Monday, February 25, 2013

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Fun Early Math and Art Projects and Activities

Sandy Toes Creations: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Early Math and Art ActivitiesIn my early lit class we read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff. I talked to the kids about Cause and Effect or Action vs. Reaction. I asked questions like: If you demand a glass of juice by saying, "Mom! Get me some juice now!", what kind of reaction do you think you'll get from your mom? If you asked nicely and said "please?", what reaction might you get?

I explained every action has a reaction. Everything you do, think, and say have a reaction. Some reactions are very small and unimportant, others can make a big difference and/or be very important. Then we did some fun math projects!

Sequencing Project:

Sandy Toes Creations: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Early Math and Art Activities
poster or large construction paper
printout of pictures from the story
markers or crayons

Cut out the pictures from the story. Mix them up and then paste them on the poster in the order you remember from the book. Write the number of order below each picture.

Cookie Counting Activities
Sandy Toes Creations: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Early Math and Art Activities
Small Chocolate Chip Cookies (Trader Joe's sells the perfect size if you don't want to make them)
Paper plates
Pencils, markers, or crayons
Worksheet 1: Greater Than and Less Than
Worksheet 2: Cookie Addition
(You do have to sign up for for these printouts, but it's free and they have tons of great resources, not only for early learning worksheets)

Beginning Fractions/Division: This exercise gives young kids an idea of division and to see what the written fraction looks like, in a fun way, as well as encourages team work.

Sandy Toes Creations: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Early Math and Art ActivitiesDivide the class into groups of 4 with one paper plate and eight cookies each.
Let the kids work together to first divide the cookies in half, then draw a line down the middle of the plate.
A parent can then write 1/2 on each side of the plate near the middle and explain that this is 1/2 and that two halves equal 1 whole.
Then the kids work together to divide each half in half again (making 4 quarters). The parent draws a line perpendicular to the first and writes 1/4 in each of the 4 sections. And explains this is 1/4 or four quarters of the whole and that they have divided the cookies into equal amounts for each child.
The kids can now eat their portion, they should have two each.

Greater Than and Less Than, Worksheet 1:
Sandy Toes Creations: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Early Math and Art Activities
Let the kids use the cookies, if needed and/or desired, to determine the answers on worksheet one.
We also showed the kids how to use the greater than > and less than < symbols and asked them to write the correct symbol between each group of cookies in the problem in addition to circling the group with more.

Addition (and some optional multiplication), Worksheet 2:
(Unfortunately, the third line of this worksheet is a duplicate of the second line, so you may skip it or search for a better worksheet.)

Sandy Toes Creations: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Early Math and Art Activities Let the kids use the cookies to solve the addition problems and write their answers.
Color in all the cookies with the sum of 5.
It then asks how many cookies the mouse ate; I think you're supposed to count each cookie with the sum of 5 as 1 cookie, however I took this as an opportunity to introduce multiplication.
I helped the kids write out 5+5+5+5+... etc (the correct number of times for each cookie with that sum), then add them all together. I explained that this was multiplying 5, 7 times. I used the cookies to demonstrate each group of 5, by putting groups of 5 cookies in rows until I had 7 rows. We added them up again by counting by 5's as I pointed to each row of 5 cookies.
The kids were amazed and excited over the total number of cookies that mouse ate!

Mouse Art:

Sandy Toes Creations: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Early Math and Art ActivitiesSupplies:
Markers or Crayons

Have the kids draw a picture they think the mouse would have liked to draw if he drew another picture.

(Monkey said he would draw a self portrait, left)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Easy Love Yourself and Feelings Crafts for kids

Boost self respect and confidence in your kids.

Valentines day is all about showing love to others. I put a new spin on it for my class. We had a Valentine theme, but instead of being about loving others it was about our own feelings and self love.

I wanted to post before Valentine's Day so got this up quick, please excuse the unfinished and not so clear pics.

Sandy Toes Creations: Love Yourself and Feelings Crafts for KidsWe read Arthur's Nose by Marc Brown then discussed how he wanted to change his looks because he didn't like his nose and others were making fun of him. We talked about feelings, (What makes you sad? What makes you happy?) cause and effect, saying nice things and keeping thoughts that could hurt someone's feeling to yourself.

We practiced giving compliments to make others feel good and talked about loving yourself as you are.

We then made two crafts, a feelings chart, and a Valentine's card/poster for yourself with a sentence and picture illustrating something you love about yourself.

Feelings Chart:

Sandy Toes Creations: Love Yourself and Feelings Crafts for Kids
Poster paper
red construction paper (red paper arrow)
brad (paper fastener)

Divide a poster into 4 parts and draw a face in each section to represent a different feeling (happy, sad, mad, surprised). Write the word of each feeling below the face.
Fasten a small paper arrow cut out of red paper through the middle with a brad.

Valentine Card/Poster to Myself:
Finish the sentence and illustrate what they love about themselves. 
(Monkey didn't finish, but will have a pic of himself being brave. Boo, well, she's 2 so you can use your imagination to see her dancing in her drawing. I'll get better example pics up some day). 

Sandy Toes Creations: Love Yourself and Feelings Crafts for KidsSandy Toes Creations: Love Yourself and Feelings Crafts for Kids

Poster paper (or construction or other paper)
pencil (optional)
Stickers (optional)

Ask the child to think of one thing they love about their self and write it on the top of the poster or front of the card "I love that I ________."
ex: Boo said she loves that she can dance and Monkey said he loves that he's brave. It can be something they do well or a physical trait. Depending on their skill level, you can write the sentence, dot it so they can trace it, or have the child write it.

Ask the child to draw a picture of the thing they chose.
Decorate with stickers

Another fun activity is to go around a circle and have kids tell each other what they like about each other or give one compliment to each child. It's fun to learn what great things others notice about you that you may not think yourself.

Have fun and enjoy learning to love yourself the way you are and boosting your kids confidence and self respect.

 Please share in comments any activities you've enjoyed on loving yourself.

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

What do Cats and Reading have in Common?

Been quiet around here, I know. So what in the world have I been doing?! Working on a new blog about my hilarious cats, of course! They are too entertaining not to share!

I had been saving funny pics of them to post a sequel to "My Cat's Sleep in the Weirdest Places", but never got around to it. Therefore, I ended up with so many, I could fill a whole blog with just my cats! And I've been told more than once that these two crazy rascals are blog worthy, they're always getting into trouble and causing me grief, so I finally did it! They have a blog all their own!

They're sure to bring you a laugh even if you're not a cat lover, so check out the new blog:

Sandy Toes Creations: Meet Rascal and Rocco, funny crazy cat blog!

Other than getting that going, I volunteered to teach an ongoing early literature class at the D.L.C. for around K-1st grade level. I will read a children's book, then do fun activities having to do with the story for comprehension, basic reading, writing, math, and even some science, art, and life skills (Wow, all that?! Aren't you impressed?!). With more emphasis on a different one (or two, or three) of those each week, depending on the story.

Sandy Toes Creations: Learning to Read activitiesWe've been working on the 3 R's more at home with Monkey, but it's so much more fun to do with friends! My first class was this week and it went great! It was small, but I expected that, being the first class and with so little notice. I announced it only a few days before starting and had to quickly scrounge for materials! I looked through some lesson planning books that had kids books and activities all written out for me, but they were just too basic; pre-school material. So, like everything else, I had to do it the hard way, starting from scratch and paving my own way to satisfy my high standards. Why do I always do that to myself?
Sandy Toes Creations: Educational Projects for Kids 
I brought cookies (can't go wrong there, right?!) to do math with and made it so parents could tailor it to their child's level, making it easier or harder. We did addition, division, and even multiplication and fractions. I'll post more about the story and materials, but everyone had fun and I had good feedback from all the parents there

I will be posting about each class with the books, activities, and materials, so if you're looking for this type of unit study, it'll all be here for you to use!

Also, Monkey, Boo, and I have been trying out some great educational projects I found on Pinterest. So, stay tuned for a series on the one's we love!

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