Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Halloween Centers

It is a that spooky time of year. There is a chill in the air, and your students are starting to feel the holiday season. I like to use themed activities this time of year because it keeps students engaged a little more.

I love Halloween Math and Literacy Centers. I always suggest you model each activity before students use them. Then, they should be independent. I use mixed groups for my centers so there are high students that can help the low student at every activity. At this time of the year, we are focusing on number sense, letters, and beginning sounds. For the beginning sounds 4 in a Row, I will go over the picture sounds and what beginning sound everyday before centers. This only takes a minute or two and it will avoid interruptions during my guided reading groups with students asking, "What is this?"

Do you have these Frankenstein erasers from Target yet? they have them every Halloween (usually in September, and they sell fast). I bought a set a few years ago and designed this subitizing game to go with it. Last year, I bought a new set. This is such a popular game, the erasers took a beating (and several went missing).

The Haunted house Ten Frame is fun because you can use a variety of Halloween erasers with it. I just love the skull erasers, but I also have ghost and candy that I use with it. I will put the letter witches in a pocket chart and the beginning sound cauldrons in a cute Halloween tin. This makes for a great whole group activity. usually do it as a whole group activity a few times before I have the students do it. You can find all of these activities here and ON SALE.

This FREE Spider Ten Frame game is always a hit. You can have students work on sums of 5 or sums of 10. The spider manipulativies are included because I can NEVER find spider erasers!!! I know they are out there. I have seen them on Pinterest, but never in the store.

If you follow me on Instagram @myfabulousclass you saw this yesterday. (Yes, I have been working on this post for 24 hours, thanks to a fussy 8 week old).These spider webs are editable so you can type in students names or sight words. Then, you can type in the letters on the spiders. You will need to download the free font KGWhatATeacherWants. Or, save time, and print it blank, and have students write it in. You get this FREE HERE.  Since Halloween is on a Thursday this year, I will carry this theme in through the 1st. Next week, I will do some more pumpkins before I start with Scarecrows. I love turkeys, but Thanksgiving is late this year.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Pumpkin Investigation

Are you a pumpkin lover? Do you go for everything pumpkin? I am huge coffee drinker, but I don't really like Pumpkin Spice coffee. I know, I know, don't shout me! I pretty much stick to the basics - pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin pie. I love teaching about pumpkins though. It is a great way to tie in science and math standards, while keeping students engaged during the start of this crazy, crazy time of year.

Do you teach pumpkins in October or November? I have always done October, but this year, I might continue into November since Thanksgiving is so late this year. Today's activities come from my Pumpkin Activities . I also have a FREE Investigation Resource for you at the end.

First, we did this fun craft with the inside of the pumpkin. We cut a small pumpkin in half and pull out the insides. We talk about how it looks, how it smells, and how it feels. Then, we fill out or recording sheet and draw the insides. Next, we label the parts of the pumpkin. Then, we create this adorable craft. There are two ways to make this craft. You can simply do front and back or you can staple them stems together. When the kids created the insides, we used real pumpkin seeds and gold pipe cleaner. I like the gold because it adds a bit of sparkle! You could also use string and paper seeds.

We also talk about the life cycle of a pumpkin. We talk about how the seeds sprout and grow into a plant. The plant grows flowers and the flowers turn into green pumpkins, and eventually, by fall, they turn into orange pumpkins.

Have your started learning about force and motion? This is a great introduction. We talk about how to move the pumpkin in different situations. We also discuss if it would be easier to move a big pumpkin or a small pumpkin.

Then, we spend some time investigating out pumpkins. I set up these FREE pumpkin investigation cards around the room and they use the recording sheet. There is a recording sheet for predications about their pumpkins and for what they actually found to be true (we are little scientist). I like to have parents help, if they can, but if not, I will create groups with a mix of high and low kids to help each other out. First Graders should be able to do this independently, but Kindergarteners will need some sort of guidance. I definitely recommend you model how to do each activity for your class. 

This last activity that I am sharing is perfect for Halloween Day. We talk about how to carve a pumpkin. We sequence how to carve it, then we get to design our own. You can use these shapes or have students trace shapes you have (less prep for you, score). Then, have students count how many shapes they used. You can add more content to this lesson by making sure they know the names of the shapes, asking how many sides the have, and how many corners they have.

I hope you all enjoy teaching pumpkins with you class. It will help foster a love for science! You can find these Pumpkin Activities here.