Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hello 3K!!

The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. John Lubbock -

There's something about the beginning of the school year that I just LOVE!  Making new schedules, buying school supplies, organizing, etc.  It's such a fresh start-more like a new year to me than New Years.  Anyone else with me? 

Since we've started our 3k I also decided to start back blogging.  I love looking back at what we've done and how much "Miss Priss" has grown.  It's also a great way to make new connections and get some great ideas from other moms.  Here are a few things I thought I'd share about what we are doing in 3K this year.

Our "Curriculum":

 In case you are new here we have been doing Tot School and here is my original post on why I feel this is important and works for us.  I feel that the best way to "educate" your child at a young age is just to spend intentional time with them.  So here we are "Miss Priss" still technically 3 and has 2 more years before starting Kindergarten.  I wanted something that focused more on letters but (as always) still wanted to keep it simple and fun.   Therefore, this year we will be using Letter of the Week by Confessions of a Homeschooler.  So far I'm loving it!  It's well organized yet still flexible and there are SO many activities in which to pick and choose!

While LOTW does include weekly memory verses, we are using Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson for our Bible verses/character education instead. I love that this has a weekly character trait and family way, daily Bible scriptures and a coloring book!  We usually do our morning devotion Bible time right after breakfast then just review our memory verse and family way during our 3K time.  (Side note:  I also just recently discovered Character Concepts for Preschoolers which looks really great.  It may be something we try in the future.)

Our Schedule:

While almost all of the LOTW course can be downloaded for free, I went ahead and purchased the instant download which comes with lesson plans. Basically my method of teaching is "I do, we do, you do."  So I've made my own all-in-one lesson plan/schedule to reflect this:

We are doing 3K Monday-Wednesday from 9:00-11:00.
 Thursday is our "field trip" day and then Fridays we are using just to review or catch up as we want.  

Here's a brief description of our schedule:

Carpet Time-  We go over the calendar, days of the week, ABCs, counting, colors, and shapes. Then a little 5 minute or so lesson ("I do") on what letter, shape, or number we are focusing on that week.

 Table Time:  This is their guided practice ("we do").   It could be a coloring/tracing sheet, cut/paste activity, art, tactile activity, etc.

Box/Tray Time:  This is their individual ("you do") work.  They usually require little supervision.  Depending on the activity some work better in a tray, some a box!   (Learn more about Tot Trays or Workboxes.) I have 6 tray/boxes a week.  I introduce 2 each day and once they are introduced they can go back and choose which one they want to work on. They can pull the tray/box and take it to any area in our room to work.

Snack/Story:  They eat, I read :)

Music: Monday we sing/dance with CDs, Tuesday they explore some musical "instruments" and Wednesday we come upstairs to the piano and I play, they sing.

Centers/Review:  This time is used to reinforce and review our concept for the day and is usually in a center - technology, blocks, puzzles, reading, art, etc.

This schedule has worked great for us the first week.  It has just enough transitions and movement to keep them on-task yet not bored!

Our Room:

Here is what the main area of our "school room" looks like:

Our carpet time is done in front of the right wall where we have our ABCS, numbers, colors, shapes, calendar, season chart, weather chart, and weekly learning board.  Pretty much all of these are included in the LOTW course.

Here's an up close pic of our Weekly Learning Board.  This is something that just helps keep us on track and is a great visual. It includes our character trait, memory verse, a nursery rhyme/poem, letter, number and shape of the week.

Our Trays/Boxes are stored in the middle of this shelving.  I would love to have some nice shelving from IKEA but this was given to me for free and so I painted it and it serves it's purpose! We also have our Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom tree next to it. 

Behavior Management:

The last thing I wanted to share with you is our behavior management.  Since this is not only our "school room" but also the playroom, I needed to lay some ground rules and distinguish between when we were doing 3K and when we are just downstairs playing!  First of all, the area you see pictured is a part of a larger room and is off-limits unless it is 3K time.  During that time we have our classroom rules or expectations which I found here.

I love these because they are simple, relate to the 5 senses and have pictures!  I also have up a red light and both "Miss Priss" and "Sour Patch" start out each day on green.  First time is just a verbal warning and they move to yellow.  After that they are placed in time-outs. 

That's an overview of our 3K!  Our first week doing letter "A" was very successful and I'll share more about it later!  In the meantime, anyone else using LOTW?  Or maybe even another form of 3K, Tot School, etc?  If so, I'd love to hear about it!