Shape Tracks

Hippo loves building train tracks with AP3. So that’s where they started with their shape-themed activities. It was a simple activity, but sometimes those are best! How many shapes could they make?

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  • der Kreis
  • das Quadrat
  • das Siebeneck (I think they were going for 6 or 8 sides but they ended up with 7)
  • das Oval

 

Shape Resources

For our shape unit, we’ll be using some materials I bought a few years ago on TeachersPayTeachers.com. It was created by Open Wide the World, who has a number of German-language units. In fact, the weather unit I used last month was also created by them.

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The unit costs only $3.50, and you can purchase it here. And here’s what you get:

posters
a single page display featuring all 10 shapes
10 individual posters, one shape & shape name per page

game cards
“Bang!” game cards & directions
3 sets of flashcards for games & drill work: 1 set with shapes and shape names, 1 set with shape images only, 1 set with shape names only

2 mini books
1/4-page sized mini book: trace the shape name and draw the shape
1/2-page sized mini book: fill in the blank with the shape name, color the image, and read aloud with a partner (level = emergent reading, repetitive sentence structure)

word search
includes answer key

I’m excited to start using all these colorful materials!

Baking Shapes

Our next language unit is going to be all about shapes! Froggy chose the topic. I don’t know how many times we’ve done shape themes in the past 4 years, but it’s still a favorite!

I started doing language themes when Froggy was 3 and Hippo was just a baby. Every morning, while Hippo napped, Froggy and I would do a project. Having this structure in his day really helped. And we both had so much fun! We did art projects, science projects, themed baths, books, songs – you name it, if it went with our theme, we tried it! That’s when I started collecting ideas on Pinterest boards, too! (Click on my Pinterest button on the right to check out all my daily activity boards!)

Now we are using these themes to help our German. I was off to a good start with Froggy’s weather lessons. And now I really want to get Hippo more involved. So I’ve asked AP3 to help out and try to come up with activities to do with him, while I focus more on Froggy’s lessons.

Since we are still in Valentine mode, our first activity was a baking one. We simply made a cake heart! I saw the idea on Pinterest, of course. It was super simple! Froggy helped me make the batter. Then after the cakes cooled, we put them together to make our heart and covered it with pink frosting. I wanted a little chocolate, and I knew Froggy would choose yellow cake with white (or pink) icing, so I added some chocolate chips to one of the cakes.

You bake one 8-inch square cake and one 8-inch round cake (or use 9-inch pans for both). After they cool, place the square cake at an angle, like a diamond. Then cut your round cake in half, and place each semi-circle at the top of the diamond shape. Voila! You now have a heart-shaped cake! I had to cut off the tops of the cakes to get them to be the same height. And I needed a pretty big plate to put it on. Since I didn’t have a plate big enough, I used a cutting board. The boys loved it!

Sorting Shapes

Froggy has always loved shapes. And sorting. And sorting shapes. Now that he is 7, he has added another interest: writing in cursive. He’s trying to teach himself, since they are not yet teaching cursive at school.

I love it when he takes the initiative to start a project. Especially when that project is in German!

The other night, when I was putting him to bed, he asked if we could work a little more on his latest project. He had grabbed a book off the shelf: Duden’s Kennst du das? Die Formen (2009).

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He was making a list of the shapes to sort them (and color-coding them, too, of course!).

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Some of the words are in cursive, some not. Some are not even spelled correctly. Some he wrote, some I wrote. But it’s all good! I was just tickled pink that he was doing something in German by his own choice!

Montags mit Mama: Pumpkins!

It’s that time of year! The leaves are turning fiery colors. The air is getting crisp. And it’s time to visit the pumpkin patch! We started the tradition 3 years ago. Our local patch is only about 10 minutes from our house. We can go on a hay ride or pull a Radio Flyer wagon out to the pumpkins. The boys always enjoy being pulled out to the pumpkin patch in the wagon.

We got some small pumpkins this year in addition to the bigger ones we would carve. So Hippo and I got out the paints and started decorating. We used circle-shaped sponge brushes in different sizes to start applying paint. Perfect opportunity to talk about shapes! Hippo started out by making a pattern. I was so impressed! But then he just couldn’t stop himself. So it turned into a lovely blue-green pumpkin. That’s okay, though. It’s they boys’ favorite color!

So our little activity allowed us to talk about fall, pumpkins, shapes, and colors.