Summer Family Adventures

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Summer Family Adventures

June 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Here is our family "Bucket List" for the summer

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Summer Goals:

Each month we will have a different themed adventure map illustrated by my husband. Weekly projects will be outlined on the map and detailed on the blog  This month, he crated a silly snake that will later be used for a fun game board.

This week's daily challenge

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Daily we ask the kids to:

Week 1 Adventures

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Monday: Science Experiment- make parchment paper. Click this link to see a video of how we created our paper.  It was a quick, easy and fun craft that took no more then 15 minuets.

Tuesday: Writing- from yesterday’s paper making the kids created stories and scrolls.

Wednesday: Art Class– a local artist and friend hosts an class for kids Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  We are headed over to the Chill in the morning , where she’s teaching, to paint.

Thursday: Sports Day This summer the two younger kids are enjoying a few summer gymnastic lessons while the oldest loves her martial arts.  Today is also the oldest birthday!

Friday: Cooking with Math. We will be baking a cake for her birthday party with the kids help.  However if you are looking for a terrific resource projects with easy steps for grades pk-2, check out “On My Own: Art, Cooking & Life Skills“. We will be using this resource throughout the summer.

Family Adventure

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Blueberries and blackberries are ready to be picked.  We hope to fill a couple buckets of fresh fruit.  We may also make a quick stop at the local beach to enjoy the beach, before we move.

 

Elements & Dragons

Elements & Dragons Birthday Party

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Elements and dragons, that’s the newest trend for our eight year old girl. On Friday she has a couple friends over to play games and celebrate. With dragons on my mind, I was able to come up with some adorable post card invitations  and a couple creative games for the kids to play.

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Dragon's Quest

Blending elements and dragons, I created an adventure map with clues to locate the dragon’s treasure. Each path lead to a new element themed riddle.  Each clue we sealed with a small bit of wax and a pressed a seal.

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This little dragon seal was an affordable find on Amazon. For the paper, I saved time and purchased an inexpensive packet from Amazon. If you wish to create the appearance of old manuscript. Try using this method and check our video to see the kids in action.

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  1. Soak your paper in 2 tablespoons coffee, tea or chocolate and 2 cups of water  in a 9X11 baking dish. You can paint with a brush to ensure the stain blends to the paper or just allow it to soak for 5-10 mins.
  2. Remove the paper and place onto a paper towel blotting the excess water.
  3. Set the oven to 200 degrees. Cook the paper for 5-10mins. Or use a blow dryer on each side to dry.
  4. For extra aging, tear the edges before placing in the oven or afterwards burn a couple holes in the paper.
Elements Story Teller

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A couple posts ago, I wrote about our date night story teller.  For Sophia’s party I created a fun dragon/element version.   The activities on this particular version are related to literacy and story elements. While one flap requests you to describe what’s inside a dragon’s egg another asks to how to capture a dragon.  There are also a couple of movement prompts.  Download here, have fun and enjoy this Elements Fortune Teller.

  • To play ask your friend to pick an element. Spell that element or word moving the teller back and forth.

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  • Next, have them pick a number. Do the activity and then count that number again moving the teller back and forth for the number picked. Finally have them choose a triangle to open and read the activity.  Repeat as often as you want.

Adventure Map Clues

Adventure Map

Invite

Elements Fortune Teller

 

Capture the Moment

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Capture the Moment

Yesterday as I worked to design our June Home Reading Calendar, my middle child wandered over with a book, “Peek-a-Zoo” by Marie Torres Cimarusti, which she had just finished reading. She requested to create a flip book just like Peek-a-Zoo.  As I was in the middle of reading calendar’s, it was a challenge for me to switch gears but it ended up being a treasured learning opportunity. Quickly, I grabbed one of the $1.00 bin ready-made blank books, taped a quarter sheet of copy paper onto each page and invited her to work along side of me.  This is what she created.

With more time, I will create a fancier flip book for her to build a story. But, this was quick, fun and perfect for her little creative task.

Later that evening, I noticed my oldest daughter had also finished a book about her newest love, dragons.  Within it she described each dragon, broke down the anatomy of a dragon (in her mind), added a joke and a story summary. You never know when inspiration will hit. Stop, capture the moment enjoy seeing the creative writing bloom.

Summer Journals

Looking for how to start your summer journals?  Grab a composition journal, staple the journal on the front cover with a book chart  or recording sheet on the back.  On this recording sheet I have the following sections:title, read by (the child read by themselves), Read with (Shared reading with my child) or Read To (Read Aloud to my child), Date and a space for initials. I’ll use this journal throughout the summer to capture learning moments.

June Home Reading

June Home Reading

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This Summer, Read S'More Books

Get your June Home Reading Here.  With the theme, “Read S’More Books”, make reading fun and meaningful with these educational activity calendars. Fun for all elementary learners, there are four calendars in this set. Pre-K & Kindergarten, enjoy coloring in the camping themed picture for each day you read. 1st and 2nd grades, enjoy a good book and complete 20 activities then color June Home Reading Page! Grades 3-5 enjoy a calendar filled with fun activities from art to athletic and simple to engaging, complete 20 tasks for 20 days read. Have fun and share your work.  Download a digital copy of June Reading Here.

 

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While I was creating my campsite, my 6 year old drew her own to match. 

May Home Reading

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May Home Reading

Reading helps you Bloom

Get your May Home Reading here.  With the theme, “Reading Helps you Bloom”, make reading fun and meaningful with these educational activity calendars. Fun for all elementary learners, there are four calendars in this set. Pre-K & Kindergarten, enjoy coloring in the flower themed picture for each day you read. 1st and 2nd grades, enjoy a good book and complete 20 activities then color May Home Reading Page! Grades 3-5 enjoy a calendar filled with fun activities from art to athletic and simple to engaging, complete 20 tasks for 20 days read. Have fun and share your work.  Download a digital copy of May Home Reading here.

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Magic Word Art

Magic Word Art!!

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This engaging activity was a joy to put together.  After designing a couple of spring themed pictures, I was considering ways to incorporate spelling and word practice.  With the help of my white crayon, inspiration hit.  I wrote their words and letters on the the printed spring themed papers.  I then handed each of our kids a “blank” paper and asked them to paint.  The pure delight of each child was evident as they revealed letter, words and creative designs.  For an art and literacy center, use this fun technique to practice a variety of skills.  Here are few that we used:

Inchworm: My preschooler identified upper and lower case letters while my Kindergartner worked on her sight words.  My 2nd grader worked on her spelling words.

Flower Power: Using the heart flower petals, I wrote each letter for my 2nd grader to practice blending her spelling words.  On the vase, I placed the spelling pattern to help identify the words and decorated with a few embellishments.

Fireflies: For my kindergartner, I place sight words on the wings and thorax of this little critter.

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Easter Egg Literacy

"Egg"tra Fun Learning

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Spring has arrived and with it creative Easter projects. Check out today’s Easter Egg activities.

Spelling Pratice

Write the words on the outside of each egg.  Inside each Egg container, place a fun and quick spelling “treat”. Some ideas might include:

  • Shoot, swing, kick for each letter as you spell.
  • Start each letter, grow louder until you reach the end of the word.
  • Spell your word with a pirate voice.
  • Spell your word like an opera singer.
  • Spell your word with a little baby voice.
  • Spell your word in a squeaky mouse voice.
  • Spell your word in a lions roar.
  • Spell your word in a robot voice.
  • Do a jumping jack for each letter you use in the word.
  • Spell your word with a farmer voice.
  • Spell your word like royalty with a British accent.
  • Hunt for your word in a book.
  • Sparkle write your letters to spell your word.
  • Write your letter with an expo marker on the mirror.
  • Pretend you are a bunny and hop for every letter you spell.
  • Challenge: For one minute you have to spell everything you say. Have someone guess what you are trying to communicate.

For extra fun, create an egg hunt, scattering the eggs about the room.

Sight Word Pratice

Write each sight word on the outside of an egg.  You may want to split the word by common endings.  Doing so allowed my daughter to line up her letters to read the full word. Inside each egg provide a sentence containing that specific word. Have them locate and highlight the word to practice words in print.  The sentences I included were questions or funny phrases to keep my kindergartner entertained.  Like the spelling practice, I hid her eggs about the room, which she loved.  Today, on the go, she packed her eggs into an egg carton.  She’s been carrying her sight words ever since.

Poetry Project

For a little Easter gift this year, my three children wrote poems to their teachers. For this project, I typed up a templates for a variety of poems. One the outside of each egg I placed an Easter topic word.  They choose the topic they wanted to write about and opened up the egg to fill out their poem.   I coached my three year old and assisted the five year old.  The seven year worked to design her own poem.  We then typed, printed, decorated and glued the poems on the back of a adorable bunny plaque.  Today they gifted their sweet projects to their teachers.  Here are the words and styles of poetry I used:

  • Easter: Acrostic Poem
  • Chocolate Bunny: 5 Senses Poem
  • Spring/April: Subject Poem
  • Easter Egg Poem: 5 W Poem (Who, What, Where, When, Why)
  • Bunny: Cinquin Poem
  • Jelly Bean: 5 Senses Poem
  • Flowers: ABC Poem (Each letter is a new line until you reach your subject letter)
  • Chick: Diamante Poem
  • Free Choice: Haiku Poem

Stayed Tuned: Tomorrow I will be working on the next two Easter Egg projects : Shopping for Eggs (Learning through Math) & Treasure Hunt (Scavenger and Spy Style Easter Egg Hunt)!!!

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Working with Word Choice

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One of my favorite tools as a writer is my thesaurus.  Stress with finding the right word melts away with this oh so helpful tool. So when I heard my 2nd grade girl was struggling with written expression, I couldn’t wait to introduce her to my “pen pal”.  There are plenty of online thesaurus sites where you can easily type in your word and instantly you have a wealth of synonyms at your fingertips. However, I want my daughter familiar with using guide words and locating her word match.

For a little fun afternoon project, I located my children’s thesaurus, found a stash of emoticon stickers and used a set of blank books from the Target dollar bin. My plan, after introducing her to the thesaurus, was to have her create her own reference book that matched her voice and gave her preferred word choices.

Here is what we created, so far.  She has more that she wants to do including pictures and adding more words to to her personal creative word booklet.  However, this is fun start to her journey into creative expression.

April Home Reading

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Get your April Home Reading here.  With the theme, “Reading Helps You Grow Inch by Inch”, make reading fun and meaningful with these educational activity calendars. Fun for all elementary learners, there are four calendars in this set. Pre-K & Kindergarten, enjoy coloring in the inch worm and garden themed pictures for each day you read. 1st and 2nd grades, enjoy a good book and complete 20 activities then color April Home Reading Page! Grades 3-5 enjoy a calendar filled with fun activities from art to athletic and simple to engaging, complete 20 tasks for 20 days read. Have fun and share your work.  Download a digital copy of April Home Reading Here.

 

Learning on Holiday

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This weekend, for my 40th birthday, our family is headed on a grand adventure to Hawaii. The last couple weeks have been spent gathering teaching material and creating fun projects for my 3, 5 and 7 year old children.  In order to make the most of space, I’ve tried to come up with projects that don’t require a lot of storage but still spark creativity. During our trip, I plan to blog about our family learning adventures.  We hope to travel and learn on the go creating a classroom without walls. We are excited about the learning possibilities and adventures we will have with our kids!  Here are some of the projects I’ve created, so far.

Travel Journals 

With the different age levels in mind, I created personalized journals.  Designed not to be to labor intensive, I want the children to be excited and enjoy writing in their logs. For my preschool child, he can circle the type of activity & weather and rate the day.  Then he can draw a simple picture while I write down one sentence about his drawing. For my kindergartener she can also circle the type of activity, weather and rate the date. Additionally there is a space for a picture and sentence prompts for details about each day. For my 2nd grade child, I have the same as the 5 year old but with words rather then emoticons to rate the day.

This year, I bound each of their journals into a fun personal book.  First, I added a blank page to each side of the book.  I then hauled out my sewing machine and stitched one side of the book for a spine. Using a sticky back foam pages, I attached it one to the front and the second to the back to create the cover.  Using patterned duct tape, I reinforced around the outside cover for a finished look. Originally I was just going to tape the spine, however the sticky foam continued have edges that popped up and I figured this would make it easy for children to take the book apart.  So, I ended up taping around each side.

Learning Modules

The teachers are sending home some of the material they are covering in class but this holiday gives me the opportunity come up with create projects and writing prompts for my students. So with that in mind, I created different modules for three children.

1st up is my preschooler.  Found on Mrs. D’s Corner, I absolutely love her morning work binder.  I purchased, downloaded and modified to fit my little one’s needs.  In this binder, I have practice for learning to spell his name, his street address, phone number and understanding weather.  To add to this idea, I designed suitcases that I laminated for all my kids to practice packing according the season, putting the months and days in order and housing their personal information for the velcro sheets.  Towards the back of the binder, I also found some fantastic clip art story boards to use with dry erase markers.

Each of the girls have a binder/folder filled with projects and activities. There is music and movement, a Hawaii Glyph, a short play, reading comprehension for the older and following directions for the younger.  I’ve also included a variety of working with words and language development for each girls designed for their level.  Each girl has a daily activity that I used a few years ago while teaching in Colorado. This one page is chalk filled with daily math uses.  There is number of the day with ten frames, hundred charts, calendar, patters, temperature, clock, analogies and either sentence editing or site word practice.  Then, there is my favorite section, writing lessons.

Writing Projects

During our time away, I have created a variety of writing prompts themed for our time on the island.  There is a prompt for creative stories, procedural writing and comic.  I also created a movie strip from a suitcase to design a picture story.  Each prompt can be used for a variety of levels by offering more or less help when writing stories.  I am also taking a few blank books for when inspiration hits or to save brochures and pictures from the island.

Books

Our evening routine is not complete without story-time.  With that in mind, I looked for island themed books.  Here are some of the Hawaii books we found. Some are on kindle with others are paperback.