Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mother Goose Time - Week 1, Day 1 and 2

Weston and I started Mother Goose Time on Monday morning. The theme for this month is Cowboys, Dunes and Deserts.

Day 1 was a little challenging because Wes is not really used to the structure of a routine. But, he was very, very interested in our activities.

We started with Circle Time and we went over the days of the week. I used this opportunity to incorporate the curriculum into our Circle Time Chart we purchased from Lakeshore. We spent time speaking about what day it was (Monday) and the date (June 3). I used the calendar from Mother Goose Time and had Wes tape the date to the corresponding box.

This month's theme paired really well with our existing Circle Time Chart!

The next thing we did is talk about shapes. We went over each shape on the Mother Goose Time Mystery Shape poster. I showed Wes the Mystery Shape Envelope and told him I had a special, super secret shape inside. I then asked him what shape had four sides and he said, "Rectangle!". "Close, but what OTHER shape has four sides?" Keep in mind that Weston is almost three, so when I realized that he was tunnel visioned on "rectangle" I gave him hints between two shapes and asked, "Do one of THESE shapes have four of the same sides?" BINGO! He got it! I made such a big deal about him guessing my secret and asked him if he wanted to see if we had a cool square in my Top Secret Shape Envelope. You would have thought I had a snake in that envelope the way he cautiously looked inside. I let him attach it to the poster. "Wes, do you think that that square is the SAME as the one on the poster?"

I'm not sure if he was more excited about finding out my "secret shape" or standing on the table to tape it on the poster!

Next we sat and cut apart name tags. This activity was too difficult to photograph because Wes requires hand over hand assistance with cutting still. I simply had him decide which name tag he wanted to cut (since there were three) and I hand over hand helped him with holding the paper (in his left hand) and cutting (with his right). I used verbal prompting ("Open" and "Shut") to help him focus on the actual actions of cutting. I also helped him hand over hand to write his and my names and let him scribble on the third one. We also stomped out the syllables in our names and added a clap to place more emphasis on the syllables. I added in other family names and other words. He really liked this activity!

Next we moved on to painting cowboy boots with pokey balls. Wes picked out white paint to start with. I hand over hand demonstrated the motion of rolling the pokey ball like a tumbleweed. We sing-songed "Tum-ble-WEED" with the action and soon enough Wes was doing it by himself, singing "Tum-ble-WEED!".

A little hesitant about paint on his hands

Hubby and I asked Wes if he wanted to try another color to see if it would show up on the red boot. He picked yellow. Wes then rolled the "tumbleweed" again and then asked for purple. Wes is always a little hesitant with messy work but we kept encouraging him to continue. Wes wanted to paint "for Grandpa" so we got out a red piece of paper and let him continue to craft. We then asked him if he wanted to try and "SMOOSH" it on the page to see if it would look different. He thought this was great! Then we asked if he used a paint brush would it look any different? Of course, he had to try it to see! Although this was not how the activity was intended, we added on to it to keep it going and Wes interested. It was a great way to integrate big and small differentiation!

Exploring a little more with the paint

"Smooshing" the tumbleweed

Wes' masterpieces!

Lastly, I drew a huge square on the ground with chalk. We practiced dancing in and ON the square. He didn't quite get the concept of square dancing, but we had fun just being silly to the songs on the month's CD!

After doing some of the more structured activities, Daddy, Mommy and Wes took a trip to the Library. We got a few books off the recommended reading list and a few that weren't. I also ordered a few that I think would be valuable to our collection! I'll review those as we introduce them!

Also, after lunch we colored and spent time talking about Cowboy boots. I let him "wear" my cowboy boots and stomp around. 

Coloring the cover theme sheet

We had a lot of fun and were glad that Dad was a part of today! We will work more and more on making it a more natural transition from activity to activity but we are new to this routine! Wes really enjoyed the painting activity! 

Day 2 went a little bit smoother! First thing we did was go over what day of the week it was and what the month and date was. Wes was really jazzed to attach the date to the monthly themed calendar.

I asked Wes if he wanted to know another "secret". I told him I had a secret color in my pocket and wanted to see if he could guess what it was. I walked over to different things in the room that were brown and asked him what color each item was. I then asked him what color things like "chocolate", "Brady's horse" (which isn't his horse), and "dirt" was. Of course, he was able to guess it was brown. I made it a little too easy but I wanted him to really enjoy this game and not frustrate him too easily. I let him attach the "paint blob" on the color palette. We then put the brown paint brush in the Circle Time chart we have on the wall. We then talked about all the other things that were brown like tree trunks, graham crackers and our bread.

Attaching the paint blog to the palette  
Wes used the paint brush like a magic wand!
I asked Wes to take the brown "paint brush" and use it to show me things he saw that were brown in the room. He pointed out the work table, the floor tiles, a stuffed dog and my hair (with a little question prompt "Wes, is mommy's hair brown, too?").

We put the paint brush in our Circle Time chart

The next activity we did was color sorting. We took orange and brown squares and sorted them into two "cowboy bags". I had Wes identify each color by name and put in the corresponding bag. We attempted to carry them on our heads like cowboy hats, but that didn't go too well! Wes is just too bouncy when he walks! I put the bags in completely different areas so he had to walk to each area.

Wes on his way to the "brown" bag

Wes at the "orange" bag

When we were done "sorting colors", I let Wes look at the Mystery Shape poster and tell me what shape it was again. I then let him match his orange square to the mystery shape from day 1. He thinks its the coolest to stand on the table.

Matching to the mystery shape

We then took the orange squares and sorted by size (since there was small, medium and large squares in today's pack). 

Sorting by size

Wes' favorite part was the painting activity. Today we talked about Cowboys and why they wore cowboy hats. Wes donned his painting smock and we set out picking "ketchup" and "mustard" for painting the hats. I showed Wes how to "DRRAAA-GGGG" his rope through the paint and "DRRAAA-GGGG" it over the hat. 

Dipping it "like ketchup"

DRRRAAA-GGG it across the hat

Wes found a different way to drag the rope

I loved the way he explored different ways to use the rope

We also talked about how some people like hats that have lots of extra things like feathers, buttons and rope. So, naturally, Wes wanted to "add" a few things, too.

Wes asked to wear my boots again and we fashioned up our extra hat to wear while his masterpiece dried. 

Wes realized mommy's cowboy boots were "dirty", but "brown"! Haha! Love this kid!

My favorite part of today's bag was the book Life in a Desert. I really enjoyed the book because it had minimal language, but very vivid photos. It gave us the opportunity to converse about some of the things that we see around our house that you could also find in a desert. We talked about how not too far from our house, there are deserts and how there were deserts all over the world. Wes was especially excited because he's super into spotting cactus plants and I think that piqued his interests. We took the book with us in the car and I've caught him looking at it several times already!

Hard to take photos of us reading, but here's the book!

Wes is really enjoying the curriculum so far! What I am finding very useful is the structure and ease of using a themed box curriculum. Since the Lesson Plan book gives pointers and tips to expand each activity, I have found myself not as lost as I expected I would be! I didn't photograph EVERY detail of the days' activities because I didn't want to take away from the content of the material. If I had a camera in Wes' face the entire time, it wouldn't be a fulfilling experience to him, nor I. So, I just wanted to share with you some of the highlights from our days!

If you decide to give Mother Goose Time a try, I suggest that you glance and prepare any activities/materials you need the night before. This way you kind of have an idea in your head of what you want to do and any extras you can incorporate into your day. I found myself gathering some things I already had around the house to add to our activities. 

Again, I am really impressed with the quality of the materials included in the curriculum! And, the fact that everything is bagged according to day makes it really easy to keep organized and at your finger tips! 

To visit Mother Goose Time's web site, click HERE!

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