Friday, February 4, 2011

Goodbye January, Hello February!

This week we finished up our winter unit, celebrated Groundhog Day (here's hoping he's right and spring is coming early!) and began a new letter! To top it off, we got to spend a fair amount of time outside which was such a blessing to all 3 of us! Its amazing what some fresh air can do for a person!

We spent some time working on this letter recognition activity from Itsy Bitsy Learners Winter Fun Mini Pack. I really wanted to see what letters Piper could easily identify so I'd say a letter and when she found it she'd place a snowflake on it! She actually really enjoyed the challenge and I was surprised at how many letters she knew! I'm using the assessment sheets from 1+1+1=1 to keep track of what each of the girls are learning. This is more for my sake so I can more easily decide what needs to be worked on next but I think keeping records of the kids' work is probably a good habit to get into!

I got this printable from Musings of Me Snow Unit and asked Piper to draw a snowman for me. Isn't he cute?! I absolutely love Piper's drawings! Its only been recently that she has started drawing things that actually look like what she intends it to be!

I also put together a winter dress up basket for the girls. They had so much fun with this and it was great practice for them learning how to get their snow gear on all by themselves! Piper especially loved all the different hats she found in the basket!

If you're a Canadian, you can't have a winter unit without at least one whole day devoted to hockey, so that's just what we did! (Won't Boppa be proud!) For starters we read Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet and sang The Hockey Song!

Next, we made a shaving cream rink on cookie sheets and tinfoil. Although I gave the girls little people to skate around on their 'rink', they were way more interested in pushing their hands through the shaving cream! Sensory activities such as this are always a huge hit!

Then they painted and glittered a skate!

Finally, they had their own hockey game! Only Piper would play hockey in a dress! Daddy took over this activity and they had a fantastic time together!

On Groundhog Day, we made these adorable little groundhogs! They are glued to a popsicle stick so you can make them pop in and out of their burrow!

That evening we had some shadow play fun so the girls could see just what we were talking about when we mentioned the groundhog seeing his shadow!

With a new month beginning, we also painted a new shape for our shape wall - a rectangle!

And began a new letter theme - V! Piper is improving so much with her cutting skills! With the 'V' pictures, she not only cut them out but also trimmed around them before glueing them on! Her Koopy Scissors have been so helpful in learning this skill!

Piper LOVES her Do a dot markers! So any activity involving them is thoroughly enjoyed by her! Both this do-a-dot sheet and the 'V' cut and collage from the previous picture can be found at the Homeschool Creations Alphabet Printables page!

I started something new and challenging with Piper this week, too - reading a novel together! We are going to read one chapter of Little House Big Woods each day. I wasn't sure how this would go over with her but she seemed to quite enjoy it! She had lots of questions about what was happening which was wonderful! Plus there are a few pictures placed sporadically throughout the book and they seemed to be enough for her!

We were so happy to get outside this week! One day, we took cookie cutters outside to make prints in the snow!

I also dug forts for the girls out on our deck! They loved just sitting in their houses, in their snow chairs! Then when we went for a walk Piper insisted on pulling Tait. It was so cute to hear them gigling at each other! Here's a little video of them - if you listen closely you can hear Tait giggling away!

Its been a full and satisfying week! We are now looking forward to piles of Valentine fun planned for next week!

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