ABC and 123: October 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Poetry Suggestions


Our 5 senses are typically the focus of science instruction early in Kindergarten.  This form poem would be an easy way to apply what students are learning by writing a class poem.  For older students it would be a good opportunity to encourage them to use detailed descriptive language.

Fall, fall, what does it look like?
Fall looks like...
Fall, fall, what does it sound like?
Fall sounds like...
Fall, fall, what does it smell like?
Fall smells like ...
Fall, fall what does it taste like?
Fall tastes like...

Fall sensory poems are also an enjoyable way to teach onomatopoeia (written sounds).  It is the perfect season for: Crunch! Crackle! Hoot! 

Haiku is a lovely way to teach children about syllable structure.  While it was a bit tricky for my students yet in second grade it is a good opportunity to practice as a group. Most students third grade and older should be ready to take on the haiku challenge independently.  Perhaps it would be best to begin by providing a seasonal object (apple, pumpkin, leaf, scarecrow) for students to focus their poem on.
For those unfamiliar with Haiku, the structure is as follows:
5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables

the scarecrows stand tall
intimidating the crows
weathering the chill

{terribly lame I realize, but it gives you the idea...by the way, it would be fun if you'd share your own fall haiku in the comments today!!!}


At the beginning of the year in my second grade class the students enjoyed writing Fall is form poems to learn about the differences between nouns and verbs.  After writing their poems the students choose whether to present their poems in song, with actions, or with illustrations.

Fall is…
 Noun, verb
Noun, verb
   Noun, verb
{allow the students to create as many combinations as they want}
 adjective

Example:
Fall is
cider simmering
pumpkins glowing
leaves dancing
 magical

For upper elementary aged students a Fall acrostic poem would be appropriate.  After brainstorming seasonal words students may creatively assemble their acrostic.

Falling Leaves
Arranging features on a Jack O' Lantern's face 
Losing Daylight
Looking forward to holidays


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bilingual Wednesdays- Word attack strategies


Either in English or Spanish when children are learning to read new words they need strategies to read them.

You can try with these:
  • Look at the pictures
  • Try to sound out the word
  • Look at the beginning of letters
  • Look at the end of letters
  • Skip the letters you don't know and read the end of the word
  • Try to guess
  • Does this word make sense?
  • Go back and read it
  • Look it up in a dictionary
  • Ask a friend or an adult


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Show and Tell #73

Did you get a chance to check out the pumpkin science suggestions from Over the Big Moon? Reminded me of a crazy pumpkin science experiment we posted a couple years ago.

The Fantastic Five got scientific with their thematic lessons as well.  They are learning about static with some little ghosts.

I have seen many posts on neat leaf rubbing activities, but this suggestion from Faith Full Mama for leaf pounding really grabbed my attention.

Okay, one bonus feature this week because I am excited to try this mess with my 4!  Seriously, check out the spaghetti spider webs from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.

It's your turn!
abc button

Please remember these rules:

~Post an Ah-Ha moment, an experiment, learning game, field trip, whatever you're currently working on, your child's fridge worthy artwork, handmade gifts, or anything holiday related.

~Direct link to your post, not your home page.

~Include a link back to us or our link button in your post.

~If you come back and your link is missing, double check to make sure you've followed the directions!

~Most importantly, please try to visit and comment on at least three links. Spread the comment love and make someone's day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Movement and Music--Skeletons/body!

Today we are going to explore some Movement and Music with our Skeletons.  

Hi, this is Jedda from This Little Project.  I always like to do some body awareness for my kids at this time of year when skeletons are hanging all over the place.  When my kids realized that they have skeletons and that they were part of the body that made it moved they weren't so scary :)  Below are movies and activities to help you experience and learn about the bones in your body.

This little movie will get you started at looking at where your bones are:



If you want to learn the "real" names of the bones, my niece sings a song with the different bones ( to the tune of Macarena) that will help you can learn some of the real names of the bones.  Click Here and it will take you to the movie.  She doesn't point to each bone in the movie--but you can while you sing it!

This next music piece (In the Hall of the Mountain King) is fun to dance to at this time of year.  The first part of the music is so quiet that you can hardly hear it.  Start with everyone in a circle and tip toe your skeletons around as close to the ground as you can.  As the music grows louder and faster you can grow taller and walk faster and faster around the circle.  

In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg (from Peer Gynt).    
Kids LOVE this game and it's a great way to teach about dynamics and tempo in music as well as a fun way to explore the idea of their bones moving while they dance/run around.


This song is about skeletons dancing around.  What kinds of shapes can you make with your skeletons while you dance around?
Dance Macabre by Saint-Saens, a french composer:
 

Fun songs for learning about bones:
Use the hokey pokey with the names of the bone instead.

("You put your right phalanges in...")

or

Use the "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes" song:

(Skull, clavicle, patella, tarsals, patella tarsals, patella, tarsals....)


This is a fun dress up activity.  What covers your bones?
Thanks for joining in with me today for some great music and movement! 
I hope that you find joy learning about music and movement and dance with your children and students!

 If you would like more ideas on what you can do to learn and share music with kids, come visit my blog, This Little Project. The first Monday of the month is always about music!

If you missed the past countries in this Music and Movement series, here are the links for the other countries we have explored together: MexicoChinaIreland USA,  France, and Scotland!



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Leaf Crafts & Creations


Getting Messy with Ms. Jessi put together a cute fall bulletin board: "Enjoy Fall Before it Leaves"
Get active outdoors raking leaves into a leaf house with this suggestion from Sparkling Adventures.

Peace, Love, and Rainbows put together a lovely fall fun to do list.  They also share a fall leaf tracing art project.

Mom On Time Out gives step by step instructions, and a template, for making stained glass fall leaves.


Simple As That made some beautiful leaf rubbings.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bilingual Wednesdays- Pumpkins



October is the ideal month to learn about pumpkins, orange, scarecrows and crows either in English and Spanish.

My goals for this lesson:
To introduce and practice numbers 1 to 4 in Spanish
To relate numbers in their oral and written form

I introduced numbers 1 to 4 in Spanish while counting pumpkins and enjoy this funny poem in the flannel board.
4 calabazas divertidas
4 calabazas divertidas
crecieron en la granja
el granjero vino y tomó 1
entonces quedaron 3.

More verses:
 3 calabazas divertidas
2 calabazas divertidas
1 calabaza divertida

After counting our pumpkins using the flannel board set, we counted plastic pumpkins using counting mats.



I also made these pumpkins mats to use them as big counters. 


Then I invited children make funny pumpkins using their favourite art supplies.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Show and Tell #72

Over the Moon put together a creative thematic unit about Gnomes that is full of fun learning opportunities!

Raising Genius Fish suggested many preschool academic activities using leaves.

Our Creative Day combined crayons and creativity with some spelling practice.

It's your turn!
abc button

Please remember these rules:

~Post an Ah-Ha moment, an experiment, learning game, field trip, whatever you're currently working on, your child's fridge worthy artwork, handmade gifts, or anything holiday related.

~Direct link to your post, not your home page.

~Include a link back to us or our link button in your post.

~If you come back and your link is missing, double check to make sure you've followed the directions!

~Most importantly, please try to visit and comment on at least three links. Spread the comment love and make someone's day!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wild Things {for Halloween and Beyond}


There is something about October, or maybe the full moon over our house and the way my kids have been behaving, that has me thinking about Where the Wild Things Are.

Making Learning Fun has downloads for toilet paper characters of many of the Wild Thing favorites.

Hostess With the Mostess shared the most fantastic wild rumpus!

Deep Space Sparkle put together a watercolor lesson for first graders inspired by the book.

Anna the Red assembled an amazing Where the Wild Things Are bento meal.

Instructables  posted pictures and a brief explanation of how to put together some wild Halloween costumes.

Matsutake explained a simple and cute Halloween craft that they modified to make Max and a monster.

WilliamsMe1 uses the book to model a text talk book lesson.
EdGalaxy compiled links of many different language arts activities for an entire unit of study surrounding Where the Wild Things Are.
se7en put together some great Wild Things shadow puppets.
Watch a video tutorial from WhiMSy to help you create this cute Wild Thing puppet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Science Experiments Using Leaves


We have been experiencing uncharacteristically warm weather for the season which has encouraged a few extra beach visits, bike rides, and bubble blowing sessions.  However, from the looks of the piles of fallen leaves covering our front lawn it really is time for me to let leaves, pumpkins, and apples lead our learning before the lawn is covered with snow!  With that in mind, here are a few scientific experiments using fall leaves.

The Geek Mom put together an experiment to find the colors hidden in leaves.

The Homeschool Den also used fall leaves for an interesting experiment.

Little Austinite modified a high school biology experiment to explore why leaves change colors.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Counting on; an addition strategy


This month's topic is addition.  I am just finishing up my addition unit and one of the most important addition strategies is "counting on".  Here's the basis of it:

This sure does beat putting 6 on your fingers and 5 on your fingers....then, realizing you don't have anymore fingers! :)  So hence the reason for putting the biggest number in your head first!

I made a fun game to help my students practice counting on.
Supplies:
Counting on cupcakes {copy on cardstock, cut, laminate}
Counting on cupcakes recording sheet


Procedure:
1. In pairs, one student chooses a card. They come up with the number sentence that would coincide with the card and write it down.
2. Both players put the greatest number in their head and the smallest number on their fingers and count on. They write the sum.
3. Then, the student who chose a card can check their answer by using their counting on cupcake card.  They touch the number and say it, then they touch each cupcake and count on.
4. The next student can choose a card and continue playing.
Click {here} to download the counting on poster
Click {here} to download the counting on cupcakes game 
Come see me at my blog:


Clipart and/or font used with permission by DJ Inkers
Clipart used with freebie license by Scrappin Doodles

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Show and Tell #71

This suggestion on Meremade to assemble a clock on a white board is intriguing.

Jada Roo Can Do linked up last week with several interesting fall tray activities.

My Shae Noel filled a post with fun and educational activities for Halloween (also includes links to many of the materials).


It's your turn!
abc button

Please remember these rules:

~Post an Ah-Ha moment, an experiment, learning game, field trip, whatever you're currently working on, your child's fridge worthy artwork, handmade gifts, or anything holiday related.

~Direct link to your post, not your home page.

~Include a link back to us or our link button in your post.

~If you come back and your link is missing, double check to make sure you've followed the directions!

~Most importantly, please try to visit and comment on at least three links. Spread the comment love and make someone's day!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Teaching with Ticia: Make a 10


or make a 9, you can easily adapt this to any number you want.  This is somewhat influenced by my CGI training when I was teaching (Cognitively Guided Instruction).  The theory behind that was to let the kids find different ways to solve the same problem.
I gave my kids a target number to find, so far this week we've done 10 and 9.  This coming week we're going to try other numbers.  Then they used their math blocks to see what combinations of numbers could be used to add up to 10.  For the sake of this activity I only allowed 2 addends, but obviously you're only limited by your rules.

After we did this I remembered an activity we used to do when I was teaching 3rd grade, and the kids were given the day of the month and had to find different ways to find the number, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or multi-step problems.  This is a great way to introduce kids to the concept of multi-step problems without them becoming afraid of it because it just seems like play to them.
I made a super simple printable for anyone who is interested, but quite frankly you can just as easily give them a sheet of paper with the number written at the top.

Have you had any math activities that were a big hit for you?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Play to Learn: B. Toys {Pop Arty}


Our youngest son participates in weekly physical therapy lessons in our home.  His therapist and I are always on the look out for new materials to give him many options for being engaged, for using different muscle groups, and for stimulating new learning.  It takes a special toy to draw him in and keep him actively involved while the physical work gets tricky.  Several of our family favorites happen to be B. Toys: Meowsic,  Bazillion Buckets, Whacky Ball, and more! 

B. Toys are often recognized for their unexpected colors, their Earth conscious (and pre-gift wrapped) packaging, and their commitment to inspiring individuality in children.

 The Disney 2010 Family Fun Toy of the Year (T.O.Y.) Award Winner, Pop Arty, is intended for children ages 4-10 but quickly draws the attention of all six in our family!  Since we have enjoyed it so much I thought it would B. Fun to share with you a few of the ways we sneak learning into our Pop Arty play sessions!

 B. Precise
Use the beads to put together chains of several different lengths.  Organize them by size.  Measure them with a ruler or a non-standard measurement tool to master the concept of measurement.
 B.Observant
Sort the large pile of Pop Arty beads into all kinds of groups. Record observations.  Practice bar graphing to show how many beads are in each group.
 B. Inventive
Our children love to use their imaginations to create with Pop Arty.  In the picture above our daughter has put together a Pop Arty family.  Use your own imagination, and a few beads, to create an incentive for your child.  Perhaps add a bead to the bracelet for each random act of kindness shown by your child during a day, for every center activity they complete, for each chore completed with a positive attitude, etc.
 B. Perceptive
 B. Serious
Popping these together is pretty effective practice for these pretty little fingers.
 B. Creative
Design and assemble jewelry of all types, colors, and sizes.  After my daughter makes a pile of unique jewelry designs we play store and she sells them to me for her set prices and we talk about paying and making change.

The Play to Learn opportunities with this toy are seemingly endless, 
as they are with many of the other toys from B. Toys. 
Disclosure:  Thank you to B.Toys for sending Pop Arty, at our request, for the purpose of putting together this post to share our families authentic experiences with their quality toys.  Please note that the age appropriate level for this particular toy as stated by B. Toys is ages 4-10. I wanted to make this clear as some of the activities I have mentioned here may seem to suggest they are appropriate for younger children.