Alphabet picture wheels

Last night I was exhausted, not too well, with a sore throat and achy....but knew I would not be able to sleep! Alhamdulillah. So I was up late searching google images for activity ideas to do with Z today. MashAllah I came across some great ideas which I plan to use in the near future inshallah.

Amongst searching I came up with my own idea (although I am pretty sure hundreds of people have probably done this)

I decided to quickly prepare some alphabet wheels, as I haven't done alot with Z on her alphabet since we started, we've still only covered s,a and t alhamdulillah.

All I did was print off 4 clip arts from google images starting with each letter. And then today Z and I put together the wheels.

First I cut out the images ready for Z to stick.
 For the wheels I just used a bowl to draw around, and cut out a quarter section of the top piece.

I then laminated each of the pieces and put together using a brass fastener. Now Z can use it to spin around and see different images which start with each letter sound inshallah.

Inshallah, each new letter I introduce, we will make a new letter wheel. I'm trying to make more resources rather than buying them, and I think if a child helps make it, they will get a greater benefit from them inshallah.

As I was typing this up, Z was sat behind me with the little instruction booklet for one of the learning roots snap cards we have......because it is written in both Arabic as well as English, she thought it was a Qur'an and sat there "reciting" (you know what I mean....mumble jumble made up words with a Qur'anic rhythm) - was cute, reminded me of what K used to do (how quickly it is to forget those days!)

K was using the galt picture shapes and nails - she followed the instructions to produce this, as she was pleased with herself she instructed me to take a pic to put on the computer! (little madam mashAllah!)

All about me lapbook

K completed her "all about me" lapbook today alhamdulillah - she started it last Friday and had a couple of bits to finish off today....she wanted to get it finished asap because she knows I have prepared 2 more lapbooks she is interested in, one about the body, and another about dolphins!

I printed selected pages from the all about me lapbook on Home School share.

K decorated the "mirror" and then I helped her to cut out and stick the foil....she was disappointed it did work as a real mirror though! ....then lift up the mirror to draw a faceless picture of herself.

To list her favorate things, K wrote what they were, and then we went onto google images, to save, and insert into word, reduce image size and then print (all done by K mashAllah) got some basic IT skills in there too!

I tried to get K to cut a small piece of hair to stick in....but she was horrified at the she just drew a few strands of hair instead!

When K filled in the "my names and Alias" section both she and Z were horrified to discover they have their father's name as their middle name because its a "boys name"....they only calmed down and accepted it once I explained I also have my father's middle name Mahmood!

Story of Hud

Once a week, we have a few families who get together each Monday for a Qur'an and Islamic Studies lesson - this week was the story of Prophet Hud alais salaam (we are going through the prophets stories each week inshallah) and was taught by one of the other sisters mashAllah.

This is what she did - she recapped the story of Prophet Nuh alais salaam before reading the story of Hud, followed by an activity in which she had asked the children to make a tree to bring to the class so that they could make a city using blocks and the trees.

The sister then used a desk top fan to use as wind to show the city being blown down and destroyed (with a little help from excited children's hands!)

I might print out the pictures and ask K to do a small write-up of the Story....we'll see!

What about socialization (from another angle)

I read this on the yahoo home educating group - liked it, so thought would share....

Its not at all intended to suggest that home schooling is superior to traditional schooling - rather just to serve as a myth buster I guess you could say, for those who have pre-conceived ideas that home education equals isolation from the rest of humanity!

Two women meet at the park, they start talking........
W1: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the three in red shirts --helps me keep track of them.
W2: (Smiles) I'm Terri. Mine are in the pink and yellow shirts. Do you come here a lot?
W1: Usually two or three times a week, after we go to the library.

W2: Wow. Where do you find the time?
W1: We home school, so we do it during the day most of the time.

W2: Some of my neighbours home school, but I send my kids to publicschool.
W1: How do you do it?

W2: It's not easy. I go to all the PTO meetings and work with thekids every day after school and stay real involved.
W1: But what about socialization? Aren't you worried about thembeing cooped up all day with kids their own ages, never getting theopportunity for natural relationships?

W2: Well, yes. But I work hard to balance that. They have some friends who're home schooled, and we visit their grandparents almost every month.
W1: Sounds like you're a very dedicated mom. But don't you worryabout all the opportunities they're missing out on? I mean they'reso isolated from real life -- how will they know what the world islike -- what people do to make a living -- how to get along with alldifferent kinds of people?

W2: Oh, we discussed that at PTO, and we started a fund to bringreal people into the classrooms. Last month, we had a policeman anda doctor come in to talk to every class. And next month, we'rehaving a woman from Japan and a man from Kenya come to speak.
W1: Oh, we met a man from Japan in the grocery store the other week,and he got to talking about his childhood in Tokyo . My kids wereabsolutely fascinated. We invited him to dinner and got to meet hiswife and their three children.

W2: That's nice. Hmm. Maybe we should plan some Japanese food for the lunchroom on Multicultural Day
.W1: Maybe your Japanese guest could eat with the children.

W2: Oh, no. She's on a very tight schedule. She has two otherschools to visit that day. It's a system-wide thing we're doing.
W1: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, maybe you'll meet someone interesting inthe grocery store sometime and you'll end up having them over for dinner.

W2: I don't think so. I never talk to people in the store --certainly not people who might not even speak my language. What if that Japanese man hadn't spoken English?
W1: To tell you the truth, I never had time to think about it.Before I even saw him, my six-year-old had asked him what he wasgoing to do with all the oranges he was buying.

W2: Your child talks to strangers?
W1: I was right there with him. He knows that as long as he's withme, he can talk to anyone he wishes.

W2: But you're developing dangerous habits in him. My children nevertalk to strangers.
W1: Not even when they're with you?

W2: They're never with me, except at home after school. So you see why it's so important for them to understand that talking tostrangers is a big no-no.
W1: Yes, I do. But if they were with you, they could get to meetinteresting people and still be safe. They'd get a taste of the realworld, in real settings. They'd also get a real feel for how to tellwhen a situation is dangerous or suspicious.

W2: They'll get that in the third and fifth grades in their healthcourses.
W1: Well, I can tell you're a very caring mom. Let me give you mynumber--if you ever want to talk, give me call. It was good to meetyou.--

Author unknown

Montessori grammar symbols

Following on from Jolly Phonics, we  have been using Jolly grammar since September. Last week we begun work on proper and common nouns.
However, to help understand the different grammar rules, I have decided to also use Montessori techniques inshallah, as it allows a more visual and tactile representation of all the rules.

My grammar knowledge is quite shocking!

The Montessori grammar symbols are fantastic as they make learning all these rules much easier alhamdulillah....I'm going to introduce them later today inshallah, so we will see if K responds as enthusiastically as me inshallah!

Search online, and alhamdulillah you will find a wealth of Montessori websites and blogs explaining all the concepts clearly...I won't do injustice to the lessons trying to explain them myself, but if you don't know much about the Montessori grammar symbols, this blog has a nice simple explanation (you need to read all 4 parts) Montessori for everyone.

So, after deciding yesterday that I will use the grammar symbols, I decided rather than buying the set (which is quite expensive!) I would make it! I'd read somewhere online during my research that a training teacher made herself a set using craft that's what I did.
The total cost for making the symbols is probably about 5p mashAllah when you look at how little foam you actually use! (although cutting them all out is abit fiddly!)

If I had decided I would make these before I went into the city centre on Saturday, I'd have picked up another packet of craft foam, but since I didn't, I made do with the open packet I already had (each symbol should have a specific colour). (I bought it for abut 99p from The Works - ten coloured sheets and included a child's size pair of scissors...I have 3 pairs of these now alhamdulillah!!!)

I used the black and white grammar symbols on wikisori to use as a template (so all my shapes would be the same size!) and cut out 11 of each symbol.

I took one of each symbol to stick on the grammar description sheet (also printed off wikisori) so that i can learn and remember inshallah, what symbol means what!

The lessons to go along with the symbols are easily found online, including on youtube. You can also find plenty of sites where you can simply print out the symbols in their correct colours and just laminate to use. I prefer the craft foam as I think it makes it a bit more tactile.

Montessori Print shop is a site I found where you can download and print loads of Montessori materials free (they also have a shop to purchase some files)

and of course wikisori which has loads of print outs, and lessons to follow.

More than / less than hungrey Crocodile!

Alhamdulillah, JazakAllahu Khayran to sister Umm Khalil who commented on the previous post, sharing a Blog find detailing a fantastic child-friendly lesson on the more than / less than signs!

The more than / less than sign is turned into a crocodile! I made ours using green and white craft foam.

The lesson goes something like this.....

The hungry crocodile always likes to eat the biggest number!

Khadeeja enjoyed this and totally understood alhamdulillah, giving the correct sign for each sum without hesitation!
After she placed the hungry croc, she then had to draw in the correct sign.

....although completing the MEP workbook questions using the signs required alot of brain power....even for me! lol

More than & Less than

Continuing the MEP programme, today was working with the more than and less than signs.

I went into the lesson in the same manner as the previous lesson about odds and evens ....completely spontaneously without a pre-prepared teaching plan.
The reason being, as again this is a whole new concept for Khadeeja, and I felt that making a plan wouldn't really work, as I need to bounce off whether I can see if she is understanding or not.....meaning I need to improvise in the moment to simplify things if it is going over her head, or no need to waste time if she gets it straight away.

The whole lesson from start to end probably took only around 20 minutes.

The sign flash cards below were DOWNLOADED  from the MEP site. I used these together with the small hand-held white board, and unifix cubes.


I explained the signs mean more than, and less than when we are doing maths. I explained that it is a quicker way of writing "more than" or "less than" and showed her on the board the time difference to write as words or sign.

She wasn't understanding which sign meant what, her face was completely puzzled, and so I needed to think quickly how to present the information in a way she would understand and remember inshallah....and so alhamdulillah, I devised a little rhyme!!!

To help Khadeeja (and also myself!!!!!) remember which sign meant what, I explained that the sign which points to the Left means less than, and the sign which points to the right, means more than. To help remember this I came up with "L" is for Left, and Left is Less!
So by being able to identify which sign means less, the remaining symbol has to mean more!

As a quick game, I then asked her to raise her right hand if I said more than, and raise her left hand if I said Less than.

I wrote the small rhyme on the board to refer to if she forgot, and placed the unifix cubes on the board, which she then had to put the correct flash card sign in the middle, before writing the sum beneath.
(she was getting confused as to which way the sign was pointing to - she kept muddling the direction thinking the open end was the way it was pointing, so I just scribbled a dot with a whiteboard pen (as they are laminated) on the point of each sign to show this is the direction it is pointing.

We did a few more of these examples, and then I asked Khadeeja to choose her own numbers to work with, before finally I wrote 3 sets of numbers, which she had to simply draw in the correct symbol. (I drew the symbols for her to refer to).

Alhamdulillah she understood the lesson - however I think throughout this week I will probably need to do alot of revision work to ensure she does not forget....I think this is definitely something which can be easily forgotten!!!!! (I know with out realising "Left is Less" I wouldn't be able to remember this myself!)

odds and events continued....

Following on from our previous maths lesson, we continued working with odd and even numbers, to ensure that Khadeeja fully understood odds and evens inshallah.

A quick lesson using a small hand held whiteboard (because she loves using it!). I drew out a table headed with Odd and Even, instructing Khadeeja to write in numbers 1 - 20 in the correct column.

After she completed the task, I asked her how she knew which numbers were odd and even, to which she answered that each numbers goes in turns, odd, even, odd, even, odd, even etc.

So, to make sure she would be able to recognise any given number, I further explained that any number which ends with 2, 4, 6,8 or 0 will be an even number, and any number that ends with 1,3,5,7 or 9 will be odd.
I wrote these odd and even numbers on the board for her to refer to, as I gave random numbers for her to identify as odd or even. I asked her to explain how she knew a particular number was odd or even, and alhamdulillah she answered. I then asked her to write me any even number, and then any odd number she liked.

I'll probably do a few reminders throughout the week to ensure she fully understands and retains the information inshallah!
(that's usually what I do when we introduce something new in any lesson, be it maths, literacy, Islamic studies etc....throughout the week I will ask reminder / revision questions or ask Khadeeja to explain something quickly at random times, often at dinner weirdly! ...I guess its because we are all sat down together then! )

Opposites, odd and even numbers!

We've been using MEP Maths which so far, alhamdulillah I am finding great! Today, was the introduction of odd and even numbers, and opposits. Neither of these concepts I have disscussed with Khadeeja previously.

We began explaining opposites, which she looked at me with a blank face and said "I don't understand what you are saying!", and I thought to myself, how difficult is it to understand the what the opposite of something is!
"Opposite" is a new word for Khadeeja which needed explaining and understanding. So, I gave her examples, but using the word "different" in place of opposite.
So, for example, I explained that small is different to big, tall is different to short etc. I then asked what is different to fat, wide, above, rights, top etc, and alhamdulillah she gave its opposite. I explained that this is what "Opposite means".

We then went on to odd and even numbers. Again, a concept which she had not worked with previously.
So we went back to the very basics!

We used the unifix cubes to help give a physical visual example of odds and evens.
I took 1 cube and asked Khadeeja to do the same. I explained that 1 by itself can not be split into 2 groups, so 1 is by itself without any partner to hold hands with. So 1 is odd.

We then took 2 cubes, and demonstrated that we can split 2 into 2 equal groups that can hold hands, so 2 is even.

Then took 3, and again demonstrated splitting into 2 groups, asking if we could divide 3 into 2 groups that are the same? 1 cube was left over by itself, so I explained that it doesn't have a partner to hold hands with, its all by itself and is sad. So number 3 is an odd number.
We carried on up to 5, and then did 10.

I then laid out the cubes in numbers from 1 to 10 which Khadeeja then placed the number labels (to help with the next part of the activity of identifying odd and even).

Next, I asked Khadeeja to tell me if each number was odd or even, using the cubes to split each number into 2 groups in order to visually identify which could be split equally and which could not.

We then took some beads (which her friend had given her) and I asked her to place a bead on all of the odd numbers, and then the even numbers.
We identified the pattern, that the odd and even numbers alternated.

Next, using the MEP lesson plan, I drew on the white board a number ladder from 1 - 12, which we used to identity the odd and even numbers - counting only the odd numbers aloud and the evens silently, and vice versa.

Finally, in Khadeejas Maths exercise book, we put a table with 2 columns headed odd and even, which Khadeeja had to write the numbers in the correct columns

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