Friday, October 26, 2012

Reading & Foreign Languages (School Wrap-up, Week 6)

I. is now 4 yrs and 1 month old.
I. are acum 4 ani si 1 luna.

Here's a glipmse at our week, in pictures:
Iata o parte din activitatile din aceasta saptamana:

Fall & Halloween Theme
We continued the fall & halloween activities from last week. I gathered all the activities into a busy bag so we could have it handy. (Printables from Homeschool Creations, 2 Teaching Mommies and Creative Learning Fun)

iPad Halloween Play
Little girl loved the Pocket Charts! Halloween Matching Game app from the Good Neighbor Press. that went free last week

Also played with the First Words Halloween app from Learning Touch.

Reading - Phonics and the 'AT' Word Family
We continued to use the Pink Series for free from the Helpful Garden blog and our moveable alphabet
Matching words to images
Making words with the moveable alphabet
We use our iPad for school almost daily. We used the Pocket Charts: Spelling 3-Letter Words from Good Neighbor Press for the first time this week and little girl could complete it by herself with minimal help from me (she needs help on the words: eye, ape, etc.). You need to add the last letter to the words.

We started learning about the 'AT' word family using cards, worksheets, the iPad, and the Starfall website. I printed some worksheets and cards from the 'at' word family pack from 3Dinosaurs, they are just what we needed! I also used some Bob books printables from the Homeschool Den.
Worksheet from 3Dinosaurs
We played the AbiTalk Phonics Vowels app on the iPad, insisting more on the 'at' words family section.

French Learning
Little girl chose French a lot over this week - she requested a lot of French music (during breakfast or dinner), we read lots of books and spoke a lot in French.
Here's a recording of her from a couple nights ago, when she chose to 'read' two books to me, 'Le vilain petit canard' and 'Poucette' - if you have the patience to listed through the first story, the second part is really nice, I like it a lot the way she told the story of Poucette. (You cannot see too much, it was darker in the room, sorry about that!)
Spanish Learning  
Little girl is still in love with the Spanish language, so she watched a few lessons from Speekee this week and some other cartoons on youtube. She loved to practice saying out loud the words she knows - here she is in the video below - we were flipping through an easy picture book in English and I asked her if she knows the words in Spanish, too:

Some great collections I may be linking to:
Tot School

Montessori Monday
See Vanessa CraftClassified: Mom

Friday, October 19, 2012

Weekly School Wrap-up (Week 5)

I. is now 4 yrs and almost 1 month old.
I. are acum 4 ani si 1 luna.

Our week, in pictures:
Iata o parte din activitatile din aceasta saptamana:

Autumn Theme (from Homeschool Creations, 2 Teaching Mommies and Creative Learning Fun)
Our theme for the week: Autumn with a touch of Halloween. We'll probably continue this theme over the next week, too. Here are some pictures: 

Placing a coin on the words that begin with 'P'
Counting and clipping
Counting and arranging bears by size
More counting!
And counting again!
Autumn themed books that we read this week: 

Reading - Phonics and Sight Words
We started successfully using the Pink Series that we purchased from the Montessori Print Shop. You can download a free document that is part of the series. And, if you're looking for something free, the Helpful Garden blog has an excellent Pink Series for free! We have used some of their printables, too. 

I've made more mini-books for her to read (details in this post) and also used the books we have to practice reading on. I pulled out the baby books that have only images and big words next to it and I would cover the image and let her sound out the word - then show her the image to check. She liked that - later she would cover the image herself and read the word.

As more reading practice - before naptime and bedtime, when I read to her - I stop at a word I know she would be able to decode and let her read it. I chose a few easy readers among other bed time books, so she can easily decode a word here and there. (We have the Barbie books from our friend Raluca, thank you so much for them, little girl loves them!)

I've also introduced sight words this week. I've taught her some sight words about 6 months ago, but since she wasn't yet able to read with phonics by herself at that time, I postponed it for a later time. Now, I've decided it's a good moment to reintroduce them.

In the box: 'You can read' printables from 1+1+1=1, our set of flashcards, easy readers.

And we played sort of a lotto game:

French Learning
We were so happy when we found the We're Going on a Bear Hunt book in French at the French Cultural Center's Library!! The other books are ours, I purchased them at the used books fair at the Cultural Center.

The green ones - such as Poucette - are from Eli Publishing, you can buy them from here- they are excellent for language learning - they have little text and also a few pages with words only, such as below. The books are available in several languages: English, French, Spanish etc. I highly recommend them! They also have a CD included with the story read-aloud.

Spanish Learning
We took a break from Spanish for the last couple of weeks, but a few days ago my daughter started to ask for Spanish again, so we listened to songs and watched a couple videos from our  Spanish Learning page.
Here's a short video of my little girl - she has lots of fun learning Spanish - I'm not pushing her by any means, it's her fourth language - she's the one asking to learn more!

The good news is that we were given access to a month of Speekee for review and we are very happy with it, so far. Lots of music, repetition and just lots of fun!

Fine Motor Activities

We tried mixing colors in a non-messy way this week and loved it.
And she made a bracelet - beads on a pipecleaner - she usually doesn't have the patience to complete it all, but this time she did!

Linking to:
Tot School

See Vanessa CraftClassified: Mom

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mixing Colors (no mess)

This is an activity I've been waiting for a long time to do it - until I've finally bought the needed ziploc bags (envelopes). I've put fingerpaint inside, zipped it and then taped it to the table. It was a success!

Am vazut pe mai multe bloguri o idee pe care am reusit sa o punem in aplicare doar recent, cand am gasit cele necesare - si anume plicuri mari, transparent cu fermoar (in Auchan).
Am pus inauntru vopsea pentru pictat cu degetele (fingerpaint) si am inchis punga. E o idee buna sa lipiti plicul de masa cu scotch pentru a sta fix in timpul activitatii.

The main point was to learn about color mixing in a non-messy way
Mixing colors, applying pressure - practicing fine motor skills!
Mom, we need more paint!
Drawing lines, circles etc.
Drawing a monster with the pencil eraser!
Since everything turned blue in the end, and looked like an ocean, I gave her a boat-shaped suction mat and marbes to place on it.

Totul a devenit albastru, asa ca un ocean, asa ca am terminat activitatea cu asezarea unor bilute pe o barcuta (e suport pentru baie, luat recent din Kaufland).
All is blue (ocean-like, right?), so I gave her a boat suction mat and marbles

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Petra Lingua - Online Language Lessons for Children

I've written about Petra Lingua before, sharing my experience with the program that I have used for a while, when I started teaching my daughter French, eight months ago. Since I have written that review only in Romanian, I've decided that PetraLingua deserves a post in English, too!
A couple of months ago I was fortunate enough to win a giveaway on Multilingual Living, consisting of 3-months access to any of the PetraLingua online language courses for kids. Since my license had just expired, I chose French again.
I really like the way they easily introduce children to foreign languages - in a fun way, and yet not overwhelming. There are lots of exercises that you can choose from, to fit for children between 2 and 11 years old, to practice and reinforce the concepts in each lessons. There is interactivity, not just mere TV watching. You can read more about the method and you can also try one of the online language classes for free.
So, yes, we enjoyed it, learned a lot from it and would gladly recommend it especially to parents that don't have many resources to teach a foreign language (or they don't speak it very well themselves) - the online support is very helpful in these cases.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekly School Wrap-up (Week 4)

I. is now 4 yrs and 3 weeks old.
I. are acum 4 ani si 3 saptamani.

Our week, in pictures:
Iata o parte din activitatile din aceasta saptamana:

Peter Pan Theme (from Homeschool Creations) and Pirates Theme (from 2 Teaching Mommies)

Our Theme for the week, Peter Pan combined with Pirates. Here are some pictures:

Building up the ship
Yep, that one went straight into crocodile's mouth
And now the crocodile is in charge!
Ordering boats by size.
Peter Pan printables - choosing the correct beginning sounds.
What's different worksheet.
Pirate books that we read.
We also enjoyed the Port Side Pirates song (made from the book above - from Barefoot Books). We just love their books and videos they made from the books!

Other activities: I'm working with her on revising uppercase and lowercase letters (and making sure she knows the difference between them, and when to use which).

Choosing the corresponding lowercase letter tray, from 1+1+1=1
Several worksheets: from Tsl books and 1+1+1=1
Other books that we read throughout the week:

French Learning
We had our 2 days of French this week (when we focused on French music, books, conversation and DVDs, all in French) and our weekly trip to the French Cultural Center. The big surprise there, was when my girl went straight to the French native-speaker teacher there (who was hanging around the library) and easily carried on a conversation with him in French, asking him questions and replying to his questions, as if she's been speaking French all her life! Whoaaa! I was amazed! (And I don't get easily amazed!).

We started successfully using the Pink Series that we purchased from the Montessori Print Shop. You can download a free document that is part of the series. And, if you're looking for something free, the Helpful Garden blog has an excellent Pink Series for free! We will use that one, too.

Reading words and then matching to pictures.
Circling the correct beginning sound
I've also made a mini-book for her and she loved it! More details, in this post.
Labeling objects in our house was also a good idea, she's been wandering around, sounding out the words.
She's also been interested in writing words with magnetic letters (we have several sets, uppercase and lowercase) or with our moveable alphabet.
Here she wanted to write the word 'Noddy' - from a favorite cartoon character of hers - and this is what she came out with, all by herself. Nod bad, right, she sounded out correctly :) without having the correct word in front of her, for checking.

We studied the life cycle of a frog this week, using printables from The Helpful Garden and the set you can purchase from here.
Frog Life Cycle work
Matching the frogs to the control sheet
Reading the label for the 3-part cards
Fine Motor Activities
Since autumn is here, and the weather is colder and we're spending the evenings indoors, we'll be having more fine motor/arts activities, I guess. She asked to paint a lot this week and also played with playdough.

Making an ice-cream
Pizza rolling
Finding the object I hid in playdough, still a favorite!

Linking to:

Tot School

Montessori MondaySee Vanessa Craft