Clouds

Autumn has arrived and the weather has changed. E. is busy with identifying different forms of clouds and predicting the weather. Little L. started to get interested in the weather board that we haven’t used for several months. So our new topic for the time being is weather.

E. has been reading 3 new weather related books lately:

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Clouds have had a great effect on her. She’s been examining the clouds as soon as we get outside.

I saw an excellent activity concerning clouds on pinayhomeschooler.com and I’ve been waiting to do it with E. The time has come.

I took out some cotton balls, pillow filler, some gray and black markers. We needed a blue surface/background serving as the sky.

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I chose it to be light blue felt sheets (except for mine as we had only 2 and Little L wanted to join in. So mine is a black construction paper sheet.)

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We had a look at the book Clouds by Anne Rockwell and checked the clouds from the top layer downward and made them out of the cotton balls or the pillow filler (The latter is not the best option for making it grey but much better for the fluffy, thin clouds)

Little L. lost interest quite quickly after the 2nd type of clouds and started to play with the cotton balls, then went to the toy kitchen. When she started to feel bored I asked her to got and play with Daddy as she began destroying our clouds. She said: – I’m not playing with you. – sulkily and added: – I go play with Daddy.

E. was reading the descriptions from the book (you can watch a video of her reading out loud) and we made the clouds accordingly (pulled them out to make them long if they were stratus clouds and make them round and puffy if they were cumulus clouds.)

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For me it was extremely challenging as I had not had any memories of cloud types from my studies and I couldn’t make a difference among the many kinds of clouds. Even when we finished I wasn’t able tell which is which apart from 2 or 3. Well. E could…

At the very end of this activity E. collected all the cotton balls and pillow filler and played the so-called “cotton ball bag” game. She was throwing the bag of cotton balls into the air and either her or Little L. caught it. They laughed lot.

 

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A rainy day

One summer day when I went to pick E. up from the nursery it was raining cats and dogs. Huge puddles were formed so I took her wellies and umbrella so she could have some fun. And so did she.

First, we said goodbye the nursery teacher and set off. At that time I didn’t know it would take more than an hour to get home (otherwise it’s a 15-20 minute walk).

She definitely learnt the difference between deep and shallow.

She made loads of footprints and me too.

Baby Sis was enjoying the ride and was surprisingly calm and quiet.

An easy way to enjoy your time in the second language without any preparation or money spent.
To finish the post with, here is a rainy day song we often sing:
Rain, rain go away by Super Simple Song

Before – after: Our new calendar and weather station

I’ve already written a post about how I made our weather board which also includes some emotions too. I’ve made some changes to it and added some more details.

I wanted to include days, months and seasons as well. So I repainted the board (the old tray) like 6 times as the paint didn’t want to cover the black letters I’d written on it earlier. More or less I managed with the painting and on the top, I wrote DAY, MONTH and SEASON. I also made laminated cards. The days are hand-written both in English and in Hungarian, the months are printed but I decorated every month according to what’s typical in that month. I found 4 pictures depicting the four seasons. I printed some more varied weather pictures you can find on the link. In this way, the many sources and styles make it more eclectic and more eye-caching than one kind of template (although you can find several of them online – see links later). Of course, I laminated them all and also added sticky magnets on the back.

The weather display is in the middle and at the bottom of the board you can find the feelings.

On the side of our book case next to the weather board, I printed a monthly calendar where every day we can leave a dot with our much loved dot markers.

Before:

After:

As you can see our day turned bad (have a look at the feelings section -silly and sad… it was true for both of us… so sorry for the poor quality of the photos.
started as a fun day

making a mark
I don’t think I’ll change this calendar and weather station in the near future but here I collected some links of how others do it. There are some real professional ones among them:
Our classroom calendar – from Counting Coconuts
Alas, we do not have such a great wall to use.
Calendar Activities (Photo from Discovery Days and Montessori Moments)
Our calendar routine – from My Montessori Journey
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I really liked this one, but unfortunately the whole thing is on an A/4 sheet which would be too small for us. The design is beautiful.

Weather chart – by Rowdy in Room 300
Easy to use, colourful but it’s only weather
My weather station – by boys GERMS
It’s a showpieces, I love it! Though not for my little one. She would destroy it within seconds.
Wow!
The links above contain quite a lot of free printable materials.

Our calendar and weather display is rather modest compared to the others I linked in but it serves great fun and supports our bilingual learning process.

What’s the weather like?

The weather is getting more and more changeable. So here is how we deal with it.

I found some really inspirational ideas on this blog about displaying what the weather is like in a child’s room. So I’ve made it myself too, but I’ll do the date and days later on, introducing them gradually, just like the feelings.

In the mornings we look out of the window (She points at the window and says “window”) and look at the sky. I tell her if it’s sunny or cloudy, rainy or windy.

First, I drew some of the weather features on the window pane with special Crayola Window Crayons On the other window we have some other pictures: a butterfly, some fruits and bugs etc. E. loves to look at these as well, so I don’t want to wipe them.

To make the weather display a little bit more interactive, I made this:

I printed the weather pictures from this blog and laminated them.

 After that I glued them on  special magnet sheets that can be cut (and one side is sticky).

We had this old and rusty steel tray (lucky I didn’t throw it away) and its back served as the display surface.  (With two sided sticky tape I fixed it on the wall.)

I put green and yellow stripy electrical tape on the sides because of the rusty edge. I placed the weather board in the living room next to E.’s toy boxes and books. I wrote: Today it’s … and E. is … with a permanent marker.

Location

Every morning after looking out of the window and checking the weather (“It’s rainy today” or “It’s sunny, but there are some clouds in the sky”, “Look at the trees, it’s very windy today” etc.) we go to the display and E. puts on the weather signs and how she feels (mostly happy). She needs time to understand the concept of changing weather and feelings (I have more heads showing feeling I’ll add them gradually)

First, she put all the magnets everywhere, but the time will come when she can do it on her own without my help.

When we have time and the weather changes we go back to the display and add or change something if it’s necessary. She enjoys it a lot. Whatever involves magnets, she is into it.



Final result

Days and the date are coming soon.