Tot School – Letter K

We spent two weeks on Letter K — a week of keys, kangaroos, koalas, and kittens.

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We focus on a letter every week and do fun activities based on that letter.  I set six “Tot Trays” up for my son to play with and learn as the week progresses.

Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed by the Tot Tray Switch when we change our letter of the week — which is about every two weeks. I keep finding so many fantastic ideas from so many amazing mama bloggers that I want to do them all. I went along with it for a while, to try to bust out massive creativeness every couple weeks, but it was too much.  I want to keep things simple and consistent and have now found a nice balance for making my son’s tot trays.

I had a six-tray set-up in the kitchen, with six trays from Oriental Trading.  Promoting the four Montessori principles: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

However….

I decided to only put out one tray this time.  I still put them all together at the beginning of my letter switch (and put them on the top of a bookshelf), but have only given him one on his shelf at a time.  This has really helped with keeping my son’s interest.  We play it together for two days and I leave it out on our shelf for him to play independently for a day or two.  Then we will move on to the next one that I have made.

It is important to follow your child’s lead for learning!

It looks empty!  Some children would thrive with all six trays, keeping them orderly and setting them back up after playing with one.  But my son needed less in front of him.  He came over to a single tray — in three days — more times than when he had all six trays on the shelf to choose from.  This was a Montessori lesson for me!  Children thrive with less choice and they will be creative and engage themselves with less!

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Popsicle stick shapes from Moms Have Questions Too.

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Filling in shapes with blocks (a great mathematics and spatial activity!) from All Our Days.  I couldn’t believe how much John loved this.  We did all the cards in one sitting and he kept asking to do it again.  I got the little cubes, that don’t fit perfectly but they work, from the Dollar Store.  They are small, so we could only do this when the baby was sleeping or not playing with us.

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I saw this fun magnet stick from Memorizing the Moments and wanted to get one!  It was $2.99 at Amazon!  A fun introduction to magnetism!  (Disclosure: there are affiliate links in this post.)

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John does not really like to “lace”, no matter how often I promote it or put a lacing card out.  But Michelle at Delightful Learning had such a fun idea — to get these links and put them in the holes — John loved this!!

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Practicing his colors. I cut his color cards out and put them on his tray with the corresponding colored crayon. He loved it again this week!  We have these Crayola triangular crayons which I love and are worth the extra dollar.

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Math work with 1:1 correspondence using pom-pom magnets.

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schedule

I made this schedule to organize our Tot School time, according to the Montessori principles: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

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You can read my post about it and download the free Tot School Planning Form here.

language

Bible verse of the week:

Be kind to one another.  Ephesians 4:32

We had a lot of use out of this bible verse this week!

We use the ABC bible verse songs from Songs for Saplings.  These songs are so catchy, beautiful, not “children’s music annoying,” and I find myself singing and learning and memorizing the bible verses along with John.  Carisa at 1plus1plus1equals1 has made coordinating ABC Bible Verses posters which have really helped with his memorization as well.  

We put up our bible verse, a Kk small poster from Tot School, a Kk sign from my Kindergarten teaching days, and these wonderful Montessori sandpaper letters.  We put these up on the wall so he could feel the letter every morning and trace his fingers on the letter.

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Letter of the week: Kk

Our curriculum consists of 1plus1plus1equals1‘s Tot School ABC’s.

John has really gotten the hang of tracing!!  We do this with dry erase markers and heavy duty sheet protectors.  Erasing is a handy practical life skill as well!

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Do-A-Dot markers on his K is for Keys pages.  I was fiddling with my camera and got a very shaky shot.

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Stickers on his Letter K.  This is a great way to learn “inside” and “outside” too — he kept joking that he was going to put a sticker outside the K — he thought it was a hoot.

DSC03996 Shadow matching his keys and Kk.DSC03994 The K was a real breakthrough with the puzzle.  He understood that there is a circle around the picture that needs to be connected!  He did this several times without help!DSC03991

Letter Review:

We reviewed all of our letters so far with their bible verses.

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And we watched LeapFrog Letter Factory with his magnet board and all his uppercase letters so far.

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Book of the week:

The Little Kitten by Phoebe and Judy Dunn

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My son loves all of these books.  The whole series is so wonderful.  The photographs are stunning and they always have a cute and believable storyline about a young child and their journey with a lovable little animal.  This book focused on a little girl and her little kitten named Pickle.

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  • I set a new Schleich kitten out in our sensory bin (which is below) and John slept with him every night.
  • We made sure to read the book at least twice a day.
  • We focused on vocabulary and manners in the book.


math

Working with his Magneatos.  This is a battleship (Dad has some influence here) : )
DSC03501Thinking about what to build next.  This really was a magnet week!DSC03500
 And John loved his pattern blocks and the free pattern block puzzles that I downloaded and printed from PreKinders!
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A yellow split pea letter K sensory bin
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He loved all of the animals in this bin and decided to just put them to sleep in their “soft bed”. : )

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weeklycraft

We cut out some simple kangaroos from my Abeka craft books – he loved them and carried them around the house everywhere.  I had wanted to make this amazing kangaroo and pouch from Simply Home, but decided that we would do it when he is older, when we do My Father’s World for Kindergarten, or I just didn’t find the time to craft these past two weeks — these two are keeping me on my toes — and it has been way too nice to stay cooped up inside for long!
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I hope you have a wonderful week,

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Comments

  1. says

    We have started Tot School with my 2 year old daughter & I am just soaking in all your great activities! For the past few weeks I have been putting out every tray, but I think I may have to scale back and put 1 or 2 out like you have done to keep her from hiding items/ destorying them/ or doing them without me! Ha! You can see our tot school happenings at School Time Snippets!

  2. getmovingfitness2013 says

    I am looking forward to doing all sorts of letter bins this summer. So much fun!

  3. Mistie says

    Thank you for sharing about how you simplified your tot trays. I realized early on that having 6 trays out for my son was too much for him. We have been happy working one at the time for a while now. Just glad to hear more confirmation that it is not abnormal :)

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