Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Passion for Pumpkins

Our school does not celebrate Halloween. We are a fundamental school that has many students who do not celebrate this holiday. So I always need to come up with activities that are still lots of fun challenge them academically, but no witches and goblins can come into our rooms. I also want them to reflect the Common Core. That can be a tall order at this time of the year! 

I worked on a variety of activities today and have not moved away from my computer. I really had to think about what to use to build letter naming fluency and would not be "more of the same thing" for my struggling readers. Yup, you read that right. We are already talking about progress monitoring this little ones but that is a whole, other post. 

Students just roll the cube with a partner (collaborative model) and fill in this little recording sheet after telling their partner the name of the letter. I am giving them crayons that are fall colors to spice it up and make it more fun. I can have them focus on the letters they need to work on since I am the boss of the cards! Easy and fun.

If you have been following my blog you know all about this game. Now I made it with a pumpkin graphic. These are the words I want my kids to know fluently so I have repeated them several times. One card has pumpkin seeds hidden behind it and when the student pulls the card and finds this they win this round. Here is what we like to chant once a student has been picked... "Pumpkin, pumpkin on a vine, we love your seeds. They taste so fine."
This is a very simple ten frame activity that I am introducing during guided math. I want students to understand that when a 10 frame is filled you don't even need need to count the candy! For students with a limited understanding of this I will give them easier cards and have them put counters right on top of the candy corn to make these concepts more concrete.
Here is a simple cut and paste activity that I will provide for students who are ready for more abstract learning. I will use it for my top students. It might make a great homework activity, once students clearly understand these concepts. 
Students need lots of practice counting and this is just another activity using pumpkins and seeds.
I'm going to make a recording sheet that allows students to draw their own seeds. They will love doing that. I like the idea of showing 10 on one pumpkin and putting more seeds on another to count all the seeds together. Here is where subitizing work will really pay off. Your higher students will not always need to count each and every seed!

I love this little activity the best! What do you think?
My students have been having a blast will all the fishing games I have mad but seriously you don't fish for a pumpkin! So I had this big, clear spoon in my kitchen that I glued a magnet to. I covered the inside with a pumpkin. So students will play with a partner and dig for pumpkins. Each card has a magnet on the back.Once they identify the letter, the partner will place them on the vine with lowercase letters on the bottom and uppercase letters on top. I hope my little farmers like this activity. 

These gorgeous graphics all belong to Whimsy Workshop. I recommend purchasing them if you want to make some of your own centers. Aren't they adorable? Please check out her products. I love all of them! Her blog is right here.


Betsy said...

So cute!! Our school does not celebrate Halloween so I am looking for straight pumpkin ideas too. Not allowed even jack o'lantern pumpkins in the classroom. Will you be selling these on TpT?!

Maryann said...

You are amazing! You have been busy!I love the activities for the pumpkin! Any chance these will be for sale on TPT? I love the sight word game! Thanks for sharing!

Fran Kramer said...

I will try to get it ready for printing. I am a bit overwhelmed right now with my class.
We can't have anything that implies Halloween or our parents will not send their kids to school. Yikes!

Whimsy Workshop Teaching said...

Fran, you never run out of wonderful ideas! Thank you for the shout out too! xoxoxoxox

Sandy Welch said...

I love all the pumpkin fun, Fran! Soon to be on TPT, I hope! Susanna's art is delightful. We can do Halloween but nothing scary. I hope your doing well!

Sandy Welch said...

Hi Fran! I love all the pumpkin fun and so would my kids. This would be great in November as well. Soon to be on TPT, I hope! Susanna's art is delightful! We get to do Halloween but nothing scary. I hope you're doing well, sweet Fran!

laurie gerard said...

These are absolutely perfect and would love to purchase them. Will you be selling them as a pumpkin pack? We do not celebrate Halloween either and would love to use them in the next week. Thanks soooo much! Happy Fall.

Stenslv said...

Fran - went to tpt to get this and couldn't find it! Hope you post it there soon -- I am home today and ready to print and laminate!


Diane Daniel said...

Wonderful job! I really hope you post these for sale!

Terry Yordan said...

Hoping these will be on TpT or in some giveaway contest ;)
I love them ALL!

Terry Yordan said...

Hoping you will be putting these all on TpT. Ir better yet, a blog contest giveaway :) (I can dream)
Seriously, these are wonderful and will last two months.

Teresa Perrine said...

Absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, these activities. I can't wait for you to put them on TPT. Thanks for all your hard work. I appreciate your creativity and great ideas.

Teresa Perrine said...

Absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, these activities. I look forward to you posting them to TPT so I can purchase them. My kiddos will have so much with them. Thanks for all your hard work.

Teacher and Life Long Learner said...

Great activities-smiles and stop by anytime!

Benita Afonso said...

Great thematic activity for me to use with my newcomer ESL studetns! Will you be selling this? Please let me know.

Sleepy Hollow, NY

Benita Afonso said...

What a great thematic Unit for me to use with my newcomer ESL students.
Will you be selling this on TPT? Please let me know. thanks

Christina Serafin said...

Thanks for posting and writing about all the great activities you are doing in your classroom. I like how you have integrated some of the holiday themes and activities into your math and literacy activities. My school does not celebrate Halloween either, but some kids still do get excited about it. We study pumpkins and the seasons around this time of year, so we sometimes do a lot of math activities that involve the pumpkin life cycle. Do you tie your science curriculum into these types of activities at all? I really like how you use the seeds in the pumpkins the help the students practice their numbers. Do you ever use real pumpkins and real pumpkin seeds? Thanks for posting and sharing things from your classroom! Stina Serafin

Christina Serafin said...

I really like all the math and literacy activities you have shown us here. I like how they have a theme and how the students can connect to them beyond math and literacy activities. I especially like how you have the students practicing their numbers by using the seeds in a pumpkin. Have you ever tried using real seeds and real pumpkins? Thanks for sharing everything you are doing in your classroom!