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Kindergarten Korner

Kindergarten “K”orner

Each week we will be doing articles on how to help your preschooler get ready for Kindergarten. If you have any questions please contact Tracy Creech or Wendy Pelfrey at 606-668-8002.

You are your child’s first and most important teacher.

Children learn a lot in the preschool years, and learning starts at home. You can HELP!

  • Be curious. Look forward to your child’s questions. Have fun finding the answers together!
  • Develop interests. Learn what your child likes to do. Is it building with blocks? Listening to stories? Drawing dinosaurs? Encourage these interests. Spend time together doing the things he or she enjoys.
  • Build character. Try to do thing that fit your child’s personality. For example, if your child is energetic and likes to explore, go for a nature walk. Have him or her look for different insects or rocks.
  • Get along with others. Teach your child to treat others the way he or she would like to be treated.
  • Love words. Read books and create stories together. This helps build language skills and develop creativity.

 

Remember, you don’t have to be an expert to help your child learn. Your time and a positive attitude are all it takes!

 

(Sponsored by Wolfe County Community Education in partnership with Wolfe County Preschool)

 

Children are always learning and parents are always teaching!

Turn daily activities into teachable moments.

For example, a trip to the grocery store can teach lessons in:

  • Transportation ( why traffic signs and signals are important)
  • Agriculture (how foods are grown)
  • Math (by counting items in the cart)
  • Nutrition (why we need to eat food that’s good for us)

 

Make the most out of the time you spend together!

 

Be a good role model- your child learns by watching you.

 

  • Be positive about learning. Let your child see you wonder about things. For example, you could say, “I wonder why leaves turn Brown in the fall. Look for answers together.
  • Teach moral lessons. Teach your child to respect others, to say “please” and “thank you,” and to be patient. These lessons will help your child in school and in life.

 

Children develop at different times and in different ways. It’s best not to compare your child with others.

 

(Sponsored by Wolfe County Community Education in partnership with Wolfe County Preschool)

 

 

A love of reading is the key to school success.

Reading to children helps prepare them for reading their own. It also teaches that reading is fun!

Reading to your child can:

  • Encourage your child to love reading
  • Teach your child how a book works and how to hold it
  • Teach your child the ABC’s
  • Build your child’s vocabulary
  • Increase your child’s attention span
  • Teach your child about the world

 

Tips for reading to your child:

  • Pick a quit place to read
  • Read together everyday
  • Run your finger under the words while you read. This shows how sounds connect to words. It also shows how sentences read from left to right.
  • Let your child participate. When reading a story, stop before the last word or the name of a character and let your child say it.
  • Expect to read favorite books many times. It’s how children learn stories. It can also help them learn words and letters.
  • Take your child to Story Hour at your local library.

 

Use stories to teach lessons in patience, bravery, determination and kindness. Check your library for children’s books on issues your child is facing, too. These may include toilet-training, tantrums or sleeping through the night. Make reading enjoyable. Use different voices for characters. Make sound effects. Preschoolers can be a silly bunch. Have fun – and help your child learn at the same time!

 

(Sponsored by Wolfe County Community Education in partnership with Wolfe County Preschool)

 

Kindergarten “K”orner

Make reading part of your daily routine.

  • Get a bookshelf for your child. (You don’t need to spend much money. Crates work just fine!) Stack the shelf with favorite books your child can look at anytime.
  • Let your child see you reading (the sports page, a magazine, etc.) Your child will benefit from a reading role model.
  • Read aloud. For example, while making dinner, read cooking instructions out loud.

 

Word Salad

This activity show how words go together to make a sentence. It’s OK if your child doesn’t know the alphabet yet.

1. Get a pile of magazines, newspapers or catalogs that have large print letters.

2. Using safety scissors help your child cut our different words. Make sure to cut out plenty of connecting words. (“and,” “but,” “or,” “if”)

3. Spread the words on a clean piece of cardboard or paper.

4. Tell your child what each word is and means.

5. Have your child put words together in a sentence.

6. Read the sentence our loud.

It’s OK if the sentences don’t make sense. Have fun! When your child learns to read, do this with letters to make words.

 

Go to the library often with your child. Get a library card for your child, too.

 

(Sponsored by Wolfe County Community Education in partnership with Wolfe County Preschool)

 

Kindergarten “K”orner

Make Math Count!

Help your child get familiar with numbers and basic math.

Show how we use math in daily life.

  • While shopping, have your child count how many things you put in the cart.
  • Sing counting songs like “99 Bottles of Milk on the Wall” or “Roll Over.”( See song below.)
  • Add and remove toys form a table. Have your child guess the number left each time.
  • Combine math and art. Draw several objects and ask your child to count them.
  • Notice shapes around you. Point our rectangles, squares, circles, etc. Say their names to your child.
  • Go on a “counting Walk” and have fun counting windows, cars and so on.

Count and Sing!

Here’s a song you can use:

Roll Over

There were ten in the bed, and the little one said: Roll Over! Roll Over!

So they all rolled over, and one fell out.

There were nine in the bed, and the little one said: Roll Over! Roll Over!

Continue until there is only one in the bed. For fun, count down on your fingers to show how many are in the bed for each verse.

 

Bake with your child. Let him or her use measuring cups and spoons to add the ingredients. Count our loud. Use math at meal time. Let your child help set the table. Together, count the numbers of forks, spoons and napkins you need.

 

Stay positive. Even if you had trouble with math, you can still help teach your child. Use basic math, such as counting, in daily activities.

 

(Sponsored by Wolfe County Community Education in partnership with Wolfe County Preschool)

 

Kindergarten “K”orner

Home banking

  1. Gather some coins (pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters) and place them in a pile.
  2. Let your child notice the differences between each coin (size, shape, color). Then ask him or her to sort the coins by type into separate piles.
  3. Explain the different values of each coin. For example, show him or her how 1 nickel equals 5 pennies – and how 25 pennies equals only 1 quarter!
  4. For fun, try trading coins with your child. For example, trade 1- pennies for 1 dime, and so on.

(Be sure your child knows not to put coins or other small objects in his or her mouth.)

 

Counting game: “One Potato, Two Potato”

You need at least three people to play. You’ll be the first leader to teach them the game.

One potato, two potato, three potato, four. Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more!

  1. Everyone stands in a circle and holds out their hands in fists.
  2. The leader counts off each fist by gently tapping it.
  3. When you get to “more,” the person whose fist gets touched has to put that fist behind his or her back.
  4. Repeat the rhyme until one fist is let. The person with the remaining fist is the new leader.

Let your child help you by small items. Help him or her count the change you need.

(Sponsored by Wolfe County Community Education in partnership with Wolfe County Preschool)

 

Kindergarten “K”orner

The ABCs of Writing

Drawing and scribbling helps prepare children for learning to write.

Teach alphabet awareness.

  • Identify letters when you read a book. Point out uppercase and lowercase letters, too.
  • Read alphabet books.
  • Try different ways of making letters instead of writing them. For example, glue buttons into shapes of letters or make letters in the sand with a stick.
  • Sing the Alphabet Song.
  • Point to letters and make their sounds. Point to words and say each letter with its sound.
  • Let your child see you writing (when paying bills, making shopping lists, etc.) Try to print neatly.

 

Make alphabet animals

Make learning letters fun – by making them come alive!

  1. Draw each letter of the alphabet on a separate sheet of paper.
  2. Give your child some crayons or markers.
  3. With your child, think of some animal names that begin with each letter. For example: alligator and ape for A.
  4. Have your child pick an animal. Help him or her draw its features on the letter. For example, a C can be turned into a cat with two triangle ears on the top and a tail on the bottom.

 

Do a finger workout

Exercising the small muscles in the hands can make writing letters easier for your child. Try these activities:

  • Drawing and scribbling (encourage your child to hold the crayon or marker correctly)
  • Playing with blocks
  • Cutting along lines with safety scissors
  • Doing dot-to-dot drawings
  • Picking up small objects, such as dried beans, with the fingers, (be sure your child knows not to put small objects in his or her mouth.)

                                                                            Preschoolers may lack fine motor skills to write letters. Don’t push your child if he or she isn’t ready.

 

(Sponsored by Wolfe County Community Education in partnership with Wolfe County Preschool)

 

 

 

Kindergarten “K”orner

Make Music Together!

Children learn a lot by hearing different types of music. Rhythm and dance help develop counting and motor skills.

Make your own instruments.

 

You can do this out of everyday materials.

  • Maracas. Use cardboard paper towel tubes. Block one end with sturdy tape. Fill the tube halfway with dry beans. Tape the other end. Start shaking!
  • Guitar. Remove the cover from an empty shoe box. Stretch two or more rubber bands around the box. Attach a ruler or stick to the back of the box (on one end). This acts as the arm of the guitar. To play, strum or pluck the rubber bands. (Never let your child play with rubber bands without an adult present.)
  • Water Glass Symphony. Fill glass jars with varying amounts of water. Give your child a spoon. Have him or her gently tap the jars to make music.

 

Dance to the Beat

 

Play some catchy dance tunes. Clap or stomp to the beat. Practice dances that fall into an easy rhythm, such as “step-step-kick, step-step-kick.” This helps develop coordination, motor control and balance.

Have a dance party with your child. Share music and dance moves with each other. Play different styles of music, from classical to rock and roll.

 

Be a singing Star!

 

Sing along to your child’s favorite songs, or try singing without music. Have fun singing some parts softly and some parts loudly. Try clapping to the beat or dancing as you sing.

Put on a show for the rest of the family. Let your child play with “dress up” clothes. He or she could use a spoon as a “microphone” for his or her big performance!

 

Children’s ears are sensitive. If you play music, keep the volume low.

 

(Sponsored by Wolfe County Community Education in partnership with Wolfe County Preschool)

 

 

 

 

 

Kindergarten “K”orner

The Wonders of Science

Teach your child about science by exploring nature.

 

Explore the elements

  • Air.  Point out different kinds of clouds in the sky. Keep a cloud journal with dates and drawings. Look up what type each cloud is.
  • Water. Add things to water and see what happens: For example, salt dissolves, oil does not.
  • Earth. To on a rock hunt. Find different kinds of rocks and sort them.
  • Fire. Make some popcorn and explain how the heat makes the corn pop. (Never let your child play with the kitchen stove or with fire.)

Together, check out science books for children from the library to learn more.

 

Play with the senses.

  • Sound. Hear how sound changes when you talk into objects like an empty soda bottle or a cup.
  • Touch. Have your child close his or her eyes. Offer different objects like a piece of wood or a cold grape. Ask what they are.
  • Sight. Look at objects with a magnifying glass. Show your child how different a flower looks up close.
  • Smell. Have your child close his or her eyes and guess what you’re holding by its smell. Include things with a strong scent, such as lemons or oranges.
  • Taste. Have your child try foods with different tastes, such as salty, sweet, bitter and sour.

 

Make a windowsill garden.

Children take pride in growing real plants. A windowsill garden shows your child how plants grow.

  1. Get some potting soil and containers for the plants. Old yogurt containers, washed, rinsed and poked with holes on the bottom, make good pots. (Put the lids under the containers to catch excess water.)
  2. Fill containers about ¾ full.
  3. Select seeds of easy-to-grow plants, such as tomatoes or green beans. Put one seed in each container. Cover with more dirt. Water the seeds.
  4. Find a sunny, safe window for the plants.
  5. Water often. Watch and learn as they grow.

 

Teaching Tip:

Have your child notice the weather each day. Ask him or her to describe it. For example, is it hot and windy or cold and still?

 

(Sponsored by Wolfe County Community Education in partnership with Wolfe County Preschool)

 

 

 

Kindergarten “K”orner

Art Smart

Making art encourages creativity and imagination. It also helps develop fine motor skills and making art is fun for everyone!

 

Make art out of objects around the home.

  • Make puppets out of paper bags. Decorate them with paints, markers, crayons, glue and fabric.
  • Decorate cardboard tubes from paper towels or toilet paper to make magic wands or telescopes.
  • Using safety scissors, cut up old magazines, newspapers or catalogs to make collages.
  • Glue different-shaped or –colored pasta to paper or puppets.
  • Turn boxes into kitchen stoves, doll houses or spaceships.
  • Use pieces of sponge to dip in paint to make sponge art.

 

Teaching Tip

  • Spend time with your child creating things. He or she will benefit from watching you. Talk about what you are making.
  • Make praise meaningful. Instead of saying. “That’s the best painting ever!” say what you like: “That tree is so pretty,” or “I like that shade of red you used for the house.”

 

Make potato stamps.

All you need is a few potatoes, some paint and paper. (Be sure to do steps 2 and 3 yourself.) Always keep knives and other sharp objects out of children’s reach.

  1. Cover table surface with some newspaper.
  2. Cut a potato in two.
  3. Use a knife, spoon handle or pen tip to carve a design on the smooth, cut part of the potato.
  4. Pour some paint onto paper plates or into bowls for dipping the potato.
  5. Stamp the paint-dipped potato onto paper to make shapes and patterns.

 

(Sponsored by Wolfe County Community Education in partnership with Wolfe County Preschool)