Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Pumpkin Day!

Happy Halloween Pumpkin Day!
I brought in a "big" pumpkin for the children to explore today.  I called it "Pumpkin Exploration" and my little friends got a kick out saying such a big word!
We looked at the color and shape of the pumpkin, measured the height and width using counting cubes and links, used our muscles to lift the pumpkin to determine if it was heavy or light, and predicted and tested whether the pumpkin would sink or float.

After our "Pumpkin Exploration" was complete, the kid's picked a pumpkin out of our pumpkin patch!
The pumpkin patch signs can be found in my Teacher's Notebook store - HERE
We took turns measuring our friends using our little pumpkins and will be making a class book, "_____ is ____ pumpkins tall!"
Pumpkin Day would not be complete without some pumpkin decorating!  I put out some sparkly paint, glitter, sequins, and glue and let the kids get to work.  Look at their beautiful creations!
Pinterest Inspiration found HERE from the
So cute! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More Fall Fest Fun!

 I had the day off today due to this crazy East Coast weather, so I didn't  get the chance to finish taking pictures of all the monster activities that we did yesterday.
Since I don't have those to post, I thought I would take the chance to post some of the cute activities some of the other classrooms did for our buildings "Fall Fest".

First off, Ms. Sarah, Ms. Chrissy, and Ms. Tania had the cutest pumpkin ring toss game!  The children had to toss glow stick necklaces around the stems of the pumpkins.
Next is Ms. Kristin's and Ms. Sue's toilet paper ghost bowling!  My kids couldn't get over that they got to play with toilet paper rolls!  They loved stacking up the toilet paper into different structures and towers and trying to knock it down with the light up ball.
Ms. Jennifer and Ms. Jessica made a bean bag toss game with a pumpkin garbage bag and a pop up laundry hamper.
Ms. Sandy incorporated Social Emotional skills into her activity by having the children decorate pumpkin cutouts  with different facial expressions, super cute but I forgot to take a picture! :(
Ms. Liz and Ms. Kathy made a fall family tree using wrapping paper tubes!  The children in their class decorated leaves using family pictures and then they were added to the tree ~ Love this!
I hope everyone has a very fun and safe Halloween tomorrow!  I'll post pictures from our class "Pumpkin Party" soon!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monster Monday

It's the Monday before Halloween, or, MONSTER MONDAY, in my classroom!
I love Monster Monday!  We get to read some fun Monster theme books like "Glad Monster, Sad Monster", "If You're A Monster and You Know It" and one of my favorite read aloud stories,
 "Go Away Big Green Monster".
It is always a favorite among my students as well.  My kids made me read it 4 times today!  Good thing I love it as much as them!
After we read "Go Away Big Green Monster", we added details to a graph to describe the Big, Green Monster, focusing on color words.
Check out the "Big, Green Monsters" that Ms. Kristin's friends made ~ They came out so cute, I had to share them!
I have some more Monster activities coming soon, I forgot to pictures today!  Oops! :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spider Hats

When I saw these cute Spider Hats on Pinterest from Little Buggie Tutu, I knew I needed to make these with my class!
My wonderful assistant cut out all of the strips of paper for the headbands and legs.  We then had each child fold up the purple and orange strips (great fine motor activity!) for the legs and glue them onto the inside of the headband.  We found that the more they folded and played with the paper, the more movement the legs had. After all the legs were glued, we flipped the hats over and had the children glue two eyes onto the front of the headband. 
I love how playful the hats turned out!

More Spiders!

Our building had our "Fall Fest" celebration yesterday! 
 For our building wide events, each classroom put an activity in the hall for our children and their parents to explore.  The parents and children traveled around the building together making crafts, playing games, and learning!
Since we have been studying the letter "Ss" this week, and talking about spiders in class, I carried this theme into my activity.
First, I hung up 3 posters; a "Are/Can/Have" chart that the children helped me create in class, "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" poem, and directions for the activity.
"Are/Can/Have" Spiders Chart
Next, I decorated my activity table with this cute spider web tablecloth over another purple tablecloth.  Check out the spider with the pink legs I found in the Target Dollar Section!
In the little green basket are print outs of a spider for the children to color; purple if they are a girl and green if they are a boy (a mini glyph!).  The parents then asked their child, "Are you afraid of spiders?" and helped the child tape the spider to either the"yes" or "no" spider web.
I wish I was a better artist, but look how cute the webs turned out after the children added their spiders!
Hopefully I'll have time over the weekend to add pictures of the cute spider hats we made and the SUPER CREATIVE fall activities from some of the other classrooms!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

S is for Spiders!

Even though our current theme is "Community Helpers", I wanted to incorporate a little bit of Halloween fun into this weeks (and next weeks!) lessons.
We started our "Letter of the Week" this week with the letter Ss, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make some spooky spiders!
I saw these cute play-doh "Monsters" from and was inspired!  Wouldn't these make cute spiders?
So, I geared up to make some black play-doh, my first time ever making play-doh!  Of course I had to include a little sparkle into this, I added purple glitter to the black dough!

I think my kiddo's were in shock when they opened the play-doh cups (I hoard play-doh cups!).  I had one tell me that it was "dirty" and another one asked if it was "play-doh or a skunk".
I gave them googly eyes and pipe cleaners and let them get to work.  Check out their super cute creations!
Stay tuned for more Spider Fun! :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Community Helpers

My little friends had such a fun time building their names that I had to make a set of Build-A-Word cards for my Community Helper theme!
Check it out - HERE!
Only $1.00

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Counting

Our math focus this week is on making sets of numbers 1 - 5 and counting the objects in each set.
For some hands on practice, I made fall theme counting mats for the children to use during our small group time.  The children match counting cubes to each shape on the mat (apples, pumpkins, leaves) and practiced identifying the numbers and counting the objects.  For an added challenge, I had the children sort and use counting cubes in the color that matched the objects on their mat
 (ex. green cubes on the mat with the green apples).
Here are the mats in action!
(Did you notice I'm short one brown block and one red block??)
The mats are now available in my Teachers Notebook store - HERE
Only $1.00

Friday, October 12, 2012

More Fun with Names!

One more quick name activity for you!
I found these cute bulletin board letters from the Dollar Tree and thought they would make a fun pocket chart activity.  I had the children put their name card in the pocket chart and then they used the letters to spell their name. 
You may notice that there are only capital letters in this set so it was a little bit challenging for my little ones.  I put an ABC chart next to the pocket chart for added support.  Now I'm on a misson to find (or make!) a set like this with lower case letters!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Name Recognition

We will be finishing up our "All About Me" theme this week.
During this theme we have been working on building our name recognition skills through a variety of hands on activities!

We practiced recognizing our names and our friends names using name cards in a pocket chart.  The children had to match their picture card to their name card.  I put a sticker with each childs name on the back of their picture card for additional support.
(The pictures are flipped around so you are looking at the back).
During small group time, students used bingo dabbers to "trace" their names.  I'm going to display these throughout the year with their picture next to it.
Check out our pinterest inspiration here - Bingo Dabber Names
The students used magnifying glasses to explore the letters in their name and arranged letter tiles to form their name.  When they were finished, they practiced writing their name on our dry erase boards.

More name recognition activities coming soon!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Community Helpers

We will be starting our Community Helper theme next week!
Check out my Community Helper materials on my Teachers Notebook store
30 pages ~ Only $3.00!
Pack includes word wall words, sorting mats/cards, memory game cards, pattern frames, fine motor mats for play-doh or dry erase markers, and can/are/have graphic organizers.
All graphics from and fonts from

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Brown Bear Theme

Wow... I meant to post these Brown Bear activities waaaaay back in September! 
We completed our Brown Bear/Eric Carle theme the second week of school and I meant to post these quicker, better late then never, right?!
First, I made a cute file folder game using the Brown Bear matching cards from
These are sooo cute and I believe they were a FREE download!

I recently started using scrapbook paper on my file folder games for extra cuteness! 
I glued one half of the animal card to the file folder with a corresponding color square next to it (ex. blue horse - blue square).  After I laminated the file folder game and the additional pieces, I added a piece of Velcro to each piece and the color squares.  This activity was great for classification skills and color identification!
I found more FREE Brown Bear printables from
Here, there are small pictures of each animal from Brown  Bear, as well as real pictures of the animals. 
We used these in 2 ways.  First, we matched the real picture to the pretend picture, which was super easy for my kiddos.  Next, we discussed how some things are real, and some are pretend and then sorted the pictures into 2 categories "Real" and "Not Real".  This was a little more challenging but most began to get the hang of it!
My kids really LOVED our Brown Bear theme!  I saw just how much today, when one of my ESL students was "reading" Brown Bear to herself.  She used the pictures to guide her and was almost exact on the wording!  I was SO proud! :)