Sunday, February 24, 2013

Letter of the Day...Ee

Oh my word it is difficult to keep a blog updated while teaching kindergarten and raising a family. It has been a long time since I updated and I apologize!
Letter of the Day is Ee.
I try to focus on the short sounds of vowels when teaching letters for the first time. That means that the letter e says /e/ as in egg. We had some fun with science for this lesson.
Empty vs. Full:
Take several empty, clear containers. I used plastic 4 plastic water bottles. I filled them with different amounts of water and left one empty. We added drops of primary colors with food coloring to each bottle and talked about the different colors. We also talked about what "empty" means and I had my child point to the bottle that was empty. Then, we added blue drops to the yellow colored water to make green. My child thought it was "magic". We also added yellow to the red to make orange and then red to the blue to make purple. We talked about which bottle was the fullest or had the most water and which had the least amount of water. We put the bottles in order from the fullest to the least amount of water. Then, I put a smock on my son and gave him some measuring cups and drinking cups. I put the water bottles in large tubs (I took them off of our toy shelving unit) and put a plastic table cloth on the floor of the garage and let him practice pouring the water out of the water bottles and into the measuring cups (while keeping them in the two containers for less mess). Again, we talked about which cup held the most water and which held the least. We lined up the cups by various size and talked about what happened when we poured one amount from one container into another. We talked about the colors that mixed as he poured them into each other. Then, I had him try to put the water from measuring cups into drinking cups without spilling. This was hard! He loved pouring from one container to the next and watching how the colors mixed. After an hour of this we cleaned up (he was stained with the food coloring on his hands and clothes, so BEWARE this is a messy lesson) and went to our next acitivity.
We used a printable tracer page to trace the capital E and lower case e. You can download it here:
Its important that when teaching letter formation, you show your child how to hold a pencil properly. My son has a very difficult time with this. I think larger pencils are best to start with and you can find pencil grips in the shape of a triangle to fit over the pencil as well as other fine motor resources to help with pencil grip at your local parent teacher store. Make sure your child forms each letter from top to bottom and NOT from bottom to top. You can also use fun writing utensils other than just pencils. We use markers, highlighters, fun pens, etc. My favorite pencil grip helper is the wrist band with the little dolphin. It looks like this:
HandiWriter (Dolphin)
After our handwriting lesson, we decided to make an elephant with handprint art for our alphabet book. I painted my son's hand with gray paint and placed in down on white paper with his fingers pointing toward the bottom of the paper. I had his fingers spaced apart slightly and his thumb out to the side. After it was dry, we added a pink ear, gray tail, and a googley eye.
Food/Snack Ideas today: eggs, edemame, enchiladas, Eggo waffles, eggplant, and chocolate eclaire for dessert! Yum!

Book for today: The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper, Online story: "An Egg is Quiet":

Online practice: Click on ABCs, click on Letter E

Games: Etch-A-Sketch

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