Sunday, August 1, 2010

Letter of the Week: A

Hooray for the Amazingly, Awesome, letter A!

We had been anxiously anticipating the arrival of the new school year which began on July 26th.  In order to ease into our new routine, we purposely did only three days of school and we did not cover all of our subjects.  Arin worked in her Math Skills Sharpening book, her Lollipop Logic, her Explode the Code and she read two of her Bob Books.  Other than that, our main focus was on our Letter of the Week Curriculum.  We chose to ease into our new school year this way because it was a good review for Arin, we were easily able to introduce Ella to new acitivities and more than anything just because it was fun and who doesn't want learning to be fun???

A is for many awesome words, such as Arin, airplanes, and aunts.  A is for appetizing words such as apricots, asparagus, and apples.  A is even for annoying and aggrevating words that make you angry such as aches, aging, and ant bites.  However, for us, A is for Animals!  My girls share an affection for animals, so this was the most obvious choice for us for this week.

I printed out an uppercase letter A (found here) for each of the girls to fill with animal stickers.  The amusing thing is that Ella loves stickers, (again and again, I find her placing stickers on her body, the furniture and other assessories, appliances, books, etc.) however, she did not appear to adore this activity.  Arin seemed to appreciate this activity, so we will still consider it to be an achievement.
While the girls were adding animal adhesives to their letter A, I was reading to them.  They paid attention to the following books:

Daytime and Nightime Animals by Barbara J. Behm
Prickly and Soft Animals by Barbara J. Behm
Sleepy and Busy Animals by Barbara J. Behm

Next, I had arranged an assignment for Arin.  I started by reading these books to her:

Whose Feet Are These? by Peg Hall (this was one of Arin's favorite books this week)

Amazing Animal Feet by Linda Bozzo

After reading these books, Arin worked on matching animals to their tracks, an activity which can be found here. This activity was quite a challenge for her (understandably so), and at last she just matched the two cards with the same animal name.

Other animal books that we read this week were:

Deep in the Jungle by Dan Yaccarino
Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen
Camouflage by Terry Jennings (Arin's other favorite book for the week)
Red Eyes or Blue Feathers by Patricia M. Stockland
The Aesops for Children illustrated by Milo Winters (we didn't read this whole book, but we did read many of stories, which use animals as the main characters)

To end the week we took a mini field trip to Petco to see the animals. This is one of my girls favorite free activities. (On a side note, if you have a group of 10-30 kids, Petco does a formal field trip presentation. You can get more information and see if it is available in your area, by clicking on this link.) Since, it was just the three of us, we simply walked around the store and looked at all the animals on our own.

While we were at Petco, we saw the gourmet dog treat selection, which intrigued the girls. Our neighbor has a dog that the girls love to pet, so we bought the pooch some of the goodies. Each of the girls selected the treats to buy. Arin chose colorful vegetable-shaped treats and Ella chose heart-shaped and bone-shaped treats.

To go along with our animal theme, we watched two videos.  The first was Animal Life for Children: All About Mammals.  The second was We Sign: Animals.  The girls seem to enjoy both of these videos.

Check back tomorrow for more of our Letter A activities!

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