September is finally here which means we are in full back to school mode. We are busy, busy, busy, learning and playing every day which means we have LOTS to share!
My girls are now 16 months and 3 (almost 4) so this year we are switching from our Tot School curriculum to Baby Bins for little miss Aubrey (which I will share later this week) and Preschool for Madelynn.
Because Madelynn has a November birthday she misses the cut off for preschool around here…and I am totally cool with having her home with me for another year 😉 )But she is so interested in learning letters, numbers, and all kinds of good stuff so I want to take full advantage of that!
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**
This week we started with a fall favorite, Apples! Here were our plans for the week:
And here are the details for each activity:
Concepts of Print:
This year we will be upping our read aloud game by practicing lots of comprehension, vocabulary and print concepts. Our first read aloud was Apples, Apples, Apples By Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. Before reading I gave Madelynn sticky notes to label the front and back cover.
Apple Life Cycle:
Our next read aloud was I Am an Apple by Jean Marzollo. This book describes the life cycle of an apple from the beginning to end. Afterwards we practiced retelling the life cycle using picture cards.
Apple Parts Vocabulary:
For more nonfiction learning, we read Apples by Gail Gibbons. This book has a lot of great information, but we focused mainly on the diagram of the inside of an apple. Afterwards we used apple picture and word cards to match and discuss the parts of an apple.
Our next story was Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss. Before reading, we practiced answering questions and making predictions.
I asked “After looking at the cover, what do you think this story will be about?”
Madelynn: “3 animals are friends and they are going to the park.”
Then I asked: “What makes you say that?”
Madelynn: “Because they are holding hands like I do with my friends.”
Madelynn has been very interested in pointing to the words in stories while I read to her each night, so for our last book each week we are going to be using emergent readers to begin tracking print. One of my favorite sets is Abby’s Alphabet Book Series which includes one book for every letter because the pictures are bright and easy to identify, and there is only one word on each page. This week Madelynn identified the picture then pointed to each word as she read.
Apple Sand Tray:
Our first literacy activity this week was an apple themed sand tray. Madelynn used small apple cards as a model and chose which letters she wanted to practice. We started with our focus letter A for apple, then practiced M for her name and A for her sister Aubrey before trying lots of new letters.
Apple Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make an A. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase a’s in the tree, stamp them and make the a sound each time.
Apple Sound Sort:
First, I printed out apples with pictures that started with the “a” sound and other sounds. Madelynn said each word then sorted them into “a” and “not a” baskets based on the beginning sound. Next, she completed a cut and paste version of the same activity to show what she learned.
Apples Up on Top Name Craft:
I’m super excited about this next activity. We are going to be doing a different name craft each week to perfect our cutting abilities, learn our name, letters and practice writing! This week Madelynn did an apples up on top themed craft and stacked the apple letters to form her name. She cut out the cute little girl and I cut the apples to save her from getting too frustrated.
Apple Journal Writing:
For our last literacy activity each week, we are going to be writing in a preschool journal about our learning. This week Madelynn chose to draw and label the parts of an apple. I encouraged her to write the first sound then she drew scribble lines for the rest of the words. Not bad for her first attempt at journal writing!
Apple Count and Color:
This week for math we focused on counting and identifying numbers to 5. We started with this color by code activity. Madelynn counted the dots then had to follow the directions to make each spot the correct color. After counting a few sets she got really good at quickly identifying how many dots were in each set just by looking at them.
Apple Mystery Numbers:
To prep this activity I used dry erase markers to draw a tree top and number apples on our clear tray. Then I cut a paper towel tube in half lengthwise for the trunk, and poured green sand on top of the numbers for the tree top. I gave Madelynn a small paintbrush and she carefully dusted off the “leaves” to uncover each apple and read the numbers.
Apple Number Hunt:
Madelynn LOVED our letter and number hunts this past year in tot school, so we will definitely be adding them into our preschool plans. Instead of finding and matching the numbers to her paper, I made the activity a bit more challenging by putting dots on our hidden apples. Madelynn had to find each apple, count the dots, find the number on her page and color it the matching color. So many skills at work!
Apple Ten Frames:
We used these ten frames for LOTS of math practice this week. First, Madelynn identified the large number. Then I planned to have her make it with play dough, but she wasn’t in the play dough mood, so we moved on to counting the apples in the ten frame. Next, she used a dry erase marker to practice writing the number, and finally used tweezers to grab and count out pom pom “apples” to put on the tree.
Apple Count & Stack:
For this math game we started by rolling lots of small balls of red and green play dough for our “apples.” then Madelynn rolled a die and counted out that many apples and tried to stack them up. Then she rolled again and added that number of apples to her stack. She continued rolling until her tower fell over.
Apple Parts Labeling:
I’m excited about trying to incorporate more intentional science concepts into our learning this year with preschool. After reading about the parts of an apple we did this labeling activity with a real apple. I printed the words on cardstock then attached them to toothpicks to stick into each part. Great hands on learning!
Apple Tree Collage:
Of course we will be including art projects in our plans each week as well, so this week we made a fun apple tree collage. First I gave Madelynn strips of brown paper and she glued them together to make a tree. Next she used a leaf shaped sponge to stamp green leaves on the branches. Finally she glued red buttons on top for apples.
Apple Sensory Bin:
We will also be doing 2 sensory bins each week. This one was one of our favorites from Tot School last year, but I added in puzzle letters to practice letter id and word building as well.
Apple Labeling Craft:
For this craft Madelynn first painted an entire paper plate red. Then after it dried, she cut out and added the parts of the apple. And finally she glued words on to label each part.
Apple Picking Sensory Bin:
In this bin: red and green pom poms, small cardboard boxes, toilet paper tube and cardstock trees with velcro dots, tweezers
If you are looking for all of the plans and printables for this week’s theme I will be posting them soon! If you’d like to be notified as soon as they are available please subscribe to my newsletter (in the sidebar to the right) and/or join our Tot School and Preschool Facebook group here:
And that’s it for this week. I can’t wait to share all of our learning and fun with you this year! Here are our tentative plans for weekly themes if you want to follow along!