March 31

Tuesday March 31, 2020

Good morning families!

As I’ve been thinking about what essential skills are needed to continue to help your kids maintain their learning and even grow some skills – I keep coming back to their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills refer to the small and tiny muscles in your child’s hands. These muscles are important to keep strong for them to be successful in all grades of school and to be strong enough to do writing. So what’s something everyone can use to have strong muscles in their hands?

Playdoh! Playdoh is a GREAT thing for children to use to build these muscles. If you already have playdoh at home, GREAT! Go ahead and have your child use that. If you do NOT have playdoh at home, here is a recipe you can use to make it, right in your kitchen. Have your child help you with the measuring and pouring of ingredients as you make it.

In a pot on the stove, pour 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of oil, and a few drops of food coloring. (If you don’t have food coloring, that’s ok! Just leave it out of the recipe.) This part is just for the grown ups: Heat the liquids in pan up until it is hot… but not boiling.

Next, in a bowl on the counter your child can help measure and pour 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt and 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar (again if you don’t have cream of tartar… you can leave it out or use lemon juice instead if you have that.)

A grown up can pour the hot water into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix it up.

Once the dough is cool enough to touch, your child can help with mixing and kneading the dough on the table or countertop.

Make sure when you’re not using the playdoh, you store it in an airtight container… preferably a bowl with a lid, but you can also store it in a ziploc bag.

Once the playdoh is cool enough and mixed enough to touch and use, have your child roll the dough into lines and curves to make letters and/or numbers… like this…

Have your child use the playdoh to make their own first and last name as well as the names of others who live in your house. Have them make numbers and shapes too! Most importantly, have fun!

Don’t forget to send pictures of your child’s playdoh creations to Ms. Laurus.

We will Zoom at 3:00 PM today! I can’t wait to see everyone!

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March 26

Thursday March 26, 2020

Good morning families!

Today we are going to do a story… along with some writing/drawing. There is a story that has been a favorite of all three of my daughters throughout their lives. It is also an all time favorite of mine! Recently, there was a video made using a puppet to retell the story, and this person does puppets way better than I ever could! We are going to watch a video retelling of this book:

After your child watches the video, give them paper, pencil and crayons/markers so they can draw a picture of their favorite part of the story. Have your child tell you about their picture and what they liked most and write their words at the bottom of their picture. Send me some pictures! The pictures I have been getting are FANTASTIC!

Here is the link for the story:

One last thing, I will send a link on remind for a Zoom story time this afternoon at 3:00 PM again! “See” you all then!

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March 25

Wednesday March 25, 2020

Good morning families!

Today I am going to challenge everyone with the task of letting your kids get a little messy… while at the same time… being clean! For today, find some shaving cream in your house and put a squirt of it right onto either a table or some kind of plastic placemat. Then, voila! Your kids can literally dig right in with their hands and get to work!

While using the shaving cream, encourage your child to draw letters (specifically their own name but also the names of other people in your home), numbers, shapes, people, anything they want to draw.

My name in shaving cream!

At my house, my kids started out with using their finger to draw/write… they then started using the eraser side of a pencil to make their letters in the shaving cream. We also have these little foam blocks (from Dollar Tree) that stick together great when you use shaving cream to put them together!

My 4 year old daughter Ellie spreading the shaving cream onto foam blocks to make them “stick” together.
My 9 year old daughter’s creation… also using toothpicks.

Check out my YouTube video on writing your first and last name in the shaving cream….

Last but not least… we will do a new story on Zoom today! We will meet on Zoom at 3:00 PM. Parents, please join the meeting via the link on Remind a few minutes before 3:00 PM and make sure you allow both video and microphone so you can see and hear me. “See” you all at 3:00 today!

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March 24

Tuesday March 24, 2020

Good Morning families!

For today’s activities we are going to look at math…. more specifically, making patterns! You can use just about anything you have at your house to do this. For example, you can use coins (quarters, nickels, dimes, pennies), colorful cereal (like Fruit Loops), crayons, toys… anything you can think of.

Start off by having your child make a simple pattern:

This pattern is blue, green, blue, green, blue, green, blue, green….. You could do penny, quarter, penny, quarter, penny, quarter if using coins.

If a simple pattern is easy for your child, they can make a slightly more complex pattern:

After that, you can make it increasingly more complex per your child’s current ability level. If using crayons/markers… your child can create patterns on paper by drawing a circle of one color, then a circle of another color – and draw the pattern out. Don’t forget to send me pictures of your patterns!

Your child can also visit this website and play this pattern game online today: https://www.abcya.com/games/fuzz_bugs_patterns

To get some physical activity in, have your child follow along to this video…. we have done this lots of time in class so they are familiar with it.

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March 23

Monday March 23, 2020

Good morning families!

Due to the fact it is taking hours to upload videos to YouTube… and Google is requiring people to create a GMail account, I am going to be using an app called Zoom to be able to see your kiddos live and in real time. To start out with, I’ll be reading them stories this way. So if you can please download (for free) the Zoom app and get it set up, this will help you/your child be able to quickly click the link to get video and voice access into storytime.

Please download this app

I am still working on setting up a consistent time to do this. For today, let’s plan for an evening story at 5:00 PM. (I’ll send the link to join on Remind.) Make sure you allow access to video and microphone so you’re able to see and hear me.

In the meantime, here is a fun activity to do today! Enjoy! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s videos on Remind later today.

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March 19

Thursday March 19, 2020

Good morning everyone!

First, thank you so much to everyone who figured out how to join my video chat this morning! It truly made my heart so happy to be able to see you guys and your amazing kids! This is a new platform that I am also still figuring out how to use, so bear with me while I figure it out with you.

Today’s assignment is a fun one! We are going on a (virtual) field trip to the zoo!

Click this link so you can see elephants, giraffes, rhinos, ants, chimpanzees & gorillas on a live web cam daily until 7:00 PM central time.

https://www.houstonzoo.org/explore/webcams/

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March 18

Live Video Chat!

Please complete these steps before 10:00 AM on Thursday March 19, 2020. I think it will be best to do this on your personal device/phone until we get all the kinks worked out and figure this out.


Step 1: Visit the App Store or Google Play

 
Step 2: Download the app Google Hangouts

Step 3: 

If you already have a gmail e-mail, log in to the Google Hangouts App with your gmail username and password.

If you do NOT have a gmail email, you will be asked to create a google email address/username and password.  Once you create your account, you will log in with that email address/username and password.

Step 4:

Find the email in your inbox (from either your gmail or other email address account) sent by Mrs. Laurus. The title of the email will be “Ms. Laurus video chat”.  

Step 5: When you open the email, click the link for “Join Hangouts Meet” 

This link will take you to your camera and will ask to allow microphone and video. Click YES.


Now you and your child can see Mrs. Laurus (and each other!) for a real-time video chat!!

I will send everyone an email inviting you to the video chat for you to join in at 10:00 AM Thursday March 19, 2020. I hope to “see” you all on the video!  Make sure moms are wearing their scarves/are covered if you do not want others to “see” you in the video.

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March 18

Wednesday March 18, 2020

Good morning!

I am absolutely LOVING all of the pictures and videos I have been getting from everyone on Remind so far! It was AMAZING to see the name writing practice, the green scavenger hunt results, pizza making and family walks! Please keep sending me more pictures and videos. Even if you’re doing things outside of what I post here… it’s important for us to all stay connected and together right now.

I’ve been encouraging everyone to get outside and play in their own yards, go for family walks/bike rides. Today it is supposed to rain… so you can check out a variety of videos from GoNoodle. These are videos for your kids to get up and move and dance to. Some of their current favorite titles of songs are:

  • Milkshake by Koo Koo Kangaroo
  • Pop See Ko by Koo Koo Kangaroo
  • Get Yo’ Body Moving by Koo Koo Kangaroo
  • Chillax by Koo Koo Kangaroo
  • Banana Banana Meatball by Blazer Fresh
  • Meow Moo Moo by Blazer Fresh
  • Pizza Man by Moose Tube
  • Chili Chili by Moose Tube
  • Boom Chika Boom by Moose Tube

You can go to YouTube and search up any of those songs! GoNoodle also has an app you can download on iOs, Android or KindleFire.

Also for today, I have a YouTube video of the story ‘Today I Feel Silly’ for your children to watch. When they’re finished, they can draw a picture of how they are feeling today and talk about what is making them feel that way. You can even draw pictures of other ways you might feel and talk about what causes those feelings too.

Reminder: Send me pictures or videos of your child completing the above listed activities.

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March 17

Tuesday March 17, 2020

Good morning families!

I have two more YouTube videos for your children to watch today! The first one is our Greeting Time where I tell them we are no longer going on our field trip to the Outdoor Adventure Center and I talk about our current number of planned “home days”. The second video is me reading the book ‘Don’t Push the Button’. I chose this story because I’m sure on this second day of everyone being home, many of mom and dad’s buttons are being pushed by the kids! Here are the links to my videos:

In addition, please have your child practice writing their first and last name today. Take a picture and send it to me on the Remind text message.

If you have not yet signed up for a FREE ABC Mouse account, please do that today as I am working on giving students assignments to do there. The directions for how to do this are on my iBlog post from yesterday.

Once you are signed up for the ABC Mouse account, please take a picture of your child on the website and send it to me on Remind.

Here is one last activity today. This is a fun way to work on learning about the color green…. a scavenger hunt!

Give your child the following guidelines to collect things that are green. Once your child has found their collection of green items, take a picture of them with it and send it to me on Remind.

  • Find something that grows green.
  • Find something soft that is green.
  • Find one snack item that is green.
  • Name one animal that is green.
  • Find something hard that is green.
  • Name a fruit that is green.
  • Find something you play with that is green.
  • Find something you can color with that is green.
  • Find something you can build with that is green.
  • Find something you can wear that is green.

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