This week was weather week in tot school. Ethan had been asking a lot lately about the weather, about rain, about clouds and rainbows. Weather seemed like an obvious choice to focus on this week for that reason. It wound up being a really great week and Ethan was so invested in learning each day! I still let our tot school time be child led, which means we usually spend a substantial amount of time in tot school during a week seeing as how Ethan loves it so much. This week, we spent a couple of hours each day in tot school -- even more than usual -- and it seemed as if Ethan would never tire of the trays and activities! He was so proud and excited to share with family what he had learned this week.
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
I made a few different printables to use in our laminating pouches. Ethan got to practice circling and underlining the ones that didn't belong. About midway through the week, he began spicing things up by making his own rules -- underlining what did belong, etc.
STORM CLOUD CUTTING PRACTICE
Cutting is a big weakness for Ethan. He is always really, really excited about cutting and so determined but we have some trouble. If I can be totally honest, I was always a terrible cutter (I blame being a lefty!). I still can't cut on the lines. Maybe he just takes after his mom! Either way, he had some trouble cutting the lightning bolts along the dotted lines but tried his hardest and was super proud of himself when he finished.
CONNECT THE RAIN DROP LETTER WRITING PRACTICE
We have been focusing a lot lately on writing and Ethan is really interested in learning how to perfect his letters. Up until now, he's mastered full page letter writing but we've been trying to scale it down and learn how to write neatly and in some semblance of a line. For this one, he got to connect the raindrops to spell out his name. He really loved this one and it offered some critical thinking application as well! I had to draw more of these sheets throughout the week so he could continue the practice.
WARM AND COLD WEATHER ANIMALS, NOCTURNAL AND DIURNAL ANIMALS
We go to the zoo a lot and Ethan has begun to notice which animals thrive more in cold weather or warm weather as well as which become more active when the sun goes down. I found some salt and pepper shakers - 2 for $1 - at the dollar store and decided to make a fun little fine motor activity to classify these animals. Ethan got to sort the animals into cold weather or warm weather animals and then into diurnal or nocturnal animals. This was hands down his favorite tray of the week!
BLOWING IN THE WIND
I just had to throw a little Bob Dylan in there somewhere, of course. Anyway, the point of this tray was for Ethan to make a hypothesis (and learn the word hypothesis!) about what he thought his wind could blow. This was a total hit like I anticipated for it to be. Of course, by Friday, "the wind storm" had blown mashed potato flakes and rice all over our classroom. All in the name of learning, right?
RAINBOW WRITING: WEATHER WORDS
Ethan had been asking about rainbows and the first thing I remembered was rainbow writing, which I remember doing when I was in kindergarten. Mom brain is an interesting thing. You can't remember what you did ten minutes ago, but you can remember things dating back to kindergarten. Anyway, I wrote some weather words on card stock and Ethan got to trace them with each color of the rainbow. This made for some colorful and fun letter practice! This was probably his second to least favorite tray of the week, but he still really enjoyed it. The thrill just sort of rain off towards the end of the week. I think I overdid the weather words!
I am not a math person. My husband is an accountant who thinks math is fun. Opposites attract, or something. Though he's young, I've already noticed Ethan gravitate towards reading, writing, art and creative outlets and sort of stray away from the mathematical concepts (though you can enjoy both, I get it). This was another one of those times. After crying with frustrating when my initial model didn't work and requiring my husband's help at nearly midnight in assembling this, I was so sure Ethan would love it. He didn't. The moment I said "simple addition" and "plus" and "equals," he was out of there and onto the next tray. He did insist upon putting the balls through the tubes at least once, but that was it. I couldn't convince him to give this tray any use this week! The point of this tray was to add together the pingpong balls -- or raindrops -- and see what they added up to. I may pull this out later and see if his mind has changed at all.
For this one, I made some cloud playdough (1 part conditioner to 2 parts corn starch) and we learned about the different types of clouds. Ethan got to use the cloud dough to recreate the clouds. He loved using his new knowledge of cloud types to try and identify them outside in the sky!
MAKING A RAINSTORM
This was such a fun experiment and so easy to do. Ethan absolutely loved it! I picked up some cheap shaving cream at the dollar store so that we could do this over and over again (and, believe me, we did). You fill a container with water, add some shaving cream clouds and then drop in the blue food coloring "rain." Eventually, the rain comes through the clouds and you watch a rainstorm take place! Ethan made the rain more of a drizzle and then decided a full-on rainstorm was the most fun!
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