Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cross-Curricular PUMPKIN fun!

It's October. The leaves are changing and falling.  The air is cool and crisp.  But most importantly... Pumpkins.  Kids love pumpkins.  And you can have a lot of fun with pumpkins in your classroom. 

Here are some great read alouds for your pumpkin week! 

 Awesome, awesome book to talk about counting and estimating.  Then, OF COURSE, having the kids count the seeds in a pumpkin! 

 This witch grows a HUGE pumpkin but nobody can seem to figure out how to move it! 

 Oh, Splat is hilarious!  Your kids will love this funny book about trying to get the perfect pumpkin home! 

 Excellent for learning about the life cycle of a pumpkin. 

What do you do with a yard full of pumpkins -- especially when you hate them?  Read to find out!

Check out these videos! LOVE using music in the classroom, especially when it fits around our theme!

And here are all the integrated activities we will be using for some pumpkin learning and fun. 

Will be reading this quick non-fiction text aloud to help build background and knowledge about pumpkins. 

Kids will learn the parts of a pumpkin and work on these labeling activities.

We will explore the outside and inside of a pumpkin and chart our results using our five senses.  I prefer to use one big pumpkin for the whole class, but you could use small pumpkins at tables. 

We will make these cute little life cycle crowns and flipbooks! 

LOVE LOVE LOVE this cute little estimation station with pumpkin candy!  I will pour the pumpkins into a jar, show the kids what ten pumpkins look like, then chart their estimations.  As an extension, I like to fill the same sized jar with candy corn and compare the two jars. 

Ten and Teen Frame Pumpkin patch game using pumpkin candy!

Read and teach this poem whole group then kids can work on it during stations! 

Students put together the puzzle pieces by finding the rhyming words! 

 Students use magnetic letters or letter tiles to build CVC words or work on beginning/middle/ending sounds. 

Students work together to unscramble the sight word sentence.  Then, they record it on their sheet and color the pumpkin to match. 

 I-Spy.  Students use magnifying glasses to find the tiny CVC pictures and record the CVC word or the beginning sound. 

Roll a Jack-O-Lantern.  Students roll the dice, and color in the matching shape on their jack-o-lantern.  There is a version with a blank pumpkin where students draw in their own shapes, or the one shown below where they trace. 
 Teen Frame Matching. 
 Rainbow Pumpkin Graphing.  Students use a pencil and paperclip to spin a colored pumpkin, then color it in on their graph until one reaches the top. There are questions to answer about the graph afterward. 

Here's a little freebie from the pumpkin pack! 

Be sure to check out the whole pack in my store by clicking below. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Motivating Reluctant Readers

It's mid September and schools around here are finally getting out of their beginning of the year craziness and settling into a routine.  You may be noticing who your high fliers are and who needs a little kick out of the nest.  When it comes to reading, it's a mixed bag.  Every year you get some kids who absolutely love reading and some kids who require bribery a little motivation. There are tons of ways to get these kids excited about reading -- book clubs, reading incentives, sticker charts, I'm sure you've tried countless ways.  Today, let's talk about the goodies. 

So many little goodies that I like to use to trick the kids into reading get kids excited about reading!  I rotate these in and out of my Read to Self station! 

Use toy cards to have kids track while they're reading. 

 Let them choose  a stuffed animal for a reading buddy.  They will practice fluency by reading to their friend! 

 I got these amazing googly eyes at Michaels.  They are great for tracking and keeping their "eyes" on each word! 

You're going to need a plethora of pointers.  As you can see, I'm quite partial to star shaped pointers.  My kids also loved using silly straws and flyswatters to point to words and pictures as they read!

Magnifying glasses are fun for reluctant readers.  You could challenge them to find certain letters or words using their magnifying glasses!

 SO FUN!  Love these little witchy fingers.  Throw in some fluency practice by telling your kiddos to read with their best witch voice!

Give them something to read into like a fake microphone or phonics phones!

Tell the kids to put on their "reading glasses" and give them some goofy cartoon glasses or giant sunglasses to wear. 

Motivate them by giving them a special place to read like a reading chair, reading rug, or... *GASP* your TEACHER CHAIR!

What kind of goodies do you use in your classroom to get those reluctant readers excited about reading time? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Transportation Math and Literacy FUN!

We're prepping for our Transportation Themed week in Kinder!  I'd love to show you some books and videos for a Transportation theme as well as some engaging stations and activities all designed around transportation!

Here are some great Transportation Read Alouds! 

Donald Crews has a whole line of simple transportation books like this one!

A classic.  The kids will love chanting "I think I can I think I can"

 This repetitive text is perfect for kinder kiddos! Read aloud then put it in a station for the kids to read with partners.  They LOVE it!

 This is a board book but who doesn't love Mo Willems and this little pigeon?!?

A fun book of sounds and lots of different kinds of transportation!

Love a good transportation video for a brain break! 

Check out some of the fun stations and activities we'll be completing around the Transportation Theme!  

We talk about how transportation has changed over time.  I show kids pictures of different modes of transportation when they were very first invented, and we compare them to the same transportation now. They LOVE to see all the old ones! 

We talk about how we use different kinds of transportation to travel by air, land, and sea.  After discussion, we sort them out and then decide what we would use to travel to different places.

We also complete transportation themed math and literacy centers!

I-Spy!  Kids use magnifying glasses to search for hidden CVC pictures! They record the words. 

 Write the room!  Students search for words hidden around the room and record them under the correct word family. 
 Choo Choo Beginning sounds!  Students look at the picture on the engine of the train and recording the missing beginning sound. 
 Ship Shape Spin.  Students use a pencil and paper cip to spin a shape.  They trace and color the shape on their recording sheet and keep going until one of the shapes reaches the top. 
 Deep Blue Counting.  Students choose a submarine card and count or use a number line to fill in the missing number (0-20)
 Counting/Skip Counting puzzles.  The kids LOVE putting the numbers in order to create some kind of transportation with these puzzles! 

And we have a themed poem for the week. We read and discuss the poem whole group and they also practice reading and complete a recording sheet during stations.

You can grab all of these activities and more in my store! :)
Click any of the images below!