Week 1 Preschool & Kindergarten Learning Center: Daily ELA Learning Activities March 30, 2017 Welcome to Week 1 of our teacher-reviewed Preschool & Kindergarten Student Learning Center! We’ve planned out daily activities to last a week. Preschool and kindergarten students may not be very self-sufficient in terms of their learning, but that’s OK. It’s a balance. That’s why our self-guided activities for each day help younger students figure out how to navigate learning developmental markers independently while also balancing parental interaction to help validate their learnings and explain harder concepts. Starting at day 1, we’ve organized 7 themed activities that have self-guided and family-fun components. We also welcome all feedback, ideas, and suggestions about these activities because we’ll be adding a new round next week! Looking for more? Have you seen our Week 2 activities for preschool and kindergarten students? How about Week 3 for more daily activities? Take a look! Day 1: Letter recognition Self-guided activities (with a little parental help): 1. Write each letter of the alphabet on a piece of construction paper. Have kids trace the letters in 3 different color crayons. Then, build words with the letters across the floor. Have kids step on the words and say what letter it is as they step on it. Bonus: they can act out something about the word for an extra energy burn. 2. Using your construction paper letters, get out some modeling dough. Have kids try to form the letters out of dough. Note: wooden sticks work just as well here! 3. Letter Scavenger Hunt. Open a book and have kids pick out all of the A‘s on the first page. The next page can be all of the B‘s. Continue until the end of the book. Start a new book if you haven’t finished the alphabet. 4. Have kids identify the letters on your laptop or computer keyboard. Show them that when you press a letter, it shows it on screen. You can build some of the same words from Activity 1 again here. Family time activity: 1. Play a game: Letter Dice! This game requires a little bit of preparation, but the added tactile element makes it worth it. Put letters on dice (or make some using a template). You can make a variety of letters and use them all at once or swap them out periodically. Be sure to include all five vowels. Make 3–5 dice (you can use the same letter more than once). Roll the dice. Take turns identifying what letters came up and sounding out the letters. Bonus: Have each person volunteer a word that starts with that letter and find the object around the house. Day 2: Kids teaching kids Self-guided activities (with a little parental help): 1. Put these videos on for your child, one at a time. After each video, ask them what the kids in the video talked about. Play the video again and ask a new, more specific question, about the video and what the kids in the video talked about. Video 1: Kids Redefine Nostalgic Words From Your Past Video 2: These Kids Know More About Idioms Than You Do Video 3: Kids Redefine Parenthood Family time activity: 1. Review the slideshow: These Words Help Explain Big Feelings To Kids. 2. Copy down some of the feeling words onto construction paper. Draw faces that reflect the feelings under each word. 3. Watch the videos above again. Ask your child what the kids are feeling at different points in the video. Have them point to the faces/words you drew on paper. This also works for any movie or TV show and allows for some meaningful engagement with screen time. Day 3: Animals Self-guided activities (with a little parental help): 1. Find pictures, stickers, magnets, books, or toys around the house of different animals. Get a piece of masking tape or a sticky note and put it on each animal you’ve found. Write the word for the animal on the tape or sticky note. Hide the animals around a room. Ask your child to go on an animal scavenger hunt. Every time they find one of the animals, ask them to call out its name. Then, ask them to look at the word on the animal and say the first sound in the word. (They can also say the ending sound as well!) Family time activity: 1. Make a list of animals. Make sure there is an animal for every letter of the alphabet (if possible). 2. Cut the list up into little strips of paper. Put the strips into a hat or bucket. 3. Have each family member take turns picking out a strip of paper. Have your child look at the word on the paper and call out the first letters they see. Then help them sound out the beginning or ending sounds of the word on the paper. 4. Now each family member takes turns doing their best impersonation of that animal. Roar! Day 4: Colors Self-guided activities (with a little parental help): 1. Find some masking tape and write different color words on each piece. (Example: green, blue, etc.). Put the pieces of tape on a piece of paper or cardboard. Then, put another set of tape with the same color words onto play cars, blocks, or anything else that exists in all of these colors (example: tape the word green on a green car, red on a red block). Have your kid match the toy with the color word on the cardboard or piece of paper so all the toys line up with their correct color. 2. Color toss. If you have color balls, balloons, socks (anything soft you can throw), put them in a pile. Call out colors and ask kids to throw, kick, or bounce the balls, balloons, or whatever object you choose to you or to each other. Family time activities: 1. Drawing and labeling activity. Ask each person in the family to draw a picture, any picture! Use different color crayons or markers. One picture at a time, start to label the parts of children’s work as they point them out with legible writing, specifically the colors of objects in the picture or the amount of objects in the picture (brown leaf or 2 trees). Bonus: Ask everyone to answer the following questions about their picture: “Is this a story? How does it go?” Write down children’s words and read them back. 2. Play a game! Put color balls or paper pieces with different colors on them into a bag. Pick a color out of a bag but don’t let anyone see what you picked! The person that picked the color should start naming things in the room or house that are that color. The rest of the family has to guess the color. Day 5: Writing Self-guided activities (with a little parental help): 1. Give children non-paper ways to practice writing letters. Draw letters to guess on each other’s backs, on a foggy window, or in sand or dirt. Big muscle movements are great for solidifying learning. 2. Shaving cream writing. A fun activity for writing letters is in shaving cream (or finger paint). You can also put hair gel in a plastic bag and add a bit of food coloring for less mess. A little planning may be necessary before starting this challenge, especially when coming up with a list of age-appropriate words. Cover a cookie sheet or tabletop in shaving cream (make sure it won’t damage the surface—we don’t want you to hate us!). Make a list of letters that are easy for your child to sound out. Have kids write the letters from your list using their fingers to write in the shaving cream or other substance. After each letter, they can “erase” it and start over again. Talk about good, clean fun! Family time activity: 1. Outdoor explorers. Bundle those kiddos up as needed, and then send them into the great outdoors in search of things they can find and describe in five words. Have them identify an outdoor object they want to describe. Write down the most creative words for them that they can think of for each. Have them draw a picture of their object, using some of the words they used to describe it (Example: if they found a leaf and described it as brown, they can color a brown leaf!). Day 6: Learning about adjectives Self-guided activities (with a little parental help): 1. Adjective cloud writing. Take a piece of construction paper (blue preferably) and put white paint in center. Have your child help squeeze the paint out. Fold the paper in half, really squish it together. Open the paper to see your cloud. On the bottom of your cloud paper (or on another piece of paper), write “This is a _______ cloud.” Ask your kid to brainstorm what they think their cloud looks like. Tip: outlining the cloud shape with a black marker might help. (Examples: large, fluffy, white.) Then, either have your child say as many adjectives that describe their cloud as they can think of. Or help them write the words in the blank. 2. Finding things that are the same. Put a pile of random toys on the floor. Ask your kids to pick 2 toys out that are the same in some way. Have them use an adjective to tell you how they are the same. Ask them to pick 2 more toys out that are the same in some way. Have them explain their similarities again. Now ask your child to sort out the entire pile of toys into groups. When they are finished sorting ask them to describe each group. Start again with a new pile of toys or a different set of objects. Family time activity: 1. Play a game: Remember the Adjective! This is a new twist on the classic game of Memory™! Cut up a piece of paper (or several pieces) into squares. Write adjectives on half the squares (example: small). Have your child draw a picture on the other half of the squares that illustrates each adjective (example: your child may draw an ant to represent “small.”) Put the pieces of paper face down on a flat surface. Take turns picking 2 pieces of paper to find the word and matching illustration. Hint: Use your memory to remember where certain cards were placed for your next turn. Keep taking turns until you find all the matches. Day 7: All about me Self-guided activities: 1. Write down the first letter of your child’s name on a piece of construction paper. Make sure the letter takes up the whole sheet of paper. 2. Have your child decorate it. Have them use colors they like or draw objects they like around it. Supply stickers and other craft items you have so they can make it special. 3. Have them explain what they added to their letter. And why it helps describe them as a person. 4. Next, have them tell you their “favorite” letter. (Aside from the letter they just did.) Draw that letter on a piece of paper and go over some objects or words that start with that letter. Have them draw those objects and decorate their favorite letter with colors and stickers again. 5. Mirror fun! Sit in front a mirror together. Take a picture. Print the picture if possible. Then, label the picture with body parts. Otherwise draw a picture of the body parts with labels. Have your child look in the mirror again and start naming their own body parts, based off of the picture. Then, have them draw a picture of their own face or body. Family time activity: 1. Make up a song about you! Have each family member come up with something that they like. Choosing a popular tune or one of your child’s favorites, sing about each person and the thing they like to that tune. (Example: “If you’re happy and you know it” changes to “If you’re ‘Sally’ and you know it, play with cars!”). Looking for more? Have you seen our Week 2 activities for preschool and kindergarten students? How about Week 3 for more daily activities? Take a look!