Saturday, October 19, 2019

Tractor Math

What do Tractors and Math have in common?  Little kids.

We had a beautiful oak die in our back yard recently.
It was home to many squirrels who barked and swatted their tails at my dog. 
Home to cardinals, mockingbirds, and bluejays along with other birds that we enjoyed watching.
But it was right next to the house. Smack dab between my neighbor and us.
It had to go.
I called my most favorite tree guys who are legit lumberjacks.

They don't have giant trucks with buckets to hoist men into the air.  They have a man who climbs up the tree with a chainsaw attached to his belt.  This lumberjack then ties himself to the tree, carefully ties the branches he will cut so they go down gently to the crew beneath, and then he cuts the enormous tree up.  In 3 hours they are leaving my house and all I am left with is a short tree stump. 
The one piece of big equipment they brought however was a tractor.
My boy was in heaven.

We stayed outside all morning long watching our lumberjacks take care of our oak.  All the while, the  tractor went back and forth delivering the cut up tree to dump truck.
My kiddos were entertained and it was done before naptime.  #winwin
Aaaaannnnnd, it was the perfect premise to our Tractor Day from our 

Tractor Day was filled with playing with tractors and cars, reading our new I Can Read Book and playing Tractor Math.  
Materials: die, pencil, manipulatives (pigs from EEL), and a "tractor" (EEL sent us this picture, but you could use anything including a box or a toy tractor)
How to Play: roll the die.  Using your manipulatives, place that amount into the tractor bed. Roll again.  Put that amount into the tractor bed.  Now add the two.  To challenge my Kindergartener, I whipped out some lined primary paper and had her write her math equations.





She loved this game so much!  She loved picking out her pigs each time she rolled. I think writing the equations on the lined paper really gave her this sense of accomplishing some kind of work.  It was great practice writing her numbers, and I was extremely impressed as some of these equations were starting to come to her mentally without having to count one by one.

What did the man child do all day?  Besides yelling at the window about the "Tractor" that was no longer there, he played with a toy tractor, tried to steal the pigs from the basket (leading to a sister meltdown and sharing of the pigs), played with said stolen shared pigs, and played with stickers.  

Tractor Day was enjoyed by all... including this momma.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Turning Preschool into Kindergarten

Hi! I'm Leslie- a homeschooling momma to a 5 year old girl and 22 month old boy.  The 2 are as different as night and day.  I share our adventures here to both inspire learning at home and chronicle our lives, because honestly, I never started the baby books and my kids will just have to look back on their childhood through this blog... ha! #keepinitreal

For three years now my little girl has been able to use the 
Experience Preschool: Mother Goose Time curriculum, and I am so excited my son will too.
However the recent challenge has been: how can I make it a little more challenging for my Kindergarten daughter while still using if for my toddler son?

Little ones love to do what the bigs are doing and my son is no exception.
This can be quite a challenge, but MGT has really made it so simple for us to boost math and reading while my son gets to enjoy learning too.

Here are a few modifications we have made to meet the need of our family on our "COW" day...


Who doesn't love a good Mother Goose Rhyme!? 
A poster of Hey Diddle Diddle came in our Cow Day discovery bag and I laminated it.
We read it with the beat and my son danced around and smiled.
I read it slowly several times, pointing to each word as I read it being careful not to go faster than I was pointing.  Then I wrote the sight word "the" and asked my little girl to circle them on the laminated poster.  It took her a little bit.  
She then counted her circled sight word  and wrote it in the moon.

This activity alone helped her in word recognition, writing (drawing her circle shape), counting, and writing her numbers, and my son was able to enjoy the rhythm and cadence of the poem.
And I have a beautiful nursery rhyme poster to practice reading with again and again!


Each month, Experience Preschool sends us counting clip cards.  Kiddos can clip clothespins to the cards to indicate which number is represented (great for fine motor skills).  Instead of clips, my girl wanted to place pigs, which are our monthly math manipulative, so that's what we went with.  
How did I change this to make it more challenging for kindergarten?

Once she had finished with her cards (which I also laminated because I LOVE my laminator), 
I had her write the number of the amount of pigs on her cards.
Then I had her add the 2 cards together.  She could count the pigs, but she also counted her fingers to come up with 7.  I turned around to do something with her little brother and turned back and she had used the 7 pigs to make the number 7 all on her own! I was so impressed!

Little brother had a fantastic time moving pigs from number card to number card.
I tried to get him  to place them on just the dots, but he wasn't going for it.
He sure is cute though....


There are some things that are just perfect as is for my little learners!  Our STEAM station was awesome as my kids got to practice milking cows using disposable plastic gloves.n  I filled one with water and the other with mud.  By then end of our experiment, my girl could definitely tell that the thicker the liquid, the harder it is for it to come out!

Please know that my poor girl decided to not listen when I and her Daddy told her not to run in the house.  She tripped and hit her face on the coffee table resulting in a dent in her forehead and seriously bruised nose.  We took her to the doctor and had a CT scan done and everything came back with good results.
 She also learned her lesson. Unfortunately it was the hard way. 

Our monthly boxes might be a little over his head and need a little addition to challenge my girl,
but I could NOT ask for a better resource that I can easily make fit my kiddos needs.

Have fun experiencing all the learning!!!