Fall Fun!

Fall is here!  The leaves are changing colors, the days are getting cool, and pumpkins are everywhere!  It is my favorite season and I love to share my passion for fall leaves with my students!  I love to send my students on a fall leaf walk to collect leaves.  Then we press them for two weeks.   If you don't have a leaf and flower press in your classroom I highly recommend you get one.   Then we make things with the leaves...

I love the leaf creatures my students made last year.  We read this book to the kids first.  I also showed them lots of images of leaf collages on my iPad.  The kids had lots of inspiration and ideas to kick start their own creativity.  Then they set to work to make an animal or person using the leaves we had collected. 

This is a great book and is a good investment for your classroom library.  The leaf creatures were awesome!  I was impressed with the kids' ideas as well.  It was an open ended writing activity, the students told me their sentence and I wrote it on a 1" paper strip.  We read it together, then I cut it up, mixed up the words, and each student has to fix it up and glue it down.  This is a great Kindergarten literacy activity!

Some other great books about fall leaves to read to your kiddos are:

We also made some fun fall trees.  The kids used oil pastels to draw the trunks and then used cotton swabs to dot on the leaves using beautiful fall colors.  I just adore these!

I love the trees that have dramatic cascades of leaves falling.  So darn cute!

We also do a cute little poem,  The Leaves are Falling Down.  It can be sung to the tune of  the Farmer in the Dell.  We sing it together as a shared reading activity, then the kids do it themselves as a choice after jobs(centers) are completed.  It's simple and it helps  build confidence as readers when they do it independently. 

I hope these ideas will get your creative juices flowing for fun fall projects in your classroom!  If you are looking for more fall projects and ideas, check out my Pinterest board: Festive Fall
It is a great place to go for all things fall related for primary classrooms and families with young children.  There are lots of free printables, arts and crafts, fun food, and other ideas.
Happy fall!
Happy teaching!

Candy Corn Calendars!

This is just a quick little post with our cute calendars for the month of October.  They are a super cute ripped paper craft to make a candy corn.  I used a template in the shape of a candy corn and traced it with pencil onto the black paper.  Then my sweeties went to work ripping the yellow, orange, and white paper to fill in the shape.  They glued each piece with white school glue.  I had several students tell me it was a fun job and I was happy because for once I gave myself permission to be in charge of the art table during centers.  (I call centers "jobs" in my classroom.)  The candy corns turned out so sweet! (no pun intended)

Of course I got this idea from Pinterest.  You can look at the original pin here.  I also saw a cute idea for painting a candy corn with pom poms using clothespins here.  BTW, my Pinterest board for Halloween is a great place to find ideas for activities, arts and crafts, food, and lots of freebies, not just my own.  Here is the link to my board: Happy Halloween! If you don't already follow me on Pinterest, you might want to see my other boards too.  I have lots of great boards for Pre-K through 1st grade.  Here is the link to all my boards on Pinterest.

The only thing I felt really bad about was the fact that I may be reinforcing the sugar thing by using candy as the subject of our artwork.  I teach in a community that is very healthy and I always try to reinforce this in the classroom.  So, the students and I had a very honest conversation about it during the job.  I showed them what the real candy looked like.  Many had never had one before, some had and knew what they were called.  I told them that I would let them try some on Halloween, but warned that they may not like the taste because they are VERY sweet.  We also talked about other sweet healthy treats that we liked.  It was fun to hear about the kids' favorite fruits that were in season.  We talked about how fruits and vegetables give our bodies good energy and nutrients but sugar didn't give our bodies nutrients.  It was a fun time chatting with my smart little students while they worked.

We do a monthly calendar activity in my classroom for number writing and pattern practice.  We do an art project to go with it so it is something the students can hang up at home and refer to as the month goes along.  It is a perfect way to count down to a favorite holiday like Halloween!  You can get these calendars for your classroom by clicking on the image below:

It also includes lots of ideas with photos and directions for seasonal art projects like the candy corn.  I hope you find it helpful for your class.   Thanks for stopping by and reading!
Happy teaching!

It's Pumpkin Time!

Yes, fall is here and it's pumpkin time once again.  Fall is my favorite season.  I love the colors, the smells, the cooling down and shortening days as we head toward winter.  And, yes, I do love pumpkins!  It is always so much fun to do a pumpkin unit with the little sweeties in kindergarten.  These are my photos from last year.  I couldn't find the time to do much of anything but run my classroom last year, so blogging didn't even make it on my "to do" list.  I am so glad I took a few photos here and there, because the kiddos made some cute things.  I just love these punky pumpkins!  More about those later...

This was my big bulletin board with our class pumpkin patch.  Those pumpkins were made with paper bags and crumpled newspaper.  It is a fun and easy art project for little hands.  Just stuff the bag with a wad of newspaper.  Twist the top, paint, and add tape, pipe cleaners, or whatever you want to make the stem, vine and tendrils.  I have seen some very cute ones on Pinterest lately.

This photo is easier to see the final result.  We used tape and pipe cleaners to finish ours.  We did lots of observations about pumpkins during our studies.  We harvested them from our garden at school, measured them, compared them to apples, did a float/sink test, explored the insides, counted and baked the seeds, and cooked them!

We also visited a working farm with over 40 varieties of heirloom pumpkins.  It was so much fun!  And of course, we wrote about pumpkins too!

(My pumpkin is...  big and heavy.)
(My pumpkin is... green and orange!)

Yes, we had pumpkin fun in my classroom last year!  We did lots of centers and learning activities related to our theme.  But my favorite art project were these fun and funky jack-o-lanterns for Halloween!  Inspired by the many I saw on Pinterest, I showed my kids some pictures and they painted the pumpkin independently.  Then I helped them by drawing the shapes they wanted for eyes, noses, and mouths for them to cut out.  It worked really well!

They were absolutely adorable!  Our room looked very festive for Halloween.  So, if you are planning to do some pumpkin activities this year, I have a couple things to share with you.  The little half page writing prompt for a pumpkin observation is yours if you want it!  Just click on the image below to go get it.  You can download it from my Google docs.

And....  this is the prompt page I give my kids the day after we visit the farm.  It is on my TpT store if you want to go get it.  There is one that says farm and one that says pumpkin patch.  Please consider following me on TpT for more freebies and early bird discounts on new products.  Hope you enjoy these little goodies.

Hope your fall is going well and these freebies make your life a little easier!
Happy fall and
happy teaching!

What can I be for Halloween?

This is just a quick post about a little set of literacy centers I posted on TpT today.  I made it last year and my kiddos loved them!  I didn't get it finished in time to publish it last year.  Sooooo......
here it is ready to share with you now.  I think the sweeties in my class will love it this year too.

It has a cute emergent reader called What can I be for Halloween?  There are two versions, one that is student made with written words like the top picture on the post.  The other version is a little reader like the picture below.  It has nice spacing so the words are easy to point to when reading.

Either one would be a great literacy center and the best part is the black and white printable books can be made for each student to keep in a book box throughout the year or sent home for fun reading practice.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

The other literacy center in this pack is a set of clip cards like those pictured above.  They have all the costumes from the reader along with a recording sheet for kiddos to write the beginning sound for each word.  It was a fun activity last year in my classroom.

You can get it at TpT for your classroom!  Just click on the image below to go there and check it out.  There is a preview file with the entire set so you can see everything before you buy.  As always, it will be discounted for the fist few days, so don't wait.

I hope these are a great addition to the Halloween activities in your classroom.
Happy Halloween and
happy teaching!