Sunday, November 3, 2013

October Learning

October was a whirlwind. There was so much learning to do, and it was all a lot of fun. Here is a quick summary of some of the activities we did.

Pumpkin Unit
I used a combination of ideas form different units (Pumpkin Patch Palooza-Deanna Jump & Pumpkin Unit-Nicole Ricca) and ideas I found on Pinterest. My kiddos really had a lot of fun and their interactive notebooks--stapled together paper--really helped to cement the information into their schema.
 Some books we read. Big Pumpkin was their absolute favorite-Mine too!

As part of the reading, we planted our own seeds. They were so convinced that they would not sprout, if we didn't first put them in soil.
 Tada! As soon as we observed the root, students transferred them to a cup with soil in it. We are now making observations for growth of our baby seed. This might take a couple weeks.

These are some charts we did. 
Some Student Notebook Pages

Students had the opportunity to use their five senses once the pumpkins were cut open. They wrote about their learning in their journal.

After we carved out the pumpkin to see the insides, I placed it in a small container to have them observe the rotting process. They were able to see how little by little the pumpkin gets moldy, mushy, smelly, black, watery, gooey...and they will never forget the word "Decomposition"!

Halloween Activities
 We did a pumpkin glyph. It was very interesting to find out that many of my students had never carved a pumpkin.

We read, acted out, and retold the story of There was an Old lady Who Swallowed a Bat.

I was really able to see who could retell the story by having them do a picture retell in their reader's notebook. They first labeled on their own (great assessment on phonetic spelling) and then matched the word cards provided.

My kiddos got to do their own old lady and practice retelling with the picture cards. Click here or the picture above for your FREE templates.

One of our tasks during writing workshop was reading and responding to the book My First Ghost.

  It is a very cute story about what friendship truly is. What discussed the qualities of a good friend. They created their own ghost friend and then wrote a creative piece about the things they like to do with their ghost friend. I was so impressed. I got a variety of settings and activities....lots and lots of details. The progress I have seen from the beginning of the year is truly impressive. I know it is due to writer's workshop, great literature, and practice, practice, practice.

My favorite activity was their pumpkin project. They decorated a pumpkin as the character from their favorite book, and then wrote an opinion piece about why that was their favorite character.  They were just too cute! One of the pumpkins eyes even lighted up. Here are a few of my kiddos.

 Like I said before, it was a busy month. 

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By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
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