Crayons, Cauldrons, and Candy...OH MY!

We had a wild day in Kindergarten celebrating Halloween today!  I must say, my favorite party of the day was seeing the students dressed as their favorite book character.  I won't show pictures of the little ones, but I will show pictures of me and my co-workers dressed up as crayons (don't ask me which book we are from...)!

Here are the lovely ladies from the Kinder team!

And these are the teachers from the Primary Department!  We had a DIY Halloween craft night and made our shirts all together.  We chose a color shirt, cut a black oval out of black felt and glued it onto the middle of the shirt.  Then we cut out "crayola" out of color felt that matched our shirt.  We added squiggly ribbon (I can't remember what this is called) to add to the top and bottom of our shirts.  My favorite detail were the party hats we covered with felt and the ribbon to match!

I like to take "jumping pictures," so here is my Happy Halloween photo!

My little sister just started working at my school, so we too the opportunity to take a quick sister photo today.

Our class party was extravagant, to say the least!  We might have had a chocolate dipped fountain, pumpkin painting, a cauldron filled with "Halloween Punch," and made Frankenstein hats!  We had so many parent volunteers and it was great bonding time for the students and parents.  I hope you had fun in your classrooms too! 

Happy Halloween!


Thanksgiving 20 Frame Centers

My students have been loving my Fall 10 Frame Centers so much, that I wanted to make a new, more challenging set for Thanksgiving.  This center activity includes 20 sheets, one for each number, where the students can use manipulatives to show the number on their paper.

Pick a copy up at my TpT Store.

I laminate the sheets and leave them at a center with seasonal manipulatives.  I search the Target Dollar Bin weekly monthly to look for goodies to use at my math centers. {These leaves were given to me by a parent in the class! Isn't that sweet?!}  The students look at the number on the page, and place that number of leaves in the 20 frame box.  There is also an assessment printable that you can give the students at the end of the activity!  Head to my TpT Store for more details :).


Learning About Pumpkins

The life cycle of a pumpkin is one of my favorite things to teach about in the fall.  I get to bring in a pumpkin and do different science experiments with it, we go to the farm to pick a pumpkin, we explore the seeds of a pumpkin...the fun never ends! :)  Before I share all of my photos from this week, I am joining the party, and throwing a weekend SALE in my TpT store, everything is 20% off, Saturday and Sunday!

This is our life cycle of a pumpkin bulletin board.  In the middle, I made a life cycle out of construction paper, and around it, we decorated the board with the students' drawing of the life cycle.

After I taught the students about the life cycle of a pumpkin, we drew the steps together.  I modeled how to write words around our picture to scaffold for students that needed a challenge.  Some of them wrote words near their drawing, and others just drew a picture.

Here are the pieces of the pumpkin life cycle from our bulletin board...

We went on a field trip to the farm last week, and the students were able to point out the different stages of the life cycle as we walked around the pumpkin patch...I felt so proud! :)

Thanks to Miss Kindergarten's Pumpkin Graph and Glyph, we were able to use her unit to help us conduct pumpkin science experiments.  We did two sink or float experiments: with pumpkins and with seeds!

Before I dropped the pumpkin in the water, we made a class graph predicting if the pumpkin would sink or float.  There was also a recording sheet that we showed on our own paper what the results of the class graph were.

The students were so excited as I dropped the pumpkin in the water to see if it would sink or float...the cheer was as if we just won a pizza party!

Once a week we do a science experiment, so the following week we tested if the pumpkin seeds would sink or float.  Again, first we made a class graph, recorded our hypothesis, and then conducted our experiment. 

Each child got a chance to dig into the pumpkin and pull out a handful of seeds {you can imagine how exciting this part was}.

Last but not least, I dropped a handful of seeds into our tub of water to see if they would sink or float!

You can see we had a blast learning about pumpkins and conducting experiments with them!  Make sure you take a peek at my TpT Store for the 20% off sale Thanks Abby for the cute graphic!


Red Ribbon Week Door

"We SCARE Drugs Away!!!!"
Our Red Ribbon Week door turned out adorable, thanks to Miss Kindergarten's Monsters!  Each child made their own monster and then I titled the door, "We Scare Drugs Away!"  In Kindergarten, our focus is on healthy things to put in our body vs. non-healthy things.  I don't outright talk about drugs, but when someone volunteers an unhealthy item that IS a drug, that is how I tie it in...  Look at how cut our door turned out!  :)

Here are the students making their monsters.  When I show how to make a craft, I have all of the pieces cut, and then I model the best order to glue everything on.  Then, when it's their turn, I give them the pieces to the project as they are gluing it down.  I don't hand them all of the pieces at once. 

I just love our Red Ribbon Week Door!


Fall Emergent Readers

Now that we are comfortably into our school year and the students have memorized some sight words, we are ready to start reading emergent readers in our class!  Our curriculum moves SO SLOW through the "decodable books" so I decided to make some seasonal emergent readers to keep the students challenged and engaged.  I made a set of three little readers for the students to read during the Fall season!

{available at my TpT Store}

Three different Fall emergent readers are included in this pack:

Happy Halloween
Happy Fall
Happy Thanksgiving

The sight words included in the readers are: 
I, see, a, the, is, red, green, blue, black, white, purple, orange, yellow, brown 

Here are what some of the pages look like...

It is important to introduce the vocabulary in the book before reading.  I included words that can be cut apart and used in a pocket chart to teach the vocabulary first.

Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store for more details!


Spider Bulletin Board

I wanted to study spiders to get into the Halloween spirit!  We did several "spidery" things this week, but for now I am going to show you our spider writing. Here is our finished spider bulletin board.

We started our spider study by reading books about spiders, and then filling out this "tree map" to organize information about spiders.  This anchor chart was a great way to display what the students know about spiders, and for them to use the map to write their own sentence.

I placed this jumbo spider in the middle of the bulletin board and added some fake spider web around to make it "spooky."

After we discussed different things about spiders, the students wrote a sentence on their spider craft.  I did this activity over two days.  The first day we made the spider craft and spider tree map, and the second day we wrote our sentences and glued them onto the spiders.

The kids were really excited about our spider bulletin board, and this is an easy craft that you could make with your class too!


Stellaluna and AT word family!

One of my favorite bat books to read to the students is Stellaluna.  The illustrations are gorgeous, and it is a great story for them compare and contrast birds and bats.  I started our study on bats with reading Stellaluna to the class.

Somewhere in one of my files, I found a Stellaluna sequencing sheet.  I thought it would be more fun for the students to sequence the story onto a bat shape, instead of the paper it came with.  I made a bat shape for the students to cut out, and they glued the story in the correct order.

If there is a story that we are focusing on for the week, I like to find a youtube version of the story as well.  I like it when it is in a movie, cartoon form, or with someone reading it.  This is the Stellaluna video that we watched.

The same week we were studying about bats, I introduced the "at word family."  This includes all of the words that rhyme with "at."  I showed the students that if we have the word "at" and keep putting different letters on the front of it, the word changes and will rhyme.  We first started by making a list of words that rhyme with "at."  I drew little pictures to help some of the students who aren't grasping this concept.  {note: I am the worst drawer EVER!  I sear, drawing should be a class when getting your teaching credential...}

The next day, we read our words again, and I wrote them on post-it notes on our word family chart.  I bought these at Lakeshore, and there were about 20 sets of word family posters included.

After we reviewed our "at words" I challenged the students to write a sentence with one of the words on our list.  I modeled how to write using our sight words: I see a ____, then they were to choose a letter from the list, and write it at the end of the sentence!  I am so impressed with how well the students did with this!