Monday, November 10, 2014

B is for Bat week

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B is for Bat week was simple because that week also contained Halloween!  It was the perfect easy unit study for Halloween week. 

First, I don’t just have a preschooler, but they are the easiest to write about.  I also have a second grader and an eighth grader and a senior as well!  But I notice that preschool gets front and center on my posts a lot because preschool is so easy to write about!  It’s much harder to talk about teaching my 7 year old to write in cursive or my 8th grader to write a 5 page essay.  Plus, I don’t get to be as creative!  I have to, like, follow rules and junk. lol…

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I use a metaphor for early education like a garage that is empty, and your job is to fill it with lots of boxes that have labels on them and very little IN them.  Each time you sit down with your preschooler to learn/play/read a new subject or unit study, you are giving them a new box.  You don’t have to fill it, or even put anything into it right away.  You just have to give them a space in their brain to categorize more information later.  Kinda like an empty box in a clean garage.  Then, as you collect information to share with them and they get older and have more experiences, you put more and more into that box.  Before you know it (seriously… it’s like a flash) they know more than you do and they are explaining to YOU why bats do not actually hibernate or why alligators only hatch one gender of egg at one time. 

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My preschooler, Luke, right now is obsessed with knowing the names of things.  It can not just be a bird, it is a Harpy Eagle or a Chestnut Chickadee.  And the bat study was no exception.  Stellaluna wasn’t just a ‘bat’.  She was a ‘fruit bat’.  It will not be long before he is teaching me instead of the other way around.  But for this precious time, I get to keep giving him boxes and little trinkets to add to them. 

Ok, so Bat Week! 

First, it was Halloween week… so it was CRAZY EASY to find bat items for this study.  Snack was bat pretzels or bat fruit snacks.

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Magnet board was a bat house:

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And I didn’t even have to cut out the bats, they were in a fall felt die-cut package from Michael’s Crafts store.  All I did was add magnets on the back.  I also added magnets to some craft sticks I had on hand and then we looked at pictures of a bat house and created one on the magnet board.  He decided that it needed to be warm, so he covered it with leaves and spent quite a bit of time letting the bats fly in and out of the bat house. It was cute to have him put all the bats upside-down until they were flying.  Then they were right side up!  So cute to watch their brains picking up all that information.

We had a conversation about what bats eat as well.  Stellaluna was a fruit bat, but the little brown bats we have around here (that we see quite often) eat bugs!  And thank goodness (because I am not a fan or mosquitos)!  So we used our bug math manipulatives and I printed out some free bug sorting cards from Pre Kinders.

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They have sorting by type of bug and sorting by color.  This was fun for Luke and he has done it several times this week.

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I had some fun with the chalkboard work this week.  I wish there were more fingerplays about bats, but as it stands, it took forever to find a bat poem appropriate for preschool and I had to change it a lot.

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The book basket reflected the theme once again.  This doesn’t have all the books we used in the picture, but you get the idea.  The library has been VERY helpful for these studies.  I always get simple books for Luke and then some for the older kids as well. 

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The art project this week was a bat silhouette picture.  He used a pencil to put dots all over the sheet, but after a while he felt that was taking too long.  So he just used his fingers.

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It turned out pretty cute!  Smile

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This week was less theme activities than most weeks because Halloween was Friday, but we had a great time learning about bats!


1 comment

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