Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Jesse Bear

Our first day with Jesse Bear was filled with more bear fun. We introduced the book with the help of some paper doll bears from homeschoolshare.com and a wooden bear puzzle that I found on ebay. Stephen really enjoyed picking out the appropriate winter clothes but was slightly confused since it was practically 70 degrees during the second week on January. We made the most of it, and Stephen still insisted that Jesse needed his full winter gear. Actually, Stephen is convinced that Jesse is a girl for some reason. No, I don't allow the dog on the futon. It appears from the picture that he was trying to blend in.

Stephen was able to recall his bible verse by the end of the first day. I have it written on the bulletin board (for my benefit), and I think he is reading a few words from it. I will take it down later in the week to see what happens. He has an incredible memory, so I don't think it will matter even if he is reading. It was amazing the first time I asked him what his bible verse was not only to see him look at the board but also to have him successfully recall most of the words.

Proverbs 15:13 - A happy heart makes a cheerful face.

Rhea liked the butterfly that Jesse Bear chased in the story so her art project was making one out of tissue paper and finishing it off with some shape and bear stamps.

Cut and paste project

Stephen's math project for Jesse Bear involved his counting bear set. He played with them for a short time a couple of years ago, then stopped when Rhea started to take an interest. Stephen gets an hour with me after lunch, so I thought this would be a good opportunity for him to play with the counting bears without Rhea around. The first step to this project was for Stephen to make counting cards from 1-10. I gave him a guide and made dots for him to follow. He then put the appropriate number of bears on each card. He made it to card 7 and decided that he was done, so I helped him place the rest of the bears while he helped count.

Stephen enjoys reading and building, but art and cutting are not at the top of his list. I started him on the Kumon series which he enjoyed for a short time until they became too hard for him. Recently, I have been giving him very small cutting projects with straight lines ONLY. His first project was to cut out a cover to a mini-book based on Jesse Bear. He then cut out clip art food for Jesse Bear's lunch and pasted them on a plate. In both cases, I think he responded more positively due to the engineering process that he likes so much. Kumon offers the same idea of cutting and pasting things together, so maybe, as with many things, it was a matter of his timetable. Materials for both projects are from Homeschoolshare.com We also finished an A Bekka bear art project from their Pre-K Art book, but did the pasting only, since there were several round pieces. Typically, Stephen gets frustrated due to cutting the round pieces wrong and starts taping them back together. We decided to cut out a large sunshine instead to go along with Jesses' outside play. It seemed fitting considering our recent unusually warm January weather.

Stephen is not one to enjoy tedious projects, so this one worked well. I wrote out 6 words and gave Stephen the same words to trace. We then cut them out together and matched them up before pasting them. He really enjoyed working on this project together.

Stephen's B Book

Here is another Mini book that Stephen made. He is getting better at cutting and has been enjoying it more after some simple, low stress projects. Again, we worked together on it while Rhea was asleep which he enjoyed too. It contain three pages in addition to the cover page. I made dots for his name that he is doing very well tracing lately. I helped color one of the bear pages while he colored and cut out the other two.

Sight word tracer cards

Stephen's Family Project
I found this great ABC dot-to-dot book at Barnes and Noble by Flash Kids. It goes along great with the Jesse Bear story. Each page consist of 6-10 letters and tells the story of a little bear's day; almost identical to Jesse Bear.

Rhea continues to play with her buttons from last week. I included a picture for you since I left it out of my last post. I keep trying to get her to do some art projects with the buttons, but she loudly objects. Rhea's other favorite activity was to pack a lunch for Jesse Bear using plastic food. I gave her some plastic containers for her to sort and dump to her heart desires.

We continued with the plastic veggies and decided to play our favorite game; throwing things.
Click on the bottom left arrow and you might need to click twice.

We try to do a family activity each evening after dinner. One evening, we played with some simple rhymes such as Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear, Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around, and . Tom and I try to take turns, but Rhea doesn't seem to like how he does it and keep saying "Mommy's turn" until he stops. I don't think he takes it too personally since he is the go-to person when she gets hurt. The favorite was Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around. I originally did it with just the poem, but then realized after the fact that I had pick up that very book by Penny Dann at the Library the same day. I used the book the next day and they enjoyed it even more. We practiced during the day and then performed it for Daddy after dinner that night. I included a video of Stephen's interpretation of Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear until Rhea decided to turn it in to "tackle time". Our other "go along" books are Snuggle Wuggle by Jonathan London (left over from our Corduroy week by Rhea's request), and Get Dressed by Gwenyth Smith. Get Dressed is a great multi-cultural picture book based on what children in other cultures wear.

A variation on this activity was to use sequencing cards. Stephen especially liked doing this since it didn't matter what order the cards were in.

Daddy had to leave this week for a trip to Alaska, so I thought it would be a great time to take the kids to Build-A-Bear Workshop. I was honestly just looking for something new to do with the kids, but it ended with a deeper meaning for them. Besides the fun that they had in the store, the care for these simple bears over the past couple of days has been touching. From the time we drove in the driveway, these two bears have had royal treatment from both kids. Since we read Corduroy last week, Stephen wanted a bed for his Jesse Bear like Lisa had for Corduroy. We managed to fix up a basket in his room with one of his baby blankets. Stephen's Jesse spends most of her day in her house while Rhea's Jesse sleeps and stays with her all day and night. If you know the story, Jesse Bear is a boy. Our kids have decided that their Jesse Bears will be girls.

The kids immediately became attached to their selected bears; so much that Rhea freaked out when she saw what the ladies were doing to the stuffed animals. I reassured her that the bears were not being hurt, but rather, they were making them "squishy". She calmed down and realized that she could have control of the stuffing machine. Mostly, this took her mind off of the stuffing going into the bear that seemed to bother her so much.

Squeeze Test

Teddy Heart

Stephen was very interested by the time his turn came around. He listened very carefully and was focused on doing his job. After his bear was finished, he headed over to brush up his bear and helped his sister with hers.
Let's face it, Build-A-Bear is a money maker where you could sink A LOT of $$$. No, we didn't buy the car, but I let him play with it in the store. I distracted him with the wall full of clothes to get him away from the very cool car. I told him that he could pick out any outfit and he insisted on a T-shirt and jean shorts. If you haven't experienced the store, they had every type of outfit a kid could want, but Stephen stood firm on his choice.

The making of the birth certificate

Rhea's finished product

A happy boy
Our Lap Book

1 comment:

Elinette said...

Great job mom! Looks like your little ones had a lot of fun. I wasn't able to watch any of the videos. Has anyone else commmented on this? Just thought I mentioned that. ;-)