some fun.

All just as happy as pigs in slop.

Abby made pictures of giraffes, lions, and bears. Of course you would need a very active imagination to recognize them, but we all "ooohed" and "aahhhed" over them. Andy went behind Abby and Ike and added his own embellishments to their pictures.

Isaac spelled "pop tarts" all by himself!

After we went inside, we started on our project of colors- Matching games!

Preparation for the lesson began last night when Abby and I visited the Lowes and Home Depot. We had to go find some 'colors'. Meaning we had to go find some fabulous paint samples.
*The idea actually came from a blog I read called "Momtessori". You can find the link to it on my information page, I think. She is a stay-at-home mom that used to teach in the Montessori setting. Now she shares her great ideas on her web page.*

So, Abby and I set out to find some great colors for our project today. And boy, did we find some great stuff! And, the best part, THEY ARE FREE!! I love cheap entertainment!

Did you know that Disney made paint? Me neither! Of course, Abby had to have some of these. The key when you are getting paint samples: always get more than one. We turned these "Mickey Mouse colors" (as Abby called them) into a matching game!

Laid out and ready to play. Ike and Abby really enjoyed the game. Andy played twice then went to play with his trains.

Abby made a match with reds.

Andy made a match with oranges. You can't really tell, but trust me.

Here is a video of us playing. I know I probably sound a little uptight in the video, but I'd like to remind you- I'm anal like that.

They had a really good time and I promised them that Daddy would play with them later tonight.

But wait! There's more! I made another matching game that tests to see if the kids can match capital and lower case letters. I started out writing the alphabet on the paint samples like this...

Then I cut them apart like this...

Kids can match the capital letter to the lower case letter and check their work by making sure the colors match.
When I had Isaac play this the first time, I separated the colors- blues, reds, yellows, etc. He only matched a set at a time. Starting slow is good.

Isaac was very proud of his finished product.

So, all in all it was an eventful day. I still have more paint samples that I am waiting to use. I haven't decided how to use them. The Momtessori site suggested using them to teach sequencing; lightest to darkest and so on.

I thought about doing what I did with the alphabet cards, only having them match numbers to the number names. (1 : one) Or colors to color names. (red card to the word 'red') We'll see. As long as the kids are having a good time, that's all that matters.

Oh, and one more thing.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Favorite Uncle Ever...

The award goes to.... Uncle Craig!! For letting 3 crazy children climb over you as they insisted on horsey rides, airplane, and crazy faces. Congratulations Craig!

Aunt Beth and Uncle Craig came to visit us today. They were on their way back from their vacation. Boy were the kids ecstatic to see them! There was hooting, hollering, jumping, climbing... you get the picture.

Horsey rides on both legs while talking baseball with Isaac. Dang, he's good. :)

Aunt Beth was a good resting spot for Isaac to eat his apple slices.

Abby pretty much stayed with Craig until I took them upstairs for naps. In fact, she had to be held by Craig up the stairs.

Andy also took a Beth break to eat some apples.

Airplane ride anyone? I like this picture because of Craig's face. He's not really in pain. Well, with all the airplane rides he had to give the kids, he might be. Who knows.

Isaac's turn. THAT would be painful. 38 pounds of kid.

After their naps, Abby helped me vacuum the floor. Proof that Aunt Beth's cleaning skills rubbed off while she was here.

Thanks for the visit Beth and Craig!

Delk Summer School Day 2- Cool Beans

When Joe came home yesterday he was very impressed with the kids' work. I told him about the project for today and he graciously offered his beans as the manipulative. We decided to test the kids to see if they could handle glue and beans. Surprise of surprises... they could!! Here are their pieces of art they created last night.

I don't know if you can read their titles, but Abby called hers "Snowman". Andy called his "Big Beans", and Isaac called his "The Blacks and Whites". Basically we gave the kids a handful of beans and they pointed to where they wanted the glue. They did pretty well, if I do say so myself. :)

For Day 2 of Delk Summer School, we used their ability to glue beans to make number cards. Each child got a set of cards numbered 1-10. I had them use 2 sets of beans to help them later when talking about odd and even numbers.

I used a little of the Touch Math technique when I had the kids place the beans. Numbers 1-5 have the beans placed in the Touch Math locations. I did not follow TM for 6-10 since the kids wouldn't understand double tapping the beans to get the proper count.

For example- for the #6 there is a dot and a ring around it. The ring means you tap the dot twice. 3 double taps gets you the total 6. Get it?

The kids a had a good time gluing their beans to their cards. I made sure to use different color to write the numbers- less confusion later.
Once the glue dries we can use them for math drills (who can show me the #5 the fastest?), addition and subtraction. We could use them for multiplication, but I don't think we will get that far.

Most impressive. Touch Math also does not go up to 10. I decided to go up to 10 because you can teach kids anything with numbers as long as they have an understanding of a base-10 system. It helps kids with rounding and different addition and subtraction techniques. (ex. like counting up instead of subtraction)

So here are my little dears showing you they they are #1!

Isaac with his bold black numbers

Abby with her pretty in pink numbers

Andy with basic brown. (he chose the color himself)

After we made the cards the kids still wanted to play with beans and glue. So, we decorated our names.

The kids got to choose their color of paper and marker for their names. They also got to choose which beans they got to use. Isaac chose all but the reds. The twins wanted it all. :)

We will, hopefully, be getting their new sleeping arrangements sorted out this weekend, so these name posters will be used as decoration for their new rooms.

I think today was a success.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Delk Summer School

My kids watch a lot of tv. It's sad but true. It's also a crying shame since I'm a teacher and should know better. Oh well.

It's a rainy, dark day outside and I decided that I didn't want to watch Harry Potter for the hundredth time, or watch Phineas and Firb on the Disney channel. (I really can't stand that show.) So, I started the Delk Summer School. I had some school materials that haven't taken to school in my house, so I can feel professional when we work. Also, I'm really just anal like that.

Chart paper- in rockin' awesome colors. I just can't teach without color.

I found these fabulous cards at Target. They are good as a starting point, but I plan on making a lot of my own materials from here on out.

So, as a teacher/mom, what is the first thing I do? I assess their prior knowledge.

With Isaac, I know that he knows his ABC's, numbers, letters and letter sounds, shapes, and some basic words. With him I am going to start working on making and reading 3 letter words. For math skills we will begin with making numbers. (with things like beans and pasta- groups of 3 for example)

The twins are a little harder. For one thing, Abby is annoying and wants to do everything Isaac does, even though she is not on his level. Already I am having to diversify my instruction to make her feel like she is involved, without having to actively work with her while I work with Ike.
Today Abby saw Ike working with markers. So, I let her work with markers too.

I let Andy work with the Leap Frog alphabet magnets. He was happy as a clam. (No picture, sorry)

So, here is Day 1 at the Delk Summer School...

Isaac worked with the 3-letter word cards that I found at Target. He put the cards together, spelled the word and said the word. After he did 3 sets of cards I had him write the words. He wrote 9 words before becoming antsy. Not bad for the first day. ( No math today. I need to get some glue before starting our math lesson)

With Abby and Andy, I let them do their "Individual Learning Centers" while I worked with Isaac, then I assessed their vocabulary using the picture flash cards. For Andy this was a double whammy since it let me know what he recognized, and it helped with his speech therapy. From here, we can work on making 2-4 word phrases with the picture cards. (Ex.- I see a cat.)

Great job, Andy!!

Andy recognized and could properly verbalize 27 of the picture cards. I wrote down the pictures he recognized and added any extra words he added. (ex. for "boots" he said "shoes". I counted it, but documented the swap.) Yea Andy!!

It did not surprise me that Abby had a larger vocabulary than Andy. I already knew that just from her speech. However, even though she has a more extensive vernacular, that does not mean she is ahead of Andy in all areas. She does not recognize all of her letters, for example the way Andy does.

Abby recognized 39 picture cards! I also documented any swapped words that she said. (ex- "airplane" for the word "jet") My favorite of her swaps was when she said "coffee" for "cup". She recognizes that a lot of the adults in her life like to drink that disgusting brown stuff. (not I, obviously)

It was a start. I played Beethoven, softly, in the background while we worked. The kids had a good time and I feel like I accomplished something. Tomorrow we will work on math. I hope. I might even start making lesson plans. Cause I'm anal like that. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Twinkle twinkle

Isaac singing. Abby trying to butt in. Enjoy.

Pillow heads

This happened randomly and I just happened to have my camera handy. The video is not very good, but you get the gist. It started with Abby putting her pillow on her head for a few laughs. Ike and Andy were merely followers. Joe added the singing, and there you go.

After the singing.

Andy's new hat. He told me "hat".

And now, the song..

I'm not sure what song Joe is starting at the end. Doesn't matter. I just though it was hilarious that they all were ready to sing the "Pillow on their heads" song.

Warner Park Zoo

My dear friend Maria, mother of Will, who you've heard me talk about before, told me that she refused to let me stay indoors all summer. So, she planned a trip to our zoo here in Chattanooga. Originally, it was to be a zoo trip, then a picnic lunch, then playtime at the water park that is next to the zoo.

I know what you're thinking, "Dear Lord! Maria must be crazy!" And, to a certain extent, I would agree with you. But that only adds to her charm. :)

I agreed that I needed to be adventurous this summer. Taking 3 kids out in public, no matter where one goes, is going to be an adventure. So, I packed up our gear. Put shoes on everyone's feet. Said a Hail Mary or two. And we set out for the zoo.

We met up with another church friend of ours, Jennifer, along with her two little boys. Isaac was so excited to see Will! They held hands while we got our passes. I got the family pass; we might just do this again!

We started the zoo getting to see deer, a camel, goats in the petting zoo, and free roaming peacocks. You can see some of a peacock in this picture. (don't worry, we washed hands after the petting zoo)

Andy waving his excitement over something. You can see Will and his sister Caroline in the background.

This is a raccoon. Now, I realize that this is Tennessee and the kids have lots of opportunities to see raccoons. Here they get to see live ones.

Here Isaac is pointing out the "gorillas". In actuality, they are chimps. Isaac refused to believe it. He went so far as to educate the people around us that they were not chimps at all, but were "really big gorillas". Sigh.

Abby was only moderately interested in the chimps. Here she is informing me that she is out of cheerios and needs more.

All the kids were excited to see the leopards. There were 3 on the exhibit, but this one decided to get close. It might have been my children calling out to him, "Here kitty! Come here big kitty!" And, my favorite from Abby, "Kitty come here! I want to see you!"

Here are Isaac and Will looking in the exotic birds cage. Only one of the birds was a talker. It kept telling us "Bye-bye!" Andy returned the birds call. It was quite a conversation.

Nice tour lady. Didn't get her name, but she was very nice to the kids that had crowded around her.

Lunch time. Peanut butter sandwiches for everyone! Ms. Jennifer was nice enough to share her grapes with the twins.

Andy enjoying his sandwich. Unfortunately, there are no pics of Isaac with his lunch. He didn't sit down long enough to get a bite of his food, let alone a picture.

If the kids look a little pink, that is due to the heat, not sunburn. Never fear, I kept them hydrated the whole time, and covered in sunscreen. We did not stay for the water park. We had already been in the sun for 2.5 hours and it was nap time.

I am glad that Maria made me get out of the house. I'm sure we will try the water park another time.

p.s. the family pass I got also works for the Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis zoos- just for future reference! :)

Water fun with Josh-e-wash and Julia

We decided to start the summer right- with a trip to see our favorite cousins, Josh-e-wash and Julia.
The kids had a great time. We had lunch, played in the water, and took naps. (not so much the nap part- that got a little complicated)

I couldn't find my camera, so I borrowed Grammy Pat's.

Ike had a great time! He really liked when Aunt Jenny brought out the water guns!

Andy was Andy. He loved splashing.

Abby liked splashing and being a prissy princess. No surprise there.

Julia was adorable.

I didn't get a good pic of Joshua, but he had fun with the water and the bats and baseballs I brought.

This trip was also to celebrate Aunt Boo's birthday. Unfortunately, I got no pic of that event. I'm hoping Jenny got some and I am going to steal some of her pics from her blog to use on here. (or you could e-mail me some, Jenny. Hint. Hint.)

Thanks for letting the Delks invade! We had a great time! Not it's your turn to come here!! :)

Attack of the stickers

I blame myself.

I turned my back for 1 minute.

My teacher bag was left unattended.

It was... the Attack of the Stickers...

All. Over. Her. Face.

"Look at me, Mommy! Look at me!" She was so proud of herself.

Andy thought it was pretty dang funny.

Abby was hoping she would get to put all those stickers on her chore chart, but that didn't happen. I have since hidden the stickers and moved my teacher bag to the closet.