Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fall Crafts: Scarecrow


My daughter's scarecrow 
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With the autumn weather, comes pumpkin picking, Halloween projects, and fall crafts. There are so many cute ideas on Pinterest and Facebook, it is sometimes easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices.  This year we made a simple paper plate scarecrow to decorate our front door.

Materials 


Steps 

1. Gather materials. (If your children are handy with scissors, have them help out.)


2. Color the paper plate.

3. Glue on the eyes, nose, and mouth.


4. Glue on the hair.


5. Glue on the hat.

6. Glue on the bow-tie.


Both my children enjoyed decorating and creating their own unique scarecrows. If you and your children make any, I would love to see them.  You can share them with me on Instagram or Facebook. Tag my page or use #momquesttoteach on Instagram. 

My son's scarecrow 

Resources 

Crafts for Preschooler's Scarecrow 

image from Crafts for Preschoolers 

Original Scarecrow inspiration 

Crafty Morning's Popsicle Stick Scarecrow

Image from Crafty Morning

No Time For Flash Card's Scarecrow 

Image from No Time for Flash Cards




Thursday, November 9, 2017

B is for Baker


My Daughter's Baker
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We first started talking about the concept: B is for Baker using SchoolhouseTeachers.com's Preschool Class ABC: What Will I Be?.   In the lesson on the Letter B, parents can introduce apple pie scented play dough to the children, share coloring pages, bake shortbread cookies, read books about baking, and practice math and writing skills.   In my Language Arts blog, I go into more detail about the ABC: What Will I Be? course.  To continue along with the baking idea, I created a Letter B craft for my children.

Materials 

Steps 

1. Gather all materials.  If your children are using scissors, they can help cut out the shapes. 

Pieces needed to go with the letter B.

2. Color the letter B. (My son drew on his own face along with arms and legs when he was looking at my sample that I created.) 

 

3. Attach the hair with glue or glue sticks. 


4. Attach the chef's hat with glue or glue sticks. 
5. Attach the eyes with glue or glue sticks. 


6. Attach the mustache with glue or glue sticks. 


7. Display your child's artwork. 

Resources 
image from This Reading Mama 

We have the Star Wars Cookbook.  It has some cute ideas to make eating fun for your children.




Friday, November 3, 2017

How do you spell a great lesson plan? Schoolhouse Spelling!


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Struggling with finding a way to meet the spelling needs of your child?  Are there too many lists and words and you don't know where to start? Schoolhouseteachers.com offers Schoolhouse Spelling to its members with options from Preschool to High School.  

Schoolhouse Spelling offers Preschool Spelling (40 weeks of age-appropriate words), Lower Elementary Spelling (two years of material), Upper Elementary Spelling (four years of material), Middle School Spelling (four years of material), and High School Spelling (four years of material).

My four year old and I have started working through the Preschool Spelling which includes video flash cards of the weekly words and worksheets to practice the words of the week.  It is designed to help students learn letter sounds and form words. 

The first week reviews 'at' words such as cat, hat and rat.  We also made other 'at' words including bat, sat, and mat. In week two, words: bat, mat, sat, and fat will be discussed and practiced. 


As my son likes to practice writing, we wrote the words on the white board and on scrap paper for him to practice. During the activity, my daughter also wanted her own list of words and drew her own pictures to go along with her brother.  



The week's activities continue with the student drawing a picture of a cat, a hat, and a rat each day while tracing the word.  

My son's cat.

I found these lessons to be a great introduction to spelling.  Both my four year old son and my two year old daughter can review the words together and practice sounds.  

The other levels will be just as valuable as they meet the needs of more advanced learners.  In the Lower Elementary Grades, students can practice correcting misspelled words and rhyming among other activities. There are also options at the different levels to approach the spelling via a phonics based style or a Charlotte Mason style.  They can be used independently or together (one following the other).  The lessons also approach the course from a Biblical Worldview offering Bible quotations to learn new spelling words. 

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Trips: Pumpkin Picking


We returned to Creamy Acres Farm for Pumpkin Picking this October 2017.  The farm has the typical activities of a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch and a corn maze for their Fall Fest but also includes many other fun activities for those who purchase access to the Field of Fun. 

On the tractor ride to the pumpkin patch you are driven by the cows, silo, Nights of Terrors fields for Zombie Paintball and cornfields. 

Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch 
The corn maze had a super hero theme with individuals like Batman, Spider-Man, and Wonder Woman. At the exit of the maze, all the children received a prize!

After picking out your pumpkins in the pumpkin patch, you can visit the goats or get back onto the tractor to go to the Field of Fun or return to the Store and parking lot area.

The activities at the Field of Fun included a Cow Train, Tire Mountain, Spooky Straw Maze, Corn Pit, Pumpkin Painting, Face Painting, Bouncy Ball Fun, Pedal Karts, and other games. 

Spooky Straw Maze 
My son said he liked the Cow Train the best while my daughter did not want to leave the Corn Pit.

Corn Pit
Everything at the Field of Fun is an enclosed area, which definitely provides a sense of safety because as a parent you know your little one isn't going to keep running the entire length of the farm fields.
Pedal Karts, Cow Train and Pumpkin Painting
One of the things added this year was the Pumpkin Painting which both our children enjoyed.  All individuals who paid for the tractor ride to the pumpkin patch and the Field of Fun received a free small pumpkin.  My son painted a green and yellow kitty cat. My daughter had a face painted on her pumpkin, but she ultimately painted the entire pumpkin yellow.  

The day was beautiful and all the employees are very helpful.  We can't wait till next year!


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We own It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! and love it.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Crafts: Black Cat


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October 27 is National Black Cat Day.  Black cats have gotten a bad wrap over the course of history as bringing bad luck or being familiars of witches but they are really just like any other cat.  

My family has owned several almost totally black cats over the years as well as many other tabby cats.  We never felt the black cats brought any more prosperity or negative luck to our homes as the traditions and myths surrounding them differ from culture to culture. 

Misty with Buffy the Mouse. 

One of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe stories is The Black Cat.  If you get the chance to visit the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia, PA, you can see the basement that might have been the inspiration for the famous tale.

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site Basement 

False chimney place in the basement resembles that in the story The Black Cat.

Since black cats are so often associated with Halloween thanks to numerous movies, books, and television shows, my children created their own black cats to decorate our front door for the holiday. These black cats could be created for any cat lesson and be changed to any color you or your children wish.
Materials 

Steps 
1. Gather all the materials. Depending on the age of your children, you can pre-cut the ears, nose, eyes, tail, whiskers, and feet or they can do that during the actual craft time. 
2. Color or paint the two paper plates the color of your cats. 

3. Start attaching all the pieces of the paper plates.  


4. Attach the two paper plates together.  Attach the tale, ears, and feet onto the back with tape. 


5. Display completed project. 

Resources 

I heart Crafty things' Paper Plate Cat Craft

Danielle's Place's Cat and Kitten Craft for Kids
Crafts by Amanda's Paper Plate Black Cat 

Not to leave out the other cats that we have owned here are their photographs. Do you have any pet cats? Please share in the comments.  
Mac - brother to Rumple and Skimble

Rumple - brother to Mac and Skimble

Skimble - sister to Mac and Rumple

Clarke 

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mathematics: Preschool Playground


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Is math necessary? Only if you want to be able to buy, sell, cook, navigate, plan for the future, leave a tip, live frugally, handle home repair, calculate material yardage, know how much carpet you need or whether the couch will fit along the wall, play a board game, take a trip, or do almost anything else. In short, the answer is YES! Whether you need to teach first grade math or high school trigonometry, SchoolhouseTeachers.com has math courses for you. They even have courses to help you teach math such as Finally Conquer Fractions, Hands-On Math Help with Cuisenaire Rods, and How to Teach Elementary Math. Bring some fun into math—for you and your student!

Both my four year old and two year old know their numbers from 1 to 20 and even beyond that to some extant.  My four year old will even sit at the table and 'do math' by creating his own addition worksheets.  Just the other night my two year old daughter surprised me by counting to 20 with only one or two corrections.

As my two littles know their shapes, I decided we would work on lessons from Preschool Playground: Numbers, Patterns, and Cognitive Skills this week in addition to some other activities that we will be doing for the fall.  This way he would practice on his writing skills and my daughter could join in for some fun crafts I added to the lessons.

On Monday, my four year old practiced writing his number one while my daughter played with the Sesame Street pictures I cut out for our second activity.

Worksheets from Preschool Playground

I wrote the number one numerically as "1" and as "one" on the paper along with the name of the character.  I used old wrapping paper for the pictures of the characters which meant that there was an uneven number available.  Surprisingly neither my son nor my daughter were upset that their pictures were different.


We counted out 1 Elmo, 1 Cookie Monster, 1 Big Bird, and so on as we worked.  I then let them draw or color on the paper as they saw fit.

The next day we completed a counting exercise using some Dollar Store erasers and plastic mice.  I created the counting board for a bow activity and we have used it several times for counting Thomas Trains, cars, and milk caps.


My daughter helped count out the smaller numbers. My son did some simple addition and subtraction to figure out how many erasers or mice we need to take from the lower numbers for the numbers in the second row.


This counting activity can be done again with fake leaves, acorns, turkey-shaped erasers, Christmas themed erasers, bows, snowflakes, foam hearts, etc.

On Wednesday, my son and I worked on practicing writing the number two while my daughter drew happy, sad, and angry faces on pumpkins.


Preschool Playground has many ideas including suggestions for using chalk, noodles, pretzels, yarn, shaving cream to learn numbers as well as a variety of worksheets that teach the writing of the numbers, reading clocks and calendars, and positional words.

Even if you are not teaching a preschooler, there are many math lessons at SchoolhouseTeachers.com for you and your child.  If you are teaching an elementary student, they could take Fraction Workshop or Stretching Higher with Third Grade Math. For older students, they also offer such courses as Geometry and Statistics.