Tot School – Letter L

We spent two weeks on the Letter L!  We focused on leaves and two books: The Grouchy Ladybug and The Little Lamb.

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We focus on a letter every week and do fun activities based on that letter.  I usually set six “Tot Trays” up for my son to play with and learn as the week progresses.  I had a six-tray set-up in the kitchen, with six trays from Oriental Trading.  Promoting the four Montessori principles: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

I have decided to only put out one or two trays out at a time. Some children would thrive with all six trays out, as I was doing up until Letter K, but my son needed less in front of him.  My child thrives with less choice and I have found that one or two trays engages him more than six trays.

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At the beginning of the week, I cut out each of the following from our Tot School ABCs curriculum — this makes Tot School time easier for me, when we are “in the moment.”

  • Numbers: for using manipulatives in 1:1 correspondence
  • Colors: coloring with markers or crayons
  • Shapes: gluing onto a piece of paper

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{Disclosure: affiliate links may be in this post.}

Here is John with his numbers.  He is learning 1:1 correspondence with these adorable bear counters.

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Lauri capital letter peg puzzles.

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I bought four different sized screws and corresponding bolts at the hardware store.  He was very excited about this tray!  He got hard at work with his fine motor pincer grasp skills — it was difficult for him to master, so we will be doing this again!  (I had to keep this one up due to having a crawling baby in the house!)

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I saw this fun magnet stick from Memorizing the Moments and wanted to get one!  It was $2.99 at Amazon!  A fun introduction to magnetism!

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Michelle at Delightful Learning had such a fun idea — to get these links and put them in the holes for lacing cards — John loved this!!

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schedule

I made this schedule to organize our Tot School time, according to the Montessori principles: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.  I didn’t get a picture of mine from Letter L, but this is what the blank one looks like:

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You can read my post about it and download the free Tot School Planning Form here.

language

Bible verse of the week:

Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

We had a lot of use out of this bible verse this week!

We use the ABC bible verse songs from Songs for Saplings.  These songs are so catchy, beautiful, not “children’s music annoying,” and I find myself singing and learning and memorizing the bible verses along with John.  Carisa at 1plus1plus1equals1 has made coordinating ABC Bible Verses posters which have really helped with his memorization as well.

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We put up our bible verse, a Ll small poster from Tot School, a Ll sign from my Kindergarten teaching days, and these wonderful Montessori sandpaper letters.  We put these up on the wall so he could feel the letter every morning and trace his fingers on the letter.

Letter of the week: Ll

Our curriculum consists of 1plus1plus1equals1‘s Tot School ABC’s.

John has really gotten the hang of tracing!!  We do this with dry erase markers and heavy duty sheet protectors.  Erasing is a handy practical life skill as well!

Check out my recent post about utensil prewriting and letter writing in {Early Literacy Stage 3}.

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Do-A-Dot markers on his L pages.

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Stamping an L on the Leaf!

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For our Leaf shapes, we stamped some leaves on a green sheet of paper and glued our shapes on, while we talked about the shape names!

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Our work for the week on a clothesline in his room:

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And our L magnets and Leap Frog Letter Factory magnets on our refrigerator:

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Book of the week:

We had fun with The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

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John pulled out this book from his shelf and has fallen in love with it!  The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle has a lot of great life lessons in it.  We have learned about night time versus daytime, telling time with clocks, sharing, learning about the circle of life, learning about large and small animals, and the importance of friendship.

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We colored a picture of a Leaf and colored both the ladybugs and the little aphids.  This was very exciting, as this was the first time John has intentionally colored. {Proud mama moment.}

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We also read The Little Lamb by Phoebe and Judy Dunn — so stay tuned for the post on that fun book later this week!

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Working with his pattern puzzles.
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We went on a leaf hunt around our yard.  He had so much fun discovering big and small and dead and alive leaves!

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weeklycraft

We made some ladybugs by cutting a potato in half and doing some good-ol’-fashioned potato stamping!  We then worked with black paint to make all of the ladybugs friendly (“and not grouchy”) because the two ladybugs in the book are friends in the end : )

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Or follow my blog with Bloglovin!

I hope you have a wonderful week,

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Check out my posts on the Early Literacy Stages:

This post is linked up at the Tot School Gathering Place and check out my Link-Up page for the other awesome places I may link this blog post!

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!  ♥ 

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Tot School – Letter K

We spent two weeks on Letter K — a week of keys, kangaroos, koalas, and kittens.

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I recently wrote a guest post at Hammock Tracks on How I Make Tot Trays.  Check it out!

We focus on a letter every week and do fun activities based on that letter.  I set six “Tot Trays” up for my son to play with and learn as the week progresses.

Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed by the Tot Tray Switch when we change our letter of the week — which is about every two weeks. I keep finding so many fantastic ideas from so many amazing mama bloggers that I want to do them all. I went along with it for a while, to try to bust out massive creativeness every couple weeks, but it was too much.  I want to keep things simple and consistent and have now found a nice balance for making my son’s tot trays.

I had a six-tray set-up in the kitchen, with six trays from Oriental Trading.  Promoting the four Montessori principles: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

However….

I decided to only put out one tray this time.  I still put them all together at the beginning of my letter switch (and put them on the top of a bookshelf), but have only given him one on his shelf at a time.  This has really helped with keeping my son’s interest.  We play it together for two days and I leave it out on our shelf for him to play independently for a day or two.  Then we will move on to the next one that I have made.

It is important to follow your child’s lead for learning!

It looks empty!  Some children would thrive with all six trays, keeping them orderly and setting them back up after playing with one.  But my son needed less in front of him.  He came over to a single tray — in three days — more times than when he had all six trays on the shelf to choose from.  This was a Montessori lesson for me!  Children thrive with less choice and they will be creative and engage themselves with less!

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Popsicle stick shapes from Moms Have Questions Too.

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Filling in shapes with blocks (a great mathematics and spatial activity!) from All Our Days.  I couldn’t believe how much John loved this.  We did all the cards in one sitting and he kept asking to do it again.  I got the little cubes, that don’t fit perfectly but they work, from the Dollar Store.  They are small, so we could only do this when the baby was sleeping or not playing with us.

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I saw this fun magnet stick from Memorizing the Moments and wanted to get one!  It was $2.99 at Amazon!  A fun introduction to magnetism!  (Disclosure: there are affiliate links in this post.)

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John does not really like to “lace”, no matter how often I promote it or put a lacing card out.  But Michelle at Delightful Learning had such a fun idea — to get these links and put them in the holes — John loved this!!

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Practicing his colors. I cut his color cards out and put them on his tray with the corresponding colored crayon. He loved it again this week!  We have these Crayola triangular crayons which I love and are worth the extra dollar.

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Math work with 1:1 correspondence using pom-pom magnets.

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schedule

I made this schedule to organize our Tot School time, according to the Montessori principles: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

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You can read my post about it and download the free Tot School Planning Form here.

language

Bible verse of the week:

Be kind to one another.  Ephesians 4:32

We had a lot of use out of this bible verse this week!

We use the ABC bible verse songs from Songs for Saplings.  These songs are so catchy, beautiful, not “children’s music annoying,” and I find myself singing and learning and memorizing the bible verses along with John.  Carisa at 1plus1plus1equals1 has made coordinating ABC Bible Verses posters which have really helped with his memorization as well.  

We put up our bible verse, a Kk small poster from Tot School, a Kk sign from my Kindergarten teaching days, and these wonderful Montessori sandpaper letters.  We put these up on the wall so he could feel the letter every morning and trace his fingers on the letter.

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Letter of the week: Kk

Our curriculum consists of 1plus1plus1equals1‘s Tot School ABC’s.

John has really gotten the hang of tracing!!  We do this with dry erase markers and heavy duty sheet protectors.  Erasing is a handy practical life skill as well!

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Do-A-Dot markers on his K is for Keys pages.  I was fiddling with my camera and got a very shaky shot.

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Stickers on his Letter K.  This is a great way to learn “inside” and “outside” too — he kept joking that he was going to put a sticker outside the K — he thought it was a hoot.

DSC03996 Shadow matching his keys and Kk.DSC03994 The K was a real breakthrough with the puzzle.  He understood that there is a circle around the picture that needs to be connected!  He did this several times without help!DSC03991

Letter Review:

We reviewed all of our letters so far with their bible verses.

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And we watched LeapFrog Letter Factory with his magnet board and all his uppercase letters so far.

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Book of the week:

The Little Kitten by Phoebe and Judy Dunn

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My son loves all of these books.  The whole series is so wonderful.  The photographs are stunning and they always have a cute and believable storyline about a young child and their journey with a lovable little animal.  This book focused on a little girl and her little kitten named Pickle.

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  • I set a new Schleich kitten out in our sensory bin (which is below) and John slept with him every night.
  • We made sure to read the book at least twice a day.
  • We focused on vocabulary and manners in the book.


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Working with his Magneatos.  This is a battleship (Dad has some influence here) : )
DSC03501Thinking about what to build next.  This really was a magnet week!DSC03500
 And John loved his pattern blocks and the free pattern block puzzles that I downloaded and printed from PreKinders!
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A yellow split pea letter K sensory bin
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He loved all of the animals in this bin and decided to just put them to sleep in their “soft bed”. : )

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weeklycraft

We cut out some simple kangaroos from my Abeka craft books — he loved them and carried them around the house everywhere.  I had wanted to make this amazing kangaroo and pouch from Simply Home, but decided that we would do it when he is older, when we do My Father’s World for Kindergarten, or I just didn’t find the time to craft these past two weeks — these two are keeping me on my toes — and it has been way too nice to stay cooped up inside for long!
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Thanks for visiting Wildflower Ramblings, if you’d like to receive post updates, please Like my Facebook Page!

Or follow my blog with Bloglovin!

I hope you have a wonderful week,

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I am grateful to all of the wonderful linky party hosting mamas: check out my Link-Up page for where I may link this blog post!

Thank you for featuring me! ♥

I was featured for Tot School!

Tender Moments Linkup at For This Season

Guest Blog Post at Hammock Tracks: Learning Through Tot Trays

I am very excited to have my first guest blog post today!  Savannah at Hammock Tracks blogs about her life, her homeschooling, and her delicious recipes!  I love her gorgeous photography, too. Please head on over to Hammock Tracks to read about:

Learning Through Tot Trays!

And if you have made your way over from Hammock Tracks, I’d like to say:

Welcome!

I hope you stay a while!  I write about mothering, homeschooling, healthy living, and many other passions in between.

You may be interested in how to plan Tot School with your little ones.  I created a Tot School Planning Form to help organize our time together.  Here is a link to that post.

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I thought I’d set up some easy links to my Tot School posts so far, for letters A through J, so you can see what we are doing with Tot School and Tot Trays.  Just click on the photos below.

If you’d like to receive post updates, please Like my Facebook Page!

Or follow my blog with Bloglovin!

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Teaching practical life skills – just give the kid a real glass!

My husband has lost it, and so have I, over our son’s huge sippy cup falling off the table, on the table, falling off the couch, hitting things, banging into toys. These things were made to be bulletproof (well they are spill-proof, after all).

Anyways, I was perusing the Montessori Services site to update my Alphabet Box (I’ll post on that later) — and I saw these adorable little glasses. They were selling these — Economy Juice Glasses — $7.50 for 6! I had to buy them, and wow, are we glad we did!  They are very sturdy, and though they are glass, they have fallen once or twice on our wood floor with no breakage so far!

John treats these with care. He feels special.  He holds it gently with two hands, and lately, sometimes only one hand — he is learning a life-long skill.  He feels grown-up. He is. Growing up.

Just look at that smile : )

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Happy drinking,

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Linking up at Living Montessori Now!

wordless wednesday: make spring flowers with egg cartons

DSC02941DSC02942DSC02945DSC02946DSC02948DSC02949 DSC02951 Thank you BlogMeMom for a wonderful idea!  The kids loved these and they were so simple to make!

Happy painting,

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I am grateful to all of the wonderful linky party hosting mamas: check out my Link-Up page for where I may link this blog post!

Thanks for featuring me!

Featured at Tuesday Tots on Growing a Jeweled Rose

Tot School – Letter J

This week was a week of jellyfish and jeeps!  John is now 32 months old.

tottrays

Every week, I put out six tot trays out for my son and I try to be intentional with activities that correlate with each of the four Montessori learning categories: Language, Sensory, Mathematics, Practical Life.  Our Tot Trays are out on our shelf all week.  I’ll take one out intentionally for us to play together, but he can also play wiht them at any time. DSC02841

A Melissa & Doug lacing fish.

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J is for Jellyfish magnet page with pom pom magnets.  (This is a sweet girl-friend.)

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Matching Teddy bear counters to the Jellyfish number cards 1 through 5.  1:1 correspondence.  He really got the hang of this this week!  So proud of him :)

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Lauri capital letter stackers with pegs.

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He loved these from last week’s Ii theme: Some awesome instrument shadow matching from Memorizing the Moments.

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And matching flowers to their stems.  I made this simple activity as a busy bag.

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schedule

I made this schedule to organize our Tot School time, according to the Montessori principles: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

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You can read my post about it and download the free Tot School Planning Form here.

language

Bible verse of the week:

I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God,

in the God of my salvation.  Habakkuk 3:18

We use the ABC bible verse songs from Songs for Saplings.  These songs are so catchy, beautiful, not “children’s music annoying,” and I find myself singing and learning and memorizing the bible verses along with John.  Carisa at 1plus1plus1equals1 has made coordinating ABC Bible Verses posters which have really helped with his memorization as well.  

Letter of the week: Jj

Our curriculum consists of 1plus1plus1equals1‘s Tot School ABC’s. Do-A-Dot markers on his J is for Jellyfish pages.

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Tracing left to right in a straight line!

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Matching the jellyfish with their shadows.

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Stamping J (and cows) onto his Jellyfish.

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I presented the color cards like this last week and John loved it.  I cut them out and put them on his tray with the corresponding colored crayon. He loved it again this week!  We have these Crayola triangular crayons which I love and are worth the couple extra cents : )

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Book of the week:

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw

DSC03176 We love this goofy book about five sheep who are all riding in their jeep! We got out some of our jeep toys and worked with the simple Jeep pages that I made — you can get them here.

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We also went to the library and checked out some Jellyfish books to learn about those crazy creatures : ) DSC03230 math

We did some Jeep size sorting and number counting with his Tot Tray manipulatives.
And John loved his pattern blocks and the free pattern block puzzles that I downloaded and printed from PreKinders!
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A split pea sensory bin with his vocabulary pictures from Tot School ABCs.  I laminated one set and cut them out and hid them in the peas.  John had to find them and match them to the page in a sheet protector.  He loved this and we played it several times.  And I am happy to report that this bin gave us the best success with “throwing everything everywhere” problem : )
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Had to stop sometimes — as you can see — he is beginning to fling everything across his room.DSC03007

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Gross Motor

I have been doing yoga with John about 2 or 3 times a week.  I love Rodney Yee of Gaiam and have his AM yoga dvd.  When we went to the library, I found a Baby Yoga dvd. He had a lot of fun with it.  There is a different move for every letter of the alphabet : ) — including a jabberwalking jellyfish!!!
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Care of Environment

“Sharpening his knife.” DSC03162Opening the cheese seal.DSC03115 weeklycraft

We made a cute jellyfish (and learned about the bell, tentacles, and lobes!) from our trip to the library! DSC03195

His work for the week on his clothesline in his room. DSC03196

Thanks for visiting Wildflower Ramblings, if you’d like to receive post updates, please Like my Facebook Page!

I hope you have a wonderful week,

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I am grateful to all of the wonderful linky party hosting mamas: check out my Link-Up page for where I may link this blog post!

Thank you for featuring me!

Sunday Showcase feature4