Thanksgiving Puppets

I had my 4th graders tell me what type of Thanksgiving craft they wanted to make before our class feast.  The consensus was: Thanksgiving Puppets!  I immediately started searching Pinterest for Pilgrim and Native American puppets.  I stumbled upon the website Spoonful and these adorable puppets with templates for free.  I combined their two examples and let the kids get creative with the paper and templates.

You can see our while village we made!  When the kids finished their puppets, they were allowed to make other little details for their puppets.

My favorite detail was the teepee and the fire! (I don't know why his puppets have sad faces) ;)

After we made our Thanksgiving craft, we had a traditional Thanksgiving feast as a class.  The parents made a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, apple pie....  I need to figure out how to make this a monthly thing! ;)  


Gingerbread Centers

My favorite winter theme is teaching about gingerbread!  I love how there are several versions of the Gingerbread Man book, and it is fun to compared and contrast them all.  Here are some gingerbread center ideas for your little ones...

Short Vowel Word Sort:  the students will sort the words according to the short vowel

What Comes Next?: the students pick a card and write the letter that comes next on the recording sheet

Sequencing:  The students look at the number on the card, and write what number comes next.  I placed the recording sheet in a plastic pocket so they can play several times during center time.

 Match the Numbers:  I like this number matching game because it can be differentiated or modified for your various learners.  You can have them match the picture and the number, or have them also match the number word.

 Syllable Sorting: this is favorite among the students!  They sort the picture cards according to how many syllables the picture has.  This is great if you don't have readers yet, because it just focuses on phonemic awareness!

 Of course, ever unit needs a craft to go with it!  Here is are the little gingerbread crafts: it comes with a boy and girl.

 You can read more about the Gingerbread Math and Language Arts Unit in my TpT Store!


Fall Behavior Management Idea

About every couple of months I like to change up my behavior management plan.  I started the year having the kids earn table points and I decided to switch it up this month.  I thought of an idea that is basically a class marble jar, but there is a twist to it...
Each table group gets a little paint cup from Lakeshore on their desk.  Throughout the day, their table group can earn little plastic goodies (from the dollar bin at Target).  I like using these instead of the pom poms because they can hear them fall in the cup, and the noise alone helps them get on track if their group didn't earn the leaf or pumpkin.

I drop a treat in if they are on task, getting their materials out quickly, following directions, etc. 

At the end of the day, each group pours their cup into our class marble jar.  Once we fill it up as a class, then we will get a class reward.

I like this better than table points because they are working as a class for a common goal.  They are also competing throughout the day to earn a pumpkin or leaf for their group, but we don't count them and compare. 

I have found this works really well if you have competitive kids that get mad if their group didn't get the most table points at the end of the week/day.  They are all working together, so everyone wins!  I have daily table captains, so they are the ones that keep the cup on their desk, and pour it into our class jar at the end of the day!  :)

Letter of the Week

I have been creating Letter of the Week packs for letters A-Z.  I have just started making these letter packs, but I decided to share them with you in case anyone is looking for extra printables to practice the letters!  

These letter of the week packs are designed to help you teach a specific letter all week long!

I have found that most teachers focus on one letter each week, and practice the writing, reading, recognizing, and listening for the beginning sound of that letter.
Included in this pack are different letter printables to: 
-recognize the letter
-color the picture with the beginning sound
-trace the letter 
-print the letter 
-sort the upper- and lowercase letters
-letter decodable: copy and cut on the line, staple into a booklet, and have the students trace the letter and word
-poster of the letter

Ways to use this pack: 
-use for center work 
-independent practice
-you can put the sheets in pocket protectors and place in a binder, the students can write on the pocket protectors with dry erase markers to practice daily!

Common Core Standards:

Here are some pictures of the Letter A pack in use!

Check out some of the letter packs in my store!

These letter packs have been so helpful in my classroom, I hope they can help you too!


Thanksgiving Craft: A Turkey!

I have an obsession with putting my seasonal bulletin boards up early, so we can get the most out of them for the entire month.  Anyone with me on that one?  Art class was canceled, so I took that time to make a Thanksgiving turkey craft with my students.  This Turkey Time Craftivity is something I made last year with my Kindergarten students.  I put a spin on the writing piece for the 4th graders...

Take a look at the turkey bulletin board!

When I taught Kindergarten, I had them write and draw about what they were thankful for.  This year,  I had the students write a persuasive letter to the farmer, from the viewpoint of one of the farm animals. Some of them wrote from the perspective of the turkey, dog, pig, or a turkey pretending to be another animal.  Most of their persuasive letters made me laugh out loud!

Here is a picture of my Kindergarten turkey bulletin board from last year.  If you teach primary, you could have them draw about what they are thankful for, or draw a picture of what the farmer should eat instead.  :)

You can pick up this turkey craft in my TpT Store. :)


Fall Counting With 10 and 20 Frames

This is one of my favorite fall centers!  It's simple and really helps the kids with counting numbers using a 10 frame!  I bought the little pumpkins from the dollar bin at Target, and printed off these  Fall 10 Frame Mats.  When the kids are finished with their work, they can grab some pumpkins and a mat, and practice counting!

I also put some little erasers at the math counting center for the students to use as counters.  These erasers are also good for making patterns!

Once the students understand the concept of the 10 frame, then I introduce the 20 frame to them!  These Thanksgiving 10 Frame Mats work well for the kids that are ready to be counting beyond 10.

The little leaves are also from Target.  They are great to use during the fall as a counting manipulative!