Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Letter Q, Preschool Co-op

I'd mentioned that I was planning a Q is for Quilt preschool co-op lesson, and I wanted to share all the great ideas I found. Most come from an awesome site called confessions of a homeschooler. Others are ideas I saw on pinterest, thought up myself, or the local librarian shared with me.

The hardest part was actually finding an age appropriate Quilt book! Our lesson was Thursday morning, and I found the right book Wednesday night. Our library closes at 9:00pm. I arrived at 8:30pm, so we are talking serious crunch time.

I spent some time at the library a week earlier looking for good Quilt books, but they were all too complex. Most pages had at least a full paragraph of reading, and the artwork wasn't breathtaking enough to capture preschoolers attention while they sat through that all. Recognizing I'd failed to find anything, I went home and started some holds. We have intra-library exchanges in our area. There's probably a group of 30 libraries that exchange books between patrons. Which is awesome!

I went Wednesday night to pick up the best option I thought I had, The Napping House, only to thumb through it and realize the granny is sleeping with a thin blanket, not a quilt. When I realized it didn't even have a quilt in the pictures I shared my gripes with the librarian on staff -- a young woman I've never seen in all my various day time trips. Well, lucky me she had the perfect solution!

Mooshka, A Quilt Story.

This doesn't mean the other librarians weren't helpful. One gave me the wonderful idea of having the kids quilt their names.

I loved that this activity actually incorporated sewing, which is a key part of quilting. I had the squares and kids names all cut out and put in a ziploc baggy with the yarn they'd need (and I used the tape trick to make a "needle"). I let them glue their name onto the squares and then I started punching holes. I like how mine is quilted in a square, but I realized that made it hard to hold up and see the name, so with the kids I just did holes on top.

They actually did this activity much faster than I anticipated. The oldest girl in the class has the longest name and the youngest child (Reid) has the shortest, so I figured that was perfect to keep them all at the same pace. The way the librarian described it to me, she had them literally sewing the letters together, but I just didn't want to take the time to print and cut out so many letters. Plus, I always like the idea of giving them more chances to make it there own. I simply cut out the squares with my paper cutter and let the kids do the rest. 

As for the lesson itself, here is a basic outline:

We started with the color by the numbers coloring page found on confessions of a homeschooler's site. It was a simple activity we could do while we waited for all the students to arrive.

Once we were all settled we gathered for calendar time and then I had the kids grab Q word items out of a bag. I did let the kid grabbing look inside the bag and choose. The bag included some quinoa, quarters, Q-tips, a quill, the queen of diamonds playing card, and a picture of a quarry. Luckily Reid went last and the queen of diamonds and the quarry were all that was left. He happily pulled out the quarry and told the whole class what it was. "A quarry is a place where big rocks and lots of bulldozers are. They dig out the rocks." It was probably the only proud momma moment I had that day. He was a terror for 90% of the lesson. Sigh.

After listing some more q words we played a quick/slow game and a quiet/loud game. Just to get some wiggles out. Then we read Mooshka. One particular little girl was really into the story and asked fabulous questions that gave me a chance to explain some of the more complex ideas about quilts.

After that we moved to the table for the below quilting Q activity:

This one is Reid's.

Next we had a mini stations session. Each child was given a chance to complete one of five activities I'd prepared from confessions of a homeschooler. I don't feel right linking right up to her downloads, so you'll have to go to the site and find them yourself (which is super easy to do). The five (we have five students) I choose to do were quilt match up, quilt size sort, capital/lowercase Q/q sorting, quilt pattern activity, and quilt letter matching. The most popular by far was the quilt match up. The two boys worked together on the pattern activity and couldn't quite get it, but the oldest girl helped them. They still didn't seem to understand, but I was glad she had an opportunity to teach something to them. The quilt letter matching was the least popular activity. Maybe if I had velcroed the letters it would have been more appealing.

Before snack time we did a quarter guesstimate and counting activity (Reid's worst moment of the day). The guesstimating concept was a little (okay, a lot) above the kids level, and even the counting was a little difficult. But I was glad to see the oldest girl in the group was capable of doing the activity and then eager to help some of the younger kids. I guess the teacher in me won't die. Differentiation and structured pairs even works with preschoolers!

We had mini quiches (ham instead of bacon) and simple cheese quesadillas for our snack time.

After snacks we regrouped with The Napping House. And then we ended the day with the name quilting activity.

Overall, q wasn't nearly as hard as I'd have thought. To round it out as a full week you could easily spend a day on Q is for Queen (Esther, if you are looking for a religious lesson) and another on Q is for Quarry (fieldtrip, possibly?).

Oh quack! I forgot to have them quack! There really are a lot of great preschool q words out there. Don't let it scare you!

Finally, I will share one activity Reid and I did at home. This really isn't a group activity that can be done during class, but I saw the idea on pinterest and had old family pictures I could use up. So we quilted a family photo quilt. I had him glue the pictures onto some scarpbook paper squares and then we stuck (the squares are actually giant stickers) onto some packaging paper.
He wanted to be the "teacher" and so I was the student, posing while he took the picture. Not a bad shot, so long as his goal wasn't to get his student in the photo. 
This family quilt is missing the three newest cousins, sorry Noelan, Hudson and Henry! That's why I was fine using up these pictures, I'm about 15 months behind on updating our family album quiet book. 


Anonymous said...

Honey, who are you kidding? Finding the book at 8:30 the night before is so Lizzy!!! Why do today what you can procrastinate until tomorrow? Isn't that your motto?
Love, Pa

Amy said...

This is great! I love seeing and hearing about the lesson since I wasn't in on this one.

Scott and Claudia said...

Cute idea! Did chuckle at your father's comment.

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