Happy Thanksgiving!


OK, so I thought October went by fast.  But, November has gone by even faster.  I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week.  I am thankful for so many things right now.  I am thankful that my parent teacher conference week went well and is now over.  I am thankful for ten hours of sleep last night.  (Should I be embarrassed about that?)  I am thankful that my mom is doing OK after her surgery.  I am thankful for the online teaching community and Teachers Pay Teachers!  I am thankful that I still love my job after 17 years and I get to work with some of the most amazing people in the world...  the five year old people in my class.  Life is good.


I am also really excited because my Print & Go! Thanksgiving FREEBIE made it into the TpT newsletter this week.  Woo hoo!  If you haven't downloaded this yet, go grab it.  You can get it by clicking on the link above or the images below.


It has four pages of black and white printable activities for your K-1 kiddos.  There are two activities that are great for addition or decomposing numbers to ten.  It also has a sentence scramble and a writing sheet with an "I'm thankful for..." list.  The lists are half pages with two on the master.  It looks like this when you cut the pages in half:



Here is another one:


Those were written by kindergarten kids in November.  You can see they are working on stretching out words and writing the corresponding sounds.  This is great practice and I think they are doing really well so far.  I think the little darling above copied Leaves from a book cover - what a smartie!    You will often see things from nature on my students' thankful lists because I always read this book to them before we start.

 

Giving Thanks is a wonderful book if you are studying Native Americans or teaching about the first Thanksgiving in your classroom.  It is a message of gratitude written by Chief Jake Swamp and illustrated by a Native American artist, Erwin Printup Jr.  I will be honest, it is written like a prayer, but because it is from the Native American cultural perspective, it is OK to read in public school classrooms.  It is a great book for that reason when it is presented in the context of the studies I mentioned above.  It is a really beautiful message.

Those thankful lists were on a bulletin board that looked like this:


The Indian corn art was done with cotton swabs dipped in brown, yellow, orange, and red paints.  Then the kiddos attached the corn husks to make them look like Indian corn.  I had drawn out the cob shaped templates and made copies on card stock.  It was a successful little fall art project.  Here are a couple of them up close:




We also made turkeys from toilet paper rolls.  I am always looking for ways to up cycle tp rolls.  I wish I could use all the rolls we use in my household for art projects, but it is an uphill battle.  We use a lot of toilet paper and there are only so many art projects we can do in a school year.  But, these little turkeys were pretty darn cute!


First my little students painted a peice of thick paper with fall colors in whatever pattern or design they liked.  Then they traced both hands and cut them out.  Last, they glued on eyes, nose, and tissue paper waddle along with the hands on the tp roll.  Tadaaa!  Fun little turkeys for a Thanksgiving decoration at home.  We made those turkeys last year.


So I used the idea again for a variation on the theme this year.  For these turkeys on our November calendars, I used our Ellison die cut machine to make colorful leaves and the kiddos used them as tail feathers.  We used tp rolls again for the turkey body and students used markers to draw the eyes, beaks, and legs.  It was a simple and easy project for the calendars.  You can grab my Calendars for Number Writing in my TpT store by clicking on the link or the image above. 


We have also been learning about setting, characters, and beginning, middle,  and end of a story for retelling.  We used my favorite book for fall.  I have posted about it before, because it is absolutely adorable!!!


 

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson is a must for your K-1 library if you don't already have it.  You can go grab it at Amazon by clicking on the image above.  (If you buy it, I will get a teeny tiny bit of $ from them for going through my blog -thanks!)  That is true for any of the book covers on this post.  You can go get them with a click and if you do, thank YOU!

This is an example of how my kids do the beginning, middle, end re-telling in my classroom.



I take 12 X 18" drawing paper and cut it in half to 6 X 18".  Then I fold it in thirds and write beginning, middle, end on the corresponding sections.  It doesn't take long at all to prep that.  After reading and talking about the story, the kids draw pictures illustrating each part.  Then I take the dictation about what was happening in each part.   It works great for kindergarten kids.  When the activity is more about ideas, I use dictation, rather than writing, as a way for the kiddos to express themselves.  

Here are a few more books I LOVE to read this time of year with my class:

 

In November By Cynthia Rylant is beautifully written with rich language and images.  It is a classic!

 

Alligator Arrived with Apples - A Potluck Alphabet Feast is another great book for Thanksgiving time.  The creative use of alliteration will tickle your students ears.  There are lots of unusual foods to discuss as well.  It is also a classic and continues to be one of my favorites.


 

When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass is a wonderful book for studies about the season of fall.  It helps give kids lots of seasonal indicators other than leaves turning color and falling off trees.  It is a helpful book to use for answering the essential question "How do we know it's Fall?"  

If you are looking for some great practice pages for your classroom in fall, you might want to take a look at my Print and Go! Apples, Pumpkins, and Leaves.  It is a great set of NO PREP printables that can take you from September to November in kindergarten.  Here is an example of student work using one of the pages.  You can go take a look at this helpful resource by clicking on the link above or the images below.




I hope you have a well deserved Thanksgiving break.  Enjoy this special holiday with your family and friends.  May you have many gifts to be thankful for this season.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy teaching!

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