Monthly Archives: October 2008

More Pumpkins…

Today was an interesting day–interesting is a good word for it!  My assistant was out today after me being out yesterday (BTW, I’ve decided that she can’t be out anymore! 🙂 )  All the kids did a great job being flexible about the few changes we had to make to accommodate just me being there!  Tomorrow, we are back to normal–what ever that is!

Yesterday while I was off helping to facilitate conversations with colleagues about Science, my kids were busy bees!  They started a new Predictable Chart titled, Fall is…”  We also started reading the Big Book, Picking Apples and Pumpkins with Clifford”.  They also added to the compost bin, played Number Dice Toss, had computer, lunch, recess, discovery, and got an excellent report! 🙂

Today, we continued with our Predictable Chart, looked again at Clifford (we worked on story comprehension through questioning), read a new poem in our pocket chart (5 little pumpkins), tasted pumpkin seeds (from our pumpkin we cut open on Monday) and graphed about whether or not we liked the taste of them (16 yes and 8 no), and we also played Roll a Spooky Pumpkin:


(Roll a scarecrow will be up next: rollascarecrow )

You will need to add your own pictures (if you wish) and dots for the dice.

They turn out so cute and it only takes about 15 minutes to do this.  I usually do it the first day where the children work on it individually, and the second day, they work with a partner to see who can complete their pumpkin first.

At my Science workshop yesterday, we worked to develop a “Science Stretch Day”.  There are 4 Kindergarten teachers in my building and so we will each have an activity that each of the classes rotate through–we’re doing this on Halloween!  The three days prior we are out for Kindergarten conferences, so there is no point in trying to have a “normal” day!  We will have cut open pumpkins so the children can experience the pulp inside, leaf sorting and graphing, gourd/apple/mini-pumpkin sink and float, and the one I’m in charge of: Mentos and Coke!!  I’m hoping for a nicer day so that we can learn the very elementary science behind the idea!  I have a rocket that attaches to the top of the Coke 2 liter and will shoot off when the Mentos have their reaction with the Coke.  I’ll be sure to get pictures when we do that! 🙂

I’m ready for my week to get back to normal!  And I’ve got to finish assessing my kids so that I can get report cards going! ARRGHH!

I’ll try to post some pictures tomorrow, but this weekend is out, my sister-in-law is getting married, and my hubby is a groomsman and my son is the ring bearer and more importantly it’s my nephew’s 1st birthday!  🙂  I can’t wait, I’ve been working hard on making custom Hershey bar wrappers (they say his name on the front and have all his statistical information on the back) for the full size bars and the miniature bars, so my sister can give them out at his party. He is such a blessing for my sister–she has had two other children pass away, so he is a miracle indeed and I can’t wait to celebrate him! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Apple Orchard/Pumpkin Patch

We had our first field trip today to our area Apple orchard/Pumpkin Patch, and my kids did an amazing job!  I am so proud of them!  We left first thing (8:30) and were there until lunch time.  Here are some photos from our trip:

We got to learn about how apples grow, tasted them and then tasted some apple cider!

These are the pumpkins that made it out of the patch!  This is for the people who just want to grab a pumpkin and go!

A picture of all the apples in crates, waiting to either be sold or made into cider.

Some of the other produce available there…

The farm on our way out!

Each classroom gets to pick a pumpkin, so here is ours.  When we got back to school, we estimated how many seeds were inside it, how big the diameter is and we cut strings to estimate the diameter.

Here we are cutting the string…

Here is our chart we made.  I had some students who cut very long, long, long strings and some cut 2-3 inch ones!  I’ve never had that happen before, so our chart looks pretty funny filled in!  I”m not sure why this picture is sideways-I am unable to turn it?!?


I am off tomorrow for Science Academy, so hopefully, I will have some fun things to share with you from that tomorrow.  I will also write tomorrow about what my kids were doing while I was out! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Down on the Farm (day 4)

Is it just me or has this week been crazy??  I feel like every time I sit down to do something, something else comes up! 🙂  

Here is what we did today–short and sweet!

We started our day by reading What Comes from Trees.  It is a little book I got from Scholastic a few years ago, but it talks about all the things that we get from trees (rubber tires, chocolate, syrup, etc.)  

During our Writer’s Workshop mini-lesson today, I introduced exclamation points.  You would have thought that it was the greatest thing ever invented!  I also showed the children how to make thought bubbles and also showed them how to use an ABC chart to assist them in writing.  I made a recording sheet (will post it soon!) to use so I can track their growth in writing.  

We used our Predictable Chart to make some cut-up-sentences:

Here they are holding up the words in this sentence.

The children love to laugh when I read the sentence out loud in it’s all mixed up state!

We also completed our Roll A Pattern Block Scarecrows:

I found this idea on another website, the Virtual Vine, I think, but I had to create it myself.  I will post it soon for all of you to use (if you want it!)

We also added more coffee grounds, apple cores, and newspaper to our composting bin today!  It actually smells pretty good right now!  The worms will be arriving next week!

Kristen 🙂

Down on the Farm (day 3) and pictures…

We continued our theme of the farm today…we re-read Mrs. Wishy-Washy and then we acted it out.  I acted it out for the children first and then I had some actors and actresses come up from our class to help me:

How cute are they??  Here’s Mrs. Wishy Washy’s apron:

I used a dishpan, and old scrubber and animals I collected various places to help wash the animals:

Here is a look at how I store it:

These props will do into our Drama Work Station later this week.

This is the Big Book we are using.

This week our Pocket Chart Station has the nursery rhyme Little Bo Peep, so before putting it in the chart, I reviewed a copy of it with the children and used this Big Chart:


Here are the scarecrows I promised from yesterday.  The first one is the pattern block scarecrow and the second are a few pictures of the scarecrows we made using tracers:

Here is a look at our Predictable Chart this week:

We also added many things to our compost bin: eggshells, coffee grounds, my apple core from lunch, leaves and dirt:

We also wrote in our Nature’s Recycler’s Journals (found on Inquiry Science tab):


Here are our read alouds for this week:

More tomorrow……

Kristen 🙂

Down on the Farm (day 1 and 2)

We started our theme by reading Mrs. Wishy-Washy!  Who doesn’t love that book??!!  Day 1, we took a picture walk through the story and then I read it out loud.  Day 2, I re-read the story and then we echo read it.  We also started a new predictable chart called, A Scarecrow…”.  I’ll take photos of it when it is done tomorrow.  We got a late start on it, and so we’re a day off schedule.  I will combine touch reading sentences and cut up sentences into Thursday to get it all in this week.  We made scarecrows (I’ll post pictures tomorrow and the “tracers’ for that).  They are SOOO cute!  I just love to see the expressions the children draw on their faces!  Today we made a pattern block scarecrow and instead of gluing on the shapes, we colored them in instead–a little fine motor practice during math time! We will complete a graph to go along with it, showing them another way to collect data! We will also glue some crows on to the arms of the scarecrows and make math sentences with them.  (2 crows on the left arm + 3 crows on the right arm= 5 crows).  We will write the math sentence on the scarecrows shirt.

We also started our composting bin.  Monday, we added dirt and water to moisten the soil.  Today, we took a leaf walk, noted the trees color and then picked up what leaves we could find and added a layer of them in the composting bin.  Tomorrow we will add coffee grinds (??)  and crushed up egg shells.  I’ve been saving them forever!  We will also start our “Nature’s Recyclers” journal (found on the Inquiry Science tab) to tell about our process.  At this point, we will talk about what we want to write and then will write it together and then copy it into our journals.  I want them to get the process more than the writing at this time in the year, so I will help them along with that.  Later in the year, I will ask them to write from their minds, but we need to work on collecting ideas! 🙂  I’m sure that’s the same across Kindergarten! 🙂

Once I finally get done assessing all my children for report cards, I will switch the Work with the Teacher Station to actually working with me!  I will be using the My Sidewalks RTI kit that we purchased with our reading series (Scott-Foresman, I think!, we just get texts to supplement what we do, not exclusively use them).  For my upper/middle level students, we will focus on higher order literacy tasks and writing mini lessons throughout the year.

See you tomorrow!

Kristen 🙂

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