Don’t you just love long weekends? This past weekend I was able to head out to my father’s house in the Berkshires to enjoy a very relaxing weekend with my family. The leaves were simply stunning and it made me so thankful to be here in New England to see them! It got me thinking about my former students in Texas who had a hard time visualizing what the fall actually looked like. In Texas, while the weather started to get a little cooler (it was in the 80s and not the 90s!), we never got to really experience the beauty of fall.
I want to take FULL advantage of every teachable moment this fall now that I am back in New England. As I am typing this, I have pumpkin pie play dough cooling on my counter. Next week we will use this play dough in many of our center activities.
I also wanted to create something that y’all could use to share “fall” with your students no matter where you live. I created a packet called ,”This Is Fall” that I am S0 excited to use next week. In the packet I included three differentiated magazines complete with beautiful pictures for your students to read. I also added vocabulary cards, word work activities, science extensions and a few craft/activity ideas.
Next week I will use the new magazines during guided reading:
My students love it when they get to read their magazine during guided reading. I love that the text is right on their level and the pictures allow us to have great discussions and to make many connections as we are reading.
As we make connections, my students will write or draw (based on their abilities) the connections that they are making to the text on Post It Notes. They then will stick their post it notes on their recording page in the correct spot. We will also make a large anchor chart of the connections they are making.
Another extension that we will work on this week will be writing about what we read. For this we will use the interactive notebook pages found in my “This Is Fall” pack.
All of these activities will help my young learners practice making connections to texts that they are reading.
While my students are working with me in guided reading, my other students work at different centers. My centers this week are focusing on matching rhyming sounds, beginning sounds, and alphabetic principles. (Most of these centers are found in my October Literacy Center pack.)
At one of our beginning sound centers, my students are looking at fall pictures and then clipping the correct letter. This not only works on beginning sound fluency but it also works on fine motor skills!
For alphabetic principles, my students are putting the “five little pumpkins” on the correct areas of the gate. We love chanting the poem “5 Little Pumpkins” and therefore this is a really fun game for my students! This center has students matching lower case letters to capital letters.
Another center that my students will work on this week is another beginning sound center. In this one, students are racing to cover all of the letters on their work mats by spinning a spinner and saying the picture the spinner lands on. They then cover the letter on their mat that begins the picture’s word. Last week my students loved competing to see who could fill up their whole mat first.
Our last beginning sound center this week is called “The Sticky Web.” I put up a larger than life sized web over my closet door and taped bugs with letters all over the web. To play this game my students reach into the container and look at the card. The cards have a spider web with a picture stuck in the web on them. They then have to find the correct letter in the web and light it up with a flashlight.
After they light up the bug, they daub the correct letter on their recording page. If they finish this center early, they are enjoying labeling the spider anchor chart!At the writing center my students have a few choices. One choice that they love is adding details and settings to pictures and then writing about the picture that they created.
Another favorite activity is cutting and pasting sentences in the correct order:
Finally, they can create “Fall Books” using their fall vocabulary cards:
All of these options are helping my kindergarteners become better readers and writers.
During Guided Reading my students also practice “read to self,” “listen to reading,” and play games at my pocket chart. This week they will be playing a memory game where they will try to match rhyming words.
Another way my students are enjoying October is by exploring volume using different sized containers and cranberries!
They are LOVING this. What makes it even better is that many of them have seen real cranberry bogs and are carrying on the best conversations as they are enjoying that station!
And of course learning in October would NOT be complete without studying about spiders!! Last week we learned ALL about spiders and had a blast reading about them and exploring them!
We will soon dive into bats!
All of the writing and guided reading activities can be found in this pack:
All centers from this blog post can be found in this pack: