Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pumpkin Centers

Our wonderful intern from Winthrop, Mrs. Miskelly, was required to teach a few lessons based on unit of her choice.  After talking, we decided it would fit best for her to do Pumpkins!  You've seen other posts from activities and food tastings we did in this unit.  The children have experienced a lot already and have learned about the life cycle of the pumpkin. 

Mrs. Miskelly allowed the children to experience a pumpkin to the fullest by carving one up!  She decided to do this under our document camera so that all the children could see what was inside. 

She encouraged them to predict and draw first what they thought the pumpkin would look like inside and just how many seeds there might be. 

Then, Mrs. Miskelly opened up the pumpkin and the crowd went WILD!

She instructed them to come up and take out a seed.  It was funny to hear how they described what the inside of the pumpkin felt like.  The funniest was, "It feels like throw-up!"

Mrs. Miskelly had also organized some great pumpkin Math Centers!  The children used the rest of our collection of pumpkins and the seeds from this one to measure and compare.

Mrs. Misenheimer helped the children cut a string for how long they thought the circumference of the pumpkin would be.  The children had to say if their string was too long, too short, or just right.

Mrs. Miskelly led a group that predicted which type of pumpkin would weight the most and the least. She numbered each pumpkin and challenged the children the predict with one would weigh the most and least.

She used the big book Pumpkin Pumpkin to further review the life cycle of the pumpkin and to help children see that the life of a pumpkin begins with a seed, and in this case, on a farm!

The children then got to work with the pictures she created on the pocket chart to put the life cycle in order.

One last lesson that tied in many important Social Studies standards was a lesson about producers and consumers.  Mrs. Miskelly really wanted the children to understand that pumpkin pie and pumpkins don't just suddenly appear at the grocery store for us to buy.  There are many other steps and people involved before that!

She got the children up and pretending to be farmers growing pumpkins!  She gave other students some money to "purchase" the pumpkins from the farmers.

With all this new understanding of producers and consumers, Mrs. Miskelly encourage the children to talk about other places that we purchase products such as cars from a dealership or clothes from the mall.  She then gave each child a matching game.  They had to match the product with the place.


This turned out to be a great, integrated unit!  The children not only learned about pumpkins but were engaged in math, literacy, science and social studies at the same time! 

The Letter P

P is the 15th letter of the alphabet-- almost finished! 

The children got to choose popcorn or pretzels and some even enjoyed a mix of both this week and they LOVED it!

Austin decided to add a drawing of a porcupine to the P page in his ABC book!  The children draw a picture, write the letter, find that letter in the newspaper, and find the letter sticker.

On Friday, we combined the letters O and P for some more practice!  There are basically three levels of this type of combination.  First, we combine the items in the letter tubs and the children name each one and place it in the correct tub.  Then, as you can see below, they sort different pictures on the smartboard. 

And then they complete their own picture sort on paper!

One last activity allows the children to discriminate O's and P's from other letters.  And, to be honest, they love any activity in which they get to use the Dot Markers!  

Here is Nathan finding all the O's first!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Letter O

Learning about the letter O was so much fun!  Since we've already learned about three other vowels, the children were well prepared to talk about how the letter O has at least two sounds: long/strong and short.  The toughest part was making sure everyone made these O's correctly by starting at the TOP instead of at the bottom of the line! 

Great job starting at the top!

Here is Nathan sorting some uppercase and lowercase O's on the smartboard.  I paired the uppers and lowers together since they look very similar!  The children moved two each turn.

And, as usual, we had some yummy O snacks! 

Oatmeal Cream Pies

And, Oreos!  Don't worry too much-- we DID have fresh fruit on Friday!

After some more practice with the long and short O sounds, the children did a picture sort on the smartboard.

The children also added the O page to their ABC books.  With each letter the children write the letter, draw a picture of something that starts with that letter, find the letter in the newspaper and find a sticker of that letter. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Have You Ever Seen A Pumpkin?

Have you ever seen a pumpkin, a pumpkin, a pumpkin?
Have you ever seen a pumpkin that grows on a vine?
A round one, a tall one.
A fat one, a small one.
Have you ever seen a pumpkin that grows on a vine?

I've seen this poem in so many places online and in so many pumpkin units and my children love it!  We sing it to the tune of "Have you ever seen a Lassie?" 

This pumpkin unit crossed over from Science to English/Language Arts to Social Studies to Math. There was so much learning taking place! I did my best to catch it all on camera for you to see!

One math center planned and taught by Mrs. Miskelly, our intern from Winthrop, challenged the children to put each pumpkin in order by size.  Then, they had to order the pumpkins based on how much each pumpkin weighed. 

Mrs. Claire, one of our wonderful parent volunteers, got to experiment with the children during center time.  We set her up with a big tub of water and the children predicted and then tested if pumpkins sink or float and if the size of each one mattered. 

Also during center time, the children created and painted pumpkins from brown paper bags!

The children also got to read and illustrate the pumpkin poem at the top of this post.

Mrs. Misenheimer and Austin enjoy the poem together! 

Audrey and Kailyn draw their pumpkins on a vine.

Mrs. Miskelly put out some pumpkin seeds and measurement tools at another math center one day.  The children counted them and compared the amount each measuring cup would hold. 

How's all that for learning about Pumpkins? 

And that's just the beginning--there is MORE to come!