Friday, December 18, 2015

Bridging Sounds to Letters Through Story

So, I am wrapping up the last few letter packets in our Letter of the Week series with Glimmercat, and as I completed the last of our letter Cards, I decided to put them up as a separate packet for those who just need or want the Glimmercat alphabet put up in their classroom.

Glimmercat cavorts through every Alphabet letter, and her circumstance in the picture helps give children a mnemonic bridge from the letter to the sound.  We include the story for each of these images, as well, so there is no guessing involved...

When teaching children, (or anyone, really) giving them bridges like these to connect the dots makes learning so much easier and fun. 

I hope this fun package can be a great use to those who don't need or want an entire Letter of the Week program, but would like mnemonic tools to help make learning connections just a little easier for your preschool and kindergarten kiddos.  Here's the packet of Letter Cards from A to Z, along with the stories that bridge the sounds in our store:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Introducing Letter H

This was one of those days, where we went about everything in random order and yet it all still worked somehow.  Which is encouraging.

Here's how it went.  I'm working away on the computer, completing a Dot to Dot for the letter W, when there is a little hand on my knee and a little voice says, "I want a Dot to Dot."

What's a mom to do, but print out that H Dot to Dot page, even though we haven't introduced H yet?

Teaching Tip:  Child-Led learning is the best learning there is.  Don't miss that opportunity when your little one expresses their interest, even if it doesn't quite fit with your schedule or plan. 

She called this one her Winnie the Pooh house, before she had even started drawing on the numbers.  I think the windows give it away.  The finished product looks like this:

Yep.  Looks like a Winnie the Pooh house to me!  So, here is where we began.  And then we went back and filled in the pieces.

Little Miss is very familiar with Glimmercat these days.  She refers to the kitty character as "my Glimmercat" in the same way that she refers to Hello Kitty toys as "My No-Kitty".  So, we pulled out our Glimmercat Song for H because it is fun and my son sang it along with us.

Like all the letter sounds, even though I write out the "H" sound as "huh", we keep it short and poppy so it is more of the sound than the word "huh".  This helps later when they move into learning to read with sounds.

Then, I printed out the Path of Motion for H.  I always print out the black and white version, even though the color one looks so nice, because Little Miss loves to color her Glimmercat.

Now, we went over the Big H and the little h a couple of times with our fingers, and she wanted a marker.  I assumed she just wanted to color, but I look over, and there she is, writing in the Big H, practicing how to write it!  Yay, Little Miss!

Then she colored in more with her trusty pink marker.  It was a backwards sort of introduction to the letter H, but you know what?  It worked!  And that is what matters.

For the letter of the week packet that includes all the printable worksheets seen here, you can visit my store:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

G is for Grapes

If you remember, earlier in the week, we did this...

...which was awesome.  Because anytime you can intermingle a great experience such as snacking on delicious grapes, with learning, it's bound to stick.

Now, I ran out of grapes by Day 3.  But if I'd had more in the fridge, I would definitely have pulled them out again for a refresher (Cause, what's more refreshing than grapes?), but alas, I did not.  And I did this Grape Craft anyway.  Because it is fun and easy.

You simply print out the G is for Grapes Craft page, and slop some rather large glue globs in a few places.  I didn't have purple beads, but some of the grapes we've been eating lately, have been more red or pink than purple, so we went with that. 

Little Miss put her beads in clusters, like grapes would hang, and was very pleased with her finished project.

To follow up, we printed out the puzzle page from our Letter of the Week packet, here:

I colored the grapes in, to make it a little easier, and Little Miss cut out her pieces.

I helped a little, because her interest was waning.  (I know it would have been more exciting if she had a few grapes to snack on while doing this--Aaargh!)  But, we finished up our G is for Grapes day in flying purple colors.

And then I went and added "Grapes" to my Grocery list!

For more Letter G activities and ideas, check out:
Day 2 (G is for Gorillas) with a FREE Gorilla craft:

And for all our other Letter G activities and crafts, check out our full packet here:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Introducing Letter G

We began Letter G this week and it was a Ggggggreat beginning!  Here's how we began...

In our Letter of the Week packet for G, we have a Song page.  It is sung to the tune of "London Bridge" and tells our schtick for the letter G. 

Glimmercat finds some grape juice (yum! don't all kiddos love grape juice?) and she drinks it down, making the sound of "guh-guh-guh".

After we sang our song, I gave Little Miss her Glimmercat G Path of Motion color page and we began by tracing the path of  motion with fingers...

Then I asked her to fill in the Big G and Little G with Grapes, and that was like the best thing ever.

Teaching Tip:  Use edible teaching tools whenever possible.  It makes everything more fun!

Now, I realize she looks a little glum in this picture, but the reason is that she was not sure she needed to fill in both big G and little g before she started munching on them.   She really thought she should only need to fill in Big G. 

 But when she got the okay to eat them all, it turned out okay:  look at this coy little smile as she pulls them all in for munching. 

Next, we went over our letter G words in our Matching Game.  Little Miss kept calling the Gorilla a monkey, so I figured we needed some YouTube help for getting a closer look at Gorillas.  We found this one and Little Miss giggled all the way through it.  These Gorillas really hit her funny bone.

Then, we went back to affix our Matching Game pieces to their foamy backgrounds.  She's getting really good at this. 

After she finished this job, she asked for a marker.  I handed her the marker container and saw she chose the green marker.  This is not like her, and then I remembered that when she chose the foamy background color, I had told her, "Green is a great choice for this letter, because "Green" begins with the 'guh' sound.  Green starts with G."

She had remembered and chose "Green" to color in G for that reason!  (Excuse me while I thrill over this one! She's doing SO amazing!!!  Okay, I'm done.)  

She also tried out the Path of Motion on her own.  And did pretty good at that, too. 

All of the worksheets you see in this post are available in our Letter of the Week packet for G, here:

Monday, November 9, 2015

F is for Flower

Little Miss loves flowers!  So making little flowers is a perfect way to finish up our last day in the week of F.  But first...

Little Miss and her brother played a Matching Game.  This time, we used all the cards we made for F AND the cards we made for the Letter E, too.  Extra practice and it made our game longer.  (And much to her brother's surprise, Little Miss tied and came awfully close to beating him).

Then, we printed out the Flower Craft from our letter of the week packet for F and...

Little Miss cut out her flowers and positioned them into place.  Then, she chose her pom poms for the middle of her flowers.

She enjoyed this, but she was really looking forward to the Flower Puzzle that she knew I had also printed out.  (She really likes these puzzles!)

I colored the leaves in the pictures green before she cut them out because I had a suspicion that this puzzle might be tough to do and thought coloring the leaves green might make it a little easier for her to figure out.

Then, though we tried to let her do most of it, we all helped put this one together (it was tough!) and then she glued the pieces into place and colored in the flowers.

And that was it!  The Letter F is all complete.  I think we hit some fun crafts in our journey with this letter.

For more letter of the week ideas and suggestions for letter F, check out our previous posts:

F is for Fish:
F is for Fox:
F is for Frog:
Introducing Letter F:

  All of the printables and crafts seen on these posts are from our Letter of the Week Packet for F, that is available for purchase and download at our Teacher Store.

Friday, November 6, 2015

F is for Fish

Today is all about Fish!   And we started right in with the little fishy craft from our Letter of the Week packet.  Little Miss went back to her standard pink for his eyeballs...

But then she switched it up and went for purple.  Way to venture out, Little Miss!

This fish is designed to attach together at the tail.  If you stand on a chair, and drop it, if flutters, almost fish-like to the ground.  We dropped him a couple of times and then did our Dot to Dot.

This Dot to Dot is a nice, easy one and Little Miss made it all the way to 17 before I reached in to help her with the final numbers.  She liked her little fish and wanted to color him in, so we took some time to do that, too.

And for a fun way to incorporate snacks, don't forget "goldfish" crackers!  And then, we finished up the day with this silly story, "Don't Eat the Babysitter!"  This one from our bookshelf that my kids enjoy because of the tension in the story as a little bitty ocean fish baby-sits a shark, and we're never quite sure she will escape from being accidentally eaten by him until the end. 

But the book I'd really recommend for your fish day is, "The Pout Pout Fish", which will put a smile on anyone's face and make your kiddos giggle by the end of it, when the pout pout fish learns that rather than being destined to be "dreary-weary", because of his pouty mouth, his pouty lips are perfect for smooching.  It's a cute story with a fun twist.

I know what you're going to say:  "Where's 'Rainbow Fish'?"  And here is where I admit to the fault of literary snobbery.  What can I say?  I worked as a Children's Librarian for several years, and it ruined me for poor literature.  Yes, even in kid's books.  There are a lot of glitzy, beautiful illustrations out there paired with poor quality kid's lit, and "Rainbow Fish" is one of them.  Okay, Lit Rant over. 

For more letter of the week ideas and suggestions for letter F, check out our previous posts:

F is for Fox:
F is for Frog:
Introducing Letter F:

All of the printables and crafts seen on these posts are from our Letter of the Week Packet for F, that is available for purchase and download at our Teacher Store.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

F is for Fox

I am unashamed to admit that for our "F is for Fox" day, we most definitely began our morning off with this hilarious video, "What Does the Fox Say?"

You will not find a more exciting introduction to foxes for your small fry, and if your tots are not giggling in wide-eyed fascination by the time the time the CG fox comes out at the end of this rather odd video, well...I will be very much surprised.  I only wish every letter of the week had such an amazingly produced music video to start it off.  Haha!

 Then, we went to the kitchen table (still singing "Mo-o-o-o-orse, Mo-o-o-orse") and had a rousing bout of Matching Game between Little Miss and her older brother.  We took the game pieces we prepped yesterday and mixed them up with the Letter E game pieces from last week and it was a great game, pretty evenly matched.

Then, Little Miss reached over and grabbed the Letter F Maze printout, so although I had intended to start her on painting her Fox Craft first, we went with this, because...

Teaching Tip:  It's a wonderful thing to let your child steer their own learning by their interest.  

She began circling the pictures that began with F, and then I noticed something amazing that she was adding in, all by herself:

She was writing an F by each picture she circled.  I highlighted this in red to make it easier for viewing on the computer, but it is most definitely an F.  I think she wasn't sure if she should, and so her other "F's" were slightly erased, but she was adding them in on each picture.  And then, coloring the picture afterwards, because she loves coloring.  (And even venturing beyond the pink crayon!).

After this lovely success, we moved on to the Fox craft from our Letter of the Week packet.  I chose the non-colored version because Little Miss had so much fun with her paintbrush yesterday, I decided to give it to her again today.  We found a nice coppery paint and began painting.  I explained which parts we needed to try to leave white...

...and look what a careful and neat job she is doing!  Wow!  She was really enjoying herself and wanted to paint more after she was done, so I printed out this fun Fox image and just had her find the letter c's in the shapes, while we waited for her craft to dry.  She began painting the little letter "e's" blue, and then, just as suddenly, she was done with this page.  And that is just fine.

After lunch, we went back to her first Fox and Mommy cut it out for Little Miss to glue together.

And the rest of the morning, this cute little fox and her little frog from yesterday have been having wonderful play-times together.  

Check out our Frog Craft from yesterday here:
And our Introduction to F here:

All of the printables and crafts seen on these posts are from our Letter of the Week Packet for F, that is available for purchase and download at our Teacher Store.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

F is for Frog!

We began this morning with the Letter F worksheet to give Little Miss some practice writing F's.  I like to start her off with a highlighter when we do this page, because the highlighter is very easy to hold and is somehow more satisfying to watch as you draw with it than a pencil might be.

We also can come back on another day and go over the highlighted F's with a pencil, if we wish, thereby giving this worksheet two uses, (and those of us with printer expenses appreciate this small fact!).

I printed out the black and white version for her because I suspected she'd be ready to color in "her kitty", and sure enough, after she finished off her "F's", she filled in both "Glimmercats", as well.

Next, we began the Frog Craft from our Letter of the Week packet for letter F.  The only additional items you need for this craft is 2/3 of a toilet paper tube and paint.  Googly eyes are optional add-ons, since there are paper eyes in this printable that can be cut out and used for eyes.

Teaching Tip:  For paint, we use Apple Barrel PLAID acrylics.  These are about 50 cents each at Walmart.  If you wish, you could just invest in the primary colors (red, blue and yellow) and maybe a white and black.  Then, when you need green, like for the frog above, just mix the colors with your child.  There's no better way to learn that blue and yellow make green, then if they are mixing them together themselves.  Cheaper investment but especially, there's learning involved.

We are waiting for our painted frog pieces to dry, so we cut out the Matching Game that we didn't get to the day before.  Here is what we use for the backing.

I cut the foam into squares (and this time I cut the Matching Game pieces too) and Little Miss pulls off the backing and with a little help, affixes our F word pictures to them.  We won't do the game today, but doing this helps us to review letter F words and we will be prepped for playing the game tomorrow.

After we complete this task, our little painted frog pieces are dry enough to complete the craft.

We decided to try some really BIG googly eyes for this froggy, and I think it makes him look fun.

So does Little Miss!  

We finished up our Letter F fun by reading this old counting rhyme.  I told Little Miss, "Watch for the frogs!" and so she did and she found them when we got to number seven.

 Remember, all the printables you see in these posts are available in our store.  Click the link on the right and look for Letter of the Week packet for F.  Or just go here: