After a few weeks off, we returned to tot school this week! Ethan had asked if we could learn more about the ocean, so that's just what we did. I decided to break up our ocean unit into two weeks since there's still so much to work on. This past week was part one and part two will kick off tomorrow. Overall, it was a great week and Ethan really enjoyed being back in our classroom and returning to tot school!
SEASHELL EXPLORATION BIN
For this one, I set out a tray with some salt dough (in the center), some sea shells, some crayons and scrap paper, a magnifying glass and a sponge. Ethan had fun exploring the different types of shells and pointed out that he could explore them with all five of his senses -- well, almost. He decided last minute he had no desire to taste the shells. This tray occupied the bulk of his attention during the week. He especially loved making imprints ("fossils!") in the salt dough.
SAND WORD WRITING PRACTICE
I filled a little tray with some play sand and included some ocean sight words for Ethan to practice writing. He's mastered writing the bulk of his letters, but we have a hard time with words. Placing the letters in order and not sporadically displayed all over the page is something we're working on now. He always loves the sensory writing bins and this one was no exception! He had so much fun writing words in the sand and did an excellent job!
OCEAN ZONES EXPERIMENT
This was a fun experiment! Our darkest layer (midnight zone) was light Karo corn syrup tinted dark blue with food coloring, the middle layer (twilight zone) was Dawn dish soap that was already blue and the top layer (the sunlit layer) was some rubbing alcohol with the tiniest bit of blue. When poured into the jar, the layers stayed separate.
JELLYFISH BEAD STRINGING AND COUNTING
I saw these fun glow in the dark beads at the store and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use them. For this one, Ethan got to count out the beads -- we used 15-20 for this activity -- and string them onto the jellyfish. He enjoyed this one at first but his attention started to drift off midway through and he lost any interest in finishing it later in the week.
GOLDFISH SIMPLE ADDITION
My husband is an accountant and is a total "numbers guy" but I've started to suspect Ethan takes after me more. I can't really do anything to get him interested in adding or numbers so I was hoping this tray would help win his attention. It didn't. He did one addition "problem" with me before putting this tray back on the shelf.
For this activity, Ethan got to practice lacing with some yarn and these paper plate "seashells." He had fun with the first one but the yarn began to fray which caused him to get a little frustrated. I tried swapping out some different string but he was over it!
OCEAN WORDS - WHAT LETTER DOES IT START WITH?
For this one, I filled a pail with some "ocean words" and Ethan got to sound out what each one started with and write that letter on the corresponding dry erase pocket. I chose to use a skinny marker with this one instead of a dry erase marker specifically because I wanted him to have more practice with tools other than the thick markers. He's mastered those, but his letters are still a little wobbly with pens or thinner markers! He enjoyed this activity a lot and had fun doing it repeatedly throughout the week!
BIGGER NUMBERS VS SMALLER NUMBERS
For this one, Ethan got to set out two different cards and then decide which number was bigger. Whichever number was bigger, he would make the shark eat! He actually had a lot of fun with this tray and we repeated it often throughout the week, even changing it up so the shark would eat the smaller number instead.
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