Thursday, June 29, 2017

Rock the Alphabet Activity

What does the alphabet have to do with rocks? Collect 26 rocks and paint each one with a letter of the alphabet for your very own alphabet rock collection. This activity offers an educational double whammy: As your kid paints each letter on a rock, he'll practice letter formation and work his fine motor skills, and once they're done and dry he'll practice learning the letters and their sounds as you turn the rocks into a letter learning game. Any excuse to get outside and enjoy a little active, energetic playtime with your child is thumbs up in our book!

What You Need:

  • 26 rocks
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes (small and medium)
  • Water and a container for washing rocks

What You Do:

  1. Start by going on a rock hunt. While you supervise, invite your child to search the yard, neighborhood, local park, nearby creek or stream for rocks of a manageable size that he can easily lift and move around.
  2. Wash any dirt particles clinging to the rocks by soaking them in water and rinsing them. Let the rocks dry.
  3. Now for the painting! Help him paint one letter of the alphabet on each rock so he has one rock for each letter by the time he's done. Encourage him to use a wide variety of different colors to make a vibrant collection. If he's unsure of how to paint any of the letters, have him practice on a scrap sheet of paper before painting on the rocks.
  4. As he paints each letter, have him say its name and the sound(s) it makes. Can he think of a word that starts with that letter?
  5. Once all the rocks are painted, place them aside to dry.
  6. When the rocks are dry, use them to “label” objects in and around the house. For example, take an apple from the fruit basket and set the “A” rock beside it to show him that “A” is for “apple.” Repeat for the other letters; once he gets the hang of the activity, encourage him to find objects on his own.
  7. Use your cool new collection again and again until your young learner has mastered the alphabet and letter sounds. Mix up the rocks and then challenge him to put them back in order, or work with the rocks to spell simple sight words.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Oriental Trading Learn365

Did you hear?!  Oriental Trading has a site dedicated to all things teaching!  This is a one stop shop for everything you would need in the classroom.  They have lots curriculum activities, school supplies, and teacher resources!
I am always looking for more math activities for the whole year!  Luckily, under the "Curriculum Activities" tab you can find all the math activities Oriental Trading has to offer!
Check out some of the things I got!

I found this Early Math Activity Center Set!  It comes with 10 activity cards and these cute shark pieces.  They include sorting, counting, adding, and patterning activities.  I thought these would be perfect year round in a math center.

Another math activity I got were Dry Erase Number Lines!  We started Number Talks at our school this past year and we talk a lot about number lines and figuring out math problems using number lines.  These are great for whole group or small group!  There are 36 in a pack so everyone can use them at once.

I also got these CUTE Paw Print Counters!  These are perfect for sorting, patterning, or counting to solve math problems.  They come in 6 different colors too!

These Math Connecting Blocks are the best!  They can be used in so many different ways.  You can make math equations or use them to put numbers in order.  Connect some together and make a number cube!

One more math center before I move on to another subject!  The Monkey Math Linking Game!  These cute monkeys each have a number, tally mark, dice, or number word on their bellies.  Your kiddos link all the same number ways together using the links.  This is great for showing numbers in many different ways.

Learn365 doesn't just have math activities, but literacy activities too!  I got this great Rhyming Match Game. Rhyming is a huge topic in our class, so this will be a great addition in the beginning of the year to practice those skills.  I like to throw in a reading game in my "Read to Someone" center for my kiddos to do before or after they read and this game will be perfect!

I should also mention they have great social study activities too!  We do a big unit on resources/wants and needs also.  I found this great Wants vs. Needs Sorting Game.  This game has your kiddos sorting pictures of things they need and want into small bags.4

* Note: I was given these items from Oriental Trading in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own.