Thursday, February 7, 2008

Brainstorming for PreK, part 1

I haven't even finished planning this year yet, but quite honestly my brain is ready to start thinking about something new. Since Benny's Pre-K year is the most up in the air right now, I figured I'd jot down some ideas to pray and consider for a couple of weeks before making a decision. Here's what I know we will use:

Phonics - Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling with Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers, MCP readers, and level 1 readers at the regular and church library. Not much planning is required for this part since I will let Benny set the pace. I would like to make a list of readers and write them in a chart to show roughly where they would correspond to PP. (Otherwise I know my brain will forget them in it's baby-induced state of sleep deprivation).

Handwriting - Benny has been trying to write letters on his own recently but has been a bit frustrated with the results. To help with general pencil/marker control, I believe we'll use Amazing Mazes (Kumon's Practice Books) and My First Book Of Tracing (Kumon Workbooks). Based on Benny's interest we could also use Kumon's My Book of Mazes: Animals (Kumon Workbooks) and/or My Book of Mazes: Things That Go! (Kumon Workbooks). If he continues to be interested in writing letters, we can do some letter tracing with chalk outside on the sidewalk or maybe even painting in an outlined letter on rainy days. Again nothing formal. As many or as few pages a week as Benny is interested in completing. I'm not interesting in pushing handwriting at this point.

Math - This will likely be lots of counting using pennies, m&ms, cheerios, the beads on the abacus, etc. The goal will be counting to 100 by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s similar to what's described in the WTM for Kindergarten. Our other main math focus will be a magnetic calendar. We'll cover days of the week, months of the year, seasons, and number recognition up to 31. I'd like to find a few simple dot-to-dot books for number recognition as well. At various points during the year, I think we'll take a break from counting for other topics like shapes, patterns, names of coins, etc. I'll have to sit down and brainstorm a few more ideas here.

Fine Motor Skills - In addition to the fine motor work under handwriting, I'd like to keep up Benny's progress in cutting. (This is one area that I didn't do a good job at developing in the girls). Kumon has a few more books that we could use: My First Book Of Cutting (Kumon Workbooks), My Book Of Pasting (Kumon Workbooks), and My Book of Pasting: Jigsaw Puzzles (Kumon Workbooks). We'll continue to use these as long as Benny enjoys them and then switch to some simple paper crafts similar to what I used for the coop preschool class I taught last year.

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