Letter of the Week ~ V

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¬†Better late then never, right?! With a Spring baby, a busy, fun-filled Summer and settling back into Fall routines, I fell behind on our Letter of the Week posts. However, I don’t do well with unfinished business, so I will be finishing these posts over the next couple of weeks, in interest of completion ūüôā


 Although my personal philosophy of letter learning is that they cannot be studied in isolation and should be learned in the context of words, as this is how we see them most often, we have a letter of the week at Mommy School.

Why, you may ask, do I do something¬†opposite¬†to what I just finished saying I believe in? Well, for one, we don’t study the one letter in isolation. Typically, we¬†complete a letter craft, create a search and find sensory bin using items that begin with that letter, learn about the various sounds the letter makes in different parts of words (because the English language is crazy!) and¬†plan our weekly fieldtrip to somewhere that begins with our letter. Sometimes, I include the letter in other ways throughout our week, but that’s often just a sweet combination of luck and coincidence!


Here’s what we got up to for Letter V Week:

Letter Dictionary:

Each of my older children gets the chance to find a hidden object that begins with our letter of the week from the rice bin. This week Little Momma chose Vexy smurf and Mr Man selected a vase.

I take a photo of the kids with their chosen objects and then have them¬†complete their dictionary page. Little Momma writes a¬†sentence and illustrates, “V is for Vexy.” and Mr Man copies the upper and lower case letter and then draws his chosen object.

This week our rice bin was transformed into a veterinarian’s office! All of the stuffed animals visited and were cared for by my little vets-in-training!

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Letter Craft:

V is for Vase.

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To make your own: Pre-cut an upper-case letter V from construction paper. Provide some blue water, green stems and a variety of flowers and allow the kids to create! We glued our letter onto a background to help our flowers stay up strong!

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Field Trip: 

V is for veterinarian.

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For this week’s field-trip Friday¬†we visited the Veterinary Hospital in our town. The kid’s loved meeting the animal doctors and their patients, trying on the x-ray vest, locating microchips and seeing what goes on behind the scenes at the veterinarians! The lovely front desk staff even put together a great little package for the kids to take home, which included stickers, poop bags, colouring books and animal safety tips! The kids were thrilled!

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Journal Writing: 

To end-off our week the kids each spend some time writing in their journals about our weekly field trip. Often it is pictures for my younger guy with a few scribed¬†sentences, while my eldest will write a few simple sentences on her own, using her word wall, ‘best guess’ spelling and some assistance from myself (she’s my perfectionist!).

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Letter of the Week ~ H

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 Although my personal philosophy of letter learning is that they cannot be studied in isolation and should be learned in the context of words, as this is how we see them most often, we have a letter of the week at Mommy School.

Why, you may ask, do I do something opposite to what I just finished saying I believe in? Well, for one, we don’t study the one letter in isolation. Typically, we complete a letter craft, create a search and find sensory bin using items that begin with that letter, learn about the various sounds the letter makes in different parts of words (because the English language is crazy!) and plan our weekly fieldtrip to somewhere that begins with our letter. Sometimes, I include the letter in other ways throughout our week, but that’s often just a sweet combination of luck and coincidence!


Here’s what we got up to for Letter H Week:

Letter Dictionary:

Each of my children gets the chance to find a hidden object that begins with our letter of the week from the rice bin. Little Momma chose a high-heeled shoe and Mr Man selected a hammer.

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I take a photo of the kids with their chosen objects and then have them complete their dictionary page. Little Momma writes a¬†sentence and illustrates, “H is for high-heels.” and Mr Man copies the upper and lower case letter and then draws his object.

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Letter Craft:

H is for Horse.

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To make your own: Pre-cut an upper-case letter H from construction paper. Provide a horse head and ear, googly eyes and yarn hair for the details.

Field Trip: 

Our field trip this week was to Hazeldean Mall for some Halloween (you gotta love when things work out in your favour!). The kids had a great time dressing up and trick-or-treating store to store.

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Art Appreciation: The Group of Seven

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I love the arts, especially the creativity it evokes in young people. However, my own artistic ability, as it relates to visual arts, is very limited, and so I thought a fun way to integrate it into our school plan for the year would be through monthly Art Appreciation projects.

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October’s Art Appreciation project¬†(albeit a little late being posted!) was a tribute to¬†The Group of Seven, famous for its paintings inspired by the Canadian landscape.

We took a stroll up to the sand pit near our home and let the Fall landscape that surrounded us inspire our paintings, using tempera paints on canvas.

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The combination of Fall air and forest surroundings were the perfect muse, seeing as the kid’s both produced some pretty great masterpieces!

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Art Appreciation: Van Gogh

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I love the arts, especially the creativity it evokes in young people. However, my own artistic ability, as it relates to visual arts, is very limited, and so I thought a fun way to integrate it into our school plan for the year would be through monthly Art Appreciation projects.

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For September our muse was Vincent van Gogh and a study in Impressionist Art.

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Material Required:

– pastels

– heavy drawing paper (we used cardstock)

– paper towel

– examples of Van Gogh’s paintings (we have some Artist cards and the kids chose to emulate his works The Starry Night¬†and¬†¬†Sunflowers that we used)

After looking at a number of Van Gogh paintings and labeling their ‘blurry’ appearance as¬†Impressionism, the kids set off studying and replicating their own versions of their chosen paintings.

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Once they were satisfied with their work, they rubbed their drawing vigorously with the paper towel to give it the desired ‘blurry’ or ‘fuzzy’ outcome.

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I was so impressed with the finished products. They were beautiful interpretations of an incredible artist! My offspring may just have been blessed with better drawing skills than my own!

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The Starry Night, By: Mr Man

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Sunflowers, By: Little Momma

 Check back next month to see where our monthly Art Appreciation project takes us!

{Hint: We will be taking to more natural surroundings for inspiration!}

Summer Book Club: Is There Really a Human Race?

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If there is one thing I would REALLY love to pass on to my children, it is my love of reading and books! There is so much fun and adventure awaiting in every book and this summer we will focus on one book a week (some of my personal faves!) to share, along with some activities and/or crafts you can do with your own littles at home!

Week 4: Is There Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell

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If you’ve never read this one, do it – now! It is a cute story about a little boy with many questions for his mother about life. It’s a refreshing and fun reminder that even the most weighted terms we use are both simple and silly in the eyes of a child :p¬†Plus, it teaches us to be kind…and kindness is king around here!


Story Extensions:

M & M’s

A yummy treat and a good visual lesson to go along with it!

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I gave both Little Momma and Mr Man a few M & M’s and we talked about how each was a different colour. Then they bit into each one to see that they were all chocolate on the inside. It gave us a great opening to talk about how finding similarities in others trumps pointing out the differences.

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Hockey Players and Princesses

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Tapping into their interests, we flipped through a Hockey Magazine and a Princess Song Book. There was great variety in how the hockey players and princesses looked, however the kids had fun finding similarities instead.

“They have hockey sticks”

“They talk to animals”

“They wear helmets”

“They love to sing”

We all agreed these common interests were far more interesting!

 

Colour a Rainbow

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Take out a box of crayons and then choose just one colour and begin to draw a rainbow.

Little Momma was very quick to interject that I was missing colours, and that a rainbow could not be all red. Together we drew a rainbow and talked about how all the colours added something special, and saw how our own differences are much the same.

 

Rhythm Flags

I poured out 6 colours of paint onto some paper plates and lined up 6 music selections from around the world. We headed outside with some white fabric and barefeet and let the rhythm guide our painting!

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With each song the kids would step into a plate of paint and then dance on their respective flags however the rhythm moved them. The end result was messy, colourful and all kinds of fun ūüôā

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What are you reading this week? 

Check out our past Summer Book Club reads:

The Troll

Amazing Grace

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Summer Book Club: Amazing Grace

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If there is one thing I would REALLY love to pass on to my children, it is my love of reading and books! There is so much fun and adventure awaiting in every book and this summer we will focus on one book a week (some of my personal faves!) to share, along with some activities and/or crafts you can do with your own littles at home!

Week 2: Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman 

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A beautiful story about a little girl who is blessed with a lovely family who encourages her that she can do anything she puts her mind to!

Story extension activities:

A Caring Manual

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Flipping through the story we found images that demonstrated caring. Then we made our own manual for showing others that we care.

Giving hugs.

Telling stories at bedtime.

Listening when someone is talking to you.

 

Amazing Portraits

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I gave each of the kids a mirror and some drawing materials and then they began to sketch a self-portrait of their AMAZING selves!

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Drama and Dress-Up Fun

In the story, Grace, loves to dress-up and act out pantomimes and so we followed her lead! Little Momma requested that the entire family act out Cinderella and so we chose our characters over dinner:

Little Momma – Cinderella

Mr Man – Step-Brother (in lieu of sister!)

Baby Girl – Step-Sister

Daddy – Bruno (the dog)

Mommy – Fairy Godmother

As everyone got into character, I snuck to the basement and put on my prom dress. The kids were in awe of Mommy’s pretty dress, especially Little Momma, who wanted it all for herself! And you know what? It didn’t even matter that I can’t zip it up anymore…any wishing for my pre-baby body was replaced with the utter joy of playing with my kiddos!

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Check out our past Summer Book Club reads:

The Troll