Thursday, October 15, 2015

Before Five In A Row: Blueberries For Sal

 This semester we have embarked on a fun new adventure.  It's called Before Five In A Row!  One of my desires has always been to pass onto my children a love of reading.  Before Five In A Row builds a foundation for children to love learning by reading classic children's literature and enjoying activities that go along with the book.  BFIAR is the first book in the Five in A Row Series and is aimed for children ages 2-4.  I am teaching through BFIAR at co-op each Wednesday and we also enjoy "rowing" a book every week at home.  I'm hoping to share some of the activities that we complete to go along with each book.  Eva is 24 months old and Eli is 5.5 years old.  I have also added some additional older activities for Eli since he is already reading.

Blueberries for Sal is the first book that we have "rowed" and I must say it is one of my favorites.  I picked this book to read first in hopes that I could find fresh blueberries to enjoy in the activities which we did.

One of the great things that I am really enjoying right now about BFIAR is the intentional weekly focus on toddler activities and learning.  I'm also including big brother Eli in on the fun.  He loves BFIAR and is always asking about what my kids at co-op did that day because he knows that he will soon get to participate in similar activities.  Since we started "rowing" a few books I can definitely see Eva's interest in lengthier books increasing as well as her vocabulary.  It's so fun to be at a point where Evangeline will willingly sit for long periods of time reading longer books.

Some of the activities that we did last week included:

Dropping blueberries into a pail and listening to the klink, klink sound that they make.  I was surprised at how much Eva and the children at co-op enjoyed this!

We walked around pretending to pick and eat blueberries.

This book was also perfect to row since she is involved in so much feeding and sensory therapy.  (Her therapists had suggested reading books that incorporated food into the story.)  At co-op the students counted blueberries before we ate them together.  (Eva didn't actually eat a blueberry but she did touch one so she is making great progress!)

We utilized the free Fold & Learn Printable from Five-in-A-Row.  I really liked the finger poem.

We talked about the color blue and glued items that began with the letter B onto a sheet.

The additional activities that I included for Eli were the Say It, Build It, Write It mats.  I printed off the cards for Blueberries For Sal and Eli really enjoyed working on these.  Eli would read the word on the card, build it with letter tiles, and then write the word with a dry erase marker.  (The letter tiles were purchased from Rainbow Resources and have provided hours of endless educational entertainment.)

I also made blueberry number cards from home school creations that Eli enjoyed matching.

We enjoyed a number of blueberry food items this week including blueberry pancakes, blueberries, and blueberry yogurt.

Other fun ideas I hope to enjoy the next time we row this book:
  • I had planned on trying to paint with blueberries in Co-Op but I got a little nervous.  This was the first book that we rowed in co-op and I didn't have enough art smocks to go around.  I didn't want to send every kid home with giant blueberry stains on their clothing.  I'm hoping to use the blueberries to paint with Eli & Eva later this week.  
  • Make blueberry jam together.  
  • Spend a morning picking blueberries.  I have the fondest memory of picking blueberries with my mother one morning in Maine while on vacation.  After picking blueberries we made blueberry pancakes outside on a Coleman stove.  

Printables and Resources:
Blueberries For Sal Printables from Homeschool Creations 
Before Five In A Row Fold & Learn Printables-subscription required
Intentional By Grace-great post on how another family rowed this book!
My Before Five In A Row Pinterest Page-I will be adding to this board weekly as we enjoy rowing a number of books.  :)

What about you?  Do you row with any of the five in a row books? 

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