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Curriculum Post any curriculum ideas, activites or projects that wouldbe helpful to our Daycare community. What is your teaching philosophy?

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Old 08-28-2013, 09:24 AM
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Default Letter of the Week

I am putting together My curriculum for the upcoming school year and would like to know your opinion on letter of the week. Alot of sites say this is outdated and whatnot but how do you introduce letters if not by this. One site suggested letter by them like if you theme is apples then your letter would be. How do you introduce letters?
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:44 AM
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You know what I've had the best luck with? The very first thing I start with is the letter in the children's names. We do J is for Johnny. S is for Sammy. etc. Last year all my 1 and 2 year olds knew all their friends first letter of their names and the 1 year olds wouldn't always remember that J was J, but they would say Johnny when they saw J. It gets them excited to participate when we talk about letters, because they are part of the alphabet.

As they progress we add more and more. Letter of the week is great, but sometimes can go way over the little one's heads. That's why I start with names. I label their names on everything I can. They have assigned seats so they get another opportunity to learn their names. I mix their seats around and have them find their names for lunch, circle times, etc.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:08 AM
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If you have a four year old that NEEDS to get K ready this year, I think LOTW is great. It covers a lot of areas at once.
Often, though I just use it as a jumping point. We just spend a lot of time, do crafts, etc, using the letter, number, color, shape of the week.

It makes a good outline to start, then you can get creative.
For example on A week, the color might be red, the shape a circle and number 1. We read books and emphasize those words. Eat apples, cut them into circles, and give everyone ONE at a time. Talk about which apple is red and which is not (have a green or yellow one.) Eat circle shaped sandwiches or crackers, with red strawberry circles.
Do simple apple/red/circle crafts. Make a lapbook for each week with the theme stuff in little booklets.

And you can start with any letter you like, as long as you hit them all. If I only have one child, I start with their names. I also spell their names to them a LOT and have them on tags around the house (anything that is individualized)
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
You know what I've had the best luck with? The very first thing I start with is the letter in the children's names. We do J is for Johnny. S is for Sammy. etc. Last year all my 1 and 2 year olds knew all their friends first letter of their names and the 1 year olds wouldn't always remember that J was J, but they would say Johnny when they saw J. It gets them excited to participate when we talk about letters, because they are part of the alphabet.

As they progress we add more and more. Letter of the week is great, but sometimes can go way over the little one's heads. That's why I start with names. I label their names on everything I can. They have assigned seats so they get another opportunity to learn their names. I mix their seats around and have them find their names for lunch, circle times, etc.
Ooooh good idea! I started with A and now we are on P, but these last two weeks I decided to give it a break and just play for the rest of the summer. I was going to start all over next week, starting with A, but I think I will do it your way now! All my kids are under 3 so your way sounds like it will get them interested!
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by melilley View Post
Ooooh good idea! I started with A and now we are on P, but these last two weeks I decided to give it a break and just play for the rest of the summer. I was going to start all over next week, starting with A, but I think I will do it your way now! All my kids are under 3 so your way sounds like it will get them interested!
A great way to start them recognizing their names is to associate it with a color. Like have Johnny be blue (or whatever color) and write his name on blue paper. I have an assigned color for each kid. Their cups and plates are a particular color, so to get them started I put that color on their names too.

Once I feel like they have the color mastered. I take away the color and just put their name on regular paper or everyone on the same color.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:39 PM
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I just do it naturally as I don't do a curriculum. We notice letters when we read, when we play with magnetic letters on the fridge, the blocks have letters on them and you can't beat Sesame Street. We watch it once a day.

When they seem to be interested as they get older we do matching letter games, write them on the chalkboard, make them out of playdough, play letter Bingo, etc. We do letter 'Easter Egg Hunts', write them on the sidewalk with chalk and on and on.

I also have a formal set of letters, sounds and words for pre K children. I forget what it is called but I got it from a school supply store.

It seems even if one doesn't try specifically to TEACH letters they all seem to know them before kindergarten.

Laurel
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
I just do it naturally as I don't do a curriculum. We notice letters when we read, when we play with magnetic letters on the fridge, the blocks have letters on them and you can't beat Sesame Street. We watch it once a day.

When they seem to be interested as they get older we do matching letter games, write them on the chalkboard, make them out of playdough, play letter Bingo, etc. We do letter 'Easter Egg Hunts', write them on the sidewalk with chalk and on and on.

I also have a formal set of letters, sounds and words for pre K children. I forget what it is called but I got it from a school supply store.

It seems even if one doesn't try specifically to TEACH letters they all seem to know them before kindergarten.

Laurel
Same here. I don't use an organized, boxed curriculum either. I simply add the "lessons" into our daily routine.

I have LOTS of early reader/literacy games and activities and the kids learn as they are interested.

We usually ALWAYS start with the first letter of their names too.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Same here. I don't use an organized, boxed curriculum either. I simply add the "lessons" into our daily routine.

I have LOTS of early reader/literacy games and activities and the kids learn as they are interested.

We usually ALWAYS start with the first letter of their names too.
This is how I handle all long term kiddos. Sometimes I get one that needs something more intense before they hit K. LOTW is an ok way to catch them up to a LOT of the concepts quickly, but I prefer a natural play based daily approach.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Angelsj View Post
This is how I handle all long term kiddos. Sometimes I get one that needs something more intense before they hit K. LOTW is an ok way to catch them up to a LOT of the concepts quickly, but I prefer a natural play based daily approach.
Ooo, I just Googled LOTW ( took me a few mintues to figure out what LOTW was ) It looks REALLY cool!

Did you buy the downloadable version? Is it just files you keep on your PC and print when needed?

This is the site I found http://www.confessionsofahomeschoole...er-of-the-week

Don't know if $15 is a deal or not...

Or if this is the site I should be buying it from...

It looks like a fantastic supplemental approach for those that need a little extra boost here and there.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:25 PM
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This is the site I use...mostly just ideas to jump from. There are some links to printables, and over the years I have collected a large variety for each week and downloaded those files onto my computer to print at will. I have also added to my files games, worksheets and ideas related to ideas such as small, medium and large, or over and under.
Sometimes I find a new site and new printables.

It looks like that lady has taken the main idea of LOTW and created a packet with all the printables, plus some new ideas (It might actually be the same person...lol.) Why is it I never think of doing things like this? I probably have all of this on my computer. lol
I am going to look at it a bit more, but I think it is totally worth the $15. After looking at curriculum prices out there, that is very affordable.
I think I will download it. It is colorful and could be fun. Worth a shot for $15 bucks.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:37 PM
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Previous letter of the week thread: http://daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29587
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:10 PM
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Previous letter of the week thread: http://daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29587
LOL There is nothing new under the sun..hmmm?
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelsj View Post
This is the site I use...mostly just ideas to jump from. There are some links to printables, and over the years I have collected a large variety for each week and downloaded those files onto my computer to print at will. I have also added to my files games, worksheets and ideas related to ideas such as small, medium and large, or over and under.
Sometimes I find a new site and new printables.

It looks like that lady has taken the main idea of LOTW and created a packet with all the printables, plus some new ideas (It might actually be the same person...lol.) Why is it I never think of doing things like this? I probably have all of this on my computer. lol
I am going to look at it a bit more, but I think it is totally worth the $15. After looking at curriculum prices out there, that is very affordable.
I think I will download it. It is colorful and could be fun. Worth a shot for $15 bucks.
My worry is how colorful it looks! I wonder how expensive it would be to print it all myself. Has anyone looked into this? I do love the idea of only printing what I want but having a guideline... Sometimes when I used the box curriculum I wasted so much because we didnt get to it or it wasn't something I was interested in doing with the kids. But I also can't do 100% my own because... I'm not that motivated!
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:07 AM
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What about creative writing where children dictate to you? For instance, sometimes we go for a walk and then come back and write a story about the experience. The kids dictate the story to me and I write it down on large pieces of paper. As I write, I note both letter names and the sounds the letters. This process also helps them see how letters make words and words make sentences. Then, after the story is finished, we put it together into a "book" and the children illustrate it. I also have them dictate recipes (like how to cook the Thanksgiving turkey) which are often very, very funny.

Another fun game is to bury magnetic alphabet letters in the sand and have the children go on an Alphabet Treasure Hunt. Watching and listening as they dig and discover letters is how I judge who knows what. I've also done this with a water table and little fishing nets where they catch the letters.

If you have space, a writing center (with paper, markers, crayons, etc.) is a good place for them to "play" with writing. They can pretend to write anything in the writing center and then "read" it to you. It is a great way for them to explore on their own level.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Familycare71 View Post
My worry is how colorful it looks! I wonder how expensive it would be to print it all myself. Has anyone looked into this? I do love the idea of only printing what I want but having a guideline... Sometimes when I used the box curriculum I wasted so much because we didnt get to it or it wasn't something I was interested in doing with the kids. But I also can't do 100% my own because... I'm not that motivated!
LOL, I feel your pain. Many times I have just wanted it all done, but then I am too picky and don't like what I buy pre packaged. Sigh.

Luckily, I have a high quality color laser printer, and not a ton of kiddos, so I can probably pull off at least some color printing. I also don't want to do a lot of sit down work. A lot of what we do, even when I am working with a preK who needs the work, uses reusable stuff, like making playdo letters, working on a chalkboard or dry erase board, magnetic letters or blocks. Hands on kind of stuff.
I would still like that package, I think though for the bright colorful stuff to put up for my basis. My board that has this week's stuff on it. And maybe some fun crafts here and there.
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