Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fall and Pumpkins

 We started with reading the book: The Was an Old Lady who Swallowed Some Leaves.  We discussed what we see in the fall, why the things were in the book, and the colors we see.

I started with this pinterest idea to teach about fall and the color of fall.  I precut the center of the template out, the colored dots, and the squares.  Students wrote their own name as long as it fit in the box.  Students were told to cut around the outside of the trees and the blue box.  They then colored the trunks of the trees brown.  They then put glue on the leaf part and filled it up with the leaf squares.  They then carried their pieces to the teacher and waited in line.  When they reached the teacher, they were told to scoop 1 scoop of each color (a frosting container filled with dots and a plastic spoon) and say what color it was. We then stapled it all together and viola!  Leaf globes!

This taught/reinforced: fine motor skills, cutting/scissors skills, waiting in line (rules, patience, and turn taking) colors, and the concept of fall.

I also created another Pinterest project to display the projects in the hallway.  It is currently holds our "fall leaf globe."

We also worked on hand washing more.  The nurse that visits dropped of a UV black light in which shows the white lotion and powder the students put on their hands.  We told them it was magic germ finding lotion and powder.  We showed them all the "germs" on their hands with the black light.  We then sent them to wash their hands.  When they returned, we used the lights again and saw all the places we missed.

 We finally went back and washed our hands one last time.  I really think they are getting it.

We watched short videos on:

Germs and How germs spread

The parts of the hand to wash

A hand washing song

We started the next week with pumpkins.  In our discovery center I had a bin with a pumpkin in it. I had already cut off the pumpkin and the only rules I have the students were: keep it in the bin,  only 4 at the table at a time, and wash your hands when you are done.  I didn't want to limit what they wanted to do to explore the pumpkin.  Some of their faces were priceless!

In small group we did a pumpkin observation sheet, found from the Teaching Mommies Website.  They looked at, smelled, touched, listened to, and even tasted pumpkin.  The kids did great, though they did NOT enjoy the taste of pumpkin.

We watched a video of the life cycle of a pumpkin in the seasons including a time lapse video of the growth:

We then talked about what they discovered in the discovery center that day and the day before.  We used a scholastic "parts of the pumpkin."

After watching the video, playing with pumpkins, and looking at the chart, I felt they had a good understanding of what a pumpkin was, the parts of it, and it's life cycle.

We then did a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast apples and pumpkins.  The students had some great ideas about their similarities and differences!

We practiced our cutting and the star and circle shape with paper strip pumpkins.  Students were given a piece of construction paper with lines drawn on it. They were told to cut on the lines and then make their papers into a star (all 5 pieces touching in the middle going out in 5 directions).  The teacher then staples the center of the star.  They then help bring all the pieces up to the top making a circle/sphere and their rolly-poly pumpkin!

Finally, We made Jack-o-lanterns.  I had cut a template out that had the bottom of the pumpkin on a fold so it opened up.  The students put the face on with choices of ovals, triangles, and rectangles (since conferences are coming up, I have been doing assessments and discovered students needed help with these shapes).  I had all three shapes in a bag and they had to say: "Can I have ___ for the eyes/nose/mouth."  For the mouth, I have them the choice of 1-5 of that shape for the mouth.  When they completed their jack-o-lantern, they moved on to the inside of the pumpkin.  We talked of the "science word" for pumpkin guts: pulp, and used yarn to illustrate this.  One pinch of pulp and glue it on.  They then picked a card I hand wrote with the numbers one through five written on it.  When they picked a card, they had to name the number, count that many seeds, and glue them on.  They then put it on the drying rack on their own.

This activity taught/reinforced the following: following directions of increasing complexity, shapes, parts of a pumpkin, art, recognizing numbers, counting, and fine motor skills.

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