Monday, March 16, 2015

A few of our favorite things

Wow, things have been so busy since the spring semester began. I cannot believe how much I have failed to blog about. I'm hoping to catch up this week. For now, here is a recap of some of the letters Ivelina has recently learned in our home school. We are using the Letter of the Week curriculum. Here are a few of our favorite things!

The theme for the week was "dinosaur," but Ivelina's favorite things were activities with dominos.

We made letters out of dominoes and then knocked them down! A great lesson to teach patience.  It took her several tries to successfully make this D.
We happen to have a white set and a black set of dominoes, so Ivelina made some black and white domino patterns.
Ivelina chose a domino from the basket and then replicated that domino with cotton balls and black construction paper.
Letter L was for ladybug! Our favorite thing was reading A Ladybug's Life. It described the life cycle of a ladybug and was arranged around the seasons of the year. We actually used it for several crafts, lessons, and activities. 

Ivelina pictured with some of letter L work.
I prepared a basket with dominoes that had ten or less dots on them. We spread out our lady bug number cards and she matched the dominoes with the correct number. It was her idea to make them look like legs on the bugs.

The theme for letter V was "valentine." Our favorite activity for Letter V was making heart shaped crayons as valentines for some of Ivelina's friends and family.
First we went through Ivelina's bucket of crayons and grabbed all the broken and old pieces. We took the paper off those pieces.  This was harder than we thought and took up a lot of time.

Then We piled up all the paperless pieces and I chopped them more with a large knife.
We placed the pieces into a heart-shaped silicone pan that I borrowed from a friend and baked on a low temp until all the colors were melted together.

Finally, after all the wax cooled and hardened, I popped them out of the pan. I was disappointed that the crayons left a lot of residue on my friend's pan. I tried scrubbing with soap and water, but that was unsuccessful. Then, I decided to sit the empty pans back in the oven to melt the residue thinking it would just pour out. After a few minutes, I smelled a strong aroma and upon opening my oven learned that empty silicone pans will melt in the oven.  Fail, but the activity was still a lot of fun and my friend was understanding.  =/
Then, the fun:  Ivelina trying out her new multi-colored crayons. They are a lot of fun to use! We bagged some up to give out as valentines.

The theme for the week was octopus. We did a variety of little things this week. Here are some of our favorites.
Ivelina enjoying our oatmeal letter O collage. She made a big mess, but it was fun.

This is our attempt to make a Letter O and an octopus out of pattern blocks.

This led to Ivelina asking me to make a scuba diver. I made the one on the left, and Ivelina was able to copy what I did to make the one on the right. We do a lot of copying. I do something, explaining each step, and then she follows the steps to match me. Breaking down a complex problem into steps is a challenge for her, so this is a great activity for building that skill.
This was some of her best coloring to date. She has come a looong way with her coloring skills!  We are SO proud of her!
By far the most fun thing Ivelina did with letter O was reading Owen, and make her own yellow blanket. Just as Owen's blanket was filthy, we made our blanket a bit dirty too. We colored it, we smeared flour and cocoa on it, we sprayed it with a water bottle, crumpled it up, and dipped the corner in vinegar. I didn't expect her to have so much fun with this book, but she played with this nasty paper blanket all afternoon.
Not pictured:  letter M, which was for "M&M's."  I just did not take any photos the week we learned this letter.

Stay tuned for more letters, coming soon!

Thanks for reading,

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