Tot Preschool Week 23: All Around The World ( Part 1 )

Take a trip with us! This week, the kids and I “traveled” the world and learned about a few different countries, as well as our own state, North Carolina! We grabbed our passports and took off to 4 different countries to learn about their culture, their people, foods, and more. As we traveled around the world, we also continued to work on our basic math skills, handwriting, and phonics. Here is what our ” Around The World Part 1 ” week looked like:

 

Letter of the Day: Oo
Shape of the Week: Oval
Storytime: ” The Colors of Us ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song ( If this is your first time here, the kids always start their day by watching this video. Letterland is a unique, phonics-based approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling to 3-8 year olds. This video displays each letter of the alphabet with its matching Letterland character, sound, and hand gesture. The program can be a bit expensive for the average homeschooling family, so for now, we are only using the resources that are available online and some extra materials I kept from my time teaching. I fully credit this program with helping Jack and Lyanna learn their letter sounds! )

2. Letter Oo Review With Dry Erase Boards ( For this portion our Letterland time, the kids use their own dry erase boards to write the letter of the day. They first direct me on how to form each letter. They tell me where to start and how each letter, lower and uppercase, should be formed. This short activity gives us a chance to review our letter formation each day. Plus, the best way to learn something is to try to teach it, right? The kids love “teaching” me and this is also a great way for them to learn how to use kind words in order to help someone. )

3. Write The Room ( This quick activity has been a part of our classroom routine for several months now and the kids love it! Using their clipboards, a piece of paper, and a pencil, the kids walk around the room and hunt for letters to write. Some times they are free to write whatever letters they choose, while other times I write letters on their papers for them to find. Today was a mixture of both. Write The Room is an activity that allows the kids to work on their handwriting, while not being expected to sit at a desk or table. )

4. Short A Pocket Chart Activity ( We continued our work with Short A words today. The kids have been learning how to sound out short words less past few weeks and they are doing amazing with the process. First, I present one word to the them at a time. We go letter by letter and identify each sound in a given word. We then blend these sounds together and ta-da, we’re reading the word! This is an activity that I still have to be pretty hands on with, but they are getting the process of breaking down a word and trying their best to sound in out for themselves. This activity may seem advanced for 3 year olds, but it’s all in what your end goal is. Our goal here is just to expose the kids to this process and give them the experience and tools they will one day need to do this on their own. Once we have gone over each of our three words together, each of the kids try their hand at point to the letters, stating each sound they see, and sounding the word out for themselves. If they get stuck, they have their buddy there to help them along the way. )

5. Daily ASL ( The kids and I have been working on learning American Sign Language for several months now. There are NUMEROUS benefits to kids learning sign language! From strengthening their small hand muscles ( fine motor skills ) to exercising their brains and memory, learning sign language is a powerful tool that every parent and educator should take advantage of. We will be focusing on these three sign cards this week. These are a bit more challenging than what we are previously been exposed to, so we’ll be using all of our ASL time this week to master these signs. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of sign language, click here for a great article about these benefits and resources for you to take advantage of.  )

Concept Activity:

1. United States Discussion with Globe ( To begin our ” All Around The World ” unit, we first pulled out our classroom globe and talked about this amazing tool. What is a globe? What does it show us? Where do we live? After this brief introduction, we then moved on to talking about where the United States was and which part of this country we live in.

Next, the kids and I pulled out our ” Exploring The USA ” large board book and took a look at the features of our country. This unit presents the kids with an opportunity to learn about the various cultures, people, and places of our world, but it also gives us a chance to introduce, learn about, and use maps for the first time! We took this time to study these large maps of our country and identify where we live. )

2. United States of America and Capitals Video for Kids ( This video features a song about the states and capitals of the USA. While I don’t expect the kids to magically learn their states and capitals from watching this video, I thought it would be a fun and interesting way for them to see and hear the many states in our country. I kept the kids on their toes by asking them to look out for their own state of North Carolina and point out when they saw it come up. )

Centers:

1. Reading ( If this is your first time reading about our curriculum, this portion of our day is full of activities based on and around the different subject areas. We also use our Centers time to incorporate our theme of the week. We begin each Centers time with an Independent Reading corner. Using the books in our book baskets, the kids look at and “read” to themselves or each other.

This reading time has been essential to helping Lyanna and Jack learn how to use a book, identify aspects of a book, and gain the ability to learn and explore on their own. Even though they are unable to read the words, they both understand that you start from the cover page and work your to the end, the pictures SHOW what the words are SAYING, and can identify the parts of a book, such as cover, title page, etc. )

2. Passports ( If we are going to be traveling around the world, we obviously need our passports! I found several templates online for printing off and creating your passports, but I decided to create our own versions for our unit. If you aren’t interested in making your own, here is a link to an amazing ( and FREE! ) passport template that I would highly recommend!

Since we aren’t leaving the states today, the kids and I worked to assemble our passports, fill out our personal information, and attach our pictures that we took last week. Each page of our passports feature a small version of each country we will be visiting. As we begin each day, we will add a little stamp to our page. How fun! )

3. Reading: All About North Carolina ( We are learning all about the USA today, as well as our home state of North Carolina. Over the summer, I found this book in the Hot Buy section at Target for $1 ! If you shop at Target and are an educator of any kind, I would highly recommend checking out this section. They have tons of classroom supplies, materials and resources, as well as all kinds of knick knacks for organization for the classroom! We ALWAYS stock up on their educational materials from this section because of the amazing deals.

This book has a small section about our state that we read over and discussed together. As you can see, we also got to view and talk about the awesome state map for NC as well! )

4. North Carolina Video for Kids

5. Art Center: United States Coloring Sheet ( Here is a link to another version of this coloring sheet. )

6. Free Exploration ( At the end our Centers time, the kids enjoy ” Free Exploration “. This time is reserved for the kids to be kids! They can choose whatever toy, book, or game they want and spend this time playing together, or on their own. This is preschool after all and play is a powerful and necessary aspect for this age group. We usually spend about 30 to 45 minutes playing, but some days allow for us to have more time to explore our classroom. I try to keep an eye on how the kids are playing and if we need a change-up.

There are times where Lyanna and Jack aren’t interested in playing on their own and what me to play with them as well. During these times, we pull out a game to play together, select a few books to read, do a little workout, explore items in our Science Center, or have a dance party. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. Our journaling time is something that we all look forward to during our day. I try to change-up what we are doing in our journals each day, but there is always a writing element. This is yet another opportunity for the kids to get practice in handwriting and letter formation. It is also another opportunity for them to be creative and draw or color something related to our learning for the day. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

1. Wright Brothers Video  ( We learned a little about the Wright brothers earlier in the day during our video about North Carolina. We used our End of the Day time to learn a bit more about these people and their achievements. This video focuses on their life and journey to having the first successful flight in Kitty Hawk. If you are interested in watching this video with your kids, please note that the Wright brothers had a sad childhood ( their mother dies, dropping out of school, etc. ) and you may want to skip the first portion of the video as we did. )

2. Popsicle Airplanes ( Since we were talking about the Wright brothers, it only made sense for us to create our very own airplanes! These airplanes are simply to put together and the kids were able to decorate and design them however they wished. To create one of these planes for yourself, you will need:

2 Large Popsicle Sticks
1 Clothespin
1 Medium Popsicle Stick
1 Small Popsicle Stick ( whole or broken in half )
1 Pony Bead ( color of your choosing )
Hot Glue Gun and Glue
Markers, Crayons, or Stickers ( to decorate )

First, color and design each part of your plane. Next, attach the two large popsicle sticks to the clothespin. Attach the medium popsicle stick to the other end of the clothespin and the small popsicle to the front of the clothespin. Finally add the pony bead to the front of the small popsicle stick. )

Letter of the Day: Pp
Shape of the Week: Oval
Storytime: ” Wombat Stew ”

Letterland: 

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Pp Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room ( Each day brings a new ” Letter of the Day “. Our Write The Room time this week will be spent having the kids hunt for the letters of the day and a few of their own choice. Today, we are hunting for Monday’s letter of the day and today’s letter, the letter Pp. )

4. Short A Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( And we’re off! Today we are exploring Australia. We started our journey by first getting our passports stamped. )

2. Australia Discussion with Globe and Chart ( Next on our journey, we found Australia on our globe, reviewed a map of what this country looks like, and viewed some beautiful pictures online. )

3. Australia Video for Kids ( Much like our video from yesterday, the kids enjoyed this video about the states of Australia. From this video, we learned that Australia is made up of 6 states. )

Centers:

1.  Reading

2. Writing Center: My Itsy Bitsy Australia Book ( We found these adorable mini books from Kid Zone. com and you can click here to get your own free printable book. 

Lyanna and Jack first colored each of their pages. As they worked, we talk about the video we watched, what we learned from our reading about Australia, what we saw in the photos, and so on. I like to get the kids to chat about what we are learning as we are working and exploring. Reviewing a concept is necessary when learning, but it doesn’t have to be a sit down and chat set up. I like to just talk with the kids and have casual conversations. I feel that this strategy eliminates any anxiety or pressure the kids may feel when you ask ” What did you learn? “. )

3. Puzzles

4. Put Them In The Ocean Math Game ( Since Australia is home to the Great Barrier Reef, we played this fun, ocean themed math game. To create this game, we simply used a blue piece of construction paper and added a few green strips of paper, ocean themed figurines, and dice. 

The kids took turns rolling the dice. The number that turned up is the amount of ocean figurines they added to our ocean mat. Once each of the kids got a turn adding figurines to the mat, when then worked backwards! They would then roll to determine how many figurines they needed to take OFF the mat. And then we continued to go back and forth.

This game is an exercise in counting, but it also presents addition and subtraction concepts to the kids without them even knowing! )

5. Free Exploration 

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Design Your Own Boomerang ( Ever wondered what you could do with the back cardboard from old notebooks? Here is a simple project idea for the kids! We have tons of this thin cardboard left over from our notebooks, so we were eager to finally use some it.

Using our cardboard, I drew an outline of a boomerang on two separate pieces and added a very simple design. The kids used markers and crayons to design and decorate their own boomerangs. Once they were done creating, I cut their boomerangs out and we tried our hand at using them! )

Letter of the Day: Qq
Shape of the Week: Oval
Storytime: ” Strega Nona ” ( Click here for a Read-A-Loud of this amazing story )

Letterland: 

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Qq Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room ( Our Write The Room time today was spent hunting for the letters Oo, Pp, and Qq, as well as one letter of their choosing. )

4. Short A Pocket Chart Activity ( The kids have truly taken to this activity. They each love getting a turn at sounding out the words and trying their hand at reading these words on their own. )

5. Daily ASL ( We continue working on the signs for ” I love you” , ” What is wrong? “, and ” How do you feel? “. )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( We continue our ” All Around The World ” journey today in Italy ! )

2. Italy Discussion with Globe and Chart

3. Italy Video For Kids ( This video series is amazing for little ones learning about different countries! The series features two children traveling around the world and learning all about the countries they are visiting. For this episode, the kids are in Italy learning about and touring the Leaning Tower of Pisa. )

Centers:

1. Reading ( One of my favorite parts of our days <3 . )

2. Science Center: Observational Drawings of the Leaning Tower of Pisa ( Observational drawings are an activity that we implement in our classroom quite often. They are a great way to get kids to really look at something and study the many details and aspects of an object.

Drawing is a method of researching, investigating, developing and communicating ideas. We use this method to be creative, focus on fine motor skills, and study any given subject area. Today, we explore and study the Leaning Tower of Pisa. )

3. Little Chefs: Pizzelles ( We got in the kitchen today and make some delicious Italian cookies: Pizzelles! These yummy treats were easy to make and the kids love cooking in the kitchen. 

To make your own Pizzelles, you will need:

A Pizzelle Maker
2 Cups of Flour
3 Eggs
1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract or Anise Extract ( Lemon is delicious as well! )
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter
1 Cup of Sugar
1 tsp of Salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl using a mixer. Heat up your Pizzelle maker and drop small portions into both side of the maker. Be sure to read your instructions for your Pizzelle maker to determine exactly how long to cook them for. These yummy treats were a perfect end to the first half of our day! )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the entries we made today in our journals. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Construction Paper Pizzas ( To end our tour of Italy, the kids completed this writing prompt and craft project. Using glue sticks, the kids attached their desired toppings to their pizzas.

Once their pizzas were complete, we talked about what they enjoyed on the pizzas they actually eat. I wrote their answers in the space below for the kids. As we progress throughout our first school year, the kids will be given this writing task. )

Letter of the Day: Rr
Shape of the Week: Oval
Storytime: ” Tim O’Toole and The Wee Folk ”

Letterland: 

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Rr Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room

4. Short A Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( We continue working on the signs for ” I love you” , ” What is wrong? “, and ” How do you feel? “. )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( Today, we travel to Ireland ! )

2. Ireland Discussion with Globe and Chart  

3.Tour of Ireland with a Drone ( This video of Ireland is fantastic! The footage is from a drone, so it shows the beautiful landscape of Ireland. I would highly recommend giving this video a view! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Art Center: Flag of Ireland Creations and Irish Knots Coloring Sheets ( Using square pieces of orange and green construction paper, the kids creating their own flags of Ireland.

I created the outline for this project and then the kids got to work added the colors using their glue sticks. To create the colored squares for this project, I cut strips of construction paper. Jack and Lyanna then got in some scissors practice by cutting these strips into squares for us to use.

The second project we did in our Art Center today was this Irish Knot coloring sheet. There are plenty of sheets like this you can find online to print off, but I just created these on my own for the kids to color. )

3. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Shamrock Dot Marker Paintings ( These beautiful pieces of art were so easy to create and the kids loved creating them!

To create these shamrock pictures, all you need is a shamrock cut out, dot markers or stamps, and a plain sheet of white paper. We attached the shamrock cut out to the center of the piece of paper using a small piece of tape in the center. The kids used our green dot markers to stamp around and all over the cut out. When they were finished, we removed the cut out to reveal a beautiful, uncolored shamrock. )

Letter of the Day: Ss
Shape of the Week: Oval
Storytime: ” The Little Hippo ”

Letterland: 

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Ss Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room

4. Short A Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( We finished off our week with a bit more practice with these three signs. )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( Our final destination this week is Egypt! )

2. Egypt Discussion with Globe and Chart

3. Egypt Video for Kids 

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Science Center: Pyramid Building and Investigation With Sugar Cubes and Colored Water ( Our Science Center was open today for some building, investigating, exploring, and playing! Using sugar cubes, the kids constructed their very own pyramids. We counted how many cubes we used, compared Jack’s amount of cubes to Lyanna’s, and used our magnifying glasses to get a closer look at our pyramids. 

Next, the kids used our drops to color their pyramids using colored water. Finally, we watched as our pyramids started to collapse and erode from the use of our water. )

3. Writing Center: Sandwriting ( Since Egypt is full of sand, it was only natural that we had fun with it! Using our sand and a tray, along with our alphabet cards, the kids set out and practiced their letter formation using their fingers. ) 

4. Free Exploration

5.  Our Weekly Word Wall ( As we work our way through a unit every week, the kids select certain words to add to our word wall. These are the words Lyanna and Jack selected for our word wall this week. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the entries we made today in our journals. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Science Center: Mummy Excavation ( The kids LOVE these excavation projects and have been begging to do more since our ” Dinosaurs ” week. We bought these mummy sets from Target’s Hot Buy section, but you can make your own sets and they are incredibly easy! You can find the supplies and steps here.

The kids use their tools, a play hammer, and some water to dig out their special treasures. Once we unearth our ancient artifacts, the kids then use their science brushes to wash off any remaining dirt. )

Part 1 of our ” All Around The World ” unit was so much fun and the kids really learned a lot about other countries, as well as their own home state. Next week, the kids and I will be learning about France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and England. We are all looking forward to another wonderful week exploring different countries! Monday will also be a big day for us as it is our 100th day of school. We’ll be taking a break from our school work and exploring so we can have a special treat to celebrate!

Brittany XOXO

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