Monday, October 24, 2016

Halloween Fun

Five Little Pumpkins
An all-time favorite chant for Halloween is "Five Little Pumpkins".  We read this book many times throughout October, and the kids never get tired of it!  I made pumpkin stick puppets so we could act out the story.  Five students get to come up and play the parts of the pumpkins. The pumpkins each say their own line for their corresponding pumpkin, and the audience says the other parts of the story.  At the end, when the pumpkins "roll out of sight",  the five students roll their stick puppets and walk off the "stage". 
5 Little Pumpkins,

5 Little Pumpkins,

"Stained Glass" Pumpkins
This art activity lets each child's personality come out and makes an adorable display!

All you need is:
*orange, black, and green tissue paper cut into small pieces
*wax paper
*Stay-Flo liquid starch
*paint brushes

Start by painting the liquid starch onto the wax paper, and lay down the orange tissue paper pieces forming the shape of a pumpkin.
Stained Glass Pumpkins,

Be sure that all of the orange pieces are overlapping each other and there should be no holes.
Then add the black tissue paper to make the face, and the green to make the stem.
As you are laying down the tissue papers, you may need to paint on more liquid starch to make sure it sticks.  When the pumpkin is complete, add another layer of liquid starch to make sure all of the tissue paper is wet and sticking to the other pieces. (Be sure not to have puddles of liquid starch.  If it is too wet, it will not peel off the wax paper nicely.)

Stained Glass Pumpkins,

Once the pumpkin has dried, carefully peel it off of the wax paper.

Stained Glass Pumpkins,

I like to laminate our pumpkins to finish them off...

Stained Glass Pumpkins,

...then hang them on a window to smile at everyone!
Stained Glass Pumpkins,

 Yuck Soup
Yuck Soup,

After reading the book, Yuck Soup, by Joy Cowley, we make Yuck Soup!  Actually, we just draw pictures of yucky things and add it to our paper cauldron.  The students also write a sentence to go with their picture.  They write, "In go some_______".

Yuck Soup,

Friday, October 14, 2016

Halloween Sensory Tub

This month's sensory tub is Halloween themed!  
Sensory tubs give the students time to freely explore different types of items.  There are no rules or directions, just options!  The students can sort, build, play, count, etc.

Halloween Sensory Tub,

Here's some of the items in our tub...
Halloween Sensory Tub,
*rubber bats
*brooms (Hobby Lobby)
*ghosts made from white fabric
*witches cauldrons (Target)
*Different types of pom poms (Hobby Lobby)
*witches hats (Hobby Lobby)
*Halloween erasers (Target)
*felt spiders
*felt spider webs (Target)

To work on fine motor skills, I also include...
*large tweezers (Lakeshore)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Subitizing Freebie!

Ready for a FREEBIE!?!  
Here is a set of subtilizing cards I made to use whole group with my class.  These cards have different dot representations for the numbers 0-10.  I simply hold a card up and the kids show me the number using their fingers held up in front of them. (Or sometimes we just yell out the answer!)

Subitizing Freebie,
Click on the image for your free copy.

These could also be used as "Quick Image" cards. You would hold up the card for a couple of seconds while the students study it.  Put the card down while they recreate the dot pattern on their desks with manipulatives, then show the card again so they can check their work.  

Both of these activities allow the students to practice seeing patterns in numbers and being able to quickly identify amounts in sets without having to count each individual dot. 

Subitizing War
My students also love playing the classic card game of "War" so I made a Subtilizing War that they can play during Math Centers!
You can also find this one in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!
Subitizing War,

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Where's the Spider? (Letter Name & Sound Recognition, and Number Recognition)

My students cannot get enough of these "Where's the...?" Pocket Chart games this year!  Now that it's October, we started using "Where's the Spider?" to practice letter names and sounds.  We can also use this game to practice number recognition.  

I just chose which cards I wanted to put in the pocket chart and hid the spider behind one of them.  The students took turns coming up and using a pointer, they point to one of the cards, say the name of the letter and the sound it makes.  Then they pull the card out and see if the spider is hiding behind it. (I have the students point at the cards with a pointer instead of just their finger because I found that this keeps them from just waking up and pulling out a card.)

We finally found the spider hiding behind the very last letter!

This game reviews uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numbers.

You can review each skill separately, or mix all the cards together!

You can get a copy of "Where's the Spider?" here.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Pinterest Pick 3 - October

It's October already!?  October may have snuck up quickly, but I am definitely ready for some fall weather!  Here are some great finds from Pinterest to add some more fun to your October.

How much fun would it be to make these yarn pumpkins!?
 Click on Image to View Original Pinterest Link

These Snap Cube Pattern Cards would make a great math center.  
And they're FREE!!!!
Click on Image to View Original Pinterest Link

 This would be such a fun art project!  I like these different colored lines, but since it's October, I'm picturing some adorable pumpkins made from orange yarn, with a little brown for the stem and some black if you want to make it a jack-o-lantern.
Click on Image to View Original Pinterest Link

We Don't Cry, We Try!

Our classroom moto for this year has been, "We Don't Cry, We Try!"  Every year, I have a handful of Kinders who completely stress out because they don't know how to do something.  I try to explain to them that they aren't supposed to know how to spell everything correctly, or write every number correctly.  They are in Kindergarten for me to teach them these things so I don't expect everything to be perfect, but the only way to learn, is to give it a try.  I've started saying, "We don't cry, we try" when one of them is getting worked up about not being able to do something, and it has made a world of difference!  They now come up to me to show me what they tried and didn't get upset about!  They can do so much more than they thought they would be able to do!

Do you have any sayings you use in your classroom to motivate your students?  
I'd love to hear them!