Thursday, October 18, 2012

Letter A Week - Lesson plan

We were sticking with the short /a/ sounds this week.  That is the beginning sound in the word "apple".  We stayed away from the long /a/ sound like in "acorn".   It is way to confusing to introduce all those sounds at once to little ones.

How to decode our weekly plan- 

(2)- Things I have planned for my two year old
(4)- Things I have planned for my four year old

Yellow- Things to print out (some black and white that students will either cut or color, and some color printed items that I have laminated and ready to use year after year)

Green- Activities that will need some prep time or prep materials.  

Our Weekly Plan- Letter Aa (apple, ant, astronaut, alligator)

(ant, apple cont.)
(astronaut, alligator)

Alligator books

 Astronaut Lower case a craft
Color word  (pg 8-9)
 Read on the moon (book)

Make apple muffins

P is for Pumpkin

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year!  Here is a short three day week P is for Pumpkin Lesson Plan guide.  There is something for everyone so just pick the activities that work for you and your little one(s).  

(Green are activities that need materials and yellow are printable activities.   Each activity activity is linked back it it's original source)

Our Weekly Plan- Letter Pp



Letter of the  week

Pumpkin handprint
Spin and graph (spinnergraph)
Color time


Day 1- 

This required a little creativity since, for the life of me... I couldn't find little pumpkins anywhere! SO... we used orange muffin cups.  Also, I forgot to get kernels so I just opened up a microwave popcorn bag and washed the kernels in soap in a colander.  
Oh my word, the butter that was coating those things was unreal!!  

I really liked this activity because both my 2 year old and 4 year old liked it, it occupied their time for a good 20 minutes, and more fine motor practice! 

Great for recognizing differences and working on making circles or x's.  

My oldest loves to see an example when making a craft.  
We painted the outsides of the plate, let them dry, cut out the center, went outside and grabbed a couple of leaves, took a pipe cleaner and rolled it around a pencil to make the vine, and used a toilet paper roll for the stem!  Very cute and simple craft that we already all the materials right at home to use.  

Pumpkin size sort for the 2 year old and Spin and Graph for the 4 year old 

My oldest HATES to color!  So I was so proud of him when he actually finished his entire page! 


For the 2 year old, I knew she wouldn't be able to tell the difference in the lower case and capital p

This smelled amazing!

 Day 2- 

GREAT fine motor practice!  I couldn't find orange beads so the kids picked black.  
LOVED this activity!

Pumpkin handprints

Wow... this made me realized that we need to work more on writing numbers!  This was for the 4 year old by the way.  You could maybe do the adding with a younger child if you have them count the pumpkins one by one.  

I printed this off in black and white for the 4 year old so he could practice his reading skills and printed it in color for the 2 year old so she could practice her colors.  The red pumpkin kind of took over! 

Day 3- 

Love this little book!  We never actually made the book, just tried to draw on the faces.

Here is the surprise face!

Here is her excited face!

Loved this!  Kind of felt like we were doing a little science experiment!  

what does the pumpkin sound like?
smell like? 
taste like?
look like? 

So this activity looks super cute but it was very parent involved.  The 4 year old did a little bit of the cutting of the paper slits, and maybe rolled one or two of the circles but couldn't staple by himself.  I basically did all of the activity for the 2 year old except for the gluing.  But it sure is cute! 

(2 year old)

(4 year old)

Sink or float?
Never actually got around to doing this one.
I was planning on filling up the bathtub and throwing a pumpkin in.
Maybe next year!

Other Pumpkin activities- 

Visit a pumpkin patch

Paint a pumpkin!

Visit my P Pinterest Board for other great Pumpkin activities!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Preschool Assessment

The teacher in me loves this time of year!  It's something about the crisp backpacks and sharpened pencils that just makes me want to go laminate something!  One thing I love about the beginning of the school year is assessing where students begin.  This is really only for my benefit to boost my pride at the end of the year to see just how far they have come and how much they have learned!  I do also find that sometimes I think they have mastered colors only to find out at the beginning of the year that they have had me fooled!  My 2 year old will be my main "homeschooler" this year and I was planning on starting at square one with her since her idea of "school" is... "Mama I just want to paint and color all day!"  I had all of our kid's names written on the easel and she walked right up and pointed to her name!  I had no idea that she could recognize her name!  Kids pick up more that you think!

Here are some basic assessments that you can do at home with your preschooler to see where the focus needs to be this year.  As always, if you have any other resources.. please add your link in the comment section and I would be happy to add it in!

Get Set for School - Love this site!  It has really great assessments, observation check list, and portfolio information

Preschool Palace-  Basics, super easy to use.

Printable-   Free from Teachers Pay Teachers

Me and Marie Learning- 2 page printable

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My favorite Freezer Meals

This post has nothing to do with preschool but it is something that I think is a HUGE time saver for moms.... Freezer meals.  If you've never tried it, you totally should!  I'm currently 38 weeks pregnant with our 3rd so stocking up the freezer so my family doesn't stare after the baby comes is a must for me!
I think that I went a little nuts with the freezer meals this time.  I just kept finding recipes that I wanted to try and now... I have an entire freezer FULL of meals and snacks!  Most of my recipes come from Once a Month mom (whole foods menu) and although I haven't been able to do "one big cooking and preparing day" like she does (can't stay on my feet that long), I will make a double or triple batch of what I am making for dinner a couple times a week so that I can eat one meal then freeze the rest.

Here are my favorite freezer recipes that I have found so far.... and yes these are all currently in my freezer!  If you are new to freezer meals and have questions, please comment!  It can be a little intimidating at first :)

Corn Flake Chicken tenders- (Kid's LOVE these.  I keep a stash in the fridge at all times!)


Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

Black Bean Quesadillas  (I love these for lunch time!)

Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas


Corn Dog Muffins  (we used turkey dogs and the kids love these for lunch!)


(Best cookies I have EVER tasted!  I doubled the cooking time though)

Country Quiche Recipe 


(I cooked these then froze them. I tossed them into the slow cooker frozen
then added the store bought sauce)

Cranberry-Sauced Meatballs

Chicken Stir- Fry (One of my favs - Dream Dinners cookbook)
Serves 6
1/4 cup                 sesame oil
1/2 cup                 honey  
1/2 cup                 lite soy sauce
3 teaspoons          mined garlic
1/8 teaspoon        red pepper flakes
6                          scallions, chopped
1                          green pepper , sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1                          red pepper , sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1                          large carrot , sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
6                          4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced into 1 inch thick pieces

Putting you dinner together- In a bowl, combine the sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, garlic, and red pepper flakes and stir.  Pour mixture into a freezer bag.  Add 6 chicken breasts to the bag. 

To freeze- Place the veggies in a separate freezer bag.  Place the bag containing the chicken and marinade into the veggie bag and seal.  Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking as directed below.

For tonight-  Allow chicken to marinade for 4 to 5 hours.  Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Add the chicken and the marinade and cook 5 minutes, just until the chicken loses its color.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  Add the scallions, peppers, and carrot to the hot pan and cook for 1 minute.  Return to the pan and cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, until heated through, and serve.  

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