October Packet!





I am so very excited to welcome in the month of October! Between the crisp air, the bowls of hot creamy soup, the pumpkins on every porch, and the spooky excitement in the air, it is definitely one of my favorite months!  I can hardly wait to start those delightful October classroom activities.  Honestly, I was happy as a clown today as I pasted pumpkin decor around my classroom. This is such a fun time and such a great time to learn!





I'm excited to share my new packet with you, named rather simply after one of my favorite things...October!










This packet is made up of a variety of math and literacy activities to help fill your October with worthwhile and productive fun.  There is a handful of pumpkin activities (oh how I love pumpkins!) and language arts activities as well as some just-for-fun things, too!
























I have included a whole bunch of math activities and games that my students absolutely love.  These games and pages are especially helpful with number recognition and number sense...a little help of that kind never seems to go amiss in my classroom!


















There are over 45 pages of tried and true activities for you to share with your students!  I hope this packet is useful to you as you plan and prepare for this lovely month!  Click on the picture below or visit my store here!  This packet will be on sale throughout the rest of the week!










Happy October!












October Packet!


I am so very excited to welcome in the month of October! Between the crisp air, the bowls of hot creamy soup, the pumpkins on every porch, and the spooky excitement in the air, it is definitely one of my favorite months!  I can hardly wait to start those delightful October classroom activities.  Honestly, I was happy as a clown today as I pasted pumpkin decor around my classroom. This is such a fun time and such a great time to learn!

I'm excited to share my new packet with you, named rather simply after one of my favorite things...October!


This packet is made up of a variety of math and literacy activities to help fill your October with worthwhile and productive fun.  There is a handful of pumpkin activities (oh how I love pumpkins!) and language arts activities as well as some just-for-fun things, too!




I have included a whole bunch of math activities and games that my students absolutely love.  These games and pages are especially helpful with number recognition and number sense...a little help of that kind never seems to go amiss in my classroom!


There are over 45 pages of tried and true activities for you to share with your students!  I hope this packet is useful to you as you plan and prepare for this lovely month!  Click on the picture below or visit my store here!  This packet will be on sale throughout the rest of the week!


Happy October!




Apples, Apples, Apples! (plus a freebie!)


I love the change in the air that is September.  I love the crispness and the coolness of the fall.  I love the colors and smells, the produce, and the feeling that we are on the verge of good things to come.  I think in heaven it might just be fall all the time!





One of the things that I love most about the fall is the apples!  I tried my hand this week at teaching thematically with those yummy things.  I am in my third year of teaching and I have a personal goal to try out new things and see what makes me the best teacher for my sweet students.  Although I have a pretty rigid set of standards to be taught each week I tied in those lovely apples wherever I could.  My kids absolutely loved it and I have to admit that I had more fun too! Here is a boatload of pictures of some of the things that we did this week!





We read a lot of good apple literature.  I got all of these from Scholastic for cheap and my kids ate them up!  I am always surprised by how much first graders love non-fiction texts.








We completed a KWL chart together.  My kids were so excited to share what they already knew about apples and I was quite impressed with it!  At the end of the week we filled in the "Learned" section.










I introduced the concept of an adjective and we wrote down all of the descriptive words that we could think of when it comes to apples!










We made a class diagram (sorry, no picture!) of a labeled apple and I had my kids do this cute labeling activity from Jodi Southard's A Bushel of Apples packet.  They loved this!










On Thursday it was Johnny Appleseed's birthday and we watched this adorable video from my childhood.








 We then made applesauce! I confess I was extremely nervous about this because, well, I've never made applesauce in my life and something could go horribly wrong.  Right?  Well, it turns out it is super easy and super delicious and the kids were so excited I thought they would die!










All you need is some brown sugar, cinnamon, water, apples (I had each student bring one to school), and a crockpot!  The applesauce tasted so good my kids wanted the recipe to take home.  At the bottom of this post there is a freebie with my recipe included!  For my amount of kids (27), I doubled the recipe and used a large crock pot.










While the applesauce was cooking away we did a little sequencing activity to reinforce the concepts of first, next, then, and last.  I saw this idea on First Grade Fanatics and it was perfect!  I really feel like they got it and I know this knowledge will be useful to them as we learn more about text features.










At the end of the day the applesauce looked (and smelled) delicious!










We mashed it up, dished it out, and I was pretty sure we all were in apple heaven.  It was so delicious.





And as if we hadn't had enough apples...we also did an apple taste test.  In the morning we looked at all of the apples that were brought in and selected a few special green, red, and yellow ones for our taste test.  The rest went into the applesauce!










We were amazed at how different and distinct the apples tasted!










I had each student take a die cut apple after they decided which was their favorite and they stuck it up on our whiteboard graph to see the results of our taste test.  We were a little bit surprised!










We then charted the results on our own little graphs and answered a few questions.  You can grab this page (and the recipe above) as a freebie right here.










All in all, it was a delicious week!  I love teaching with a theme and can't wait to try it out again soon!  Pumpkins, anyone?





























Apples, Apples, Apples! (plus a freebie!)

I love the change in the air that is September.  I love the crispness and the coolness of the fall.  I love the colors and smells, the produce, and the feeling that we are on the verge of good things to come.  I think in heaven it might just be fall all the time!

One of the things that I love most about the fall is the apples!  I tried my hand this week at teaching thematically with those yummy things.  I am in my third year of teaching and I have a personal goal to try out new things and see what makes me the best teacher for my sweet students.  Although I have a pretty rigid set of standards to be taught each week I tied in those lovely apples wherever I could.  My kids absolutely loved it and I have to admit that I had more fun too! Here is a boatload of pictures of some of the things that we did this week!

We read a lot of good apple literature.  I got all of these from Scholastic for cheap and my kids ate them up!  I am always surprised by how much first graders love non-fiction texts.


We completed a KWL chart together.  My kids were so excited to share what they already knew about apples and I was quite impressed with it!  At the end of the week we filled in the "Learned" section.


I introduced the concept of an adjective and we wrote down all of the descriptive words that we could think of when it comes to apples!


We made a class diagram (sorry, no picture!) of a labeled apple and I had my kids do this cute labeling activity from Jodi Southard's A Bushel of Apples packet.  They loved this!


On Thursday it was Johnny Appleseed's birthday and we watched this adorable video from my childhood.


 We then made applesauce! I confess I was extremely nervous about this because, well, I've never made applesauce in my life and something could go horribly wrong.  Right?  Well, it turns out it is super easy and super delicious and the kids were so excited I thought they would die!


All you need is some brown sugar, cinnamon, water, apples (I had each student bring one to school), and a crockpot!  The applesauce tasted so good my kids wanted the recipe to take home.  At the bottom of this post there is a freebie with my recipe included!  For my amount of kids (27), I doubled the recipe and used a large crock pot.


While the applesauce was cooking away we did a little sequencing activity to reinforce the concepts of first, next, then, and last.  I saw this idea on First Grade Fanatics and it was perfect!  I really feel like they got it and I know this knowledge will be useful to them as we learn more about text features.


At the end of the day the applesauce looked (and smelled) delicious!


We mashed it up, dished it out, and I was pretty sure we all were in apple heaven.  It was so delicious.

And as if we hadn't had enough apples...we also did an apple taste test.  In the morning we looked at all of the apples that were brought in and selected a few special green, red, and yellow ones for our taste test.  The rest went into the applesauce!


We were amazed at how different and distinct the apples tasted!


I had each student take a die cut apple after they decided which was their favorite and they stuck it up on our whiteboard graph to see the results of our taste test.  We were a little bit surprised!


We then charted the results on our own little graphs and answered a few questions.  You can grab this page (and the recipe above) as a freebie right here.


All in all, it was a delicious week!  I love teaching with a theme and can't wait to try it out again soon!  Pumpkins, anyone?










Math Update



This year my district adopted the Common Core Math Curriculum (hurray!).  After much summer training I decided I wanted to change and improve my math instruction to be more task-oriented and applicable in my little first graders' lives.  I try to launch some kind of problem or task with just enough scaffolding and support to enable them to succeed in finding a solution.  I love seeing the variety of strategies they are discovering and becoming efficient with at this early stage in the year.





For one of our math tasks/lessons this week we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  We read up until the caterpillar had consumed all of the fruit.  I then launched the question, "How many fruits did the caterpillar eat?"  





We organized our thinking by making this chart.  That equation at the bottom wasn't added until the end of the lesson as we debriefed the strategies we'd used.
"How many in all?" is something of a big question considering the number of groups the students need to include, but I was pleasantly surprised with their strategies in solving this problem.
















I have to say how much I am loving teaching math this way!  Launching a real-life math task to students, allowing them the time and tools for quality inquiry, and debriefing about the experience with them afterwards is making all the difference!





On a side note, I'm in the midst of planning for next week and I'm going to try my hand at a little thematic teaching.  Next week we are going to be having an apple theme.  I'm hoping it goes well!  Any advice on teaching with a theme?



By the way, I have a few freebies and some fun October things coming up soon so check back! Happy teaching!