Friday, February 20, 2009

Impromptu Farm Activities

Today when I had my 3 year old all buckled into his car seat and was just getting ready to back out of the garage and drive us both to school, he THREW UP. This happened approximately 25 minutes before my students would be walking into my classroom. So.........I pulled him (gently) out of the car and took him inside, called my mom in a panic asking her to come to my house immediately, called my afternoon assistant and asked her if she could sub for me, and madly drove to school as soon as my mom arrived so I could be there until my sub could get there. Yes, a harried start to the day. I got back home around 9:30 a.m. So far, my little guy has been fine. Honestly, I think he just spit up phlegm (that word is spelled as ugly as the real thing isn't it?), but I have learned not to take chances where vomit is concerned. So..........we're home together all day now, which for me is a GREAT thing. I love to be home.

A while ago he wanted to cut up a note I'd written, so instead I printed out some farm cutting pages from DLTK-Teach and Wondertime. We printed the ones from Wondertime first. We added some green paper for a grassy field and cut out some corn for the pig. Then my son set it all up and wanted a farmer to go with it. After a little search (LOVING having my internet back) I found the farmer and tractor at DLTK. The Wondertime cutting pages are great because they have 2 sets of lines, an easier one for younger children and more challenging for older ones. Below you can see him cutting out a bale of hay.

Once he had everything set up, I decided to type up labels for the various things in our scene so we could do a little language activity. In the photo below you can see our labels laid out next to the farm.

Instead of reading any of the words to him, I asked him if he knew any of them. He was able to figure out several completely on his own by using the initial sounds and applying what he knows about letters and sounds. I helped him with the ones that started with the same letter such as "hay" and "horse." Below you can see his hand just after he laid out the "farmer" label next to the farmer picture.

Since I have a subscription to Reading A-Z, I decided to print out a farm animal book for him to "read". He was excited to see several of the animals and words from his farm scene. And the simple text gave him some good practice with one-to-one correspondence as he pointed to each word as he read it. (I read it to him all the way through first, pointing to each word as I read.)Below you can see the book and a page from inside that shows how simple it is. This website has a pricey subscription which would be well worth it if you are homeschooling children of several ages. There are hundreds of printable books which range in difficulty from Level AA (like the one I printed) all the way up to Level Z, which I THINK is 4th or 5th grade level. Each printable book has an accompanying lesson plan, comprehension quiz, worksheets, etc. It truly could be a complete reading program. The school I used to teach at has a subscription and the teachers there use the books daily.

I forgot to take a photo, but he also did a cut and paste worksheet to go along with this book. It was fun for both of us to pull together a last-minute, off-the-cuff learning experience. I felt like the homeschooling mama I wanna be. My oldest son keeps telling me that I can still homeschool him on weekends and over the summer, which is true.


Mmmmaaahvelous said...

That's awesome! I love the cutting farm items & setting them out on "green grass". I'm definately trying that. My son is in farm mode right now....requesting Case tractors! this will entice him.

Alycia in Va. said...

Don't you just love impromptu lessons? They are totally "student" led and usually some of my best lessons. Looks like he enjoyed "working" with mommy.