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Goodbye October, Hello November!
2 Nov, 2013. 9 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Autumn, First Grade, First Grade Holidays, Holidays, Kindergarten Holidays, Language, November, October, Preschool Holidays. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last week was a whirlwind! Here is a super small snapshot of our crazy pumpkin week: 
We created life cycle of a pumpkin crowns from the Bubbly Blonde’s All About Pumpkins pack:
We followed a recipe to make these delicious “October treats.”
{orange sherbet, Sprite, and sprinkles. My students then wrote a “how to” {informational text} writing piece after we enjoyed them!}
We weighed and measured pumpkins:
And of course we counted the seeds in our pumpkins. Our pumpkins this year were HUGE! 
I used mini cups and had my students put groups of ten seeds in each cup. (We all determined that counting by 10s would be the best idea.) 
On Thursday some brave parents came in and helped us carve our pumpkins.
And finally, to end the day, we each painted our very own small pumpkin.
They loved pumpkin week and learned so much. My favorite part of the week was all the math investigations we got to do. They worked so hard using their math tools (rulers, scales, etc.) to figure out our “investigation” of the day. 
I will say this though, as much as I love all the themes that we cover in my classroom, I am strangely happy when I am able to take it all down and introduce a new one. Taking down “October” and putting up November is such a HUGE change. I especially enjoy it now that I don’t get a real fall here in Texas. 
I’ve started a “tradition” in my planning that the day after Halloween I introduce our new concept (the Wampanoags) during small groups and take down EVERYTHING October. The writing center changes, the bulletin boards come down and the book corner gets a bunch of new books and the centers get all new games. We say goodbye to our pumpkins and read our favorite October books just one more time and get geared up and excited for our new lessons.

 

We even got started on a new Thanksgiving craft! (Making 3-D Indian Corn!) Once they are finished we will hang them from the ceiling mounted on black construction paper. 

My students love discovering the new theme and were quick to point  out yesterday during math bins (when they were still playing a pumpkin game) that it was not Halloween anymore. I told them I know and that it’s okay to still play the game one more time. They nodded in agreement and went along happily.

I met with 8 of my kids and began to introduce our new vocabulary and some of the new literacy  and math centers we will be playing next week. They were SO excited to soak up tons of new information and were excited to practice decoding new {big science and social studies} words.

During our Literacy Center rotations I began to teach my small groups about what life was like as a Wampanoag. We discussed their houses (wigwams), how they made their boats (mishoonash), and how they hunted for food. After a brief mini lesson, they were given the task to match the “If I were a Wampanoag” cards together. They really enjoyed putting them together and this will be a center next week. 
 I liked introducing these activities in a small group because my students always have a ton of great questions. I love how engaged they are and how much they want to know. It’s nice to answer their questions in this small setting which then makes them “an expert” on the subject and they can in turn answer their friend’s questions. 
 We also began to work on spelling our new “Wampanoag” words. 
They always love being able to talk about the Wampanoags using the correct terms. It is especially fun when their parents email me and tell me that they are learning from their 6 year olds! 
Lastly, I was able to introduce our “two truths and a fib” center. This center really makes my students think critically and read carefully. In this center the students take a card and read the three sentences on it and then have to determine which one the fib was. I have my students circle the fib with a dry erase marker and then they fill out the recording page which has them write what the fib was and why it was a fib. They LOVE this! 
In my math small groups I introduced a few of our other new centers. Next week we will focus on fact families, patterns, adding 10/subtracting 10, measuring, and graphing. 
For our fact family center, my students will each take three fact family cards and take turns rolling our dice to get their missing numbers. After they roll the correct number, they will write it in using a dry erase marker and then pass the dice. The friend who fills up all of their blanks first, wins! 
 
 In our measuring center, my students will once again practice using a ruler to see how far the turkey ran. 
 For adding and subtracting ten, my students will continue to play one of their favorite games. In this game, my students take out a number card and then spin the spinner to see what to do to their number. They then use a bingo dauber to cover the number on their hundreds chart. Whoever gets 5 in a row first, wins. This is a game that they choose all the time when they finish something early! 
 For our pattern work, my students will work with a partner to fill in the missing numbers on our pattern cards.
Just a tip: if you use a Mr. Clean Eraser, the dry erase markers come off SO EASILY. Seriously, it makes it so easy to clean up. {A teacher’s dream for these types of centers!}
 Our last math bin for the week is one of my favorites. This one is called “How Was The Hunt?” In this center, my students spin a spinner to see what the Wampanoag got during his hunt and how many of that animal he got. Then they graph their spins and answer questions based on them. {It’s a great center for boys!}
Here it is in action! Spinning to see what animal the Wampanoag got:
Spinning to see how many!
Finally, they would graph it! (This was taken before they colored in the rabbits.)
I am so excited for next week to dive into teaching about the Wampanoags, using our new interactive notebook pages and making some of my favorite crafts. 
I wrote a few books for my students to teach them about the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims and each page from the book has an interactive notebook component to it. Each day in my classroom we have 30 minutes between lunch and recess and I am going to use this time for Social Studies with our new readers that I wrote and the interactive notebook pages. 
We will read the book together, then glue the pages into our notebooks. After we highlight and find key details in the text, they will respond to the text on the following page. 
 This will help them not only read critically, but also learn more and more about our nation’s history!
 I’m super excited to embark on this new unit!
 I hope you are having a great weekend and are ready to gear up for November! 
All of these centers and activities are available in my TpT store. Just click on the picture to get taken to the product that has them! Enjoy! 

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9 Comments
  1. Wow.
    That’s pretty much all I can say. Wow.
    I so want to be in your class!!!!
    Your math centers look amazing and I want them all! :)

  2. Thanks for sharing some super October Pumpkin ideas and for helping us look ahead to some great stuff for November. Time to visit your TPT store!

  3. It looks like your kiddos had a fabulous time learning about pumpkins! :) And love the October treats! We make something similar during Grinch Week-just with lime sherbet!

    Lauren
    Simply Second Grade

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This post is so inspiring! I am looking forward to digging in! I need everything! It looks amazing!!!!

  6. I bought your unit and have it all ready for this week! Cant wait to use it with my class :)

  7. When I saw all the pictures I wanted all the centers, but bought the Indian & Pilgrims one instead, which looks like it has lots of information for the kids too. Will have to go back to get the centers. Will you be having a centers unit for the Pilgrims too? Thanks, Jackie jmcmanam@w-sioux.k12.ia.us

  8. When I saw all the pictures I wanted all the centers, but bought the Indian & Pilgrims one instead, which looks like it has lots of information for the kids too. Will have to go back to get the centers. Will you be having a centers unit for the Pilgrims too? Thanks, Jackie jmcmanam@w-sioux.k12.ia.us

  9. Your blog is amazing. What kind of camera do you use? I totally want my husband to buy me one for Christmas.

9 Comments

  • Wow.
    That’s pretty much all I can say. Wow.
    I so want to be in your class!!!!
    Your math centers look amazing and I want them all! :)

  • Thanks for sharing some super October Pumpkin ideas and for helping us look ahead to some great stuff for November. Time to visit your TPT store!

  • It looks like your kiddos had a fabulous time learning about pumpkins! :) And love the October treats! We make something similar during Grinch Week-just with lime sherbet!

    Lauren
    Simply Second Grade

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • This post is so inspiring! I am looking forward to digging in! I need everything! It looks amazing!!!!

  • I bought your unit and have it all ready for this week! Cant wait to use it with my class :)

  • When I saw all the pictures I wanted all the centers, but bought the Indian & Pilgrims one instead, which looks like it has lots of information for the kids too. Will have to go back to get the centers. Will you be having a centers unit for the Pilgrims too? Thanks, Jackie jmcmanam@w-sioux.k12.ia.us

  • When I saw all the pictures I wanted all the centers, but bought the Indian & Pilgrims one instead, which looks like it has lots of information for the kids too. Will have to go back to get the centers. Will you be having a centers unit for the Pilgrims too? Thanks, Jackie jmcmanam@w-sioux.k12.ia.us

  • Your blog is amazing. What kind of camera do you use? I totally want my husband to buy me one for Christmas.

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