Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ladybug Desk Name Plates

Assalamu alaikum,

I think we are done with ladybugs insha'Allah (smile). So as a final activity, I tried something new: ladybug desk name plates with the Arabic letters. They are smaller than the standard name plates you buy in the school supply store but their primary purpose is to help with letter recognition insha'Allah.


I made black, red and green desk name plates to give the children a choice insha'Allah. You can download the black here, the red here, and the green here insha'Allah. 

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Check it Out: The Jacket I Wear In The Snow

Assalamu alaikum,

This book, "The Jacket I Wear In The Snow",  is a cute book for Kindergarten children that twists and winds along in a tongue twisting kind of fashion. The story also has an endearing ending that children may easily relate to insha'Allah.


A fun read that is great for winter insha'Allah. You can buy it here or, the next time you're at the library....Check it out insha'Allah!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blog Awards Alhamdulillah

Assalamu alaikum,

Subhana'Allah! I was visiting Rivercity Homeschooler's Blog and I was browsing Umm Tafari's list of homeschooling blogs when I came across the blog Handmade Beginnings, and to my surprise what did I see? Eva from Handmade Beginnings gave my blog an award alhamdulillah ( I actually went back a few times to make sure I wasn't seeing things...*smile*).

Sooo, I sat down and said I need to 1). Say Jazakum Allahu Khayr to the sister who blogs over at Visit me at Home who also gave my blog an award recently and to sis Eva. I really appreciate this dear sisters (hug!) and 2). Sit down and answer the questions and pass the awards on insha'Allah. I don't have many blogs that I read regularly at present (just due to lack of time) so I hope it is okay if I only have a few blogs to pass the awards on to insha'Allah.

And I hope it's okay that I combine those two awards in one post (questions and all...hehe). If not, someone please let me know and I'll do again the right way insha'Allah (smile).

Okay, the first award alhamdulillah from the sister at Visit Me At Home, Jazakillahu Khayr!:



The Questions:
I have to list 10 things that make me happy and then I have to pass the award on insha'Allah. So I am happy...

1). That Allah blessed me to be a Muslim alhamdulillah
2). That Allah sent His Last Messenger to mankind
3). That Allah protects the Quran until the Last Day
4). That the sunnah has always had men to defend it and spread it alhamdulillah
5). That libraries exists alhamdulillah
6). That the doors of forgiveness are still open
7). That I am a teacher by the Mercy of Allah
8). That Allah has permitted and allowed me to help Muslims by doing small things here and there
9). To know that I deserve no praise and that all of the Praise and Thanks is to Allah Alone
10). That Allah is my Lord, that Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa salam) is my Prophet and that Islam is my deen.

So now I have to pass this award on insha'Allah. I pass this award to:


And the second award alhamdulillah from Sister Eva from Homemade Beginnings, Jazakillahu Khayr!:



And I pass this award to:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ladybug Tot Lapbook

Assalamu alaikum,

This is a little ladybug tot book I put together to include the little ones in the ladybug fun insha'Allah.

Front Cover:
This is a little wooden ladybug I had. I used a hot glue gun to glue half of it to the left hand side of the tot book and then I put a velcro square on the other half so the book stays closed insha'Allah.

The entire tot book

Middle page close-up: Counting Activity


Left Flap (Ladybug Counting Cards)
These cards are laminated and are from 1-10.


Right Flap Ladybug Picture Cards
These cards are also laminated and are pictures of real ladybugs.


Other games that are stored in the back pocket: Ladybug sequencing game, two piece ladybug puzzle (the one in the file has a black border around it), and ladybug Arabic letter cards (the entire alphabet). These cards take a bit to put together because you have to cut out the ladybug picture and glue it to the back of the letter cards.

Here is the file with all of the elements included in the tot book and this file is of the ladybugs only because the one in the file looks a bit fuzzy to me so I re-PDF'd it (that is probably not a word...hehe). And....here are selected files in the Russian langauge alhamdulillah!

Enjoy inhsa'Allah!

The real ladybug pictures are Creative Commons and are property of the following people: Erica Marshall;Viamoi;Kaibara87;Daniel;Max B

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ladybug Math Mats and Counters

Assalamu alaikum,

The ladybugs have really caught hold here. Ideas to explore ladybugs in a cross-curricular manner just keep popping up alhamdulillah!

This activity uses ladybugs to explore addition concepts in math insha'Allah (I'll try to post pictures soon insha'Allah).

This is the 1s mat (click on the image to see a larger view insha'Allah)


This is a row of the counters that students use to solve the math problems on their mat insha'Allah (you would need to cut them out insha'Allah so each little ladybug is a circle counter).

There are activity mats for the addition facts 0 thru 9 and students use the ladybug counters to help them solve the problems on their mat insha'Allah. You can use these with up to 10 children because you can give each child a mat and give them enough counters to use or you can put these in a math centre and allow children to work on them during centre time insha'Allah (I also recommend laminating the mats and counters if you can insha'Allah). You'll notice that two of the math problems repeat on each mat. This is intentional. I want to give the children a chance to review and not become accustomed to or rely on the pattern to solve each equation.

This is one of the things in Montessori education that I like. Following the child does not mean that the child's interests prevent them from learning a range of materials from the curriculum, quite the opposite. This method allows a teacher or parent to introduce many subjects but working along with the child's interest gives each activity an appeal that will draw the child to it insha'Allah. So if a child likes ladybugs but does not like math, use the ladybugs to help overcome that aversion to math insha'Allah!

Here is the file if you'd like to use this with your child(ren) insha'Allah.

More ladybug activities coming soon insha'Allah. Oh yes! I will also try to make some worksheets to go with each math mat insha'Allah. So check back insha'Allah!

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Monday, January 25, 2010

You'll Almost Always End Up With A Masjid Insha'Allah

Assalamu alaikum,

Most kids love to paint alhamdulillah. This love of painting (and all things messy) can really work in teachers and parents favour alhamdulillah (especially on those days when outside play is not an option). This little activity is called "It will always be a masjid insha'Allah" because the template used ensures that no matter where the children paint on the page, in most cases, the end product will be a masjid insha'Allah.



Materials you will need insha'Allah:

- Non-toxic paint
- Paint brush(es)
- Newspaper or large garbage bags
(to cover the area where the painting will take place insha'Allah)
- White construction paper or computer paper
- Water in a bowl or other container

How You and Children Do the Activity insha'Allah:

1). Print the masjid template of your choice (or make your own) on cardstock. If you want to use it over again, or you will use it in your classroom, laminate it insha'Allah. This way, you can wash the paint off of the template and reuse it insha'Allah. You can use baby wipes to remove the paint as well insha'Allah.


2). Cut out the inside of the template only.


3). After you have set up the paint area, lightly tape the template onto a piece of paper. Tape it strong enough so that when the child is painting the template will not move about but not so strongly that when you remove the template you tear the paper.


4). Invite the child to paint the template insha'Allah.



5). Remove the template and allow the painting to dry completely insha'Allah.


6). All done! Clean up time insha'Allah.

If you laminate your template, you'll have pieces left from cutting out the template that can be used as:


A Puzzle insha'Allah!

Here is the file if you'd like to try this with your child(ren) insha'Allah. There are three different masaajid templates in the file.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ladybug Counting Activity

Assalamu alaikum,

Last week when the Garden Magnet activity was presented, alhamdulillah it was enthusiastically received. I noticed that there was a definite affinity toward the ladybugs as they were carried around, shared, and transported to places I hadn't anticipated. So, this upcoming week we will 'follow the child' insha'Allah and build on this interest in ladybugs insha'Allah. I put together two games and requested 'A Ladybug's Life' from the library. I've never read this book before but if it turns out to be good insha'Allah, I'll be sure to add it to the recommended books category insha'Allah.

The first game is a math game.


This is the game with the Arabic numbers (English numbers are included in the file). Children match the numbered ladybugs with the appropriate dot on the flower. The ayat on the top of the activity mat is from surah Al-An'aam. Allah says what means, "There is not a moving (living) creature on earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are communities like you. We have neglected nothing in the Book, then unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered."

The activity in progress



This is the game (close up) but the ladybugs have dots on them that correspond to the dots on the petals of the flower. For younger children who, developmentally, are not at the point where they would know the numbers they can count the dots on the ladybugs and match them that way insha'Allah.


The second game is also a math game but incorporates some fine motor skill work as well insha'Allah.


Children take a work mat and the activity and find a nice space to work insha'Allah.



They match the ladybug clips to the petals on the flower using the dots insha'Allah.

For older children you can write the numbers in Arabic or in English on the clothes pins or on the backs of the ladybugs insha'Allah. To make the ladybug clothes pins I just used red craft foam and a black marker. I used a small bottle to trace a circle and then added the head. I then added the dots to the back of each ladybug and used a hot glue gun to attach them to the cloths pin.

To go along with this activity insha'Allah, I think I'll show this video of a ladybug insha'Allah. It is short (to match the attention span of the intended audiance *smile*). There is no music alhamdulillah and it gives a great close up view of a ladybug.


Here is the file if you'd like to do this activity too insha'Allah. In the file there are ladybugs with Arabic and English numbers and dot ladybugs and the two games.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Check it Out: What is Science?

Assalamu alaikum,

This is a nice picture book that helps children understand that science is the study of many things they may not have imagined. Written in fun rhyming verses, children may enjoy this nicely illustrated book during story time or anytime insha'Allah.


You can buy the book here or...next time you're at the library...Check it out insha'Allah!

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ad'iya (Pl. of Dua) Colouring Pages!

Assalamu alaikum,

Our dear sister Zaza over at Easel & Ink has been busy designing wonderful ad'iya (plural of dua) colouring pages and I wanted to share them with you all insha'Allah. Here is a picture of one of the pages she has done and there are more masha'Allah (but you have to visit Easel & Ink to download them insha'Allah...*smile*) You'll find them (and so much more masha'Allah) in the homeschooling section of the forum insha'Allah.


They don't have that border around them - I put that so the colouring page would be easy to see against the background.

These are great to give to children to colour while they are learning the different ad'iya said for different circumstances/occasions. If you collect them all, you can make a colouring book insha'Allah! Hmm..maybe I should ask sister Zaza if she wouldn't mind making a cover so parents/teachers can do just that insha'Allah. I think I'll just hop over to Easel & Ink and ask politely insha'Allah (hehe).

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Activity: Exploring the Properties of Magnets

Assalamu alaikum,

This magnet activity from a while back has suddenly made a comeback. When I noticed the renewed interest in it, I put it on a cookie tray and placed it on the table and moved away.


It was used for about 20 minutes straight - in complete focused silence. I was amazed and delighted because lately I feel like I want to move away from paper and glue crafts and more to hands on activities insha'Allah. As I sat back watching, I realized that it was the magnets, of course, that were the main attraction of the activity so I decided that the next opportunity I had, I'd run out and get things to make more magnets insha'Allah. The other thing is I noticed that the placement of the magnets, which show different positions of the salat, was being done with thoughtfulness and deliberation. So that presented me with a challenge....what activity could I make where I can incorporates magnets with Islam? Well, I haven't come up with any ideas just yet (at least none that I have the supplies for...hehe) but I decided that in the meantime insha'Allah, I'd still try to make an activity that can be used to encourage a continued exploration of the properties of magnets insha'Allah. Here is what I made alhamdulillah (preschool and kindergarten children can make the background scene themselves insha'Allah):

The activity completed
(an example of how it could be done insha'Allah)

The activity ready to be used insha'Allah

The activity with the felt ladybug removed and ready for the child to place along the felt grass where he/she wishes insha'Allah.

I decided upon a nice garden scene largely because most of the other wooden pieces (needed to make the magnets) I found at the store either had faces on them or were inappropriate (I'm shocked at some of the things that are marketed to be used by children). In the end, I put the scene on a piece of construction paper and glued different elements into the scene.

I made some of the pieces from foam and others from felt (the grass and one of the ladybugs is felt) or a combination (like the sun magnet).

To make the magnets I just bought some small wooden painted pieces and attached craft magnets to the backs with a hot glue gun.





I'm excited to see how this activity is received insha'Allah. I wonder if it will be another 20 minutes of focused fun insha'Allah....

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Silhouette Cards for Fruits and Vegetables from Canon.com

Assalamu alaikum,

I thought I'd share this exciting find with you all insha'Allah. It complements the latest Recommended Book: Up, Down and Around. These are Silhouette Fruit and Vegetable Cards that are a free download from Canon.com!


They even give you the template for the box to store them in! (That took me a while to put together...lol)

These cards (those were easy to put together alhamdulillah), are a fun extension to use with the book, Up, Down and Around, or any great picture book about fruits and/or vegetables insha'Allah. The back of the cards have silhouettes of a fruit or vegetable and the child is invited to guess which fruit or vegetable that silhouette belongs to. 

And....when you print out the directions to assemble the cards and box, an answer key/chart comes with it but don't throw it away! It's small but you can do so much with it even if your child doesn't need it. Here are just a few ideas that come to mind alhamdulillah:

- Make a lift-the-flap book for an infant. First they see the silhouette and then they lift the flap to reveal the fruit that the silhouette belongs to insha'Allah.

-  Make a mini/travel size memory game to take in the car to give the kids some fun on the way to your destination insha'Allah. The children can turn all of the cards over and try to find the fruit and its matching silhouette insha'Allah.

- If you use the game in your class, put the game in a centre and laminate the answer chart for students to use as a control (i.e. they check their answers with the chart) insha'Allah.

Lots more I'm sure insha'Allah but I won't keep you in suspense insha'Allah. Okay, maybe just a bit longer...hehe...but it's for a good reason. The Canon Creative Park site has sooo many neat free downloads in areas like science, vehicles, crafts, and more! And, the site is in French, Dutch and a few other languages subhana'Allah. Okay, I'm finished doing PR for Canon...hehe. You can download the game here insha'Allah.

Oh yes! If you can, print the box on cardstock insha'Allah. That way it's more durable insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Check it Out: Up, Down and Around

Assalamu alaikum,

Here is another wonderful and Islamically appropriate (insha'Allah) book to be read to, for, and by preschool and kindergarten aged children insha'Allah:


'Up, Down and Around' by Katherine Ayres has fun rhyming verses that get children excited about vegetables insha'Allah! and children also learn how many vegetables grow in similar ways alhamdulillah. And it all ends....well...I won't spoil it for you insha'Allah. But, you can buy the book here or....the next time you're at the library insha'Allah....Check it Out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Check it Out: Let's Look at Winter

Assalamu alaikum,

I just have to share this book with you all insha'Allah! "Let's Look at Winter" by Sarah L. Schuette,  is a 'safe read' insha'Allah as it only has pictures of nature (but the animals are included in some pictures) and a snowman (smile) to teach children about Winter. It's a wonderful book with great pictures that will capture the attention of the child as they learn about Winter insha'Allah. The text is simple and great for preschool aged children insha'Allah.


You can buy it here or... the next time you're at the library....Check it out insha'Allah!

Sight Word Activity

Assalamu alaikum,

This sight word activity is one that can be used with an entire class, put in a learning centre or given to a child to do independently insha'Allah.


The child has an activity mat with a stack of sight word cards (upper right hand corner) and letter cards (pictured above the activity mat). The child takes a sight word card and places it in the square in the middle of the mat. He/she then finds the correct letters to spell the sight word and then places the letters in the boxes below the large box in the middle of the activity mat insha'Allah.


This is the activity completed spelling the word 'he'. There are blank letter cards for the child to place in the box if the sight word is only 2 letters long as in the word 'he' for example.

The file includes two activity mats: one that has three boxes for two and three letter sight words (pictured above) and a mat that has four boxes for three and four letter sight words insha'Allah. There are 80 sight word cards and also included are upper and lower case letter cards for the entire alphabet insha'Allah, plus blank letter cards as well. There are also writing prompts in the file that help the child practice using the sight words in sentences insha'Allah.

Download the file below insha'Allah:


Enjoy insha'Allah!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quran Memorization Charts

Assalamu alaikum,

I designed these pages to help parents/teachers and children track the surahs they have memorized alhamdulillah. The child cuts out the name of the surah they have memorized and pastes it onto the chart. Each chart has three surahs on it and there are charts for Al-Fatiha and Juz 'Amma insha'Allah.



A sample chart


Sample of surah cards to cut and paste to the chart

Insha'Allah, these will be helpful and fun for you and your children. You can download the file here insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Learning to Tell Time: Masjid Clock

Assalamu alaikum,

After children have been introduced to the passage of time using these puzzles insha'Allah, they move toward learning to tell time insha'Allah. The five daily prayers are an excellent way to introduce or supplement a lesson focused on learning how to tell time insha'Allah. These are fixed times of the day that most children are already familiar with because they observe them being performed in the home insha'Allah. So the idea of "it's time for..." is already a concept that exists in the child's mind insha'Allah.

*Note: I uploaded a new version of the Arabic clock because it had 13 instead of 12! opps! Please re-download if neeeded. My apologies.*

To help in this activity (learning to tell time), children can make a little masjid clock of their own insha'Allah:


Children can colour their clocks insha'Allah and the clocks are easy to assemble Alhamdulillah.

To assemble the clock:

1). On cardstock, print enough clock templates for each child insha'Allah.
2). Invite the child to cut the clock and its hands out.
3). Invite the child to colour the clock (optional)
4). With a brad (the little gold thing that holds that hands on the clock) secure the hands to the clock.

Your done alhamdulillah!

Here are the files in Arabic and English insha'Allah:


Enjoy insha'Allah!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Arabic Letters Visual Discrimination Activity

Assalamu alaikum,

This activity was inspired by a website I discovered Saturday night called childcareland.com. This site has soo many resources for Early Childhood but I haven't had a chance to really browse around yet insha'Allah (I haven't gotten past the home page - that's how much they have!). This activity is a visual discrimination activity that was inspired by one I saw from childcareland.com. This one is Islamic (the mat is a prayer rug) and uses the Arabic letters instead of English letters. It is believed, and waallahu alim, that visual discrimination is key in the process of learning to read because it is linked to children's ability to recognize letters; this in turn affects phonemic awareness skills. This activity helps children practice visual discrimination insha'Allah:


The activity mat and game pieces

The activity in progress
Children take each game piece and find the matching letter on the activity mat.

The activity completed

Because this is an idea that is not mine originally, I'm not sure if I can post my file. I read this in Wikipedia about copyright but I am still unsure:

"Copyright does not cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed. For example, the copyright to a Mickey Mouse cartoon restricts others from making copies of the cartoon or creating derivative works based on Disney's particular anthropomorphic mouse, but it does not prohibit the creation of other works about anthropomorphic mice in general, so long as they're not copies or adaptations of Disney's mouse."

So, I need to do my homework on this before I put my file here insha'Allah. I thought even if I can't post my file perhaps you can design a similar activity of your own insha'Allah. The mat pictured has the letters 'alif' through 'daad'. A second mat contains the remaining letters alhamdulillah. I also laminated the mat and pieces for durability insha'Allah.

Insha'Allah, you'll find this activity beneficial and the previously mentioned website as well. I think I'll be adding that site to my favourites insha'Allah (smile).

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Yarn Snowman

Assalamu alaikum,

This little winter craft is great fine motor skill work for children three to six years old insha'Allah. The 'snowballs' are easy to make and take about 3-5 minutes per ball (for an adult) insha'Allah. You can find the tutorial in this post insha'Allah. For the little hat, I stumbled upon a blog (*Note: the blog has unislamic content.*) in December that had a tutorial about it and when I went back to try to find it...I couldn't. I think if you Google tiny yarn hat and I think the woman's name was Adrian, you may find it insha'Allah. Try those words in Google and maybe you'll be more successful in finding the blog than I was insha'Allah.


Completed Yarn Snowman

The Stages of a Yarn Snowman



and finally....

A completed yarn snowman alhamdulillah!

How to make a yarn snowman insha'Allah:

1). Invite your child(ren) to make the yarn apples shown in this post but use white yarn and white pipe cleaners instead. Make a large, medium and small snowball/apple. Do not put stems or leaves on the apples and cut the white pipe cleaners off very close to the snowball. Push the exposed wire into the yarn with the handles of a pair of scissors insha'Allah.

2). With a hot glue gun (an adult must do this part), glue each of the snowballs on top of each other insha'Allah.

3). Make a little hat for your snowman. If you can't find the tutorial for the hat pictured here (I'll try again to find it insha'Allah), you can improvise and the children can make hats from cardboard or cereal boxes insha'Allah.

4). For the arms, use pipe cleaners. Twist the pipe cleaner around a few pieces of the yarn where the snowman's arms should be. Make sure you push any exposed wire into the yarn completely with the handle of a pair of scissors insha'Allah. Use smaller pieces of pipe cleaners, in the same colour as the arms, to make fingers insha'Allah. To do this, fold the pipe cleaner in half and twist it around the lower part of the snowman's arm inshaAllah.

5). For the snowman's buttons I used black felt and cut 2 little circles out. Again, use a hot glue gun (an adult does this part also insha'Allah) to glue the buttons onto your snowman inshaAllah.

Your Yarn Snowman is done alhamdulillah!

Enjoy insha'Allah!

Participants

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